Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hi everyone,
Here we are again...wondering what is happening! Well, my latest ring also had a mind of its own and decided what it wanted to be and nothing I could say would change its mind...maybe it was my muse and not the ring, hmmmm......anyway, I was still looking for that etched metal sheet I told you about last week and still haven't been able to find it, but have found alot of fun things to play with in the future! So, I had to come up with a idea that would translate into a cool ring!
I have been playing with some epoxy ideas....coated some rose petals to stack, made some cones that didn't work, made some that did....I had gotten so excited about the way they looked while I was making them, that they tended to grow bigger! At first the cones were only about 1/2 of a inch tall and then I started to make the molds longer and longer!!! I then had fun with all the different things I could add into the epoxy after pouring it into the molds! I think my favorite is the flake glitter! Thank you, Martha Stewart! I chose the green for this project but I have all sorts of other colored cones waiting in the wings! So, after waiting two days for all these epoxy experiments to cure (one batch didn't make it) I had some do-dads to play with!
I had thought to use a smaller cone and turn it upside down and then drill out a cone shaped hole so I could chemically set a large CZ into the epoxy, but since in my excitement, I made the cones so large, I didn't have any stones that would fit (need to get those big stones from Barbara Becker Simon!! Well, maybe not that big!!!) Anyway, I had to come up with another way to show off the epoxy cone. It was my son, Morgan, who finally saved the day! He laid the cone down flat on his finger and said I should make a girlie ray-gun for making slow drivers get out of my way! I am sure you will all want one!! Making the blowing up sound not included!!
So, I got out some sheet metal and made the band with overlapping ends to hold the entire kit and kaboddle. I then scrounged up some metal clay discs that I had made last year and used them as a way to add some metal accents but still show off the cone. I bent the discs to fit the cone and then drilled the hole in the cone for the rivet. Everything is held together by the one rivet.....I drilled the hole smaller than my wire and then filed the wire to fit to make sure it was nice and tight. Getting a really long rivet into a smaller circular band is a pain but it worked out in the end. I decided to add the end accent at the last minute and am glad I just finished everything off and holds the whole design together. For the end piece, I just drilled a small hole in the cone and doubled over a head pin and after placing a teeny bit of glue in the hole, I placed the disc on the end and stuck in the doubled head pin which then sprung on a little bit to hold everything securely in place. Done! And comfortable to wear!! I love that the whole ring is held together with one cool is that? Anyway, I hope you like it....I am going down to the studio to play with my other cones and epoxied bits...have fun in your studios...Kelly

Friday, January 21, 2011

The latest experiment!

Hi everyone,
Well, I have had a very productive week!! Actually designed some rings for the RAW challenge and went down to the studio to make the one I choose, but couldn't find the etched silver I wanted to use. I had put them away for "safe-keeping". Of course I couldn't find them (3 lovely sheets with a lace pattern etched into them from 13 0r 14 years ago when I attended a class at Penland) and thought the necklace I had designed for them was too was the beginning of my metal experiments...I also found out that I wasn't crazy about soldering....which is probably why I love metal clay!
Anyway, I ended up cleaning the studio trying to find the sheets and ended up against the I looked around to see what I could do. I had just suggested to a friend about doing a epoxy ring with rivets but she wanted to use her own idea (although my idea got her started)...a couple of hours later, I called her and told her if she wasn't going to use my idea, I I did...with a few changes!
I have sheets of epoxy just lying around, so I chose the most flexible one and then I went looking for some cute little brass tube rivets that I have...and, guess what...couldn't find those either, but found these cute nuts and bolts that I have been saving for a project that would show them off...I think they are so cool! So I decided to use them. Since they are black, I looked through my stock for something to put between the two layers of epoxy for a bit of interest. I have these cool rub-ons that were small enough to use and of course,, I had to use them. They are in between the layers of epoxy so they won't get rubbed off. I then worked to put the nuts and bolts into the ring...which ended up being tricky since the epoxy wanted to heal almost as soon as I put the hole into it. It ended up being a race between how fast I could poke the bolt through before the hole closed up tight....I won! Three times! Actually one of the fastest rings I have ever made and I think it is pretty cool too! And is comfortable to wear, believe it or not!
So, I am going back to the studio to look for those etched sheets again to work on next weeks ring. Probably end up cleaning some more of the studio, which could be a problem, since I can never find anything afterwards...which is why I am still looking for those dam---d metal sheets! Oh, well, I will just plug in some great music and dance my way through it!! Have fun in your studio....hope you like my ring....Kelly

Friday, January 14, 2011

Next Experiment....

