On the bench today... that’s right this chain is back! This is the chain I made the flat and round pliers for! One thing I wanted to note is... Wow mandrel size really makes a difference! I was trying to make a chain that matched the small sample. I grabbed a longer mandrel (center punch) that “looked” like the shorter mandrel that I used for the sample. I didn’t measure... I was like looks close enough... but damn the weave is so much tighter! Surprising!😲. And this is makes me laugh... I think when I made the sample, I was wishing it were tighter. But now that I’m trying to match the sample... I’m like damnit it is too tight!!! 🤣. #basementfun#loopinloopchain#loopinloop#sizematters#finesilver#handmadechain
Upgraded handles for “new” “old” pliers! After using them for like 2 seconds... I realized that it would benefit me greatly to mark the flat side of the plier... This way I can easily find it without lifting it up to my face every time!!! 🤘
Tool alter time! So I found myself shopping for a small flat and round nose plier... but was like hhhummmm. 🤔I bet I can just alter something I already have... (I forgot to take a before picture... ) These are a super cheap round nose plies that I consider junk.. perfect candidate to destroy!!! I grabbed a file dedicated for steel and I filed one of the round noses flat on the inside! 🤗. These cheap pliers just went from junk to probably my go to pliers for getting in tight spots!!!! The reason I wanted round and flat instead of both round... is that I have a chain that I need to get inside of a small space and adjust the wire...but the round nose pliers leaves a mark on the outside of the chain. Whereas the flat does not leave a mark!!!! #basementfun#alteringhandtools#makewhatyouneed#chainmaking#junktotreasure
Dipped! Tool Magic 🤗. Now I’ll let them dry and they will be ready to use tomorrow! You’ll notice I have nylon/plastic pliers too.... can’t say I like them much 👎... in a pinch I’ll use them if I want to grab something hard without leaving marks... 😏 but the grip sucks... the nylon/plastic destroys to easily.... But Tool Magic!!! 👏👏👏 Can’t say enough about how awesome it is!!! FYI it does stink until it dries... #basementfun#parallelpliers#hashtagspellingsucks#handmadechains#toolmagic
Wooo hooo new parallel pliers!!! Parallel pliers are my go to pliers!!! And Rio Grande @riogrande had them on sale for $12 each!!! The first modification I always do- I take out one of the springs!!! Or if the spring is too tight I stretch it! I like a little bit of spring back...but my hands can’t take the full spring action!!! These have tool dip in their future!!! #basementfun#parallelpliers#riogrande#chainmaking#toolporn
Finishing up the donut 🍩!!! It has been kicking around for a while... I thought I was going to add more elements to it but decided to keep it simple (stupid). “KISS”. Made a matching bail out the scrap from the back texture. Really happy with the bail! I framed it with wire while it was flat, to give it some dimension...and then formed it round.
Oval chain soldered up. Chain is okay but I thought it could use some interest. The plan was to twist all the links into figure eights. But by shear luck 🍀 after the third one I skipped a link by accident and was wait... that looks better!!!! So I continued the pattern 3 twists 1 regular link... Dumb 😜luck!!! Now it is a cute chain!!! On to the next hurdle... “the clasp”.... #basementfun#handmadechain#solderingpractice#linkbylink
Random tool shout out - to the unsung heroes “Hand Vice and/or Pin Vice”!!! Finally I figured out the best way to hold wire that I am pulling down and need to taper! I used to hand hold the wire and file a taper on the end so that it could be inserted into the drawplate. Let’s just say the smaller the wire gets the harder this tapering becomes... and me doing a lot more 😩😡🤬... especially when the wire is greasy from the lubricant that you need to pull the wire down smoothly! But with the almighty Hand/Pin Vice I can easily turn the wire and taper the end... aaahhhhhh what a relief... 😏
Time to cut the links apart! When possible I like cutting my links apart with shears. Me and the saw frame aren’t the best of friends.... I did try flush cutters - but by design only one side of the wire is flush cut and the other side of the wire gets squashed leaving not the best soldering joint... But shears much cleaner cut on both ends! I’m on the lookout for a good shear with a short fulcrum - like cutting pliers but more shear like!
@kedjeguld 👏 your trick is amazing!!! I made a solder holder out of an old metal mechanical pencil ✏️ holder. It had been sitting in a drawer for ages!!! It was the first thing I could find that I thought would work. I’m still learning how to stick solder... and this holder is a serious game changer!!!! Спасибо, мой друг! @kedjeguld (ps. don’t be too impressed- I googled it 🤫) One other thing I finally learned about stick feed soldering is to heat below and keep the solder above the flame!!! Then when you touch down the solder is sucked down into the seam!!! I was making the mistake of putting my solder in the flame 🔥 and then my solder would ball up and leave way too much!!! #silversolder#solderholder#newinventedtoysrock#basementfun#gamechanger
Time to etch with salt water and dc current! Fun gadget.... I think it is the same as a rectifier. Basically it takes AC (aka house current) and turns it into DC (like DC battery current). And cool thing is that you can touch this and not get zapped! Yes, I tried... 🤪 Watch the etching magic.... opps forgot and moved the brass plate closer to the anode (aka copper plate) I think it works faster closer??? I left this in for awhile and got a nice deep etch...flipping it every hour. If you etch slower it is more smooth. You can crank this sucker up and etch fast but the results are more irregular. Then good old elbow grease and steel wool works the best to get off the toner. Side note I just switched from HP toner to Xerox toner... and I am super happy with the results. Transfer went onto the metal well, held up to the etching and I think I was easier to scrub off!!! +++. Thank you circuit board makers!!!! #basementfun#saltetch#saltetching#retifier#dccurrentrocks#meandmytoys
Blue PnP transfer for making my pattern sheets. I like to take 16 gauge brass and work harden before I salt/electro etch it. Then I drill both ends- I’ve noticed that the bottom of the plate etches faster- so during the etch I flip the plate to try and get it even. Then I clean up the holes with a larger drill bit(I love this trick!) and scrub and clean the brass. You have to get all the oils off of the metal or the pnp toner will not transfer well. And then it’s time for the t-shirt press! You can use an iron to transfer the pnp... but that got old fast... t-shirt press you can set the temp and duration.. it has a lovely beeping alarm🚨NOW super important.... wait for the metal to be completely cool before peeling of the pnp.. You will get the best results this way. My transfer came out great... but I thought it was lacking some depth... so I grabbed my paint marker and darkened some lines... looking much better! Then just tape off the back of the plate so it doesn’t etch too!
