Jewellery and silversmithing photography

Wato wato all,

A lesson learned far too long to realise, presentation is sooooo important if you wish to appeal to the people who will allow your work to be presented to the purchasing public.

do not underestimate the value of professional images of your work. They will pay you back the cost many times over. It’s my experience,

an image taken on a phone just will not cut it next to studio images, such as these.

 

Until next time. Very best wishes.

Stuart G.

img_1941

What a dramatic result. Energy and movement with a juxtaposition of the pebbles on a stream theme

img_1953

Water and silver, smashing movement in this image. Attractive and interesting.

13267992_471241833075393_8443690730463992729_o

Wonderful example of a clean group shot. Websites love this sort of image.

img_1939

Opal ring commission

img_1943

Dark, still detailed. You try it!

img_1954

What a dramatic result. Energy and movement with a juxtaposition of the pebbles on a stream theme

13320408_472880899578153_5807238910066444344_o

Royston turquoise 

13268051_472880889578154_6118689757373882302_o

Another Royston Turquoise, not many left.

13235419_471241779742065_4841356247671294746_o

Experimenting with textures on this Amethyst dome ring.

Advertisements

Sterling silver moon ring how to with home made tools. Part 2

DSCF3473

This is the nylon hammer I used. Wood or leather would have worked. 15mm doming punch used to refine after the doming block stage.

DSCF3441

Bolts used for forming, I used all three. Study the photographs, you can see the increased angles; the middle one first, the one in the foreground second, lastly the one on the right that I made in the metal lathe.

DSCF3479

Test fitting with line drawn in the middle as a guide for forming with the nylon hammer and the modified bolt stakes. I refined the design as I went along. The final version was more rounded, I also cut away the bulky shank. Compare this to the completed ring.

DSCF3480

Final rounding of the shank.

DSCF3481

I made this asymmetrical to give me a choice of profiles.

DSCF3486

Small hole drilled in shank to let gasses escape when soldering. I have never used easy solder before, I will in future. Use plenty of it.

DSCF3488

I’m not sure I fully recommend it; look at the top of the picture. The marks are left by the placing of the pallions of solder. I would normally turn the ring over and re apply solder to the other side. In this instance the solder ran clean to the other side, fully sealing the piece without additional soldering.

DSCF3490

Sawing off the unwanted parts of the shank.

DSCF3491

Savage beasty this, be careful, really fast though, saves lots of time roughing out. Notice I stopped just shy of being flush to the surrounding silver.

DSCF3492

Large half round file, almost but not quite nearly 😉

DSCF3493

Last of the files, small half round needle file, now nicely blended, ready for final polishing.

DSCF3478

Close fitting solder joint as I cut through both sided at the same time, making sure they would fit the shank.

DSCF3495

Photographed outside.

DSCF3502

Wato wato the end of the ring project.

This is a great example of wanting to make something but not having to hand the tools to realise it. As time goes by, I understand more and more why I’m not currently able to sustain myself in this craft. I spend far too long procrastinating on designs, making tools to realise far too many failed copper models before coming up with something I think will appeal. Only to discover I’ve barked up the wrong tree. At best a niche item, nowhere near commercially viable.

I now, with huge regret and not a little embarrassment, view my metalwork/silversmithing as a hobby only now. All ambitions of being able to support myself financially through my chosen craft showing as unrealistic at this time. I feel the clue here is in the realisation that I associate myself with the term craft, rather than designer or artist. As I become ever more bewildered as to what is marketed, I come to realise my place as fairly and squarely a maker in a world than no longer needs makers. Concept appears to be king. I feel its akin to being a computer, fantastic at maths; however it takes the genius of a mathematician to make beautiful equations. I aspire to be more conceptual in my approach to the craft. However my first love is the love of learning more about past masters and the techniques they employed to achieve wondrous constructions. The past machine age is pure romance to me. This is lost in a new era where, at the push of a button, designers/artists realise three dimensional objects, made by unseen operatives with mass production machines in such vast numbers as to make pretty much anything commercially viable. I have neglected to fully understand what is fashionable, wearable and viable. That’s the negative. The positive is that now I am no longer attempting to make a life for me and mine using just my hands. My resulting, more relaxed attitude towards this craft will, with luck, result in a positive re think. Trying to become a ‘mathematician’, not concerning myself as much with the mechanics, ‘computer’ aspect of creating wonderful objects. Working towards becoming a creative designer, rather than just as a solver of technical challanges. Watch this space 🙂

