Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank Goodness!

My vacuum pump has been repaired. I expressed payment for return shipping today and I'm hoping to have it back by Wednesday of next week. What a relief! Now things can proceed.

Some recent wedding orders:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Design Monday

You have to put it on paper when it comes to you. If you don't, you will most likely lose it. I don't know how many ideas I've had and lost because I was too lazy to find a pen and paper. Creativity is persistence, pure and simple.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

When Things Don't Work Out

exactly as you plan them to.

Behold, readers! My busted, broke down vacuum table! Behold the gory insides of a normally smooth and blue machine of goodness. Oh, woe!

Thursday afternoon, I was preparing to invest some molds...

...when I flipped on the investment table and it made a funny noise and didn't work. Normally it is loud and noisy and you can hear the pumping action. But this time it just made a quite humming noise. I opened the hatch, to see if there was anything I could do, which of course, there wasn't. I cried a few tears and then called my Shop Monkey who assured me we could figure it out. So, I left for the evening. Molds uninvested, shop work at a standstill.

The next day, I called Pepetools and talked to Ed, their all around machine fixer superstar. Actually, I called him and heard a little of the instructions and promptly asked if my Shop Monkey (aka, my boyfriend) could call and get the instructions instead. Now, I am capable of fixing things, but I was also making chicken mole for a dinner party that night and I didn't have the time to dedicate to machine instructions. Plus I can't really tell my right from my left, and when I called the motor an engine, I think Ed lost a little bit of confidence in my abilities anyway.

So that afternoon, before the tostada dinner party at my house, we opened up the machine and followed Ed's instructions. And when I say we, I mean the Shop Monkey. He's an engineer after all.

We had to run to the hardware store 3 times (turns out that though I have a million and a half tools, none are suitable for taking machinery apart. Apparently you need a screwdriver, a crescent wrench, and hex things). We had to give up for the evening, since we had guests arriving and dinner wasn't fully prepared (I love crockpots, but they won't make salad and guacamole for you as well as chicken mole). But the next day we found out what the problem was:

The engine, oh sorry, I mean the motor, works just fine. But the pump is frozen (whatever that means).

So, tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will be shipping that square pump piece to Oklahoma for repairs. My casting equipment will be out of action for at least a week or two and I now have to write everyone who ordered things that need to be cast and let them know about the delay. This I dread. But it has to be done. But at least I will have time to carve all the waxes and casting will go quickly once the pump returns. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doo Doot Doo Doo, Doo Doot Doo Doo....

If you couldn't tell by the headline, this post is about weddings (that's my version of the bridal march on a kazoo). Wedding season seems to be upon me, even before I recovered from the holidays properly. I've been desperately trying to get waxes carved for new designs, but I seem to be so caught up in making things that have already been ordered that I have no time for new things. I've made a resolution though, and that is that I will carve one wax (in order to cast it and then have a mold made of that design by people who know how to make I can't seem to cut a mold properly to save my life) each morning. This wax will be one of my current designs (i.e. the three stone, pebble rings, pebble ring squared) in several different sizes, until I have carved all of the current designs. Each week I will also carve one new design (from the many I have floating around in my head). I also got some cool new material that I think will figure greatly into my spring collection! I think I will have two "collections", just a regular spring 2010 collection, and also a weddings collection. I think I've mentioned it before, but I love wedding jewelry more than just about anything else (besides my pugs, that is).

Before I went on vacation I had a small tidal wave of wedding orders and I took some pictures of them some of them together.

I really liked this grouping since it represents the three types of stones I use most in my jewelry. Left to right: moissanite, diamond, white sapphire. The ring on the far right is the first one of that style that I've made in gold instead of silver, and I really liked how it turned out. I can't wait to see it in 18kt yellow (my personal favorite, and the ring on the far left is made of it).

I also experimented with ways to take photos of the ring on my hand, in order to show scale. This is how I normally do it:

But that morning I was feeling sassy, and decided to do a little photo shoot:

If you can ignore the crazy hair, I think it actually gives a better idea of size and what the ring will actually look like on, than the hand shot. What do you guys think? Since Etsy only lets you post 5 pictures, I'm not sure if want to use two of them to show the ring on the hand. I think people like photos of the item itself more, and I don't want to intrude onto their wedding ideation with a big picture of my face. You know what I mean?

Ok, enough of that. I'm hoping to be able to post about the new designs this week or next. But until then, here is a picture of me and the shop monkey on vacation!