Friday, June 25, 2010

3 Squares Fine Silver Ring

I love the patina on this ring. I am finding that fine silver takes a patina differently than sterling. The color range is quite spectacular. By repeatedly dipping and brushing back, the color can be manipulated in ways I never imagined. I am enjoying working on these rings.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Simple Flower Ring

Simple Flower Ring, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
Another new ring! I really I wish I could keep all my rings. But I do need to sell at least a few in order to keep an uninterrupted supply of metal clay! I love making them, I love wearing them. They really look nice on the hand.
I have been getting many, many compliments on this ring. Especially the patina. When I first learned about using Liver of Sulphur to get a rich patina I was taught to use really hot water. I have since learned otherwise, which I will share with you here.
The secret to using liver of sulphur is to take the progressions slowly using only lukewarm water. Dip the piece in the LOS for a few seconds, then rinse. Keep dipping and rinsing until you get the color you like. Make sure that you don't take it too far because you cannot go back. Even if you heat the piece to erase all the patina, the next time you dip the piece it will immediately remember the darker patina and go right to it skipping all the other lovely colors.
Oh and don't use Black Max. Really just don't. It is toxic and hard to get rid of after you use it. Buy the Liver of Sulpher "rocks" and use those. You will get better results and won't poison yourself doing it! When the mixture is spent you can just dispose of it. It won't hurt your plumbing.
Kate McKinnon has an excellent section in her new book regarding patinas. For example, I never knew that the composition of your tap water can affect your patina!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This and That

front door, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

So far it looks like I may get into my studio this weekend. I feel like it has been forever. The last few weekends I have been dealing with family stuff and as usual, my art life goes neglected.
The weather is gloomy and I feel gloomy because of it. In a few weeks I will be going off line for two glorious weeks. Every summer we go to this very magical place in the Berkshires. I look forward to it more and more every year.
Of course I don’t bring my jewelry making supplies, but I do always bring a sketch book and this is the time of year when I do most of my jewelry designing. The house has a pool and my favorite thing to do is to sit by the pool with my colored pencils and brand new sketch book. Yes I buy a new one every year and date them. That way I can see how my designs change from year to year. Or not. I also buy myself a new silver metallic pen. I love those pens.
I also really look forward to riding my bike in the Tyringham valley. To me there is nothing so special as the feeling I get when I ride on this road. My first few days out there are spent just decompressing. I find it hard to even speak. I relish the quiet, the sound of the birds, the mountains, the sound of the rain on the roof (although not too much rain I hope).
I still haven’t figured out which books to bring. I may try reading Hitch-22, the new book by Christopher Hitchens. He annoys me sometimes but I hear the book is good beach/pool reading.