Information

Thinking Out Loud

A group where you can post your bench problems and issues for discussion and comment.

It's open and can be used to ask technical questions or post solutions, tips or ideas which you think might be of use to other members.

Members: 192
Latest Activity: Dec 23, 2013

About the group and its administrator...

This group came about through discussion with another member of Crafthaus as a direct result of my own technical blog posts, showing works in progress. Although I am going to use this group as a form of blog for technical matters, notes about what I've been up to in the workshop and that sort of thing, the intention behind the group is to be a forum to talk about anything technical, from the user reviews of equipment to favourite techniques to asking for help and advice from other Crafthaus members.

Initially, this group is not moderated and it will stay that way if everyone remains civil, which I am pretty sure they will: Crafthaus doesn't seem to attract the uncivil!

 

The reason that I thought this group to be such a good idea is that I am primarily a maker; I'm bench-trained and have been making jewellery for over 30 years, thus have a large range of experience which I can offer to others, conversely, when something goes wrong for me, I am not too proud to ask others for help. 

 

Here are a few images from my own workshop.

 

The Lobster Quadrille (WIP) 7 The Goggles, 23/01/08 Flatpack Settings 3The Lobster Quadrille (WIP) 4 Crystalline Silver

 


 

How to use this group.

 

Post your questions or tips as a new Discussion. Try to tag the discussion with appropriate keywords so that the it becomes searchable in the future. 

 

Reply to questions or add to tips in the "Reply to this discussion" field below each discussion topic.

 

Feel free to praise, argue, comment, agree... so long as it stays respectful!

Discussion Forum

Lower Cost investment options

Started by Sean Macmillan. Last reply by Jim Binnion Mar 31, 2012. 4 Replies

Hey Folks,Due to the obscene shipping cost of casting investment, I'm considering trying to mix up my own using a recipe similar to our sculpture casting investment (Plaster, Silica and some sort of refractory).  Has anyone attempted this?  What…Continue

Black Rhodium Plating

Started by Alison B. Antelman. Last reply by Angelina Ciulik Aug 1, 2012. 6 Replies

I use liver of sulphur to turn my silver jewelry black (gunmetal gray really) while not affecting the gold settings. Many people have come up to me at shows mentioning that I could plate the jewelry in Rhodium that is black and which would be much…Continue

Tags: black, plating, rhodium

Investment Removal

Started by The Justified Sinner. Last reply by The Justified Sinner Nov 30, 2011. 12 Replies

Any tips for removing investment residues post-casting?I have just cast a large torus form which is hollow and has only small openings. The whole piece is full of investment, of course. I've tried using the ultrasonic but that hasn't done much.…Continue

Epoxy Resins vs Low/No Fire Enamels

Started by Michelle Pajak-Reynolds. Last reply by Brigitte Martin Sep 13, 2011. 4 Replies

I'm working on a new collection of jewelry inspired by my recent trip to Brazil. I want to add color to plastic and wood components which means traditional high fire enamels are not an option.  I've been investigating durable resin/ceramic based…Continue

Tags: resin, epoxy, pajak-reynolds, michelle, colores

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Comment by Rebecca Skeels on December 23, 2013 at 5:48am

“Message: Beyond Adornment”

info@jsnfarnham.com http://jewellersandsilversmiths.wordpress.com/ 
PRESS RELEASE 
Exhibition Announcement and Call for Your Readers Help and Participation 

The Farnham based Jewellers and Silversmiths Network (JSN) have challenged themselves to design, make and exhibit a collection of works in response to the theme of:
“Message: Beyond Adornment”
The members of the JSN will be exploring creative boundaries and interpreting the theme in its broadest sense developing ideas including environmental, philosophical, social and personal in a variety of media. 
The exhibition will run from 27th April 2014 – 7th June 2014 at The New Ashgate Gallery, Waggon Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PS

