August 20th, 2006

anvil, ring

(no subject)

I had to cut today's work a bit short, since I didn't sleep well last night and ran out of steam after about 2.5 hours. Oh, well- tomorrow ought to be better!

I am pretty much finished carving on the wax piece I'm doing on commission. I do still need to polish it, but I'm pretty pleased! I'm looking forward to trying a harder wax for my next carved piece; the blue is pretty soft, which means it marks up very easily indeed. I have 2 varieties of green on order and should get them tomorrow, so I'll be able to try them out.

The counter-enamel is now on my cloisonne smiley face, and 2 out of the 3 parts of my initials are fired into it. I tried to fire the third one in, too, but it seems to have vanished someplace! Weird. Tiny little bit of bent metal, though, so it probably blew off in the kiln if the glue wasn't quite dry. Tomorrow I'll try that bit again, and then put a thin layer of flux on the front. I did shape the other part of the smile, so maybe I can get the features fired on tomorrow, too! I'm not thrilled with any of my transparent yellows for this, either: I have 2 that are too lemony (greenish leanings), and one that's too amber. I may mix them.

The filigree is coming along well. I have most of the joins and abutments soldered now, though a couple still look like they need another pass. Not bad! The next bit is tricky, though, because it involved decision-making: I need to decide whether I want to embellish the outside perimeter- currently just a smooth circle- with anything besides a loop for a bail, and if so I need to decide what, where and how. I'm playing with adding silver spheres and tiny stones- probably black diamonds on the sides and a yellow sapphire on the bottom plus the one in the bail- but I'm concerned that then it will be too similar to what I'm planning for the cloisonne setting... I've also decided I'll use an opalescent (meaning in this case, translucent rather than transparent or opaque) yellow on this one; that way it will display better without being back-lit (which I can't count on; indeed, I could probably make book against it!).

And I am feeling a deep urge to order tools. There are 3 outfits I want to order from, though; if it were just one, it'd be an easy choice, but there are 3. I probably do need to get stuff from Otto Frei- they have mandrels no one else has- and Contenti (semi-local and I can get more of my beloved miniature stakes, heading toward completing my collection, as well as fresh casting investment which I see no need to ship from the west coast!). I also need some other mandrels- my need for mandrels seems infinite, practically speaking...- from Progress Tools, who has some, again, that no one else has...

Also, tomorrow I need to order some argentium sterling for a commission, and maybe some heavy half-round wire as well- I've heard Very Good Things about how well argentium stands up in rings... Sterling tends to get beaten up pretty fast, but argentium is both harder and less likely to tarnish. I want to try making a Confetti Ring or 2 with argentium.