Saturday, June 6, 2015

Whats on My Bench

Hello and welcome to another edition of Whats on My Bench with the JET Team. This week, Phylly shares what she's been up to on her bench:

As summer gets closer, temperatures begin inching up - from the teens up to as high as 105F in Phoenix. Some things that have been stored out in the garage (instead of the car) have to come inside, or they will get cooked. I remembered I'd taken some boxes of jewelry projects out there when company was due and we needed the dining room table.

Well, since we are super casual here in the summer and have no dining room dinners planned, I think it’s safe to bring my projects (clutter?) back inside. Here is the box I rescued from the hot garage - it holds some of my precious metal clay supplies and tools, and today it's destined for the dining room table (a.k.a. My Bench)





Hmmmm, I wonder what else is hiding in the box? It almost feels like Christmas! Here's a bunch of silver charms that I made last Fall and subsequently "lost"!





It seems some of the pieces are unfired, and some have been fired & polished but are covered with tarnish and need cleaning - guess who forgot to put a tarnish strip in the zip lock bag?!

I also find a group of silver pieces that I've already fired in the kiln, but haven’t finished polishing. Yippee, I'd forgotten about these! It’s wonderful to find them because most of my design work was done a while ago – as the pieces have already been shaped, sanded and smoothed, then fired in my kiln, they are almost ready to go into my jewelry designs.





Well, let’s polish them up in the tumbler and see how they look. Tumbling fine silver (.999 silver) will make the pieces super strong and give them a shiny finish, so into the tumbler they go with the stainless steel shot.




So, now I simply add filtered water and a drop of Dawn liquid detergent, and plug it in. . .




Hours later I open the lid and pick through the shot to find all the polished charms. After giving them a good rinse they look like this. . . ooooh shiny!




Some of the charms will look beautiful left with this shiny finish, but some will get a bath in warm water plus a few drops of Liver of Sulphur Gel to give them a dark patina in the crevices of the designs. Then I will hand polish those, removing the dark patina from some areas of the design. Here is a pair of earring dangles after the patina treatment, in the clear water rinse. Pretty Dark!




After I've used a silver jewelry cloth to polish away most of the dark patina from the silver dangles I’ll be ready to make them into earrings. I think these will look nice with labradorite gemstones, and here they are - my finished earrings!


Thank you for sharing your week with us, Phylly!

17 comments :

Beadsme said...

Christmas again! Reminds me I have some unfired pieces stored somewhere LOL.

Great WOMB.

Zentek said...

So cool. I had no idea how this type of silver jewelry was made. The finished earrings are amazing!

SendingLoveGallery said...

Thank you! It's a fun process :)
The first sentence about the Phoenix temps. should say it gets up into the teens (over 110 F). And one of our first summers here it once reached 123 F!

Jean Sandell said...

Interesting!

Anonymous said...

Wow....those are gorgeous! I love the silver charms, you do beautiful work! Paired with the labradorite they make stunning earrings.

Nancy Russell said...

Wish I had the patience and equipment to do this. All your precious metal clay pieces are so pretty, Phylly!

Mollie Ann said...

Fabulous, interesting, instructive and entertaining! Wonderful feature, Phylly!

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

Your earrings are gorgeous and you've inspired me to dig out my big box of precious metal clay supplies and make something! Thank you for this great article!

Judith Lott said...

The earrings are gorgeous.Glad you found that stash of charms. The possibilities are endless.

capitalcitycrafts said...

I love your silver charms, can't wait to see what you make!

Sarah said...

Interesting read! Loved the before and after shots of your earrings!

Alan said...

These look really nice. One thing I was curious about was how many drops of the sulphur gel do you need to add?

SendingLoveGallery said...

thank you all!
I add 3 or 4 drops to 1-1/2 cups of very warm (not boiling) water.
Be prepared for a strong sulfur smell ;)

Tracy said...

This is great!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Gorgeous earrings Phylly! I'd love to get the equipment and do some of this fun work!

Michele said...

Gorgeous!!!!, I do the same make, put away then find again.

cooljewelrydesign said...

Phylly, those are gorgeous, thanks for sharing... love the earrings!!