THE JSN NEEDS YOU AND YOUR READERS TO PARTICIPATE
One of the displays will be a collection of work sent in by anyone who would like to join in be they professional, or amateur, young 
or old. It will look at how we can try to take control of images of ourselves, a topical theme given the prevalence of social media sites and the speed with which our image can be spread across the internet
JSN Member Poppy Porter says; “ we are keen to involve as wide an audience as possible with this exhibition and engage with people beyond a passive viewing experience. Get involved make a necklace.”
THE BRIEF: Design and make a piece of revisable neckwear that says “I Agree” on one side and “I Disagree” on the other. This allows the wearer to physically attempt to send a message about whether they want their photo taken or not. “I Agree” and “I Disagree” is the terminology commonly used in computer software user agreements. You can use any materials you like in any style. There is only one proviso – it is a swap, you will not get your own necklace back but you will get someone else’s. Do not use precious materials unless you are willing to give them away – if you make a necklace out of diamonds be aware you may get one back made out of wool.
Submissions must be received by March 24th 2014
Send to : Rebecca Skeels, Jewellery and Metalwork, University for the Creative Arts, Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DS
Including an SAE with postage to cover the return of a necklace.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
• "The Jewellers and Silversmiths Network is a group run by and for its members with the aim of strengthening links with other makers in the local area around Farnham, Surrey. We meet regularly at the Maltings, Farnham to exchange useful information and explore new skills. We also exhibit together as a group, presenting our work to as wide a range of people as possible. As members of the group, we are able to take advantage of, and create, collaborative opportunities that would not be available to us as individuals."
• The New Ashgate Gallery Trust is dedicated to promote and champion the best contemporary art and craft and to provide an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey. www.newashgate.org.uk
Please contact JSN for hi-res images via Dropbox on info@jsnfarnham.co.uk.

Comment by Lora Hart on August 15, 2011 at 12:34pm

I don't know anything about Maine, but I hear that Racecar Jewelry in Rhode Island does a great job.

Comment by Laura Wood on August 15, 2011 at 12:16pm

Help! I have a couple bands that I need to have cast in gold, I usually use Maine Precious Metal Casting but am having trouble contacting anyone there.  I am concerned because they used to have a web page too but that seems to be non existent now.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a casting company that will do a fantastic job on this??? I need to have these sent out asap so I am in a nit of a bind.

Comment by Sean W Scully on March 24, 2011 at 5:05pm

I would think the expiry issue for paste fluxes would be the oxidation of the solder.

I've enjoyed sheet solder with a pick for gold work and the powder for filigree, but for my silver I generally find wire solder most convenient to clean, mill, cut, etc (an ancient pair of reliable craftsmen flush sidecutters). Especially on bezels where I try to keep the solder on the outside so it's easier to clean up and won't interfere with the fit of the stone/etc. I don't have the hang of stick feeding, I tend to stick with a longer setup and tiny pieces placed with tweezers.

Comment by Ann Davis on March 23, 2011 at 4:01pm
Owwhhh that's a good idea, wire solder around bezels! Thanks...I have wire but, I can't do that trick with it...a goldsmith I studied under could just heat up the spot she wanted to solder and then touch the wire to it and it ran, in that way she could set up a whole lot of chain links to be soldered making a necklace in a minute...I never got the hang of that and just gave up... hadn't though of that in years:))))
Comment by Ann Davis on March 23, 2011 at 3:53pm
Yeah, I agree Lora, my syringes don't go bad so much as the stuff you buy in the little jar...that just dries up in my experience even if I'm not using it very often so I just quit buying that even though I like it a lot. And I've got this miracle gallon of flux that's years old and just keeps on working:))) it probably shouldn't but...hahahaha
Comment by Pal Gooz on March 23, 2011 at 2:24pm
When I started meddling with jewelry, I thought: paste solder, how cool is that... After a year or so messing I gave it a try to wire and sheet to never look back. One field I found paste useful is soldering chainlinks. I have no idea why , but there it works perfectly for me, except that I do not make so much chain that would justify the purchase of a new lot every few months. But if one makes a lot of links, it could be a a major time saver.
Comment by Lora Hart on March 23, 2011 at 1:54pm
Love that idea Dauvit! I have a hard time with granulation (not that I do it all that much) and the extra stickability would be grand!
Comment by The Justified Sinner on March 23, 2011 at 1:49pm

I hate paste solder and ban my students from using it; I also make them all roll their strips out to thin them, hence encouraging them to use less, so a marvellous suggestion from Kathleen!

In my experience, the paste solder dries out too quickly and if you try to use it with flux, it just makes a mess. Additionally, the strength is nowhere near as good as with strip or wire solders. 

 

I have used paste solder - don't tell my students! - to "fake" granulation quite successfully... dissolve the paste in a little water and gum tragacanth - it doesn't really dissolve but does form a suspension - then roll the granules in this, assemble the piece and fire.

Comment by Kathleen Brughelli on March 23, 2011 at 1:36pm
A great tip I learned from Micki Lippe is to roll your sheet solder through the rolling mill before you use it.  You end up using less solder and your solder lasts a lot longer.
 

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