Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Before Jewelry

Years ago when I was still welding for a living I hoped for a day when I might have a shop of my own and make custom iron furniture. For a while we did dabble in such products. I would design, fabricate and weld the metal parts and Christina and I would mosaic the tops together. We also did mirrors of steel and mosaic tile. Marketing and shipping nightmares made us rethink our options. Eventually I took a class in stained glass work followed by a class in glass fusing, which natually led to my fixation on dichroic jewelry. Many of the earlier creations still adorn our home. Here are some photos of a few.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Christina and I are both in love with creating beautiful objects,and while we often share in idea's and insiprations we have usually worked in seperate mediums. We do have some stunning mosaic mirrors and tables we made together (most of which adorn our home) but when it comes to painting or drawing I'm sorrowfully inadequate. Christina does not particulaly love making jewelry either. Recently I've looked over some of her whimsical sketch pad doodles and we realized we could make jewelry from some of these cute characters she draws. It started with an owl, then a worm and then a pony. I take the drawing an scan it into Photoshop. Then I work out how I can layer the piece so it has all or most of the characters features but yet isn't too thick (or big) to wear as a pendant or earrings. I then print out a template as a guide line to cut around. I glue this template to the glass and coat with rubber cement. The rubber cement helps to waterproof the glass so the template doesn't dissolve in the continuous water which cools the glass saw I use to cut out the glass. After the pieces are cut I assemble them with one or both of two kinds of glue. If I'm gluing two layers of glass together that must have exact matching edges I use super glue and then grind or saw around the perimeter so the edges are flush. There is only one brand of super glue (that I'm aware of) that will not leave an ugly residue when it burns off in the kiln, and that is Duro Super Glue (not the gel). Other pieces are held in place with any of the more common pink glass glues (such as Bullseye Glasstac). Then I simply fire the assembled piece at a low fire (tack fuse) which fuses the glass together yet retains the shape.
Christina has several sketches that I've yet to make into jewelry but I have plans to do so in the near future. So far our most popular creation has been the owl pendant and earrings.