Thursday, June 24, 2010


I posted about this a little bit earlier this month, but I have finally finished the project, thank goodness. Sometimes a project can really take it out of you for various reasons. I was telling my sister the other day that running your own business is like being in school perpetually. You always have something unfinished hanging over your head....lingering in the back of your mind....spoiling your weekends. Just like the guilt I used to feel about papers I needed to finished (or start!) writing.

But now I can put this one to rest....finally.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Still loving the palladium

It is much harder to clean and polish, but I just love the feel and look.

Old style, new metal.

Friday, June 18, 2010

And the 2nd

Also pure palladium and diamonds. I liked them stacked together, but I have a vision of the bottom one stacked with two others just like it. I wonder if the top one would look good as a stack of 3 as well? I am really loving the palladium, it seems to be awesome for the actual stone setting, but drilling the pilot hole is going to kill me. It's terrible. Like the metal is elastic or something. Argh. Nothing is perfect, I guess and I will just have to get adjusted. Of course, I will be making this in other metals as well so I won't always have to be breaking tiny drill bits.

Update (7/5): I got some fancy new drill bits that are made for harder metals and they work fantastic. Having the right tool makes all the difference.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Working out the kinks

(oy vey)

Things are going well in the shop of Bean (also known as singleB studio, sometimes known as the B painbox)....but I am having a very frustrating jewelry week. Let me explain.

1) I had a casting company cast a couple of pieces (my casting operation is on hiatus for the time being...when things slow down I will start casting again. I think I've figured out my issues. My sprues were too circular, they needed to be more elongated. Anyway, that's neither here nor there). That would have been awesome, except that the alloy that they used (named 14kt palladium white gold) was way yellow. Not at all the beautiful color of the normal palladium white that I use. So, I had these two giant gold rings of a terrible yellow gray color. I freaked out because, one of them is already late (yes, I'm sorry potential customers, sometimes I am behind schedule. I don't think I've ever missed anyone's wedding date however!). And what to do with these two ugly rings!?!? And I was so disappointed because I was really hoping to use this caster in the future for some more things. So I called them and it turned out that the alloy they used was from Stuller (great for stones, not so great for metal), not Hoover and Strong. But they were totally great and told me to send them back, along with new waxes and they would cast them again in the Hoover and Strong alloy and also that they would keep that casting grain in stock for me. How great is that?

2) I've been working on a gold version of this ring:

I'm very exited about it. It involved a multi-step process in order to get it going. First, I had to create a model in silver, then I had to have a 3 piece mold made, then make a wax from the mold, and then cast the piece in the final metal (in this case 14kt palladium white gold). Unfortunately for me, the shrinkage in size caused by the wax shrinkage (when shot into the mold) and then metal shrinkage when is is finally cast made the setting for the stone in the final product a bit marginal. The height of the setting was just .50mm higher than the height of the stone. This meant that the stone point (the culet) would possibly touch the finger. Suck. So now, I have this giant and heavy gold ring that I can't use. Fortunately, it is an easy fix if a little time consuming. I just added a little bit of wax to the setting on a new wax shot from the mold I had made (I also altered the ring on the inside to make it smooth instead of triple banded, still maintaining the 3 bands on the outside), and then send the current ring to the refiner. There is a bit of loss to me, but better than eating the entire cost. It was just really frustrating. There are so many factors that you have to take into account, and that I just couldn't foresee. But now I know, and I will never be caught like this again. :-)

I also finally have some of the stones I need for a few new designs, and I hope to have those out this week. There will also be a ring with blue diamonds, but I have yet to get those, so that one will have to wait until next week. So excited. This is why I got into doing this. I love making jewelry in general, but there is something so refreshing about working on a new item.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dental Tool Redux

Finally. It took about a month to get these, but I think they are worth it. I get my dental tools from Interguide Dental, a company in the bay area.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Doot Doot Doo!

I'm in love this ring (I'm wearing it right now! Diamonds and palladium). I'd been hesitant to work in pure palladium....I don't know why. I just didn't know what to expect. is a freaking stone setters dream! Oh my goodness. I can't say enough good things. It just feels so different for some reason (probably all in my head, but it feels smooth and soft). This is just one of my new designs (there are 6 in various stages of doneness currently). It's so exciting to have new things to work on. It's also a little nerve-wracking since I've never put out so many new things all at once. What if they all tank? I won't be heart broken, but I will be disappointed since I think they are all lovely (and they all fit me! hehehehe..).

The one above is meant to stack with at least two other ones just like it. One is sparkly, but a stack of them would be super sparkly (expect pictures of that next week). I also think a stack in different colors of gold would be fantastic. I'm toying with the idea of offering the first of new designs as a sample sale. No resizing, no alterations, you just get the item in the photos for a screaming deal....

Ok, this is just one of the new items I plan on putting out this week and next. Very excited!

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Stuff This Week!

At least one new ring coming out this week. I promise! I am so excited for these to be finished. They are a bit different from my current stuff, so I'm nervous too. They will all be in pure palladium, but I will be making them in white and yellow gold as well. Stay tuned.


Friday, June 4, 2010

My poor finger

I am always doing this. I guess I get a little eager with the saw. :-(