Monday, August 31, 2009

Disaster Waiting to Happen

That, sweet readers, is my gemstone tray. It exploded upon impact after it fell to the floor, showering my gemstone supply all over the ground. How did it fall to the floor? Well.....I had it balanced on a corner of the open drawer of my supplies cabinet. My mother's voice echoed through my mind as I looked at it in horror: "that was a disaster waiting to happen". Note to self, don't precariously balance anything in a high traffic area of the studio.

(Like that carpet? Not me! Moving into the studio tomorrow! Then into this sweet apartment on the 15th. Holy smokes am I excited!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

T-minus Ten

days until I get to move into my new studio! Good gravy, I am so excited. It will be like a whole new world! This last Monday I went to look at the space, which was so much larger than I expected. It's in this old house near Mississippi (which is a cool little street with a great breakfast place called, aptly enough, Gravy, and an okay yoga studio). I met the two ladies I will be sharing the space with and they seemed super cool and laid back. It will be so nice to have people to talk to about jewelry things. We chatted for a while about stone suppliers, casting places, and mold making. It was awesome. I'd been in such a vacuum working alone for so long (well, since February). The space itself is large (I have no idea how I will fill it up..I'm sure I will manage it. I'm picturing a little space with my desk etc. and a couch for people who want to consult in person to sit on, and then my work space.) and the house is so old that the floor sort of slants away from the middle of house. But it's sort of perfect, really. Next door to our space is a tailor's sweat shop. I think the main lady over there is Russian, and there is a clothing store downstairs. One of the girls has a little brindle french bulldog, so Gunter and Dieter will have someone to play with! What else..... I'm thinking of getting this:
(vacuum table, kiln and assorted odds and ends for investing)

Along with this:

(centrifugal casting machine)

And eventually this:
(this is used to inject molten wax into molds)

and this: (to carve wax with)

Man, I am so excited to start carving my own designs. I love fabricating by hand, and the possibilities and limitations of the method have definitely influenced my designs for the better I think, but carving in wax just seems like freedom! There are just so many more possibilities! Right now I sort of feel like I'm caught in 2D and when I can start using wax carving and casting I will break free into 3D.
Does that make sense?

This is new:

And it's in my size, so I plan on keeping it for myself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time for a Studio?

Dearest friends and family, is it time for singleB to move into a new space? I think it is. I go to look at studio space tomorrow afternoon. It would be a shared space, I'll meet the two other jewelry artists tomorrow. I hope they are cool. The space seems sort of neat (craigslist find), it's open, but also allows for a semi private space.

I am just not very efficient when I am working at home. There is just too much to distract. Plus, I would like to move into a smaller apartment (perhaps downtown?), so it would be nice to have a separate studio to put all of my tools and misc. business stuff in. I plan on purchasing casting equipment towards the fall/winter this year, so I definitely need this extra area. I'm so excited, I hope it works out with the other girls at our meeting tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wrench in the Gears

Or maybe, more appropriately, drill bit in the gears.

People, this is the last thing you want to see when you are in a hurry. Even if I'm not in a hurry, it's still not at the top of my list of things I want to have happen. That evil pointy thing, sticking up from the top the ring is a broken drill bit. And it is close to impossible to remove without substantial damage to the metal around it (unless you use acid to dissolve it out...but I try to use as little acid in my work as possible). If that ring had been silver I would have just scrapped it and cut my losses. But that was 14kt palladium white, so I had to fix it somehow. What made it even worse was that I couldn't really enlarge the hole at all since I had to set a small stone there, one that was not very much larger than the drill. Argh! These eternity rings are really starting to be the bane of my existence, I'll be honest. They are just so high stress...there is so much that could go wrong. I'm either going to have to give them up in gold entirely, or only make them with slightly larger diamonds. 2.1mm versus 1.7mm. The smaller stones just make it so much more difficult to center in the middle of the band. My other version in silver is much easier to do, because the stones are 2mm. Stressful.
Ok, resolution: I finally got the drill bit pieces removed through persistence and judicious use of a hammer and punch. Whew.