Looking for the jewelry?

Hi and welcome! Check out MF on Facebook and Instagram for my latest jewelry creations (and works-in-progress.) My jewelry is available for purchase at the Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir, and by contacting me. I love commissions and custom work!

Fabrication 3: Construction

As promised, here are my photos from the Fabrication 3 class I took at Revere in July. The two projects were a sweat-soldered layered brooch, and a hollow box ring.

The brooch was a fun project, as we used a rolling mill to impress the silver with patterns from fabric, paper, and plastic textures. I patterned the base of my brooch with a glittery tulle fabric, and paper-punched snowflakes. The top layer was rolled with 220-grit sandpaper. I domed the two layers, then soldered them together (which was harder than I bargained for, LOL), and soldered on the back pin hinge and catch.

The hollow box ring was quite challenging. It starts as two long strips, the inner ring and outer wall. The inner strip is soldered together into a ring; the outer strip is soldered to the outside of the inner ring. In the end, the bottom half of the ring is solid metal, and the top is hollow. Once attached, these are soldered onto a flat sheet, forming the first side of the hollow ring, which is then cut out from the sheet and cut out on the inside (remaking the finger hole, basically.) Once this is done, you repeat the process with the other side, forming a box ring with an open top.

There’s a lot of filing and finishing to be done at this point, to make all the corners square and flush. A pattern is chosen for the top, and the final bit of soldering is done (there must be a hole either in the top piece, or drilled through the bottom part of the hollow ring, else the ring will explode during the final solder. No, really.) I got as far as soldering the top on, and then finished the final trimming, filing and polishing closer to home.

Just keep making.

If you follow my Instagram, you’ve seen that I’ve been busy this summer, making jewelry. I’ve been meaning to repost those progress photos here for a while, but, well, here it is, September. (I need to repost my Fabrication 3 class photos, too.)

I’ve been making a lot of pendants, and now I’m trying my hand at some earrings. Rings are always happening, I can’t make enough rings. A lot of the stones I have now are more pendant-size, but there will still be a few rings in there. And at least one pair of earrings. Stay tuned.Continue Reading

The short, short version.

Revere Academy classroomI have about three posts I could write about the last week, but in the interest of time and actually POSTING something, I offer you some bullet points, to be embellished later on.

  • I held a mechanical watch in my hands, for the very first time ever. Now I know what watch experts mean, when they talk about the “heartbeat”. IT WAS SO COOL. I TOTALLY WANT ONE.
  • I went to Revere Academy last weekend for the Fabrication 3 course. Made a layered, sweat-soldered brooch, and a hollow “box” ring.
  • I “live-shared” my Fab3 experience via Instagram, reposted to Facebook and Twitter, so if you want to see the stages of construction on both pieces, click the link to see my photostream. I will repost those images here, later.

The Gemologist is IN.

The gemologist is IN.

Well, I survived my weekend of gemstone ID at the Gem, Jewelry & Mineral Show. Actually, I more than survived… I had a great time! I saw a variety of stones, and there were only one or two that I couldn’t firmly identify, both due to the stone’s setting not allowing me to get a good refractive index reading. (Definitely, loose stones are easier to work with.)

Among the many things I saw:

  • A gentleman with an amazing collection of raw diamonds, in every crystal form — octahedron, cubic, and even some macles (a flat triangular diamond; a twinned crystal. Extremely difficult to cut, as the planes of weakness change direction halfway through, due to the twinning.)
  • A trillion-cut synthetic alexandrite, BEAUTIFULLY cut.
  • A rock crystal quartz gem with one of the brightest, nicest bull’s-eye interference figures I’ve ever seen. The bull’s-eye only occurs in quartz; it positively identifies the species. (It was supposed to be a topaz. I bought it off the owner, for my own collection.)
  • A strand of “jade” beads, that were actually quench-crackled, dyed quartz. (Oops. Well, this wasn’t the AGTA show, was it…)
  • A lot of blue topaz. Got pretty quick with the topaz ID…
  • A really amazing cluster of phenakite crystals (which I managed to get onto the refractometer without breaking anything.)

It was a blast to talk to people about their stones and jewelry, and make new acquaintances — stone dealers, and even a fellow gemologist! I’ll definitely do it again next year.