Category Archives: Bracelets

Tube Settings

Today a friend of mine came over and we worked on tube settings. Tube settings are similar to bezel settings only that you don’t have to create the bezels. You use tubes that are cut to size and then drill out the middle so that you can set your stone down inside of the tube. After fitting the stone, the top edge is then folded over the stone in the same way that you would with a bezel. I created two pieces today and I am rather proud of them both.

The first is a pretty little Iolite. The stone color is a dark blue/purple, even though you can’t really tell in the picture. The disc it has been set on has been textured and domed. The second is a leaf I forged and gave a light patina. The stone on the leaf is a 4 mm CZ.


The next two pictures show classes that I will be teaching at Embellish in Rocky River on Saturday, October 24th. They are my gypsy bracelet and earrings. The class should be fun and the jewelry is a lot of fun to wear too.

Gypsy Bracelet
Gypsy Earrings

Guess who finally made it into the studio?

Well, it seems forever since I actually got to sit in my studio and make something. I know that I need to update the blog with more trip pictures and they are coming, it is just very time consuming. But they really are coming. In the meantime here are my efforts from the other night in the studio. I have one more necklace that I still need to photograph though.

This first piece is made with an amazing stone that I bought in Indonesia. They say it is Obsidian, but it is unlike any obsidian I have ever seen. The stone is crystal clear and the most beautiful shade of blue. This one is in my personal collection permanently. It is actually a very large piece, and I NEVER wear things this big, but I guess I do now. The stone is about 2″ tall and about 1 1/2″ wide at the base. The first picture is of the front and the second is the back.

blue_obsidian_front

blue_obsidian_back

This next piece is made with sterling silver and carnelian. I have pierced the design into the silver with a jewelers saw.
carnelian_Pendant

This last piece is one that has been “remade.” I had started to work on an anticlastic cuff bracelet, but I could never get it to turn out right and I don’t have the tools for that type of forming here in my studio. So this piece has been sitting on my bench since October just begging to be fixed, without any way of fixing it. So I finally got sick of looking at this “waste” of perfectly good silver sheet. I was determined to do something different with it, like cut it up and use it in a pendant or something else like that. I annealed (softened) it and began to hammer it flat. As I did, t he edges began to ruffle up and I really liked the look of it. So I kept going a little bit further and decided to bend it back into a cuff shape and below is the final result of that. I really like this and it is VERY comfortable to wear. As much as I would like this to be in my personal permanent collection also, I will probably put this one up for sale soon. I need to buy more silver and it would probably be helpful to have some money to do that.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Okay, I will be back shortly with more photos of our trip. Have a Happy 4th of July everyone.

Final Projects

Well, tonight is my last night at the University of Akron. I am kind of happy and kind of sad all at the same time. I have really enjoyed my time there. I have also learned a lot. It has been a very neat experience to be around the amazing talent and creativity that some of the other students have. I have made some really good friends and I really hope that we will keep in touch as they continue their education and begin their careers. It is really too bad that it is so difficult to get good paying jobs in the arts. So much talent and not enough appreciation.

For my final project I wanted to try a few new stone setting techniques. I have recently bought some amazing cut gemstones and am scared to death to use them. So I pulled out some faceted CZ’s and played around with various settings. You have already seen my tube setting techniques, if not, just scroll down to my retreat pictures. I even sold one of the pieces at my open house this past weekend. I will miss the piece, but I am so glad that it went to someone who can appreciate it.

My first piece is a prong or basket setting. It isn’t at all great and fabulous, but it is my first and I am so stinking proud of this piece.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

The next piece is a semi-cold connected piece. The reason I say “semi-cold connected” is because I did solder the bail and I also soldered two stacked rings for the stone to sit in. I didn’t want the point on the bottom of the stone to poke through the back. So I created a little seat for it. It is just sitting in the rings and held in place with the mesh screen. The mesh is sandwiched between the layers of copper and silver and the three have been riveted together. The picture doesn’t show the stone well, but it is kind of fun to look at it and have the little sparkles peak out and flash from time to time.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

The last piece is actually three. I had made these fabulous twisted bracelets in class a few weeks ago. I had tried to solder the ends of them, but my little torches just couldn’t handle it. There was too much metal and it was more frustrating than I could bare. I am so happy to inform you all that I am now the proud owner of an acetylene torch. I am in heaven and it works wonderfully. It is amazing I have been able to do as much as I have without it. I am really hoping that I can now take my work to the level I have desired for a long time.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

 

 

 

Back from the Retreat

Well, North Carolina was FANTASTIC! We were in this house right on Lake Gaston. The weather started out beautifully and turned slightly colder as the week went on, but still tolerable. I learned so much this past week. I would have updated sooner, but on my drive home I came down with a cold and spent the first three days this week in bed. Yesterday I spent some time updating the look to my shopping site. Stop by and see what you think.

Okay,  here are a few of my projects. I have a couple more that still need to be photographed.

These are my two first tube set pieces. It really isn’t all that hard. The hardest part is finding a tube that fits your stone, or a stone that fits your tube.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

One of the ladies at the retreat taught us how to make a wire prong set pendant. I am looking forward to trying this a little bit more in the future.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

This is a very simple forged bracelet. I have seen the tutorials and such for it, but haven’t tried it until this past weekend. I love how simple and elegant it is.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

I tried my hand at a technique called Kumihimo. It is a Japanese braid. Riley is looking forward to trying this one out herself.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

I played with different fold forming and forging techniques and made these lovely leaves. We did a gift exchange the second night we were there and the lady that had me gave me a pair of leaf earrings she had done. They are exquisite!  They are very light weight and you hardly notice you are wearing them.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Another thing taught was this woven treasure bracelet. I still have a ways to go on mine, but I will get it there eventually. This is onother great one that I can teach Riley easily. She is looking forward to that as well.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

We also learned different braiding techniques with Wire. The first one in this picture (on left) uses 17 wires, the middle uses 5 and the last one uses 9.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

I have a few other things in mind that I am looking forward to trying out. Now that the laundry is done and I am feeling somewhat human again I will be working on all of that starting tonight. Oh, I have also decided that it really is time for a new torch. A real torch. A BIG torch. Hopefully I will be able to manage it before the end of the year.

Comments and suggestions are greatly encouraged and very much appreciated.

Black and Silver

So I have a TON of black onyx. And I mean A TON! I bought it for my
classes. It was relatively cheap and I like the shapes I have been able
to find it in…. especially the squares. Anyway, here are some of the
pieces I have been working on.

I made this one as my class demo
a couple of weeks ago. As I was setting the stone, the bail broke off.
By then the stone was in pretty good as I was just burnishing. So I
came home, drilled a couple more holes to match the side design and
used 3 jump rings.

We
have been working with fold forming and shell forming in my night
class. I decided to make some spiculum earrings. I made several other
pair as well, but they don’t have the wire scrolling down them. They
actually have 3 dangles hanging from a wire that runs through them and
becomes the ear wire. I will post pictures later.

A Pendant – ala Melissa Style

2 bracelets for my solder free chain making class in 2 weeks. I still need to do the clasp for the top one.

And
finally, my first piece utilizing my castings. The frame of this has
been cast and I have 30 of them. I will be getting my resin tomorrow or
Wednesday and then I am going to PLAY PLAY PLAY! I figured there are
all sorts of stuff I can do with these. Everything from setting stones
as I have done here to some piercing to resin to fun designs with wire,
etc. And worse comes to worse, I will cast some and use them in my
classes. Cheesy