Friday, September 23, 2011

The Finished Silver Sea Turtle Pendant - Final Update

     This is a final post in a series of three.  The first post begins with the creation of this Sea Turtle pendant.  The second post ends with it being tumbled.  And, todays post shows the final result.

The Final Result

     My fine silver Sea Turtle pendant is all finished.  It's been tumbled, patina'd, and polished.  I decided to go simple and hang it on a black cord.  I didn't even use a bail to hang it on.  I just looped the black cord through the pendant itself.  It just seemed to call for that.  I'm pretty happy with the end result.  I think it will be a good pendant for a man or a woman (or me!).  Take a look and let me know what you think....

     Thanks for allowing me to share some of my silver jewelry making process with you. If you would like to see this pendant in person, come to the Sea Lab Estuarium on Dauphin Island, AL, the 15th of October.   I will have a booth set up there for the Art Trail we are having on the Island.  More on that later...  Until then, if you would like to see other jewelry I've made, you can check out my Etsy shop or Art Fire shop.  I probably won't be listing anything new online until after our Art Trail.  However, if you see something you like here, there, or on my Flickr album, just contact me.  I'm sure we can work something out.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Silver Clay Sea Turtle Pendant in Progress Update Post Firing

      This is the second post of an in-progress report on a new silver clay Sea Turtle pendant that I am making.  Please see yesterday's blog post to see how it all began.

     The Sea Turtle pendant fired beautifully.  I wire brushed it after firing, and it is now in the tumbler being tumbled to work harden the metal.  I took photos after each step.  The way it looks might surprise those of you who have never seen silver jewelry in this stage of construction.  It comes out of the kiln almost white.  It takes a lot of work to get it to the silvery shiney state that you see it in when it's ready for purchase.  And, this small in-progress writeup that I'm doing here doesn't show a lot of the work and steps that most of my pieces require.  Most of the time there is a lot of sanding and polishing before, during, and after.  And, it takes many grits of sand paper, polishing papers, and/or power tools. 

The first photo below shows the pendant fresh out of the kiln after firing.

And the next photo below shows the pendant after it has been wire brushed.  This is done before it is put into the tumbler.  The tumbler will work harden the metal and give it an initial polishing.

And here it is in the tumbler.  I will tumble it for an hour or two and then begin polishing.  After it is polished, I will use some liver of sulpher (LOS) to give it a patina.  And then finally, I'll give it a final hand polishing. 

I hope you'll feel free to leave any comments or questions here for me.  I'm happy to answer any questions about my processes.  I will post back here with a final photo once the pendant is out of the tumbler and I have completely finished it's patina and polish.  Hopefully I'll be able to have it finished by this afternoon.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Silver Pendant in Progress Photos

I'm having fun with my silver clay this morning.  I'm working on a pendant that will be part of my inventory for an upcoming art show on the 15th of October at Dauphin Island, AL (more about that later).  I took a couple of in progress photos.  The first photo is a little mystery.  I want you to try and guess what it is going to be:

Can you tell?  I know by looking at the photo, you probably can see that it will be a pendant...It is a flat base and has a hole at the top.  Notice the texture in the middle?  That's the major clue to it all.  But wait, there's more..........  The next photo should give you a really good idea.

Baby Sea Turtles!  The texture on the flat piece represents their foot prints in the sand.  Baby Sea Turtles hatch as eggs in the sand.  At some point after they hatch, they will make their way back to the water.  We've recently had some hatch where I live, at Dauphin Island.  We're very happy about this, since the events of  last years oil spill by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.  The new baby Sea Turtles are what inspired me to make this pendant.  It's been in my head for a while.

Are you wondering how this pendant will turn out?  You'll have to wait a little longer, because it's at the stage you see right here now.  I still have to finish it and fire it in my kiln.  Stay tuned, and I will post a photo here after I have fired it in my kiln.

Have a great Day!

The Seaturtle pendant is in the kiln firing right now.  Hopefully tomorrow, I will finish it and show photos. 
If not tomorrow, then Friday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Silver Pendant

I'm toiling away getting ready for three back to back art shows.  Here is a silver pendant I finished up yesterday.  It has a blue dichronic cabachon as it's focal point.  It's not finished though.  I still have to decide how to hang it.  I'm toying with the idea of a multi stranded beaded wires with blue aqua and green seed beads.....but I'm not sure yet.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Men's Jewelry

A New Fish for a Man

I am still very busy making custom orders for jewelry in fine silver.  The latest necklace I just finished was for a man.  I love making jewelry for men.  They are usually very clear about what they want, or don't want.  In this case, he wanted a fish with a wide open mouth like a Largemouth Bass.  He also wanted him to have a bend in his tail and to hang as if he was jumping up out of the water.  I think I captured that...the client that I created it for is happy with it, and so am I.  In fact, I think I might make another one just for myself!  Here it is, what do you think?

Aso, a little tidbit of info...the largemouth bass is the state fish of Alabama.

Have a great day!

P.S. Roll Tide!  :)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just a Common Soldier by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

Polymer Clay Cane Red White and Blue Round Spiral Cane

A wrote a previous blog post titled, "A Poem Worth Reading".  I didn't know the author and left the question open for anyone who might have the answer.  I'm very happy to say that I have been given an answer from an online polymer clay pal, Anita of Melody Designs.  Thanks Anita!  With this new information, I found out that there are several different versions of this poem floating around the internet.  I decided that I should create a new post to give credit to Mr. Vaincourt and to show the original poem in his original text.

(A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting  old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

Have a great day!