Okay, I know it is Wednesday, but that is just how things are rolling at my house right now. My girls start back to school on the 19th of August. While that is really early, I am kind of excited. I am ready to get back into a routine and have my house stay clean for longer than 5 minutes. Even if it is only clean while they are at school. In addition, I am really looking forward to finishing up the book that I have been working on. If any of you have been working with the hydraulic press and would like to submit your photos for possible inclusion in the book, I would love to see it. Just shoot me an email at: Melissa@kcjewelbox.com.
I am also getting really excited for the Metal Retreat I am hosting with my friend Francesca Watson in Washington. I cannot wait to get back up to the Columbia River Gorge area. I have really missed that place. We are going to be working on so many fun things. There is etching, metal clay, hydraulic press, roll printing, enameling, glass fusing, resin, forging, fold forming and so much more. We still have two openings if anyone is interested. The cost is only $200 plus everyone chips in for food. If you would like to know more, please visit our retreat website: www.metalretreat.com
The past week has been an exciting one for me as I have gained a few sponsors for my Tool Time Tuesday posts. So watch in the next few weeks as I do a few different tool and materials reviews. And just wait until you see what Kevin Potter has in store. I can’t wait for that post. Of course I have to wait for his goodies to arrive. Darn it.
Well, today’s Tool Time Tuesday/Wednesday is no exception. Just before I moved from Washington, Lucy Brooks of Eternal Tools contacted me and asked if I would do a tool review for some of the tools she sells. She has been waiting patiently as we moved, then had to build a studio, then summer hit, and well, now it is 4 months later and I am finally getting this post done.
One of the questions I get asked most often is how to get a good finish and polish on a piece of jewelry. I wish I had the answer. I know that people spend a LOT of time at the polishing machine. But what if you don’t have one? There is another method, but it doesn’t take any less time, at least it doesn’t for me.
I wanted to create a piece that had lots of little spaces, you know, so I could show you how to get in there and polish them. Now, I certainly had second thoughts about that when I finally had to polish all those little spots. LOL. But I digress. So I created a sort of “filigree” piece that would allow me show you how to get into the nooks and crannies to shine them up.
Two different “tools” were used to polish the pieces. The first are silicone polishing wheels. I love these little wheels. They actually come in Wheels, Knife edge, and cylinders. All can be reshaped as needed with a file. I work through a progression of 4 “grits” if you will (coarse, medium, fine/high shine and very fine/ultra-high shine.) Because I am able to cover more area with these, it is my first tool of choice to go to. I am unable, however, to get inside the details of the pendant.
So the second tool used are called Polishing Pins. The pins used in this video were supplied by Eternal Tools. These come in a cylinder shape but can easily be “sharpened” with a file, as you will see in the video. There are six pins and again, they range in their coarseness to give you a nice fine mirror finish on your piece. I know the picture above isn’t fantastic (it was taken with my phone) but you can see how smooth things are. I didn’t get a before shot, but it was lumpy, bumpy and just plain over soldered, which was intentional for the purpose of the video.
I have a very small stash of the silicone polishing wheels for sale on my website (or at least they will be shortly.) And the polishing pins are available through Eternal Tools. I also just noticed that Eternal tools sells the silicone polishing wheels as well. So you have a few places where you can purchase them. Both tools will need a mandrel, so be sure you get that while you are at it.
So, are you ready to see how they work? Well, wait no longer.