Certified Handmade

Artfire Handmade Artifact

Yeah! My Artfire design studio has been certified handmade.

At ArtFire thier is a program to help their artisans promote their individual creativity and recognize their contributions to the ArtFire community.  It is called the Artifact Program .

Just another of the many reasons why I love Artfire!  They try and do so much for their Artisans.

In mid July they started accepting applications for the Handmade Artifact.  This artifact is a certification that an Artisan has made a choice to only place handcrafted items in their studio.  All of the items have to be handmade and not factory crafted or reproduced.   In the application I had to describe my craft, the design and creation process I use, demonstrate work in progress, and display the workspace that was used to  for the creations.  I am proud that My Twised Stone Designs studio displays the Handmade artifact.

This artifact will help distinguish the handmade artisan goods on Artfire. If you are looking for handmade goods on Artfire look for this artifact in the individual studios.
 

Advertisements

Sterling Silver Bracelet Projects

So on to the final projects.

It was about about 2:oo in the afternoon when we started these last projects.  I was just about worn out from all that hammering from the petal necklace but there was still more to do and I was having such a great time.  🙂  It really made me realize the stamina you would need to be a bench jeweler for 8 or more hours a day.  It gave me a new found appreciation for this artform.

The two final projects were sterling silver bracelets. 

Twist Bracelet

Twist Bracelet Project

The first bracelet was a twist bracelet.

We starting this bracelet with a piece of 10 gage square sterling silver wire.  First we measured the distance on each end of the wire where the twist was going to start.  I set my marks at 1 1/4″ from each end of the wire.  The next step was to place one end of the wire in a vice.  The mark on one end of the wire was place at the edge of the vice.  On the other end, you place the wire in a set of vice grips and twist the wire. 

I thought that would be really easy but I had never used a pair of vice grips before.  I had no idea how to lock down or add tension on a pair of vice grips.  I felt kind of silly asking how to use a piar of vice grips but no question is a dumb question, right?

I twisted the wire 3 full revolutions to get the tight twist on the wire. 

The bracelet was then hammered on each end to get the flat portion of the cuff.  

Now came the most difficult part, acutally shaping the piece of wire into the bracelet.  Using a stepped bracelet mandrel and a rawhide mallet we formed the bracelet around the mandrel.  This took quite a bit of time and a lot of hammering.

The final step was to polish the bracelet with the polishing wheel.

Center-Twist Bracelet

Center-Twist Bracelet Project

The next bracelet was a center-twist bracelet.  This one actually looked really hard to make, but I thought it was one of the easlier pieces to make. 

I started the bracelet with a piece of round 10 gage sterling silver wire.  The wire was flattend on the steel bench block and then I marked 1″ from each end of the bracelet and the center of the piece of wire. 

The wire was flattened on each end up to the 1″ mark and then with ring bending pliers  the wire was clamped at the center point of the wire.  The wire was then bent into a long u-shape.

After the u-shape was formed the wire was hammer flat 1″ from the center of the wire on each side.

The wire was then bent back out straigt leaving the cetner twist in the bracelet. 

The next step was to form the bracelet on the bracelet mandrel with the rawhide mallet.  Using the bracelet mandrel and mallet were a little bit easire this time but it was still difficult. 

The final step was to polish the bracelet.  I think this piece turned out the best from all the pieces I made during the workshop.  This was definitely a great workshop! I left me wanting more.

What I learned from this project:

  • Using a bracelet mandrel and rawhide mallet
  • How to polish with a flex tool and polishing wheel.
  • How to use vice grips.

I know that I am totally hooked on metal now…… 🙂 🙂

A Look At My Studio

I thought I would share glimpse of my work shop this week.  I thought about cleaning it up first but decided against it.  I cleaned it up about two weeks ago, so it isn’t in too bad of shape yet.  It really isn’t much just a small corner in the garage that my husband was gracious enough to surrender.  I don’t think he ever thought he would have to give up any of his precious space in the garage.   The space I have works for now.

On the left side of the workbench I have my tool chest.  That is the invisible boundary between my space and his space.  The “Less Nessman tape” so to speak. Oh, look now I am dating myself.  My tool chest has a lot of my tools.  files, burnisher,  brushes, screw drivers, pipe benders, and punches.  A lot of the tools were handed down from my grandfather.  He did metalsmithing as a hobby.  I sure wish I would have been more interested in jewelry making when he was alive.

The center of the bench is where I keep my beading board, this is where I do most of my layout work and assembly of my pieces.   Everything is within hands reach from my board.  Beads on the left and finding on the right. 

On the right side I have a narrow bench where I do some of my metal forming and hammering.  On the end of this bend is my baby anvil.  I just love this anvil. It is great for working with small wire and pieces of silver or copper. 

Well, there’s a quick look of my studio.

ArtFire Christmas In July Sale

The ArtFire Christmas In July Sale is almost upon us! Beginning on July 12th and running for twelve days many of the fabulously talented artisans at ArtFire will be offering a variety or combination of discounts, free shipping, coupons, free gifts, bogo and other types of promotional incentives. It’s a great time to find fantastic deals on wonderful handmade items.

 The “Christmas In July” trend page will be up and running on the 12th so it will be easy to find the studios that are participating in this exciting sale. Just go to ArtFire’s Home Page and then look in the Trends Section for “Christmas In July”. You will be able to search for specific types of items from that page or just browse through all that is being offered.

The Twisted Stone Designs Studio I will be offering free shipping on all items for the duration of this sale.  I will also be having daily specials sales on specific items, keep an eye on your favorite items.  I hope you will stop in… 🙂

%d bloggers like this: