Sneak peek at my latest enameling project: plique-à-jour earrings. Nearly done.
Went on a jewelry shopping spree in the last month or so. I really need to get new co-workers to hang with because I spent so much money on clothes and jewelry (especially jewelry, which I can make on my own too, LOL).
If you live in NYC: Joey NY (8th Ave, between 35th and 36th Street) is a good store for jewelry shopaholics on a really tight budget. A lot of jewlery is cheaply made and most cost a $1 each, all in that picture were a dollar each! Cinderella Club (34th Street, near the corner of 8th Avenue) is more expensive (but they are obviously better made) and they’re having a 50% sale that’s ending really soon!
Since I finished my earrings and started a new project in the same class, I decided to split the posts into two parts. And there’s a third post for the day coming up since I took my make up class last week (and will be labeled Week 7).
Okay, Monday was the day I was finally putting the earrings to rest. After vigorously taking off the sticker residence, I finally managed to do a matte finish on the branch. Meh, I didn’t know it would take some of the branchy detail off the earrings, but I was still happy with it. So I re-tripoli the earrings for the 191982373th time and put some rouge on the silver ball and leaves and wah-la! Done!
It took me 11 classes to finish this so I am very ecstatic and in love with my earrings, flaws and all. It taught me a lot during this things. My longest project to date.
Now we are ready to make a bracelet~!
So, this week was a little hectic. I had started my new job so I wasn’t able to buy some silver for my class for my bracelet because it’s a 9-5 job and all the silver places are closed by 4:30-5:30. :/ But, no worries, because this earrings are making sure I’ll crawl up the wall. :D
First, I had cut out cardboard to lift up the stones for a full appearance (and ugh, doing that for the very small stones drove me foaming). So, now I am setting in the stones and I already realized that I had fuck on this particular earring. Luckily my professor helped me in solving the problem so setting the stone was a pain in the ass because I had to use a screwdriver to wedge the silver out where it met with the solder.
And that took most of the class. But luckily I had time to re-tripoli it to bring out it’s luster. I was going to matte it as the final task in these earring with a matting tool and I needed to tape up places that I didn’t want matte up. So I did the taping and start on the matte brush.
… only to find out that the adhesive from the tape got all over the branch, as you can see that brownish gray gunk on the branch. FML. And class ended right after that.
So I can’t really do anything until next class which I will sand it briefly to try to get that matte look then we are working on the bracelet at WARP SPEED.
But these earrings will be done next class. My god, so frustrating.
What did I learn this week? That the Diamond Distinct actually close down for a week or two in starting late June! So I couldn’t get any silver, dammit. I don’t know how I will get it now since I start working on Monday…
At least I managed to buy my stones at my regular jewel place (which felt like it was the only thing open at the time). And I went bonkers and brought $60 worth of stones and gemstones. LOL. That day money couldn’t stay in my pockets…
But my worries were all for naught as I learn that I SUCK soldering ear posts. I mean SUCCCCCCCCCCK. It took me most of the class to put these bad boys on because the ear post was so thin and the solder was being a dick and not wrapping itself around the earring and ear post. I had to do one over three times because it wouldn’t wrap around properly and left a hole.
Then I had to tripoli it all over again because I had burned it off soldering the ear posts on.
At least I managed to get that icky black burnt spot with a wire tool and brushed it out.
But next week, all I have to do is set the stones, put matte and rouge and I am done. Yay!
I will post up pictures of my haul later on!
So this week I actually did a lot of stuff, SURPRISINGLY. I soldered on two balls (as extra fruit) that I made last week in like the last 4 minutes of class. That was quite a messy affair because I need to use yellow ochre to protect my bezels and it got everywhere and ugh. It took like fifteen minutes in the pickle to get it as clean as I can get because of the ochre. During that time, I’m cooking up plans for my next project.
Then there was a problem. On one of the big leaves, there is a black spot next to the bezel that refuses to come off. I don’t know what in the hell it was but it was stubborn. My professor told me to just put the tripoli on it in hopes it’ll come off.
I usually hate the tripoli part because it can be a pain in the ass for me from accidentally putting too much on it. However, after the huge battle, the spot’s still there.
So we put it in the ultrasound cleaner.
It’s still there.
So we’re hoping I can get it out with nail polish remover before next class. FML.
But next’s week, I should be done with the earrings and moving on to the bracelet!
