Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'll be away!

I'm going to be away until March 11th, with little possibility of internet access...therefore my visiting/commenting will most likely be non existent until after March 11th.

I leave you with a look at a few pieces of my spring collection...I have a show March 27th, 28th and 29th for which I've begun preparing.

The necklace above a wonderful combo of amazonite and amethyst, all findings are sterling silver and the wire is sterling silver coated! I do have matching earrings, in fact two different styles but I forgot to take their photo...

Again we have the amazonite stone spaced with sterling silver beads, all findings are sterling silver for this lovely bracelet. I love this color, will have to add it to my favorites list.

One of my favorite gemstones, amethyst spaced with purple jasper and sterling silver beads, the pendant is purple jasper as well! Shads of purple will be hot this spring!!!

Of course we have the matching earrings...I've learned my lesson, when making gemstone necklaces there must also be a pair of earrings to match, they sell as a set. I'm not one to wear matching earrings and necklace but many women are!

Here is my first attempt at a wire wrapped pearl pendant...I was surprised to find out it is much harder to do than it looks!!! :0)

Love I wouldn't wear them because I wear much simpler jewelry myself but I do like the way these turned out!

This is eye catching... onyx and amozonite stones, while the focal is a beautiful lampwork bead necklace, all sterling silver findings...I like to do contrast such as these...makes a nice statement I think!

The matching earrings...

This necklace is very light weight wood beads spaced with tiny amber round beads, findings are copper. Wood will be big again this year.

Here we have two completely different styles of earrings, of which one pair will go with the necklace...there is also a matching bracelet.
There you have it for now...see you March 12th.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

how to clean silver

This post is to inform potential buyers what the difference is between argentium, sterling and fine silver...there really is a difference!

As you all know "Sterling Silver" does tarnish after time! How fast depends on the make up...sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% an other metal, usually copper, it is copper that causes sterling silver to tarnish faster than fine silver, due to the exposure to the sulpher in the air, which is caused by pollution, and other sources of sulfides. During the tarnishing process it starts out as a yellowing effect, eventually going dark. I've used sterling silver a great deal over the past 2 years and my experience has been some silver tarnishes much faster than others...which makes me think the makeup of some silver has more copper, because the silver items are all stored in the same place in the same manner, but then who knows. I've made a point to purchase my sterling silver from one supplier for this reason.

"Fine Silver" is 99.9% pure silver, with generally either copper or titanium to give it what strength it has but even so it may be too soft for large pieces. Fine silver will tarnish but slower than sterling silver and it will generally be a a discoloration rather than a dark tarnish as in the sterling silver, unless it is in an area where there is high pollution and sulpher levels, then it is more likely to be darker. Even so it is usually easier to clean fine silver than sterling silver. I've recently purchased some fine silver to see how it is to work with...I made a couple of heart pendants for the "Soups On" and I found it almost too soft for the larger of the two...but then I'm wondering if I didn't work harden it enough?
Live Life!

Mend A Broken Heart!

I've also made a few ball pins and a couple of small pendants...these seem to work well with a little bit of work hardening (hammering). The tumbling should help to harden the items as well.

Hammered, stamped and balls and swirls fused to the pendants...

There are other metals which can be added to silver instead of the copper, such as germanium, zinc and platinum, as well as additives such as boron and silicon.

The germanium is the additive in Argentium Sterling Silver, a relatively new product I'm using ...this is sterling silver that has some of the copper replaced with a metalloid Germanium. It is the copper in sterling silver that makes it tarnish with exposure to air. Argentium Sterling silver is highly tarnish resistant, purer, brighter, and eliminates fire scale when using a torch... dream come true as most of us dislike the tarnishing aspect of sterling silver! If you would like more information regarding the wonderful Argentium sterling silver check out the website here...

It is a little more difficult to find Argentium sterling silver in Canada so I may have to experiment more with fine silver. Argentium silver is readily available in the US but the Canadian dollar doesn't make it feasible for me to purchase it there for the time being. I will use up what I have in stock and continue working with fine silver. Fine silver has all the attributes of Argentium in that it is shinier, purer, highly tarnish resistant, eliminates firescale, and fines silver fuses easily, I've never tried to fuse Argentium. The only draw back is how soft it is!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Soups On!

February is Heart Month!!!!!!

I'm in the midst of preparing for what is called "Soups On", which is a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of North Bay. February is Heart and Stroke month so there is much happening across the country. For Soups On, local establishments in and around the area prepare a "pot of soup" which they bring to a meeting place where people can come for a small fee and enjoy a hearty lunch taste testing all the wonderful soups...last year the lunch included coffee, water, veggies and fruit. On a cold winter day what more could you want?

I've been a supporter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation personally for years as my father, grandfather and both grandmothers died from heart disease and one of my brothers had a massive heart attack 9 years ago at the age of 43...he has since recovered and is leading a healthy life. It is my strong belief research is the primary reason he is alive today, which contributes to why I support the Heart and Stroke Foundation financially.

I love the color of these lampwork beads, purple and lime green with a touch of gold in there...I know it is a little difficult to see...

In December of 2007 I decided I could do a little more to contribute to the Heart and Stroke Foundation so I decided to make jewelry, each piece with a heart, big or small it didn't long as the item I made had a heart on it someplace I would contribute a portion of the sale from that item to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. For the past year I've made all different manner of items, but this year I also plan to focus on one special piece that will be produced regularly, but until I perfect the idea I'll keep it under wraps...for now here are a few of the items I've just made to display at Soups On...I don't sell my product at this luncheon, but make the public aware of what it is I'm doing and what is available...

One piece of Argentium wrapped to make a heart and the ear wire...simple which we know I like!

A great pair of turquoise hearts...for wrapping the hearts and the ear wires I've used anodized Niobium, which is strong, corrosion resistant and hypo-allergenic wire...for those who aren't familiar anodized is "To coat (a metallic surface) electrolytically with a protective or decorative oxide" courtesy of . The coating give it the great chocolate brown color, but it comes in a rainbow of colors. I've decided to try this product as I've had a number of people ask me about it in the last year or so as more an more people are having issues with allergies. It has also come to my attention not all stainless steel is nickle now have nickle free stainless steel ear wires in stock.
One piece of Argentium Silver wire wrapped into a heart as a pendant...all that is left to do is hang it from a chain or never know I could also add a gemstone or crystal , or I could hammer it a bit!

The red set at the top is a very pretty set of lampwork beads, wire wrapped of course with Argentium silver....

Take a moment to visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation website...their motto is "Finding Answers. For life"