Monthly Archives: December 2012

Tool Time Tuesday – Straight Shop Hand Shears

A couple of weeks ago I did a post about one of my favorite tools in the studio, my Guillotine Shear. While that piece of equipment is loved, I haven’t always had it. I still had to cut metal and that left me only a couple of options. I used either a jewelers saw or my straight shop shears. The shop, or hand shears are a great alternative to having a guillotine shear. Your metal will have more warpage than it would if you were to cut it with a guillotine shear, but at least you have economical way of creating good cuts on your metal.

Hand shears are just like scissors for metal. You can create straight cuts, or cut other types of designs and curves, granted, it will be a little more difficult, but not impossible.

The shears are a tool that is ESSENTIAL in my studio. I have about 7 or 8 pair throughout the studio because I use them in so many areas. As you will see in the video, I also have several different styles of shears. The best part about them is that my favorite pair is not the most expensive. They are actually quite affordable. Right now they are listed in my shop for only $11.50 and that includes shipping.

Want to see what I really think of them? Just watch this video.

(If you are reading this in your email and don’t see the video, please visit my YouTube page.)

The shears can be purchased from my shop.

http://www.kcjewelbox.com/7-Straight-Shears-for-cutting-metal-T076.htm

 

Art Jewelry Magazine Acrylic Challenge

I have been totally stressed. There are so many things going on. That is part of the reason that I haven’t been posting lately. There hasn’t been time to do the things I need to, not to mention all the new things that have just cropped up. Oh, we are moving, by the way. Where? UTAH! I am very nervous about this. I swore I would never return to Utah. I LOVE living away from Utah. I have been enjoying my adventures living in the DC area, Ohio and now Washington along the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. The timing is good though. As you might remember, my dad’s health hasn’t been doing well and this will be good for us to be close to them to be able to help out. The job seems to be a MUCH better fit for my husband. Sadly, the housing market is a HOT market, prices and interest rates are on the rise and the houses are snapped up almost as soon as they are listed, for asking price or higher. *Sigh* Let the search for the new studio begin. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

Acrylic Challenge

About a month ago, I was informed that I had been selected by Art Jewelry Magazine to participate in a challenge using acrylic in a piece of jewelry. There were five readers and three of their editors participating in the challenge. They sent me three pieces of transparent acrylic, green, red and blue (I was really hoping I would be one of the lucky ones to get a slice of purple, but alas, I was not.)

The challenge won’t be appearing in the magazine, but it will be in their early December Newsletter (I think). So if you get that, be sure to keep your eyes open for it. I am really excited to see what some of the other artists come up with.
I have been thinking about this project really hard since I found out I had been among those selected for this challenge. It seems that my creativity has been taking a very long vacation. It has been really frustrating and quite discouraging. When I try to make something in the studio, the ideas are just not there. Then when I try to work through it anyway, I find that I am not at all pleased with the results and things look very amateurish and not up to my old standards.
Thursday night I was down to the wire. I needed to have the piece(s) sent off no later than Saturday in order for them to arrive to the magazine by their deadline. I have worked with acrylic before, but nothing seemed to be coming to me. I was literally in the phase of where I wanted to just throw up. I went to bed somewhat defeated, but determined that it would all come together on Friday after I took the baby to the sitter and got the girls off to school.
I sat looking at the pieces of acrylic that I had formed. I sat there for a good 2 hours just trying to come up with some settings for them, and of course I said a lot of prayers too. I had already done the prep work of sawing, shaping, forming and polishing. So it was just a matter of coming up with a way to set and secure the pieces and I was totally at a loss….. and then an idea came to me…. and then the next step…. and then the next. And by the afternoon and several mishaps and extra filing and polishing, I was done! I am very pleased with how these turned out.
I am sure the intent was for us to use multiple pieces of acrylic in one piece, and perhaps not. I am sad that I didn’t get the red piece used, but I do have a couple of ideas for that one now, and will do those soon…. I hope.

Enjoy!

starting2
This is what I started with…. obviously I had more green. I just forgot to take a picture of them before I got started.
acrylicJewelry
I started by forming the acrylic
green_acrylicnecklace1
Then added the tube set CZ in sterling. It turned out so pretty and feminine. I wish I could have done a better job with the photography.
green_acrylicnecklace2
This is a shot from the side to show you the puffed form.
blue_acrylicnecklace
The blue is a beautiful transparent cobalt. Again, I have formed this so that it is not just a flat piece of acrylic.
blue_acrylicnecklace1
There is a swirl that is embossed in the center. You can also see a little of the wave shape.

blue_acrylicnecklace2
From the side to show more of the depth to the piece. I LOVE this color.

blue_acrylicnecklace3
From the other side to show a little more of the setting.
It was such an honor to be chosen for the challenge. What a great opportunity it was to participate. I am very excited to see what the others have done with their pieces of acrylic.