Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kid in a Candy Shop

Remember when you were a kid and you got your first real bike? Mine was a hot pink and apricot low rider with a banana seat. When not riding my bike through our small rural town, I dreamed about my bike....all. the. time. I could not wait to get home to get back on it and ride the roads. Ah, I loved that bike.

Lately, I have the same feeling about working at the bench...strange analogy? Perhaps, but the excitement and giddiness to resume designing, tweaking, and creating is identical. Really, it is. Oh, the earrings above are sweet little studs with cognac diamonds. I might have to keep these. Maybe.

I ordered stones last week and got to play with the little sparklers today. This is pure joy or more 'first time on my new bike' happiness. Many sketches and plans for my Dot Collection to include these gemstones will be hatching later this spring.

Back to the bench! I think there are some stones that need new homes!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I love a productive week. On a scale from 1 to 100, this was a 83. Not a super score, but work got done even though my dear girl was extra needing of TLC due to her persistent chest cold. I finished 8 pieces or so. How nice to finally start something from scratch. I tend to start too many pieces and work on all at the same time....delaying their completion in the process.

blossom pendant with a sweet little antique button

dot bangle with 18k gold and ceylon sapphire

sterling bubble earrings

18k heart ring with filigree

Now onto the weekend. It's a cold one here in Maine! I plan to stay close to home, read, and enjoy the family (and maybe sneak off to the studio for an hour or two)! Good bye, January 2010!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Finished and listed! Check out my Etsy shop for more images of this piece. My head is bursting with designs for a series of these lovelies! More to come!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gold Leaf

I'm working on a new take on a old collection of mine: amulets. Once constructed of nickel silver and 18k gold, these new pieces are sterling silver. Currently, the price of gold keeps the lovely metal far out of my reach....I type this with a longing sigh. I LOVE to work gold and add this precious element to my jewelry....especially my amulets. After working with cranky sterling (yes, it is cranky) and even more tough and unruly nickel silver, gold is like butt-ah. And that color, ahhh....

Enter 24k gold leaf. I certainly can't hammer, solder, or bend the leaf, but I can apply it where a piece needs a bit of that golden aura. Tricky to use, gold leaf is thin....amazingly thin. A slight air current from a hand movement or exhaling breath will cause a piece to buckle and tear.

I tore small pieces and used tweezers to transport the leaf to the base of this bezel (the oils on my hands caused it to adhere immediately to my fingertips....I quickly switched to the tweezers). I applied the gold leaf to a sticky, slight coating of epoxy. Ages ago, gilders used the fresh oils straight from the garlic clove as a size. I considered this as an option, but the pungent odor would not be a good selling point.

Finished piece!! I set a quartz cabochon into the bezel and got that splash of gold that this amulet needed. I'm experimenting with gold leaf again today!! Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Buttons and Dots

I finished a few pieces today, photographed them, and played kitchen with my daughter. I love days when I'm somewhat productive topped off with a big slice of playtime with the girl!

Yeah, it's really a diamond. A .21ct cognac diamond...or in plain ol' terms, a brown be exact. I've had this stone for 8 years, patiently waiting for my muse to sing her sweet song. At last, she did and this bit of cognac dazzle found a home!

More stacking yummies. As with the stone above, these cognac diamonds are set in 22k gold. The stuff is like magic putty. It is so forgiving and moves under the burnisher with ease.

Another view of the stacking trio. Working with gemstones is like a new romance. I can't wait to get to the bench again. I find myself daydreaming about diamonds and lumps of sterling. I fantasize about stud earrings and bracelets! Love struck I am and I want no cure!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Brew at the Bench

Somehow between all the motherly duties, dog fiascos, and tax forms, I produced at the bench this past week. An amazing feat, I know. I'm lovin' my Dot Collection. The addition of high karat bezels and precious gemstones provided a much needed kick in the butt to these lumps of recycled sterling. Yup, I'm happy, however my eyes could use some snazzy new 10x magnifiers! Sorry for the poor photo quality.....BAD lighting in my new digs.

Ah yes. Another button cluster creation. Gosh, I love making these pieces. The next direction will be cluster brooches. Wait for it....

New earrings (well, designs are not new, but it is new stock). Strangely enough, I am applying to summer craft shows already! I'm so not ready to think about swelting temps and my craft show checklist, but to avoid that last minute crunch, I am building my inventory.

Finished cluster piece. I listed this yesterday. It is absolutely smashing on the neck. I need to wrangle up my model from her nursing duties to supply you all with proof positive that this is perhaps the loveliest necklace ever made! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goodies in the Mail

What a treat! After wasting a chunk of the morning tackling a piece that will find a home in the scrap bin, UPS rewarded my efforts with a box from Monsterslayer. Much needed wire and sheet, bezel wire, and earring findings. This is way better than a box of chocolates...well, not Black Dinah chocolates but all others indeed.

Have a happy, safe weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


New pendants coming to Quench Metalworks soon!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Work, Finished

Yes! A new group of work ready to list, but not tonight as this metal mama is t i r e d. But, here's a sneak peek....

brooch with a huge vintage MOP button

rustic heart stackers with cognac band (I might add another ring to this..perhaps one with a teeny tiny gold heart?)

same as above, but with a Ceylon sapphire

big button brooch

heart pendant with 18k gold dots and a Ceylon sapphire

I have 2 pendants almost finished and will post tomorrow! Nighty night!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hearts in Progress

Hello, my dear friend, the bench.

After a long vacation that consisted of absolutely no bench work, I have returned to the studio (in a new location...yes, I moved, again). I'm thinking hearts and the next holiday that begins with V. However, if I was a marketing extraordinaire, The Valentine's Day pieces would have been made and promoted six months ago. Unfortunately, I'm unable, and outright refuse, to plan, think, and market that far ahead! So, I am creating a handful of heart-themed rings, brooches, and rings for the coming weeks.

The studio's new digs is the old nursery. Our girl has grown out of this little room and we switched rooms during the holiday break. The curtains will be history in a couple of days, but the striped walls WILL stay....a labor of love procured by yours truly and my mum. Taping everything off took forever and shall the stripes stay forever (or until I have a strong yearning for robin's egg blue walls...hmmm).

Soon to be pendants.

The dark hearts will be stacker rings.

Ah! The stacker almost ready for the finish.

And, hello 2010! What will you bring the bench and me this year?