Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Workbench Wednesday

It's Wednesday, so it's time to look at my two workbenches!

Here's my school workbench- The picture shows three projects:

1) In the center is a little bird's nest I wire-wrapped to go with the cast branch from last week. I placed a white pearl egg in the center.

Oh! The trauma of trying to attach the thing on the branch!!!
First I cut out & shaped a small copper cup with holes around the sides to be the base. And then I drilled a hole in the branch for a wire to thread through the nest and into the branch. After that, I epoxied the nest on by placing a head pin through the nest and into the hole in the branch. It worked great!
Until I was half-way through wire wrapping the nest and had just attached the egg... Then the nest fell off because of the pressure I was putting it under as I pulled and tugged on the wire.
Arrgh. And then I couldn't hold onto the head-pin UNDERNEATH the pearl as I tried to reattach the nest... I got very frustrated. But I finally achieved success! It's on there. And I'm happy with it.

2) Below and to the right of the nest is a clasp I'm in the middle of creating to go with the branch & nest necklace.

3) Above and to the left are four ovals I'm working with.... I really don't know what they are going to be, but it is always wise to have at least 2 projects, if not more, going in the shop. Then if Jack can't help you immediately when you run into a problem on one project you can jump over to the other while you're waiting. Or you can pop something into the pickle while you work on something else.

This is my home table.

I've got three projects on there right now (Hmmmm.  I must like threes.):

1) In the upper left corner is the completed purple and crystal wire necklace I was half-way through last week. I thought I was done, but the middle flower is missing a crystal petal. I don't know when it happened, but I'm gonna have to fix it before I sell it this summer. I might as well get it done now rather than later. (Farmer's Market opens in 60 days!!!)

2) In the center wells I have spread out the crystals I'm going to use to create the fabulous dangle for the necklace on the right. I'm looking forward to this project! It has taken me a long time to pull together the different elements I wanted to use.

3) And on the far left I have finished the bracelets a customer asked me to make for her. They are to match two necklaces she bought over Christmas- one for herself and one for a friend. She also asked for some earring to match and I need to complete those before I can deliver her necklace and bracelets.
Still in love with beads- Becca

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Workbench Wednesday

I have found a large community of beading/jewelry/metal-smithing blogs who participate in this really cool project called "Workbench Wednesday". They post pics of their workbench, even if it's a mess, and explain what projects they are working on at the time.

I was delighted with the idea, and wanted to participate too!

Of course, a problem immediately presented itself. I have two workbenches. My traveling table at home, and the one in my metal-smithing class. But I have solved the problem by presenting both workbenches!
Here is my work station at home. I am lucky enough to live with 6 people, so I don't have a stationary work-bench all to myself. Instead I have two shelves in the living room and half a closet.

I bead on my little work station at night while watching TV. We rent through whatever series we're currently watching and have a couple of series on TV we (me, mom, Beth, and my husband) all like: CSI works really well, 'cuz I can look down at my beads during any of the really gory scenes that are too much for me.

Currently I have 4 projects on my work-bench:
1) At the center-top of the pic is a pearl and crystal bronze necklace with large crystal beads in a plastic bag- I need to complete an extravagant crystal dangle for this necklace.
2) Continuing clockwise, in the center three longest wells I have purple and crystal seed beads and round beads transforming themselves into a wire-work necklace with flowers.
3) At the top left corner, I have 4 large metal focal pieces I made in metal-smithing waiting to become bracelets.
4) And in the center of all those busy beads, there is a large orange flower I am turning into a wire ring.

And in the metal-smithing shop up at UAF, I am in the process of creating components out of molds. We are making molds by carving cuttlefish bones. (For a really cool article about cuttlefish, go here: http://www.doublepluscool.com/blog/travelling )

On the far left is an example of one side of a carved cuttlefish bone, with my pattern. In the center is a wrapped cuttlefish bone waiting for me to pour liquid metal into the carved shape. Next to that are three carving tools I used on the bones (And I MADE the two tools on the right- one is a scribe and the other is a very sharp little knife). And at the top right is my first completed cast! A cute little tree branch next to the pattern I used. I don't know what I'll do with it, but I'm looking forward to using it.

Here is a jeweler's saw, my little branch again, and the carved and wrapped cuttle fish. I'll show a picture of my next completed casting soon...

From the work bench of Becca