The New Year has come winging in from the Universe, the hunting tip on Time's Arrow, and we all begin the one directional journey into 2015.
And true to it's nature time has slipped away and it is the end of January. The weather has been hot, hot, hot, peppered with very enthusiastic thunderstorms. Not a lot of creativity happens when the temperature and humidity insidiously sucks any enthusiasm that can be mustered, totally away.
I long for cool.
Don't do the New Year Resolutions thing - get thin, get fit, eat healthy, give up the booze, blah blah blah. But I do need to upgrade lots of skills for what I wish to accomplish this year.
This is not so easy when you live buried in the bush as there are NO workshops available close by and to take on line ones is frustrating given the dodgy Optus mobile connection.
Looked into courses further afield hoping to find perhaps a weekend or longer one. The only one available within 4 hours drive runs 1 day a week for 8 weeks. *grumble grumble* So gonna have to do it muhself muhway!(as usual)
Metal cutting:- have been hacking up stuff with the metal shears and the big-ass Weiss cutter. Quick, effective but not exactly subtle.
Now the thing is, have had a jeweler's saw and blades lurking in the drawer for over 12 months and now that I have made my down-n-dirty-quick-assemble-bench-pin system and have a chair that drops low enough, took the bull by the horns and actually sawed a piece of metal without breaking the blade! Well that wasn't so hard, mind you it was only a straight bit, curly bits I feel, will be a kangaroo of a different colour.
To prove that the sucky solder I did on the last post is, in fact, a technique, ie. able to be reproduced at will, made a couple of earring mates to match.
I will return to the gladiator's arena of battling soldering irons at a later date, after all how hard can it really be?
Torch soldering is next on the list. Just waiting for some copper wire solder and 3 flavours of silver solder to arrive and let the practice begin!
My sister bought me this for Christmas. Onya Sis!
Ya gotta love a another woman who understands the need for big arse tools and buys them for you.
Now I can hold stuff tightly!
With the new tool and a strip of freshly sawed metal decided to have a go at something I have been thinking about for a while - a ring.
But wait, I have no ring mandrel.
Wandered down to the Man Shed, my go-to place for items I may be able to use came back with my 2 purloined tube sockets
Roughly a size 8 and 9 ring (Q & S in Aussie ring sizing)
Started forming the ring by slipping the tube socket over the thin side of a pair of bail pliers and bent the metal around the socket.
Then transfer socket to the vise to finish forming the ring, however, a proper ring mandrel is what I need, especially as I intend to make specific sized rings.
Made the first batch with adjustable bands.
Red Coral and copper
Simple copper wire with wire wrapped blue magnetite
Copper and varicite (hocus pocus out of focus the victim failing batteries)
A soldered 1 cent bronze coin featuring a feather tailed glider. (In life they are about the size of a mouse and we have them here where we live)
Amethyst and gold/copper leaf. My camera shrieked in agony trying to focus on the blingy surface
Finally, some fold forming and Koroit bolder opal chips set in resin.
I intend to learn to make my own cold connections. A good adjunct. When soldering fails rivets prevail!
I intend to learn how to set stones and cabochons in the proper traditional way. (This is only until I can rip up the rules and set in improper outlandish ways).
On a more personal note it was my Birthday in early January. I turned 70.
Not quite sure how I feel about this.
On one hand, I am chuffed to have survived all that has been thrown at me and made it this far.
Had I been born in the distant past, long before the cult of youth came into being, I would have been hailed as a Crone, the third stage in my journey as a Triple Crowned Goddess.
Lauded as a repository of wisdom and knowledge, keeper of the mysteries. I would have had a pagan ceremony conducted in my honour with chanting, drumming, sacred smoke, capes of skin, woad, deer antlers and feasting long into the night.
On the other hand, I now have more time behind me than before me.
So what will change?
If you are expecting my jewelry to suddenly morph into tiny and discrete, lavender and lace, matching and what everyone thinks old women should wear
The rustic, crusty, edgy, shabby, gritty and unhinged-ness will continue unchecked 'cos I ain't ready to roll over yet!