Yesterday Was a Good Day

I was working on a couple of orders yesterday, and then I took some time to play. Play time is my favorite time on the torch, and I haven’t had nearly enough of it. These are my favorites from that session.. I need to wire them up this morning, and a couple are being added to a new Traveller Series necklace, then they’ll be going up on Etsy later today. 🙂

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Vermont and our visit to Stave Puzzles

We had a really lovely holiday as usual up in Vermont with family.
John’s uncle Steve and Martha are lovely people who have the best job ever.
They are the owners of Stave Puzzles. The most deliciously evil and beautiful puzzles made.
We took a little tour of the studio this year, and it was a joy. We even got to try our hands at cutting a few puzzles ourselves.
Here are a few pics from the visit.

The lobby….

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And a sampling of the beautiful puzzles…
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And here is Uncle Steve (aka Chief Tormentor) with a glimpse of his latest mad creation.

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We are blessed to be the proud owners of a couple of these beautiful works, and we treasure them.
Now… go check out the website….

Go on now….

STAVE PUZZLES

Chasing and Reposse’…

Recently, I worked on an etched copper piece, and wasn’t thrilled with the flat look of it,
so I’ve been looking into learning how to do some shaping of metal using chasing and reposse’ techniques.

I found a website that listed some recipes for jeweler’s pitch and being a bit hesitant to work with hot tar, found
a recipe that the author came up with that was equal parts beeswax and plaster of paris.
She states that it should work for softer metals that are fairly thin (as mine is).
So this morning I got to work on it. I was lucky enough to have both ingredients in ample supply.
I kind-of “winged it” with the measurements, and I’m hoping it works out.

I used a shallow Francoma dish that’s a bit beaten up.. I wanted to use the saucer from a terracotta flower pot, but couldn’t find one in my house that wasn’t currently in use.
I placed the dish in a cast iron pan with some water in it to create a double boiler so I wouldn’t burn the wax, and started to melt ( I mean, the wax started to melt…LOL )

And then I added in the Plaster of Paris:

Stirred it all in…( I used a wooden chopstick… no explanation why… it just felt like the right thing to do)
And now that it’s all blended in, I’ve turned off the heat, and am waiting for it to cool and harden.
I’ll let you know how it goes….

…..I’m back!
It worked! Beautifully!!
And the smell of beeswax is nice too 🙂

I pretty much suck at doing the actual hammering, but the “pitch” held up beautifully, and gave just the right amount of resistance for small detail.
Now I need to get online and buy the proper chasing tools 🙂 …..( a girl can never have enough tools)