Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Super Easy Tutorial on Forging and Soldering Hoops, Making Ear Wires and Headpins

So, in addition to making lots of new designs in enamel, I have been mulling over some ideas for tutorials that might be of interest to those of you new to jewelry making.  I put together a simple, 21 page tutorial on forging and soldering hoops, making ear wires and balled headpins.  If you were ever curious about how to make hoops, ear wires or headpins, this tutorial is for you.  It gives you wire gauges, measurements and detailed instructions on how to perform all of the steps listed.  There are oodles of pictures.  My daughter was so sweet to model for me while I took pictures of all the steps.  She said that it all made sense to her and she's never made any jewelry before.

You can find the listing for this tutorial on the My Brown Wren Etsy shop.  Here is a picture of the listing:

There are tons of tips included, like what to do if you accidentally plate your silver wire by putting your steel tongs in the pickle pot.  If you don't know what this means, don't worry.  It's all explained in detail.  There is a recipe for the perfect pickle, how to properly dispose of your pickle, how to ball up the end of a wire for those pretty ear wires and headpins, as well as instructions on how to make the hoop and pendulum earrings pictured.

My tutorials on Chemical Free Etching Metal Without Acid and PnP Transfers Made Easy are both very popular.  I plan to add more tutorials in the coming weeks...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Awakenings

It's hard to believe it's been four months since my last post.  Winter is a time for hibernation.  I won't say I completely hibernated, but I did do a lot of introspection.  Awakening this spring with new ideas and new realizations, it's time to share...

I have been working on lots of enameling, with lots more to come.  For so long, the ideas just weren't flowing, and it was getting very frustrating.  It was nice to work in a new medium these last few months.  I am hoping that my fans will embrace my new work in enamel.  I will continue my work in metal clay, but the enameling gives me another option when I get stuck.

These were my first designs - a little mid century modern.  It seems to be a concurrent theme...

After a wonderful three day workshop with Barbara Minor at The Ranch Center for Arts and Crafts, I started working in liquid enamel.  It has been rather addictive.  The sgraffito technique has been keeping me busy.  There is so much to learn.

I took a workshop from Angela Gerhard on Craftcast that solidified my understanding of liquid enamel and sgraffito.  It was so much fun, and I continue to play with the techniques.

My new favorite is overfiring the liquid white enamel with a layer of transparent enamel over the top.  The white comes up through the color, create wonderful texture...

The new design inspiration these days is art nouveau.

I plan to experiment with the liquid white enamel, sgraffito and torch firing next...

Please let me know what you think of the new work.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Join the Hop

Just a reminder that the Whidbey Island Holiday Art Studio Hop is just a few short days away.  We have all kinds of goodies available for you holiday shoppers who want to make an impact on the local community by keeping your holiday shopping dollars here on Whidbey Island.

Our little event has received some very positive press on Whidbey Local and the Whidbey Examiner.  There is a list of all the participating artists (only 8) and a map to the four studios on my website as well.

The eight artists involved in the hop have gifts ranging from $15 and up.  You can find a wide variety of handmade gifts, like soy candles, dish towels, scarves, personal shrines, jewelry, and mobiles.  If you stop by all four studios and get your passport stamped you will be entered to win one of eight prizes donated by the artists - a win-win!  Passports are available at all four studios.

We all appreciate your business and hope to see you November 29-30 from 10-4.  Holiday cheer, gifts and munchies abound - as well as some sweet discounts at my studio (25% off all jewelry)!!!!
Kim Tinuviel
Steve and Tammi Sloan

Anne Belov and Anne Davenport
Pam Winstanley, Sarah Dial Primrose and Martha McCartney

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Etching Metal Without Acid Classes & Tutorials

I don't know what it is about teaching that makes me enjoy it so much.  Maybe it's being able to help people and the sense of camaraderie that comes from working with people of like minds.  Whatever it is, that's what inspired me to start teaching classes on jewelry making.  There aren't really any classes locally for those inspired to make their own jewelry.  Personally, I usually travel 1.5 to 2 hours to take a class.  I've traveled as far as Bellingham and Tacoma, which is a long way to go for a two or three hour class.

What has really been hot for me these days is my etching class.  It seems to be very popular because people want an alternative to etching copper, brass, bronze and nickel without ferric chloride.  I tried the ferric chloride and really got turned off by it.  Don't get me wrong, it does a good job.  However, it's kind of toxic.  So, when I discovered that you could etch without acid, I was all on board.

Etching metal without acid, or electrolytic etching, requires electricity and a super saturated salt water bath.  Once your resist is applied to your metal the etching process takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  It's safe and easy.

I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the etching class I taught on Friday evening...

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of everyone's end result.  It's usually how I roll.  I completely forget about picture taking.

Tonya is waiting for everyone to finish cleaning their metal so that we can apply the resist.  We used rubber stamps and StaZon Solvent Ink pads for the resist.  It works pretty well for the short duration our pieces are in the etching bath.  You can also use PnP, transparencies, sharpie paint pens, shellac, nail polish and floor wax.  I'm sure there are other things that work, but these are just a few I know about.

The two people in the picture to the right are waiting to check their pieces in the etching bath.  There is a lot of down time with etching.  You can set a timer and move on to another task when you aren't in a class.  The ladies spent a lot of down time sharing pictures of their artwork and stories about their lives.  It's really nice when people of all different walks of life come together for a mutual task.

If you are interested in learning more about this method of etching, please visit my Etsy shop where you can find my etching tutorial and a tutorial on image transfers on metal with PnP.

I made these pendants using the PnP.  You can draw an image and photocopy it onto the PnP and then transfer it to your metal.  It really allows you to make your jewelry designs your own.

People also use etched metal plates for things other than jewelry, like book plates, mixed media pieces, etc.