Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Woven Silver Vial

This next attempt at a treasure box experimented with a new hinge design, patterns in the weave, and alternative methods of finishing off the top and bottom poles. I used a larger gauge wrapping wire in an effort to speed up the weaving time (it didn't help much).

I was disappointed with the design an hour before I completed it. I was certain the new hinge was keeping the woven spirals from sitting flush to each other, and I regretted attempting it in silver. The woven pattern seemed only to highlight the imperfections in my weave, rather than look ornate and sleek. The end caps hadn't been all I had envisioned either.

I left the project for an hour and came back and decided it wasn't SO bad. I see this project with two different sets of eyes, one pair who hates it for not being what it was meant to be, and another pair of eyes that finds it to still have some charm! hehe

Even though it didn't turn out to be all I had hoped, I feel certain this is the right path for me. I hope, over time, my skill improves enough for me to make what I have in my head.

As I was uploading the pictures to this blog post, I thought up an entirely new hinge design to try out. So... back to the drawing board, and back to the copper wire!


  1. It looks really nice Mary! I think the problems, mistakes in a piece are often visible only to its maker...because you know about them. And isn't that true...when we hate what we are working with, we leave it and come back later, and it doesn't look so bad? lol! I have that experience too. Oh, and I don't mean to discourage you from using silver, but I LOVE YOUR COPPER PIECES! LOL!!! I usually work with silver or gold-filled wire, and hardly ever copper. But, you made me fall in love with copper. I actually ordered so much copper from Rio because of your pieces. LOL! I still need to order the 16 gauge one because I had ordered 14 gauge by mistake. I hope you do continue creating in silver too. Silver is lovely. But you really made me fall in love with copper. I don't know what you do with them, but copper looks soooo amazing when you make pieces out of them. I just have to make that locket. Do you think it will look nice in 14 gauge? Or too heavy?

  2. Swati, thank you for your comments! The one you left me yesterday put a big beaming smile on my face! :))
    I will always work with both copper and silver, maybe someday I will try gold filled, but I am content for now.
    I do think 14 ga will be too clunky for the locket design. I know some others have tried that gauge for the locket but they never came back and raved about how they loved it! hehe
    I finish my copper in LOS, than steel wool, than tumble for 20 min to bring up the shine. That's how Im getting that finish that you like.

  3. Ok, so I just placed my order for the 16 gauge wire now. lol! And along with that I got tempted into buying more gold-filled and sterling silver and fine silver wire...and my bill went through the roof :-P. I blame it all on you and your gorgeous creations!! :-P. You know...its crazy...I have 18 gauge copper...so I just couldn't wait to make this locket and started with 18 gauge and 28 gauge wire (that's all I had), then I ordered wrong, and have 14 gauge and 24 gauge. I think till the wires comes, I will continue plugging away with my orders. And in the meantime, I'll try and complete the 18 gauge locket...lets see how that looks. :-)))) Keep making your wonderful pieces!!

    I was looking through your entire blog...and it is so filled with gorgeous pieces. And there is a ring that I had thought of too for a while, but never got around to making it...and I saw you made it already! LOL! Its that stacked rings one with wire weaving. Only...I had thought of making it in absolutely black silver with gold weaving. One day I'll get around to making it.

  4. HMmm, so much lovely wire:) I am certain you will put it to good use!

    The black silver with gold would be lovely and mysterious looking!

    Iza Malzyck did a similar ring long before I did it!

  5. Iza! Sigh!! Her work is exquisite beyond belief. I wanted to do the black silver and gold because of Iza...she has done some pieces like that, and I literally bugged the life out of her trying to figure to out how to keep my silver absolutely black even after tumbling the piece. Mine used to get dirty grey after tumbling. LOL! But now miraculously it has started remaining black. Ok, I should shut up now. Been monopolizing your blog :-P.

  6. Wait a minute! You can't say something like that and hold me in suspense! Did she give you any tips to make it stay black? Are you doing anything different?

    I don't mind your comments;)

  7. LOL! Mary, I thought if I keep yakking, you will get restraining orders against me in this blog. Should give others a chance to speak. LOLOLOL!!!