Random grab on my bench.. just testing what would happen if I pressed the fused woven pieces from before... one “right side up” the other “bottom side up”. And boy did it destroy my mold!!! Good to know... these acrylic molds can’t take too much abuse! I had some rip out on the “right side up “. I went a little too deep. And the piece was thinner than the “wrong side up “... WSU reminds me of a peanut 🥜 lol... Now I have to figure out what to make with these... #basementfun#destroy#create#fusedwovenmetal#wovenmetal#silverpeanuts
So I’ll slowly realizing that my initial shape wasn’t correct. This piece to slowly curving more and more with each fire ... I didn’t notice it right away... I’m gonna have to try these again with a hydraulic press mold of this shape..that should solve the bending issue! But the colors are working well... I’m having fun layering them! Lower section then upper section... I need to cold work them.. but I’m a little afraid that because of the curve.. high chance of cracking these... playing around with them... I’m liking them paired with the matte glass elements.... huummmmm... #basementfun#bentenamel#timeformoldmaking#lovewetpacking
I’m using the same colors I used for the harvest moon plus some purples!! I used to be afraid of washing enamels. But I have to say.... sifting out the “fines” and only washing small amounts is super easy compared to what I’ve tried before with coffee filters!! Plus I seriously love these little beakers.. they are awesome!
Okay so my theory didn’t quite work as planned. The foil didn’t quite sink into the enamel as I thought it would. When I pulled them out of the kiln some of the foil wasn’t laying down flat. So I put it back in and I think I over fired it! I did not realize that where the glass did touch/fused to the foil..it pulled the enamel glass away from where the foil was touching. You can see it in the foil. I burnished it down and even though it is a “mistake”. I kind of like the look of it! But since I did over fire it... I’m a little worried about the different thicknesses....🤔 #basementfun#learningthroughtrialanderror#almostsuccess#texturedmetal#finesilverfoil
So since I’m over sifting enamels...I thought I would just wet pack the front of the piece. I decided to use the “fines” (aka fine particles of glass enamel- that are normally considered bad for clarity. I sifted my enamels earlier to separate the fines). The front is gonna be covered by the textured foil so it doesn’t have to be pretty... last step adding cloisonné wire to separate the foils.
Time to enamel some copper. I’m using 26 gauge. I almost grabbed my jewelers saw... and was like duhhh use the Joyce Chen shears!!! I love these scissors!!! ✂️ least pic...I’m starting with counter enamel...I’m slowly learning I don’t like sifting enamels...I mush prefer wet packing... so much more calmer of a process... #basementfun#copper#joycechenscissors#counterenamel#stilllearning
Time for the magic! Texture transfer. I like to use a manilla folder to sandwich my metal. I was worried about there being enough pressure to get a good print.. So, I folded a paper towel on top. I didn’t want to use the paper towel directly because it could have left an impression of it’s pattern as well! Woohoo looking good! So I tried another pattern... #basementfun#texturedmetal#rollingmilltransfer#silverfoil#tada
Trying something... I noticed that the corner of the sheet was thinner. So I cut off a strip annealed it and tried to mill it down some more. Success! The smaller sheet did mill down thinner! I’ve noticed that with the rolling mill... the wider/larger the sheet... the harder it is to mill down.. #basementfun#thinnermetal#finesilverfoil#durstonrollingmill#stillhungrylol
Oops... dropped it!!! Lol... 🤣 anyone familiar with glass can see that check across the corner.... damnit... well gonna refire with a little bit of clear enamel touch up that I was thinking of doing... lowered my kiln temp to 1430... liking this temp!!! I learned a lot on this piece!
Filing down the cloisonne...First my 3M diamond file followed by 150 then 220 stones. I read about fire polishing.... so I gave it a go. Not sure I like the fire polish... wire got dark and surface not as perfect as I’d like... rethinking fire polishing. @jtower_jewelry do you fire polish or hand polish your pieces? 🤔
Yay! First successful cloisonne project! Abstract harvest moon 🌙... You can see the order that I layered the colors. I started with the dark enamel (darkest was actually the lightest enamel 🤔) and then just felt my way through the coloring. I’m really happy with it 🤗 Now it just needs to be cold worked. Boy do I wish I had a cabbing machine! #basementfun#basementstudio#cloisonneenamel#kickingbooty#wetpackingenamels is so much better than sifting!!!!
Playing with cloisonné! 🤗 I tried a copper base with sliver foil. My foil is too thin... but I thought I’d try it anyway... I wasn’t sure what I was going to make.. but after firing the foil... it started reminding me of the moon! So moon it shall become! On a side note... I really like how the foil looks in the counter enamel... giving me some ideas for something else... !🤔 #basementfun#cloisonneenamel#playing#overthemoon#learning