Posts Tagged ‘metalsmithing’

Jewelry Porn, originally uploaded by antigenre.

Jewelers and metalsmiths, admit it – you’ve drooled over these books! I discovered this series in my jewelry class at the 92nd Street Y and went right out and bought the lot of them. FYI, they’re much cheaper on Amazon than they are at the Marketfair Barnes & Noble. They are great sources of inspiration and, along with my class itself, have forced me to think a bit about the direction my work should be going in. It is definitely time to start getting some advanced training, refining my style, and developing a cohesive body of work.

Levi and I will be leaving New Jersey toward the end of the summer (this I have some mixed feelings about), and I will no longer have access to all the resources of NYC (this, I’m NOT happy about at all!). We’re headed to South Carolina, so I’ve spent a bit of time looking around for schools and other institutions in the area that offer training in metals and jewelry. Oddly enough, the Carolinas seem to be full of crafty types, and there are a number of respectable schools within a few hours drive of where I’ll be living. One in particular is the Penland School of Crafts, which offers eight-week workshops in a number of fields. Haywood Community College of Professional Crafts is another nearby option. So I have some decisions to make and some money to save up, but these are very exciting possibilities.

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Hey, Copper!, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I’m playing around with some new techniques and ideas and seeing what will come of them. I want to add more rings and bracelets to my store (getting a bit earring-heavy, ya know?), so I’m seeing what I can do with copper discs and silver grains. Something like this work-in-progress will be available soon in my shop.

In other news, the treasury of the day (or two or three days, depending) is called ‘Firecracker COLLIDEoscope’.  Take a here to see an explosion of colors!!

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Corsico Set, originally uploaded by antigenre.

Since summer is now upon us, I thought I should brighten up my jewelry collection with a bit of color. I’ve just recently started playing around with patinas on my brass and copper pieces, and I am loving the results! It is an interesting process and seems to require a bit of patience with letting each layer dry so the color can come out.

The Corsico ring and earrings are among my first offerings – now available at AntiGenre on Etsy –  and I have plenty more ideas to start work on.

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Experiments, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I’m just now getting my new drill set up and getting started with it. Unfortunately, I can’t create a permanent set-up for it because of how tiny my apartment is and how crazy my cat is. There’s no place that I can keep a ridiculously heavy motor hanging up where it wouldn’t become a hazard to everyone.

These fun little discs are one of my first experiments, and I’m not sure how they’ll turn out. I think I’ll keep this pair for myself and refine the pattern – and my technique – a bit.

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I’m having lots of fun with my new toys!  I bought myself a microtorch, a Roburn MT-770, that I used for about 2 days before it cacked on me.  I took it to my new best friends at Metalliferous, and they took a look at it and immediately convinced me to upgrade to a Blazer. It works better, when it is working, but seems to have problems filling up properly. It tends to start sputtering after a few minutes of work, and the flame dies even though there is still gas flowing. Weird. Anyway, despite that, I’ve gotten some cool work done!


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Handforged links, oxidized to a smokey black, with pale green freshwater pearls.

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For no particular reason, I wanted to post some pictures of my new and improved workspace, along with a few pieces that I’m currently working on.  I use this space as both a work bench for my handmade jewelry and as a packing center for my Fair Industry (my fair trade store) orders. It’s great, I’ve been able to streamline the order fulfillment process and it has greatly reduced stress on those days when I do have items to get out the door. Why didn’t any

one tell me about this thing called ‘organization’ a long time ago??? Seriously, people, I need the info. 

Sitting on top of one of the organizers is Volume 1 of The Handbook to Handmade, a monthly collection of thirty-five Etsy artists with information about their work and shops.  I got myself a spot in the first volume and love how the book turned out. I think it’s going to be a great promotional tool for anyone who participates in it.

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Got any “jobs” you want done?  Anything or anyone you want, well, “taken care of”?  If so, I’m your man.  Or, woman, to be precise.  Not that I’ve been leading a life of crime up to this point, but now that I’m in the perfect position to, why not?

I’m pretty new to torches and soldering and all the fun things I’m learning in my class.  I’m really starting from scratch.  I thought I at least knew enough, however, not to touch something hot.  Today as I was working on soldering a large chain, I realized a link was not properly closed and as I went to try to adjust it, I caught myself.  Wait a tick, hold on here, the link is probably still toasty, I thought.  So instead, I took hold of the cross-lock tweezers holding it….By the metal tweezing end that had just been in the same flame as the link.  Damn near burned my fingerprints off! 

My fingers are still red and seem to be perfectly smooth. 

So as I said, I’d be the perfect criminal – untraceable, unidentifiable.  Send your dirty deeds my way.  Want a million dollars?  I’ll rob the bank for you.  I’ll just try not to do something stoopid like write the demand note on the back of a deposit slip from my own savings account.

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Since starting to make jewelry this spring and joining Etsy, I have been inspired to learn as many new techniques as I can, and I’m now taking a jewelry class at Studio Jewelers, Ltd. in Manhattan. 

I wore the necklace below to the class a few weeks ago; it’s one of my favorites and always gets lots of attention:


As I was leaving, this woman, who is already annoying for various reasons, said “Oh, that’s beautiful. Did you make it?”

I said “Thank you but no, it is handmade, just not by me.”

She said “Oh, that’s too bad!”

So I’m thinking, why is that too bad? I must have looked puzzled because she said “Now that you are taking this class, you can make that yourself. It’s really easy!”

Um… it doesn’t look easy to me. To be fair, I am taking the class to learn the metal-smithing and fabricating techniques that are required to make things like this, but that’s not the same thing.

She then went on to say something like “When you see how easy it is, you’re going to think ‘I fell for that???’ Ha ha ha.”

Huh? Was she advocating simply copying someone else’s design? Was she trying to make me feel bad for spending money on something I really like?

The world of DIY is an interesting one. Where is the line? Where do we stop valuing creativity and artistry – our own and that of others – in the name of doing it ourselves? 

I didn’t ‘fall for’ anything. Even if I could make this (which I can’t), the fact is that I didn’t. And won’t. And I would much rather reward someone for their creativity and efforts than simply copy someone.


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I promised myself over and over again that I would start blogging, but I just never seemed to get around to it.  Well, here it is! 

There will be something much more interesting than this to read in just a day or two, so please check back.

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