Saturday, January 31, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect and the Value of Notetaking

I just managed a few hours in the studio this week and at first it was quite a frustrating time. A while back I made a loop in loop bracelet that I call the double heart since the links look like hearts to me. Well, it's kind of hard on my hands so I made a looser version that is only a single link version. It's still lovely but goes together a little easier. I'd devised a neat catch for the double heart that worked really well with this unusual chain and I thought it would be easy to duplicate it for the single heart bracelet. Wrong. The original was too big and the hook part was too narrow proportionally and it looked awkward. So I started trying to make it smaller and I didn't have the right width rectangular wire so I kept trying to roll out round wire width the right thickness. When I tried the first new catch, the hook was rolled around too tight but I'd already cut it to the right length so when I unrolled it and gave it more height so the chain would sit right, the hook was too short! So then I thought maybe I was soldering it at the wrong angle so I turned the solder spot up on the edge of the jumpring but that didn't help the chain sit well at all. I went back to the original design and did it again, this time with the wider rolled wire, a smaller jumpring and I rolled the hook around larger and finally it worked.

Although it was frustrating, I was reminded of 2 very important lessons. One, be patient. It was highly annoying to keep making these catches and have them be wrong but in the end, the last one was just right so it was worth it. I am now practiced at it and I should be able to make them faster next time. The second lesson is ALWAYS TAKE NOTES (and if possible keep a good prototype in your samples box for physical reference). Now I've got a little piece of paper I can refer to on the proportions (and I put construction notes on the back like how much space to leave when rolling the hook) if I don't come back to making these for awhile. If I do make another one, I'll try to remember to take pics of the process. When they are done, I'll take a pic of what it looks like on the chain :-)

These photos below are of a little pendant I made from scrap. I believe it was in the photo of work to be tumbled but when I put the liver of sulphur on the surface to patina it, I didn't like it after I'd scratchbrushed the surface. So I put more liver of sulphur on and I'm going to tumble it again when I've got a few more pieces ready to go. The tumbler will give the surface a smooth dark shine, which hopefully will do what I want. I will take a pic when it comes out of the tumbler so you can see the difference. I'm also still trying to decide what stone to set in it. I'm leaning towards the moonstone. I think color might throw it off although the jadeite is looking kind of nice, too.

1 comment:

  1. whoot, just discovered your blog! love it! you need an rss feed though, i am too lazy to check all my favorite blogs everyday ;) love the primal screams and the new scrap piece!