Waxes and casting and metals, oh my!

More work in the new medium – wax carvings to be cast in metal, and some from my first batch, which I’d already received back from the casters. The dragon will turn into a belt buckle, the smaller version of the wave ring will be cast in sterling silver, and the little bird will be, I think, a little bronze statuette. There will also be copper ginko leaf buttons, barnacle and wave buttons, and a driftwood and barnacle ring. Phew!

Swinging copper discs in progress

Prototyping a new pair of earrings – swirly hardware and a lightly dished bright copper disc with a hammered texture. I’m delighted with how elegant, shimmery and eye-catching these turned out. I also feel my soldering has improved a great deal – not to mention that it’s great to have a second torch when you’re working on something just a little to big for one to handle alone. Unfortunately my camera’s away for repairs, so here are some dodgy phone pictures.

Mish’s silver stone-holding ‘hug’

I greeted the new year with a replacement setting for a friend’s ‘journey stone’ – a ‘hug’ rather than a cage. A total of 50cm of sterling wire spirals, gradually soldered into a cage to hold the stone, and finally closed securely by interleaving two of the spirals.

More Bench Modifications

I’ve been busy with etching the past few days, and further bedding in my newly mutilated bench – with some extra upgrades!

I’ve added a magnetic knife rack from Ikea to one leg, which I’m extremely happy with – I wasn’t expecting it, but the thing I’m most delighted to store on it is the punches for my disc cutter!  These things are always driving me nuts: rolling around, squashing/cutting things, getting underfoot and always being hard to lay my hands on.  Now they’re visible, ready to hand, but out of the way.  I’ve also started using it to store my hammer, and for keeping things like knives and spikes out of the way.  As my bench evolves I’m almost certain to get more of these.

My next mod was hot-glueing my tweezers stand to the underside of my desk, so that I could easily hover them over my soldering pad. It fell off when I was doing some hammering, but I like the general idea, so I’m thinking of creating a third-hand device with integrated soldering platform. I added an animation of my bench peg for fun – I’m looking to replace it though, with one built into the benchtop.

To thank you for reading this far, here’s some shots of my latest pieces – etched with toner! Now I’m off to do a proper photoshoot.

Flashback – Gecko commission

Phew, this was a challenge – in 2005, I was commissioned to make a mixed-materials pendant for someone’s partner, based on his tattoo (hope he doesn’t mind me sharing his shoulder!)

The final product was a translucent green soapstone gecko clinging to a coconut shell leaf, with claws and eyes inlaid in mother of pearl, and went all the way to Australia.

WIP – Wave bracelet

Oooh, this is too exciting not to post!

I’m prototyping the next few products from the ‘I Miss The Sea’ line (tentative title), which so far includes the ship brooches and swirly earrings. This is a bracelet made from four curved links with wave motifs, along with a matching pair of earrings. It still needs to be cleaned and curved correctly, but I held it up to my neck and it looks so good I think I’m going to have to make myself an entire set ASAP!

I’d better order more silver wire…