Saturday, January 26, 2008

A fun website to noodle around with...

I just discovered this website and absolutely LOVE it!!! Check it out... it has tons of color trend info, a great blog, forums and much more. I haven't even explored it all yet.... it'll keep me busy for ages!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lost Wax Casting Part 2

So.... my piece came back from the casters!!! The first cast was in sterling silver. Here is a ratyher blurry photo of it, before I started cleaning it up. The next step is to finish it, both by hand and with a machine. Then it will be super shiny and gorgeous. Then it goes off to the mold maker, and after the mold is made will be cast in pewter. Woohoo! I'm getting there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

For the love of all that is good in the world....

...please, please help me clean out my stockpile of stuff!!!! I am trying to reduce my material possessions by 50% and lots of that is craft supplies that I will never get around to using. So... please, if you see this, visit my ebay and etsy sites... there will be new things listed often. Thanks!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lost Wax Casting... my first expiriment... Part 1

Well... I have been working in a jewelry store for the past few months, selling, making jewelry, and helping with the website. The owner of the store does a lot of lost wax castings, and I was inspired to make one of my own.

I'll be going to a regional Burn this year, in North Carolina, so I decided to make a burning man themed pendant to give away as gifts there. Here are the steps......

Step 1: Come up with an idea.
I just sketched it out in pencil. It's super easy, because I thought for my first project I would start easy. Then I reduced it on the copier to 50%. Then I cut it out. Easy peasy, so far!

Step 2: Start carving the wax

OK... I cheated and didn't show my first attempt, which was much thicker wax and ended up looking like a rabid chipmunk chewed it. I then moved on to thinner wax. Much easier! I rubber cemented the image onto the wax, so I could get the details right. In general, I just used the scalpel until the very end when I had to smooth things out.

Step 3: The final wax... more or less
Pre-cleanup. I removed all the bits of paper, added a wax circle on top to put a jump ring through and smoothed it out a little. It's not totally smooth, but I can clean it up better once it is cast in silver.

Next step..... bring it to the casters. I'm doing that tomorrow. I will bring it Maine Precious Metal Casting in Brunswick, and they'll do the first one in silver. Here's their website...

It's all coming together well. The final product will be cast in pewter as silver is about $16 an ounce right now, and since all of this is coming out of my own pocket, I can't really afford silver. I can't sell them, only gift them, so I have to keep the costs down.

More to come... once the next step is done.

A few book reviews for you......

These reviews were written by guest reviewer, Sarah Lucas. I let her review knitting books and weaving books, because I don't know how to knit. : (
The first book reviewed is Creative Weaving by Sarah Howard and Elisabeth Kendrick. It's ISBN #978-1-60059-098-6
Though this book has a section titled "how to weave," I wouldn't start with this book as a beginning weaver.
The book is divided into colors and each example of woven fabric is presented in a beautiful format with large color photographs. The photos show both a close-up of the woven project and the inspiration (pomegranate, e.g.). Each page also includes basic directions including equipment and threading but is not terribly in depth. This book gives some ideas for what is possible when you try something a little different with your weaving.

The next review is on the book Natural Dying by Jackie Crook, ISBN #978-1-60059-222-5.
This beautiful book tells you everything you need to know to get started dying textiles in your home with natural dyes. Different directions are given for preparing silk, cotton, and wool for the dying process. The book is divided into sections based on the source of the dye- roots, barks, flowers, fruits, etc. Each page shows an example of the variation in color you can achieve, depending on which material you use to prepare your fiber. This book is beautifully presented and very usable.

Monday, January 14, 2008

At long last... I return

Sorry people. It has been a horrible, awful, no good, very bad couple of months. I'm back though. And there are tons of book reviews coming!!!!!

I've been making a lot of jewelry lately, and learning wax carving for lost wax casting. I'll get pictures up soon.

My email address has changed. It is now

Look for new posts soon. : )