Friday, April 30, 2010

Roses are blooming!

The most exciting thing ever! A stunning lot of almost 3.5cts of natural fancy color rose cut diamonds! Oooh! Oooh! Soon to be in my possession! Even at this moment, winging their way towards me. I can't wait to get them. I have been wanting to use this sort of stone for ages now, ever since I first saw them. And I finally found a Kimberly Process compliant supplier. Exciting! I have a ring carved in wax now, just waiting to be cast in 18kt yellow, one rose cut center stone, 8-10 white brilliant cut diamonds surrounding it. Can't wait until it is finished.

Question: What color of center stone should I use in the first ring of this style?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big Move!

Yesterday I went to pick up the keys to the new studio. I can't move into it until Saturday (The Shop Monkey has been busy packing boxes and nagging me to make a u-haul reservation (which I did this morning!) An awesome brother of the Shop Monkey has volunteered (or rather, the Shop Monkey sort of voluntold him, but he was really super willing. I love the Shop Monkey and his family!) to help, which is going to make it all so much easier.)

The space was even better than I remembered. It's going to be great! I'm very excited to get in there and get everything reorganized. It's just a better space overall. More electrical outlets, more space, Pug friendly! I hope to stay here there for a couple of years until I buy a house and move my shop home.

Random picture of the day:

New Stuff:

Right now I'm in the process of designing a new ring that will incorporate rose cut natural color diamonds! So excited. I'm thinking a pink-red center rose cut, with 10 smaller white diamonds set around it. I can't wait until it is finished. I'm going to order rose cut diamonds today, I finally found a guy that sells Kimberly Process certified diamonds, so I'm excited to get them. I've been behind on my new designs, but I think I will be able to get some out really soon!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Working on the Weekend

is a really bad habit to get into. But this whole thing with the vacuum pump has made it necessary.

Because this stuff will try to kill me if it gets the chance:
I get to wear this nifty mask. The Shop Monkey thinks it's the coolest piece of equipment I own. I disagree because I am in love with my engravers block. (I don't do any engraving, I set stones using it.)
But check out this sweet mask! I sound like Darth Vader when I am wearing it.

T-minus 6 days until the big move. I'm reeeeaaaaallllllyyyyy not looking forward to packing up all this stuff:

You might be wondering, after seeing the massive horrible mess that my workbench is, how I get things to turn out looking like this:

And the answer is, I don't really know. I'm surprised myself most of the time. Since jewelery is so pristine and beautiful, I'm always shocked at how horrible it looks until the very last moment when it is cleaned and ready to be boxed. When I first started out, I despaired over every piece ever looking good until it had been cleaned in the end, and then I was always thinking "wow, I didn't think this would turn out at all". Now I know better, but I still find the level of dirtiness all the way up until the last moment surprising.

Okay folks, that's it for now. I want to get these two last pieces invested so I can go out on a date with the Shop Monkey. We are going to this thing called Eat Mobile, which is big food cart festival! I love me some street food, so this is going to be very exciting!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What does this:

Have to do with this?:

I can't really keep a secret. I'm terrible at it. Seriously, all you have to do is ask me and I will tell. (For personal secrets, I'm an unbreakable vault, but things like surprises and's like taking candy from a baby to get the secret out of me. But not like taking candy from me, since I will cut you if you try to take my candy and/or cake. If you think I'm joking, just try to get between me and a piece of pie.)

So here it is! The ring set from above is going to be in the Fall issue of Oregon Bride magazine! In a piece they called "Unveiled"! Awesome, right?!? I was pretty shocked when I got the email about it. They wanted to borrow the pieces for a photoshoot (a photoshoot!) and so I had to make a set up since I don't keep any on hand. But luckily enough, someone bought the exact set I needed to make and so I didn't have to waste any material making a set for the shoot (the shoot! it sounds so pretentious! I love it!).

So look for the issue in July (the fall issue comes out in July). I'll be in there somewhere, and when I say "I" I mean my jewelry. Fun fun!

Next post: Back to whinging about my casting woes. The vacuum machine hasn't been returned to me yet. (I had to send the whole machine to Oklahoma!), but I'm hoping it will get here on Wednesday. Gold stars for effort all around, especially to the Shop Monkey for being so helpful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving Studio (again)

It seems like I just moved into my current studio (8 months ago), but I'm moving again at the end of the month. One of my current studiomates, Alisha Alderman of Alisha Louise Designs, just bought a house with her husband (Congrats!) and she is moving her studio to a home space. My other studio mate, Cheyenne Weil of Gin and Butterflies, is going to move with me to a new and larger space in a cool old industrial building nearby. She might eventually move to a home studio as well, but for now I'm lucky to have her around. The new space is pretty cool. I'm excited to see it when it isn't full of the icky and slightly creepy grubbiness of its current hipster occupier. I'm pretty sure we can make it look really nice, and their are several bonuses!

1) I can now bring the pugs to work. Yay!
2) There is garbage and recycling! Yay!
3) USPS delivers and picks up from the site. Sweet!
4) Fedex and UPS make regular deliveries there. Yay!

Soon this:

Will be combined with this:

To everyones great satisfaction.

p.s. ... ..... .....

I have some very exciting news! It will be revealed to the public in July, but I might be convinced to share here on the blog earlier! It's so exciting!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No Dice

It is 8 p.m.

I'm so frustrated, I can't even speak.

Unfortunately for me, the returned pump, which came late last week didn't solve the problem. It now pumps, but I can't get the proper vacuum level (which is 29.5 inches), I can only get 25-6. Which doesn't seem to be enough to make the investment boil. I'm going to have to try to invest and cast a few things (that are very late!) and see how that goes :-(. I'm not sure what will happen. At best I think there will be small air bubbles on the cast pieces which can then be removed physically. Nothing is really lacy or intricate, so that helps. At worst the molds will be weak and molten metal will burst through (!!!). I bought this machine brand new in October, so I'm pretty irritated that I'm having these issues with it already. The Shop Monkey is taking point on this and has been talking to Pepetools and Otto Frei. I'm hoping they will just send me a new machine. Anyhow, here are pictures of the molds I just invested, cross your fingers for me tomorrow, I'm hoping everything just turns out okay. As always, I'm not sure what I would do without my trusty Shop Monkey.