So here are a couple of things I've been working on. This a riveted ring with stamped paw prints. Here it has been stamped and the holes for riveting have been made, and that is the rivet there on the left that I'm going to use.
Here it has been riveted and shaped on the mandrel.
The patina has been added to the paw prints in this picture, and it's back on the mandrel for a few more taps for shaping.
A little polishing and now it's ready to go!
All of these little charms are going to get their own bracelets in the very near future. First, they will go for a spin in the tumbler.
This little guy is also on my workbench. It's a tiny clay doxy. He's kind of an experiment right now....My ultimate plan for him is to embed him in resin, then set him in silver. Probabaly for a pendant. He is made of clay (by me), and air-dried. Then he underwent some sanding and filing to refine the shape. He was surprisingly strong during that process. He is now ready to be painted so that he really looks like a dachshund. I'll keep you updated on how he comes along.....
Lately, I have been working on a portrait of Katie, my brother and sister-in-law's Jack Russell terrier, as well as a picture of a dwarf Netherland rabbit. They are both pretty much finished...probably just a few more touches, and the rabbit needs some whiskers. By the way...anyone wanting to clarify the Jack Russell/Parson Russell business is encouraged to comment! What's up with that?
I work on a drafting table, not an easel. I find it more comfortable, but that means that I have to get up frequently and step back so that I can check my work from a distance. You can't really judge what you're doing as a whole if you are hovering right over top of it. I also look at my work from different angles and directions, including upside-down, to see if everything, like eyes and noses, are in the right place. For some reason, viewing a painting upside-down can reveal if something is going wrong
I have a table next to my work table so that I can have lots of pastels within reach. It can get messy fast, but I do reorganize after every couple of pictures. The funny thing is, even in its current state, I know exactly where every pastel and piece of pastel that I want to use is located. And yes, that's Sophie curled up in a bed underneath the table. She's never far away. Teddy is lying on the floor in front of my work table, but you can't see him in these photos. I think they both like painting days better than jewelry-making days because it's much quieter--no hammering, drilling or sawing!
In my last entry, I said I'd show you some of the projects I'm working on. I thought I'd show you what's happening on my jewelry workbench this week.
I've been working on some cats destined to be pendants. The one with the bird on its back is going to a Cat Welfare auction in May to help raise some money for them. The little dogs in the center are going to become earrings. The two discs on the left are going to be made into a bead like the one above the discs. You probably can't tell in the photo, but the bead has tiny paw prints stamped on it and it says "dog lover" on it. It will probably hang on a chain for a necklace. All of the pieces are in progress and will be getting further finishing, like sanding and polishing, as there are multiple steps to making every piece of jewelry. I'll take more photos to show you when the pieces here are finished and ready to go out into the world.
This is my disc cutter that I use to make the discs pictured above. Actually, you can see the discs sitting to the left of the cutter. I'm very happy to have a disc cutter, because I originally spent much time sawing the discs out by hand. I still do that sometimes when necessary, but the disc cutter is great. To cut the discs, I insert a piece of silver between the block with the holes in it, then hammer the corresponding round cutting die through the hole, and a perfectly formed disc falls out the bottom. It takes two or three blows of a two-pound brass hammer to cut a disc, and this bothers my dogs. While they are usually snoozing away in my little workroom, they find the hammering too loud and violent. Even Sophie can hear the hammering (that and thunderstorms). She gives me "the look" and then leaves for a quieter spot.
Drilling really tiny holes for the "eyes" in my earrings-to-be. The smaller the drill bit, the easier it breaks, in case you're wondering.
Scrap! I always have a lot of scrap because I use so many tiny pieces in my work. It's almost as if nothing is too small to use eventually, somehow, like the tiny wing of a bird. Even the smallest pieces can be melted into a ball to use for a nose.
So that's what's on my workbench this week. I hope you'll come back for a look at the finished items. In my next post, I'll show you some of what's happening on my drawing table with portraits and such. Have a great weekend!
All images and designs are copyrighted and the property of Dana Keating Marziale and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission. Copyright 2011