If you look at the bolts I modified for this job, I looked at stakes from established tool supply houses. Here in the U/K it is becoming ever rarer to source forming tools, the ones that are available are prohibitively expensive for a hobbiest. As we use very soft, non ferris metals, even a common or garden bolt will suffice for forming. If you wanted to make a more permanent, planishing stake from a bolt you can buy/salvage hardened steel bolts and fashion them to the shapes you desire. Cylinder head bolts work very well, you can look up through fastener suppliers, the hardness rating of a bolt, if you wish to purchase new.

I used a metal lathe to make these. I was thinking though that those of you without access to such a machine could use a drill and a hand file to create a similar stake. Chuck up a bolt that you have founded off best as you can in a vice, then spin it in the drill, rounding as you go with a file. Finish off with coarse to fine paper whilst still spinning in the drill. Be careful as the bolt will get hot. Try to use a drill stand so as to keep it all steady and have both hands free for proper filing. I also add chalk to the file and paper. This gives a better finish as it prevents the build up of metal particles in the ‘tooth’ of the file or paper.

My aim with the next post is to introduce you to my garage machine shop. Fair warning to those of you not interested in such things.

If you have any questions about the ring, or anything else, as always, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you for looking.

All my very best wishes.

Stu Art 😉

 

Sterling silver moon ring how to with home made tools. Part 1

DSCF3504

The completed, hallmarked sterling silver rings.

DSCF3508

The first, spiky example was my first attempt at a ring at my first year of College. I am drawn to this type of construction, though I wouldn’t recommend this ring. It was a good exercise on many levels, not least, how to make something totally unappealing 🙂 it taught me a lot about soldering though. The second was my first attempt to make a ring with repousse and chasing techniques to take advantage of the ‘skinned’ or two part hollow nature of these rings. The third is where this project takes off.

DSCF3424

To give you a flavour of the process, some experiments, drawn, paper mock ups and copper blanks ready for the next stage.

DSCF3422

This is not the final patter, though pretty close. If you do something similar I would recommend using graph paper, I did in the end. The reason is, when cut out you notice, especially in the following processes, that your pattern isn’t quite symmetrical. Graph paper makes this far more preventable.

DSCF3423

Some of the directions from the comfort of my drafting table,. Told you I couldn’t draw 🙂

DSCF3432

I can’t remember where I picked up this tip. Fabulous stuff this rubber cement for sticking paper patterns to metal. Cover the metal and the paper with the glue. Blow on the metal until it goes matt, slide the paper pattern and leave for a min or two. Saw up to the pattern, great stuff.

DSCF3434

Blank in copper domed in the block with a 15mm doming punch. Starting in a larger depression, moving down a size, four or five times. If you try too small too fast, it created nicks in the corners of the piece where it is trying to compress too quickly. Anneal if you feel the need.

DSCF3436

From a previous post. remember my, made from copper, filled with lead pitch bowl. This parcel tape fits the bill as a great stand for it. Some grippy cloth in-between keeps thins nice and stable.

DSCF3437

2mm and 3mm doming punches for repousse stage.

DSCF3438

Same again for the chasing part.

DSCF3440

Using a suitable sized doming punch, to fit the ring shank you need. Mark the overlap, cut through both layers (each side) to create a perfect soldering joint.

DSCF3441

Some of my miniature metalwork forming tools. See text.

DSCF3443

Showing how to round off the shank. Use a soft hammer, not metal as this will stretch the metal. Remember this if your outer is too tight to fit the shank. You can use a metal hammer to the stake to stretch it to fit.

DSCF3442

You can just see the air gap. I will go into more detain in the next post.

DSCF3469

The silver blanks ready.

 

Wato wato one and all.

This ‘moon ring’ was a request, I have no idea if it will sell, made a couple just in case.

This journey is in two parts, this one shows you a little background. Also the refinement of the design and the tools needed to realise it.

The references to looking to the text will be covered in detail in the next post. Hope you enjoy reading about it. Also I hope it inspires you to look at the things around you in a different way. You never know where the next tool is lurking, just keep looking.

Until next time. Very best wishes.

Stu Art.