Well, it’s very late May 2012 and I was bored out of my mind still waiting for a job to pop up and I got a lot of money from my tax returns. Yay! So I decided that I will be taking another jewelry class during the summer because it’s cheaper due to being only 10 weeks instead of the usual 12 week semester.
There was a bit of a snit at first because I had basically taken most of the jewelry classes at SVA. So my choices were down to Cold Method Jewelry and Beginners Class with Silver, a beginners class I haven’t taken before. Since I still have those earrings I wanted to finish, I took the latter.
It was weird taking a beginners’ class because I already knew everything, but my professor was cool letting me go off to do my own thing. So while the class was doing course lowdown for the semester, I worked on my earrings.
So on the first week, I sawed the bulging black plate pieces out using a pretty delicate saw so it won’t rip off the bezel off the branch then you a while buffing wheel to smooth it down even further. In the end, it still had visible pieces as shown in the picture above. My professor advised me that I should cut off the pieces of black plate that was hiding under the tiny bezel, but I decided not to because I was scared it will fudge up support of the small bezel.
I missed class on June 11 because the previous Wednesday on the 6th, I managed to get offered a job! Yay! But there was a snit in the paperwork that made me have to miss a class to fix it. Boo. But I will be asking for a make up class, so no biggie.
The following week on the 18th, I changed my mind on the decision to leave the small excess back plate alone and sawed it out and continue to smooth out the edges for a cleaner look. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of it. Pfft.
If you are confused about this post. I decided to combo this because (1) I had to take my make-up today on a Tuesday due to missing December 1 class for a spinal tap procedure and (2) I forgot to take a picture of the progress I did for Tuesday, fuck.
On Tuesday, I managed to work on the bottom leaves that was supposed to curve around the bezel. I screwed up a few times so yeah, it took the whole class to saw the leave around enough to fit snugly around the bezel.
Thursday was the last class for this course, and I was pretty peaked because I was really hoping that I could move fast enough to finish the earrings and totally regretting that I took so long on the leaves. But the difficult part that soldering everything together was a harder task than I anticipated. I had to first solder the leaves unto the bezels and the ones that fit around the bezels were a pain in the ass. And I also had to readjust the vines to fit the bezels and their leaves and solder that on. In my rush, I got too much solder on a leaf and it turned it solid, losing the lines that I made with the florentine drill tool. But I did managed to solder everything together before class ended.
So I failed finishing two projects. Oh well. I decided I will take another class in the summer term because I would have my tax return checks in and would be able to pay for it.
And I got an A in the class. Hells yeah.
Next, my (Backwards) Journey to Beginning Jewelry Design, Week 1! (I’ll explain next post…). Stay tuned at tomorrow at 12PM for a new season!
December 8 was a really shitty day for me. It was the first day I was able to walk around without feeling like my lower back wanting to part ways with my upper body after recovering from a spinal tap (shit’s no joke, you really need a week of recovery via bed rest), then I got busted for a subway violation (walking between cars) and during the time I was running some errands, my back decided to give out. And oh, I lost my friends’ Christmas gift card and had to re-buy it. Yeah…
I somehow got to class (and was late because I couldn’t walk up a block with my back screaming but was limited in what I could do and had to constantly sit down for five minutes) and started to work on leaves that will be on the earrings. It, unsurprisingly, was a hard task to do because the leaves had to be at a certain size and fit with earrings. I just used the same method I used for the leaves of my Rose Quartz fruit earrings. Ameliorate, take straight lines with the florentine drill tool (which was the same tool that I used for the branch I couldn’t remember from last post, fyi), bang the front for the split then the back of it to give that bulbous looks that lush, mature leaves have, repeat. The hard part was that these leaves were small than the one of the Rose Quartz earrings I had and I kept screwing up the front groove having to redo them again. ;_;
And only managed to make two. Bah, back pain.
My birthday was the previous day on November 16th so that’s why you see that Hallmark card envelope on there. LOL.
So this week, I was working on the branches that bind everything together. After prepping them for modification (ameliorating them). I used a special tool (can’t remember the name of it at the moment) to drill straight lines into it then bang grooves into it to give some resemble of bark on a tree/vine. Seems easy, but you have to realize that I had to bang, ameliorate then pickle it over and over. But that hardest part is to build it around the bezels. I was surprised how quickly class flew by and before I knew it class was done.
So, next post will be skipping to three weeks later. Next week we had Thanksgiving Break and the week after was my spinal tap procedure (which had put me in pain for a week, owww.)