Hi everyone....
This has been a week full of experiments! And most of them turned out well. Several of my friends told me about a great site, The Pioneer Woman, and she has great recipes! We decided to try out her steak bites and potatoes au gratin....made a double batch of those...yum! Going to make them again tonight! I strongly suggest a look at her may find some you like!
I also experimented in the second Ring A Week was due...I have been wanting to make some more hollow polymer beads. I also wanted to use some tearaway sheets with inlaid color. So, I decided to make a "stone" to set in a ring. I also wanted who ever was looking at or wearing the ring to be able to see the back of the "stone". As I was working on the stone, I felt it looked like lace and decided to put a molded face into the stone surface. I inlaid the tearaway texture with purple and teal and blended the colors where they overlapped. After I had built the top and sides, I cut out the opening and made a mold of a face and pressed it into the opening to fit. After the face was baked, I put it in the opening and then fit the back into place.
While I was working on the "stone", I wired up the shank. I used 16g sterling and wired it up with some 30g purple wire to hold the shank together. Once the shank fit my finger, I wrapped the purple wire around the top where the six ends met to hold them together. I then bent up the arms and fit them to the "stone" as prongs. Before I bent them around the stone, I hammered them out so they would be thin and not compete with the stone. I then bent them to hold the stone in place. I am pleased with how it turned out. It is very lightweight, even though it is about 1 and 1/2 inches high and it sits high enough off my finger so I don't have a problem using my hands while I wear it. I already have my design for next weeks ring.....woohoo!
Anyway, I hope you like the ring....and I hope you are having fun in your studios...Kelly

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Look at what I did this week!!

Hi everyone,
Well, it has been a busy week.....I decided to give myself a goal that I had to produce for. You know, instead of a project to be made sometime in the future, I joined the RAW (ring a week) group on Flickr. So, I have a week to produce a ring of some kind and to post the photos....otherwise, I am out. I think this is a good way to try out all the little experiments I have been wanting to work on.
This week, I focused on epoxy set into a frame of some sort. I had some metal clay sheets with tearaway images of earth spirits on them that I thought would be great for the front and back of the ring. I also wanted there to be a tree reference for the earth spirits to be connected to.
I had this rod of molded plastic that I ordered last year and it is a lovely ivory color and I can cut it as thick or thin as I want to. It takes a bit of time to cut is too big to go under the blade of the bandsaw, and I would lose too much material if I use the power mitre saw, so I had to do it with my jewelers saw and a big spiral blade. So, I cut it (it took about a half hour) and then sanded it a bit so I could draw my pattern on the surface, drill my holes and then cut out all the leaves and the hole for my finger.
I decided to use some of the copper metal clay sheets that I had made in Gordon's class last Feb as the outer sides with the "french ivory" sandwiched in between. I cut the sides out and filed the edges.
I then fit the "tree" frame to the sides so I could cut out the outside edges. I then sanded everything and put packing tape on the one side and went on to mix up my epoxy and ink to get my leaf color. I used one drop of a pea green and 5 drops of a blue to get the color I did. I was trying to make the epoxy color work with the paint patina I had demo-ed on the metal sheets (at the PMC Conference this past July). I filled the spaces with the epoxy...some were over-filled and some had a little less than needed, so on one side of the ring, the leaves look thick and thin and on the other side, they are all the same level and sanded to a matte finish. I then riveted all three pieces together. Not my best riveting, but I haven't done any in about a year, so I am not going to cry over it.
It is a comfortable ring to wear even though it is quite tall...about 2" and about 1&1/2" wide at the leaf edge. It is a little thicker than a quarter so just about right. I can't wear wide bands.
I learned a lot on this was the first time I had worked with the "french ivory" and was happy with the way it was easy to cut and carve, but after I saw the spaces with the epoxy in them, I saw where I could have been a bit more careful at the points of some of the leaves. I also should have waited to cut the sides of the "french ivory" until after I had riveted everything together.
I am already to start my next ring....toooo many ideas and not enough time....I am thinking about using this shape ring for all my rings to see if I can work myself out of a corner.....well, maybe not all.....Hope you like the ring and please, post some comments so I know what you think works and what may not is the only way to learn....thanks, and have fun, Kelly

the photos are....1. a close up of the "Flora" side with the sun shining through the epoxy.
2. a close up of the "Earth Spirit" side and you can see the difference in the leaves.
3. a over all view of the ring, "Flora's" side.