Thursday, December 31, 2009

creation day

Creation, designing and working with one's hands are good ways to deal with sad emotions. I recently lost my little studio buddy - my Anniecat - who shared my studio space with me. She frequently slept on my work table, the shelf above it or at my feet, and was just generally "always there". I did stay in bed for a while this morning feeling numb and thinking about my loss but then decided to come out and try to work on something. I was looking in a catalog and saw a ready made adjustable band which spiraled up around your finger that you could purchase and then glue a cabochon onto. I thought this was a good idea - but I could do much better - make a bezel cup for my cabochon with all soldered connections and make it really secure. Above you can see the result. I used one of my own enameled cabs with Japanese enamels over a copper base with copper cloisonne wires. I named the ring "Creation Day" - it reminded me of a sperm visiting an egg. Thank goodness there is work to turn to in difficult times.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I finished those dark oxidized rings I showed last time. The stones are set and everything is polished now. The two wedding style rings are for my friends, Gayle and Karen (copper appliques and amethyst for Karen and brass appliques and citrine for Gayle - I hope they like them!), and the adjustable ring with black mother of pearl and black onyx on the left is for an etsy customer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

patina - the dark before the dawn

I like to put a patina on all my jewelry - I like how it accents the details. The above photo shows a "liver of sulfur" patina. The sulfur comes in chunks that will melt in hot water - then you dip your metal piece into the sulfur bath to get your color. The patina deepens with additional dipping. On the dragonfly earrings I added some ammonia to the liver of sulfur to get more blue colors in the patina - something I just recently discovered. At this stage in fabrication the jewelry is looking it's worst - it is the dark before the dawn.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

fabrication - nearly finished

What to write about here? How about the process of silver jewelry fabrication? Making things from scratch with wire and sheet metal. I'm nearly done with the above pieces of jewelry - all they need now is to be dipped into an oxidation bath (which patinas everything), then prepolished with tripoli (to remove the oxidation from the higher areas), stones set into their bezels and then given a final high shine polish and a wax treatment to deter future oxidation. I'll keep you posted on what some of these steps look like in future entries.

it's about time

Above: a photo of Wood Thrush Studio.

It's about time that Wood Thrush Studio had an "official" blog. I've done online journaling for my own pleasure for about 9 years now but it wasn't what I would want to represent my business and the art and jewelry I make for Wood Thrush Studio. So here we go ... starting my official wood thrush studio blog!