CATCHING UP

2018 Year End Report

Six months of etching adventures to catch up on. There are lots of etched plates with notes and photos to share, several new tools to show and tell, a few metal working techniques used to make the finished jewelry, plus photos of some of my favorite finished pieces made using the process. The fun of making and learning continues. Sharing the learning is next.

Here is a start. These five photos illustrate just a few of the many steps I take in the creation of a new design. It starts with the inspiration and results in a unique piece of jewelry.

Check back later to see more of the steps if you are curious and to learn about what is new with my techniques for electro-etching both copper alloys and silver. I continue to learn from others who practice the techniques and share their knowledge freely on the Facebook Electro-Etchers Anonymous Group page. It is interesting to read about the various methods used to arrive at the desired end. No single one way best for all. My purpose in sharing is to say what is working for me at this time. Anyone looking back at my earliest etching posts will see how much my methods have changed over the years as I continue to improve results. I welcome comments and questions.

ETCHING ADVENTURES 2018

Fun in the Studio

New toys (tools), new techniques, lots of learning and a little finished work.

I am now electro-etching silver with cupric nitrate and using a new power source to control the amps. This cigar band ring features a deeply etched design that appears carved. The pattern started with an image of William Morris wallpaper found in a Dover book.

Many thanks to John Fetvedt for the clear and complete instructions he provides in his excellent Electro-Etching Workshop Handbook. The 43 page PDF is freely shared and available on his website. Go to “For Our Students” page.  I have also learned quite a bit by participating in a Facebook Group created specifically for all things related to Electro-Etching. Search for Electro-Etchers Anonymous if you are curious. This is a “closed” group that you need to join to see. A very welcoming and interesting group.

While I am not new to electro-etching… see my earlier salt water etching posts… the use of cupric nitrate for etching silver is a first for me. I also continue to etch copper and brass with salt (sodium chloride) that I now add a bit of citric acid to.

FAST forward

And time truly does fly! After my last post I took a break from working on rebuilding my web site to prepare for the annual Mother’s Day Jewelry Sale at Monterey Peninsula College.

May 2017 MPC Jewelry sale my display edit

Here I am using my phone to process credit card sales. Photo thanks to Kelli M.

The three day sale was a huge success for participants who donated 20% of their sales revenue to the MPC Jewelry Department. This goes towards buying new tools for the classroom and additional supplies for all students to share.

Once I recovered from that, classes ended for the summer break and I got back to work making new designs for the next MPC Jewelry sale (early December) and inventory for my on-line store…. which is progressing slowly. I’ve spent quite a bit of time exploring fusing (no solder) fine silver to sterling silver, with most of the work having a “Tide Pool” theme…. Sea Stars, bubbles, and ocean colored stones.

3881J

“Tide Pool #2” –  chrysocolla/malachite

3871j4

“Tide Pool  #3”- azurite/malachite

 

 

SURF/SAND/SILVERSMITHS

Members of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild (MBMAG) will be exhibiting a collection of fine jewelry and miniature sculpture at the Pajaro Valley Arts in Watsonville. Details, a map, and a list of participating artists can be found on the postcard below.

MBMAG 2016 postcardMBMAG 2016 postcard back

Each artist may exhibit up to three pieces for the show, plus up to 6 additional pieces for sale in the gallery shop. My own three pieces for the show, plus images and information related to the inspiration for the work, are below.

Talisman for the Journey 2016 detail J4

“Talisman for the Journey” – a necklace featuring an ammonite with a glowing amber stone tube riveted to it. The wire prong setting is built on a frame that I made many years ago and just discovered is a perfect fit for the ammonite.

Talisman for the Journey 2016 back J4

The photo above shows the back of the setting with the tube rivet for the amber cabochon.

Talisman for the Journey 2016 full 4

The length of the necklace is adjustable from 18″ to 21″. The “weight” at the end of the extender chain is one of my lampwork glass beads.

Spiral-Galaxies-Larger-Than-Previously-Thought

Spiral Galaxy – a galaxy in which the stars and gas clouds are concentrated mainly in one or more spiral arms.

The spiral is probably the oldest known symbol of human spirituality. The spiral has been in rock carvings thousands of years old, on every continent in the world. The religious significance can only be guessed at, but it has been found on tombs, and almost certainly has a connection with the sun, which traces a spiral shape every three months in its travels.

Flores del Mar

“Flores del Mar”- silver ring with 18K gold

The design for the ring was inspired by the photo of a slice of agatized coral.

fossil coral inspiration

Aqua Pools Bracelet - J4

“Aqua Pools” – bracelet – silver, turquoise, tourmaline, chrysoprase, and Peruvian blue opal

“Brain imagining indicates that proximity to water floods the brain with feel-good hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists have also discovered that ………………….. water increases our ability to focus.” Wallace J. Nichols

The meaning of the color turquoise is open communication and clarity of thought.

For thoughts on the bullseye symbol, see my previous post  for November 9, 2015.

Liver of sulfur on silver

Carol Holaday rings
three rings with LOS

Carol Holaday - ring
Bird in a Bush ring

Three new rings created for the recent sale at Monterey Peninsula College. Showing these as examples of the colors that can be achieved on silver using liver of sulfur patina.

Liver of Sulfur for a rainbow of colors on silver –  adapted from instructions provided by Katherine Palochak.

2 C. hot water

about a half teaspoon of LOS gel (or can use dry lump form)

1 Tbsp. clear, plain ammonia

1 tsp. salt (I use kosher)

Dissolve the LOS in the hot water, then add the other ingredients. Stir well. Color of water will be yellow.

Dip piece to be patinated into a container of very hot water to pre-heat the metal, then briefly dip into the LOS solution.

Next dip it in a container of ice water to stop the action and set the patina.

Repeat as necessary to achieve the colors you want. Best to build up color slowly.  Color will develop beginning with straw gold and ending at total black. Left too long in the LOS and the black can become too thick and flake off.

This recipe is particularly good for the dark purple and blue iridescent colors although I have achieved some remarkable orange and magenta colors as well… as seen on the ring at right in photo.

Try different amounts of ammonia and salt (iodized salt gives a different color than kosher salt), and make color patterns by selectively dipping just certain areas of the piece into the LOS solution.

Allow the patina to dry and set before rubbing it off the high areas of the design with a fine polishing paper or pumice. I also use this process for copper and brass although the colors achieved will be very different. Mostly brown to black.

New Work for two exhibits

Artist Statement 2013
My work expresses a reverence for the beautiful ocean I have lived near all my life. I am inspired by the constantly changing colors and patterns of the water’s surface and the life that teems below. I often utilize shapes and colors with symbolic connections that are both obvious and ambiguous.

Mind, Heart & Hand: From the Metal Artist’s Studio
A Juried Exhibition of work by the Members of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild at the
Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
December 6, 2013 – February 4, 2014

Z Folio Gallery: Structure + Rhythm
Gallery Exhibition
Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild
Z Folio Gallery, Cannery Row, Monterey CA
November 25 2013 to January 6, 2014

Aphrodite's Amulet
Aphrodite’s Amulet

Poseidon's Ring 2013
Poseidon’s Ring 2013
back of Poseidon's Ring
back of Poseidon’s Ring
Ocean Amulet 2013
Ocean Amulet 2013