Archive for February, 2016

I actually think it’s dratted allergies already that slowed me down the last couple days. Hence …. today is day two of a mega headache

Sitting quietly watching TV – I’m getting the hang of making paper beads.

This time I used Mod Podge although by the time I was done I was covered in the stuff. It gives the beads a glossy look and the edges attach better.

It is a little tricky to wrap them so they come out same size. I need to try lighter weight paper.

I also ordered these prepared pendants [20 CleverDelights Round Pendant Trays – Antique Bronze Color – 25mm 1″ Diameter – Pendant Blanks Cameo Bezel Cabochon Settings – 25 mm 1 Inch]. They are 1 inch in diameter which is a bit small & I forgot to order the glass cabochons that fit. I could use resin but the pendants aren’t that deep. I plan to print my Ensos, cut to size and put the glass cab to seal it. Although… the Mod Podge might do. hmmmm think the glass cab would look better.

cut up one of my older biz cards to show how the Enso would look… these pendants are very sturdy.

Thinking about etching – wonder if I can use the seal I sign my Sumi-e work with to stamp onto the copper. hmmm might be too hard = worth a shot. Still need to purchase a fresh Sharpie to draw directly onto the copper.

I’m making forward progress on my jewelry goals – Keep Arting!


My etching kit came yesterday… it included the ferric chloride, sample copper, Penny Brite copper cleaner, StazOn stamp pad and Novacan black patina. You know I’m now going to fine that bottle of Ferric C that I have somewhere….

All the copper washed with Penny Brite… I used a file yesterday on the burr from drilling the holes for the jump rings.

Searching through my rubber stamps, I only had two small enough to use. The StazOn is permanent ink to use as a resist. After etching you have to use baking soda to stop the etching process and rinse in water. The StazOn ink needs to be sanded off wearing a good face mask.The small brass piece I etched many years ago…

simple tools to make a float – Styrofoam or plastic foam, duct tape… plastic container for the etching solution. Latex gloves, eye protection & apron recommended for safety.

Copper pieces are adhered to the duct tape wrapped sticky side up around the foam block and then floated with stamped design facing down into the Ferric Chloride. I checked after fifteen minutes and reset timer for an additional 20 minutes.

washed them off and set them down somewhere… ahahhaha found them, the upper two are with the permanent ink stamp.

The two on the bottom. I drew a design on them with Bic permanent marker… a failure , did not really do much of anything after 90 minutes. I will try with a Sharpie next time…

I started some paper beads… First I made the designs by using graph paper. I cut out the pattern shapes and traced onto scrapbook paper. the chart you see was made by cutting the shapes and putting a piece of graph paper over them & then I scanned . I might be teaching a paper bead class so I’m working on my skills & handouts. You just roll the paper tightly around a bamboo skewer, toothpick or plastic coffee straw/stirrer. I need to figure out a better paste. The ends would not stay down. Also for the more interesting shapes you need longer paper. the beads I made were 6 inches long. I’m going to try some 9 or 10 inch strips of paper & also experiment with different weight papers. They need to be sealed with mod podge or other sealant. They’re fun to make and I’m going to include them with PMC pendants.

next I tackle the micro macrame cord for necklaces for my PMC pendants and continue working with the etching. I received a small dragonfly rubber stamp today that I’ll try tomorrow.
so that’s the news here…

keep arting

Long time since I posted. New Year’s ruminations…

I’ve been spending time researching on Pinterest and making inspiration and a how to file for jewelry… I have had all sorts of equipment in that enclosed deck/remodeled studio Finally I have picked a direction. Jewelry making was always my first love so this year I’ve made a personal commitment to follow through and regain skills. To that end, I have made a list of themes, technique, subject and needed supplies. I ordered a few supplies yesterday because… you won’t believe what has been sitting waiting for me to pick a direction since I moved out here. For awhile I taught PMC [Precious Metal Clay] and enameling but gave that up with the downturn around 2008. I will keep working in the other media as I like other artists tend to have Artist ADD and hop around from one technique/media to another.

Prepped some leftover copper blanks for drilling holes:

Drilled the holes – I so dislike the cheap fasteners that are often glued on back:

I just need to file the burr and I’m waiting for etching supplies which of course, I swear I had a bottle of Ferric Chloride somewhere…

I bought a new mold to use with the PMC – it has dragonflies… very tiny ones:

I did try to etch with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and salt with the drawing done with sharpies but it didn’t do too much or I didn’t wait long enough. more research needed. I did purchase a STAZEN permanent ink stamp and Ferric Chloride. The technique is simple: clean your copper, stamp the design with a rubber stamp with the STAZEN ink pad or draw with a sharpie, cover the back of the piece with tape and tape piece to a piece of foam. Let it float face down in the Ferric Chloride and agitate occasionally. Simple etching!

I put liver of sulpfur on some PMC and copper pieces to enhance patina. Those pieces just need buffing. I have stones ready to set on a few older pieces as well. I bought some micro macrame cord and plan to make some of the PMC pendants hand from a simple macrame necklace. I also purchased some ribbon, leather and chain necklaces. I felt my PMC which is 99.9% pure silver needed to have better looking necklaces than simple rolled leather.

The above work, yes a slow start but moving forward, was almost 2 weeks ago when we had a week of sunny days. Today the sun is bright after a week of rain so I hope it will be warm enough out there to do some work today. Slowly getting my mind in order to make jewelry again.

Beside etching and enameling on PMC or copper, I plan to make paper beads [I am offering a class later this spring], small ceramic diffuser pendant with a metal back for essential oils, reduce my Enso images & print to be placed into pendant base with a glass piece on top. Plus work on my various necklace ideas: making chain, macrame, etc… I feel better that I now have goals in mind. I was drifting in a whirlwind of doubt and low art sales for many years.

My classes are not running so I hope this commitment to jewelry pulls me out of a creative slump although I have been working hard on the 2014 NaNoWriMo and am satisfied with that. I have started putting ideas down for a third novel and am ready to start working again on the 2015 novel. I have Spring Art Walk, the Artist Garage Sale and the NOVA school fair comming up in a month in a half…

sun is out, studio is warm, Keep Arting even if you need time to ruminate, keep arting!