    Iza told me basically to not tumble it too long. I usually tumble my pieces really long. But you know, even with the 10 minute tumbling the blackness used to wear off for me. I have no idea why it is sticking now. I use Silver Black, and not LOS, for silver. I think what I am doing different is that I let the silver black soak a little longer ...after I paint it on the silver pieces. I wait for it to dry. Then tumble it. Oh, Iza also said, make sure the piece has been cleaned well before blackening it. Another problem, as Iza pointed out to me was, that I could be using Argentium silver. Argentium is more resistant to tarnishing, so maybe I was using that? The sterling silver is holding on to the blackness really well.

  8. Long before I ever started a blog or posted my jewelry pics online... I used to follow YOJ and view your work, and sometimes read your blog! lol I still enjoy your blogs when you write in them.

    I would never think you highjacked my blog, to me your are on old friend:)

    Thanks for the good and useful information about blackening silver!

  9. I know...I have not been writing in my blog for a long time...I spent a really long time in a blah phase. But I recently started creating again. Made two pieces and have posted them in my blog. Would love to have you over there and write :-))).

    How sweet of you to think of me as an old friend...that put a huge smile on my face :-))). Its an honor to be your friendy

    Hey, I was reading your old posts, and you mentioned something about selling. Are you on Facebook? I somehow get plenty of orders if I post my work on Facebook. In fact before my blah period I was quite inundated with orders and burnt out. So I stopped creating all together. So now I am taking it nice and slow. Don't want to burn out again. I have 2 kiddies at home. One is just 4. So its hard to be consistent with jewelry making. But you should do really well with lots of orders. Of course, if you are already flooded with orders then might as well stay from FB. lol! I know people will absolutely drooooool over your stuff there.

  10. The Angsty Artist on Facebook! Hmmm... never thought of that.

  11. Swati, I am on Facebook, as my own name. I hate to bombard friends and family with jewelry stuff, so maybe I need to start another page?

    I'm not flooded with orders, and my time is very hard pressed also, due to having fulltime job. Figuring out how to sell, vrs also wanting time to design, is so hard for me to balance:)

    You have your hands full for sure with kiddies;)

  12. Oh! I didn't know you were working full time. Then I guess you'll probably have a hard time if you were flooded with orders. I certainly cannot handle that right now. Saw it with experience 2 times. Both times I gave up jewelry making because I got really stressed out. So I learnt my lesson, and will be doing it slow and steady from now. :-))

  13. This is very deep subject - taking orders. I was getting many orders a year ago. But it was very stressful to make jewelry on order and I wasn't really making any money at it.
    I was making less than 10$ an hour and working like a slave. That might be fine if you have low cost of living, or don't already have full time job and house responsibilities to keep up. But it wasn't enough money for the kind of stress I was going through, like you were.
    Filling orders was also stopping me from having time to explore new designs and grow in my ability with the wire. So I began to up my custom order prices and discourage people from ordering.
    What I would most prefer, is for people to buy my finished pieces. I am even willing to part with them at a lower cost, because I was happy to make them and had joy in it. But when my prices were low noone was buying. So I upped my prices since it didn't matter anyway:)
    Than my next plan was, hehe, just to be such a great designer and become so wonderfully good, that people simply can't help themselves and have to buy it!
    And also, (my fault) many of my pieces have not been placed in my shop, they are just sitting on a shelf. Not even available to buy, I should fix that.

  14. That is so true Mary. Orders can be stressful, and you don't get to just play with your own creativity...make things as you please. All those things were what caused the burnout for me...both times. And that's why I am being very slow about encouraging orders. I do like to work on custom pieces...especially if there is a story that touches my heart...then I want to create that story in my piece to honor that human experience. But again...I want to tread very carefully on that path now.

    Your jewelry IS beautiful, and people will buy it just the way you make them. I think they just need to find you. And yes, listing the pieces helps! LOL! But look who is talking...I have nothing at all listed in my Etsy shops. LOL!!

  15. Swati, This is a good conversation to have! It's nice to see I am not alone in this struggle to be both creative and financially productive.

    With your little ones, and my full time job, we must make very careful choices:)