28 September 2009
25 September 2009
b and w stuff...
1&2. dyed with henna (christies)
4.domino. beautifully embossed and stained end-grain wood. I wonder what would happen if I soaked it in water? would the compressed areas pop up?
6.Buffalo from Boston Muse. Funny; the little slope and tippy-toes hind feet...
7. Calder, of course. Bad Moon?
23 September 2009
Smiths will often have a log or a stump which they use as a very dense block for heavily pounding on. This is traditional, as seen in this Thimblesmith's workshop.
This is a small Birch one Ive been using. Very Scandinavian. Ive spied a good Oak one up the road. Must nab it before it goes to firewood.
Here I used it to make a golden tube... hammering the strip into a groove in the wood.
Elsewhere in the workshop; these three cups hold different alloys of solder. Blue for easy, yellow for medium and burnt sienna for hard. (this means different melting temperatures, enabling multiple solder joins on the one object without melting the prior ones, kapish?)
They are made from bakelite I think- one bears the inscription: 'B12 spec prod.n 1/9/55'
They are being loved-to-death I suppose...
22 September 2009
20 September 2009
I went back to the ancestral homelands on the weekend... ( St. Andrews)
1. My father has decided all the crockery at the Snuggery should be 'willow pattern' and put out a call for donations
2.He asked me if I could plug up the hole in his "favorite teapot"; I couldnt decide whether it had been neglected or loved-to-bits --or a sort of bitter-sweet combination of those two treatments which seems familiar...
3.An old cow bell - with a great frog-motif maker's mark
4. locals chowing down
18 September 2009
17 September 2009
Its high high time I had me a maker's mark.
Previously I had eschewed having such a stamp, for some unjustifiable reason...
The problem now (its rather a good problem really, as far as problems go...) is to design one for myself. Suggestions will be considered, albeit condescendingly. (oh why do i persist in throwing out these invitations into the void?)
these are some ceramic ones that I like a bit, especially the one with the clog. Generally there is more 'real estate' on a pot to stamp or enscribe your mark on, so the design/sign/insignia can be bigger and more elaborate than on jewellery...
10 September 2009
Off the bench: Earrings for Odette.
I thought you might be interested in the process...
Black Earrings with Gold fittngs; what to make them from?
Ebony or Horn were the choices, (both recycled... of course)
I tested the ebony, turning up a ball on a 'rudimentary lathe'... (Ive waited a long to time to say that in context) just putting a dowell into the chuck of a drill press and tooling with a file.
Deciding that the horn was denser and blacker, I went with that, but also ended up with a little ebony doming punch. Perfect for doming-up the cups that will hold the black spheres.
I rarely do any doming, so dont actually own a set of punches... for a soft material like 22k Gold, wooden punches work very well.
Being a simple design, I thought it best to hand-build every part, so as to give it that certain quality... So I made the 'butterfly' clips too, which I have never bothered to do before. A moderate level of asperity in shape and finish seemed desirable too; a little wabi-sabi, refined roughness. To this end, I simply cut out the flat shape with little scissors, (chamfered the sharp edges...) I pierced a hole with a pin, then bent up the the 'wings' of the clip, which are essentially springs that need to curl around and grip the post, holding it securely in the ear.
Cups soldered to posts... at this stage they need a little cleaning up.
Next, fit the black horn spheres.
Next, fit the black horn spheres.
7 September 2009
I've been helping my Dad with some carpentry/framing work for the last week , so its relaxing to be back at the bench this week...
Big Images! ( hum 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' to yourself as you look at them)
1.When I looked in the 'pickle' (that's an acid cleaning-bath, for all you non-smiths) after my long absence, I found this extraordinary 'jewell'; the sulfamic acid had crystalised around the gold pieces- some sort of reverse stone-setting gemology!
2.new and very graphic stuff ( and experimenting with big photos -but its cropping them?!)
3.The Hermit of Misty Mountain
4.For the rainy spring weather
5.Wax Jug- a model for bronze casting? maybe...