Sunday, April 27, 2008

Prong setting

I got an order mixed lots of faceted stones from a gemstone company, and I never know what's in them. Well my citrine lot of checkerboard stones were not the medium ones I had hoped for, but were these huge ones!!! I decided that this would be a great opportunity to teach myself how to set a prong style ring. So I read up on it and this offset ring is the result of my study. Its very flashy, but it has the concrete hammered pattern on the band and is not as uniform as a stock jewelry store mold.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Logo Metal Stamp

new logo
Originally uploaded by sarawestermark

My friend and fellow metalsmith Rachael Sudlow designed this logo for me to have made into a metal stamp for marking my pieces with my name. I love the streamed lined design with clean edges and a twist. We all agreed at etsymetal that my last name was very "googleable" and that was good, albeit a long last name! It may not fit on all my pieces, but it will do for the smaller ones.
Now I just have to figure out how small to make it..........Be sure to visit her store!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008


I have made a slew of hoops. Very simple round and hammered hoops. Somehow it seems very theraputic to just think with my hands. I begin with 19 gauge sterling silver wire and I wrap it around a dowel rod, or some cylindrical object with the desired diameter for the hoops. I snip the wire after two loops and "voila" I have two semi-curved pieces of wire. Then I take my wire rounders and make tiny loops on one end of each of the wires. Then I take a chainmaille or needle nose pliers and bend the loop to a 90 degree angle from the wire. I put both around the dowel and coerce into a round shape. Then I take a file (like a metal nail file, but for metal) or fine grit sandpaper (300) and file the sharp edges off of the non-looped wire end. Then when I get the shape I want, I take my favorite little hammer and gently hammer the bottom of the loop to give strength and thickness. Be careful to leave a centimeter or so of unhammered wire at the end that goes into the ear. I'm a fan of the brushed/satin finish, so then I take a green 3M scrubby kitchen pad (dry) and briskly brush the metal. The final step is to wash, dry and wear! You can also make a plethora of gemstone drops to dangle from the hoops! Have fun!!1