Bats are a few of my favorite things

Working, working, working!

I’m a fan of bats and have been trying to incorporate some bats into some earrings.

Missing bas

Sort of a full moon and flying bat in negative space.  These were hand sanded and are really very shiny.

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I also wanted to have something smaller, since some people don’t like big earrings, even though these are very light. Also instead of a negative space bat, how about a positive space bat….

Bat bridges

Again, these are very shiny and have been waxed to keep fingerprints off. In the background are three of the finished rings stacked up and waiting to be put away.

Bat bridges 2

So there’s some fall themed goodies ready for the show! I do need to do two more sets of each, but at least the first ones are done. Yay!!

Back to work, weasels!

So it’s been a while since I did a post. It’s hard to stop working and take pictures as I like to just plow through once I get started, but today I was doing several rings at once and so figured that I should take the time to share a little process.

I started with pattern wire ( a whole lot of tragedy went on trying to get this pattern wire to the studio).

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Actually, I had to look at it a lot and think about all the things it could possibly be. Then, I got out the saw and cut it up.

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There’s four ring blanks, a size 9, a size 8, a size 7 1/2 and a size 7. Then, file each end straight and bend the ends over to meet flush.

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Looks pretty good, right?

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It’s not good. The ends need to meet perfectly flush and flat, so I need to twist this and keeping pushing and pulling until I get a good meet. Just when you got one dimension done, the other is out of whack. This can take anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour. There can be swearing involved.

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All lined up and ready to solder. Fire, Good!!!!!!

Ugly

After the solder flows, which can involve more swearing and possibly a trip back to sawing and getting ends flush again, the ring is joined. But very ugly. A bath in the pickle pot cleans off all the goop.

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After an acid peel, I’m using a ring mandrel and a hammer to round out the rings. Usually I use a rubber mallet or rawhide mallet, but I can’t find either of those right now, so I’m wrapping the ring and mandrel in a cloth and then hammering.

Then it’s a couple of hours of hand sanding the edges and the inside of each ring. I’ll put a finished photo of these rings in the gallery, but this is as far as I can go today. Hammering is verboten on Sundays, so I’ll finish these up on Monday.

Copper on my mind

I love copper. I like brass and silver, but I looooooove copper!

To work with that is. I wear more silver than anything else, but I often go without any adornment at all. The reason is pretty simple – I can’t really wear my pieces when I am working. Metal conducts heat and the last thing I need is more potential for hazard than I already have.

My home studio is a little cramped and many of my endeavors have to share space until completion. For example, my bench is the place for faceting stone, cabbing stone, wirework, filing, sawing, hammering, riveting, sanding and polishing as well as a place to sort work related paperwork and articles. A small table to my left is the home to tumbling, torching and wet processes. Behind me is the computer brain center of my home – there reside the MAC, the PC and both laptops as well as the scanner/printer. The remaining wall houses my fiber and paper media.

But back to copper. I’m prepping for a show at the end of September and am trying out new designs in copper towards building some stock. A lot of things have leaves as I’m totally floored by the process of creating a leaf out of copper.