September 10th, 2006

anvil, ring

Weekend work

I do love the enameling part of enameling! Yesterday I finished the enameling on the cloisonne smiley and started the clean-up on it. It's looking nice! Today I did the rest of the hard grinding down, and now just have to go over it with successively finer grits until it's smooth. Then it's back in the kiln for a quick fire-polish, then polish the metal...

And then the setting. But! I redesigned the setting today and am happier with it both aesthetically and practically. Aesthetically, it's now asymmetric, which I think is more "fun" and lighthearted, plus the forged "ribbons" will look more like floating ribbons now that they're larger. Practically, asymmetric is a lot easier to make than achieving symmetry. :P Also it's using 2 yellow sapphires- a 5mm and a 3mm- instead of the 5mm and 3 3mm, making finding a color match a ton easier. It's now got 2 instead of 4 black diamonds, and could probably live with none, but I like the idea of having both black and yellow stones.

Yesterday I got the filigree ready to enamel. First I gave it a gentle doming, during which the diamond setting fell off. Annoying! but better now than later! So I soldered it back on, more securely, and then depletion gilded the piece using about 10 rounds of heating and pickling. Then today I started enameling it! I think the black parts are done. The eyes and smile are the largest, and the black I used (Allcraft- which I think is Latham- O101)seems to be pretty forgiving which I needed in the smile. That smiley is pretty much a worst-case for plique! -long, skinny, curved, and with a couple of corners. But the black looks good. There were also a lot- 28- of tiny little cells around the outside that needed to be black. Tomorrow I can start the yellow. I'm using a Japanese translucent for this, since I think a transparent wouldn't display as well in the show without back-lighting, and I doubt that'll be happening. The cells for the yellow are a bit on the large side, but I'm hoping it will work OK; usually the Japanese opals are also pretty forgiving.

I got one more thing up on Etsy- a pair of chainmail earrings. J had gotten a really nice picture of them. Still, I REALLY need to get Halloween stuff up, including a better picture of the bat tie tack pins! I should probably head onto my main computer and work on those pretty soon.
  • Current Music
    WERS a cappella show
anvil, ring

(no subject)

Also done today: Made a white gold jump ring and got it ready for soldering into a loop on a pendant. This is my first work with nickel white gold, I think, and it behaved fine. I'm not really a fan of it; if I must have white gold, I prefer the palladium alloy. The solder is plumb but easy, roughly similar to hard silver solder, so the soldering should go OK. I just didn't want to turn on the torch set-up and the pickle pot for one tiny thing!

The rest was more clean-up and prep stuff. I got the stuff from making a mold of a wax carving put away, and replaced the 6 different grit sanding disks on their respective mandrels, since they were completely worn out. Since I use them wet, the adhesive they come with doesn't work so I have to use contact cement.

And I finished sanding/grinding the cloisonne smiley, so he's ready for the fire-polishing tomorrow when I have the kiln on for the plique.

Pretty soon I'll get going on some photo editing...