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Friday, March 28, 2014

Taking Off the Veil: Revealing the Magician's Secrets

Okay, maybe the title of this blog entry is a bit melodramatic, but I thought it fit what I'm about to do. I decided to reveal some of my tricks.

I think I take pretty good pictures of my jewelry. One of my biggest pet peeves, one thing that I actually see a lot in the jewelry designing community are blurry pictures. You can't tell what's going on in them. Some pictures are so dark and fuzzy that I'm not even sure it IS jewelry. I take pride in the fact that in my photos you can see all of the detail of my pieces, right down to the tool marks and imperfections that I'd rather you not notice.  What really bothers me is that sometimes these blurry, poorly lit pictures get more sales and "likes" on Facebook than I ever get, but that's a whole other topic.

My pictures are taken with my Galaxy SIII smart phone. I use the "Macro" mode, and I never use the flash. I use GIMP (a free, downloadable program) to edit my photos. I also take most of my pictures outside, sometimes in the strangest places. A mossy stump is perfect for showcasing a piece of jewelry.  A rusty part of the back step makes a great backdrop.  I use a lot of the landscaping around the house in nice weather, and a cloudy day in the middle of the afternoon is perfect to get the filtered light I need to capture a striking image.   However, the winter can be a bit more challenging.  I've taken pictures on window sills, I've just braved the cold and taken pictures after clearing away snow from a concrete slab or a part of the driveway, or I've taken pictures in doorways.

You have to have an open mind.

The bracelet you see is a new one that I finished, but this one is not for sale. It's mine. I've been wearing one of my copper Viking Knit bracelets everyday for the past ten months or so, and I thought it was time for an upgrade. I still wear the copper one, but now she has a friend.

Sterling Silver Viking Knit Bracelet with Reclaimed Copper End Caps
Can you guess where I took this picture?

If you answered the threshold of the backdoor, you are correct!

  I also used my torch to make a cool ball on the end of my hook clasp. I haven't melted silver since high school, and I was very surprised at how low its melting point is as opposed to copper.

 I got a new torch. I haven't used it yet, but it was quite an investment. It's a Blazer GB2001 Self Igniting Micro Torch!  I'm really excited to start using it, but I have to wait until the butane in my $9.00 Harbor Freight torch runs out first.  I'll let you know how it goes. Stay tuned!

I'd also like to share another Viking Knit bracelet I made, this time for a man whom I've known since Junior High. I went to school with him. He wasn't too nice to me in school, but he's made up for it. He's a great guy, and he actually happens to be one of my biggest fans/customers.
The last bracelet I made him out of leather and wood, but his dog ate it!  So, he asked me to make a new one. This one is done in copper (which I hope is dog proof?)  He wanted me to incorporate a rune, it symbolizes "heritage."  I put it in the clasp.

I really hope he likes it.  I tried to make it as "manly" as possible.  I love making men's jewelry. It's such a challenge.

I've been doing a lot of metal work in the past few months.  All of the metal from this bracelet started off as round copper electrical wire.  The flat pieces are hammered flat.

And, finally for my "dirty" secret. 

It's what my materials look like when I get them. I don't buy nice, prefab wire from the craft store. My wire comes dirty, grungy, tangled, usually presented to me by my contractor father in law in an old paint bucket.
I strip it, clean it, check the gauge, or I just cut it off the roll as I need it.  It's messy, but I can truly say that my jewelry IS most definitely made from reclaimed, recycled sources.

I hope you enjoyed get the inside info.  If you did, write me a comment and let me know!  And, while you're at it, give me a "like" on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. You work so hard and it pays off! What you make is incredible! I wouldnt have thought of using the back door for a photo shoot! Also, i think it's really cool that yoy showed how you got the metal. That just made "recycled copper" click for me in a whole new way. You're awesome!