Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Silversmithed Pieces and Donating Bone Marrow

I admit it. I am addicted to metalsmithing. One of the things I like about it is you can do it in bits and pieces. There are steps involved. Each step can be a session unto itself, if you don't have a lot of time. There is the designing stage, which I really like and find myself doing at night. Then you can make the bezel, which can be done pretty quickly with the micro torch. You can do the sawing of the backplate and any design cut out you may want to do. You can start many projects to this point and then do a bunch of soldering at once, when you have the time. I really enjoy being able to work in spurts. It came in handy when I was away babysitting last weekend. I was away for the day, came home and did a little work, went away again and came home to do some more.

As a side note and a gentle nag..... I was babysitting for my nephew and his two little ones. He and his wife took a much needed break from the chaos and uncertainty that is their life. He is the nephew I once mentioned as having leukemia. Well, folks, he still has it and desperately awaits a bone marrow transplant. Flatly put, if he doesn't get one, his odds of living to see his his kids another year are slim. So, I ask you from the bottom of my heart to please visit a hospital or bone marrow drive to see if you are a donor candidate. Not just for him, but for all of those people who need it to live. My daughter and her fiance went this morning to a donor drive and all they had to do was swab their cheek. Please consider doing this. You will go on a registry for all those that need a transplant. My nephew has a rare type, so as of now there is no match. The more new people that sign up, the better his odds of finding a match. For more information about becoming a donor visit bethematch.

Well, I have finished pieces numbered 6, 7 and 8 and I am working on 9. Each one that I do, I try to add a new skill. The unfinished piece will have some pierced work on the back, meaning a fancy cut out that will allow the back of the stone to be seen. I didn't trust my sawing skills until today. It came out rather nice, though, if I don't say so myself. :)

Here is the 6th piece. A delicious and delectable bruneau jasper.  As with all pieces up to this point, there is a small mistake which I have learned to never make again. There is a tiny section of bezel wire that didn't solder down. I didn't even notice it until I was just about finished with it. It's still structurally fine and quite solid.

My 7th piece is one that I will be selling. It came out perfect.... eventually. I soldered on the bail connector and thinking that it was a good join, I tumbled and set the stone only to find out that one side didn't solder down. I considered leaving it as it was, but took the daring step of removing the stone to fix my mistake. Last time I did that, I botched the whole thing. This time, though, it went off without a hitch and everything turned out great. Thank goodness. I really love this piece. It is a Moroccan Bryozoan petrified coral. (Go ahead and enlarge, but don't mind the reflections.)

My 8th piece is a mahogany jasper in copper. I love to work with copper. I always have, with wire wrapping, too. BUT (there is always a but isn't there) there is only one kind of solder for it, so you have to be really careful. For this one, I used wite out brand correction fluid to keep the bezel solder from running onto my backplate. It seemed to work. This is much better in person. Copper usually photographs so well, but these pictures seem dark to me.

I'll show you my pierce work in the next blog post when the whole piece is finished.

Stay well and warm. :)


  1. Thanks for spreading the word. The more people that are made aware of how easy it can be to save a person's life, the more people will volunteer to join the bone marrow registry. I do hope someone reading this is THE match we're waiting for.

    1. Exactly! I didn't realize it was so easy to do! I hoping for a match as soon as possible, too.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew and his family. While I cannot donate, I will certainly spread the word around. I'm sending good thoughts your way.

    I am awestruck by the elegance and simplicity of your work. I especially like your number seven pendant. You're such an inspiration for me. Now that I have my heart fixed and can breathe better than I ever could, I've hurt my neck and back. We think it is probably from working on my jewelry so many hours of the day. Of course that's what I love to do. I need to watch my posture while working. I've just started physical therapy and already feel better. You have inspired me to get back at it!

    1. Kate, I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I guess that proves how dedicated you are to your jewelry. :) I have to remind myself to take breaks and stretch, otherwise, I would be one cramped up old lady!

  3. These stones are set beautifully. Your talent is unlimited.
    I will add your nephew to my prayer group and spread the word about being tested.
    Hugs and prayers for your family.


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