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Colors

Leather paint has come a long way since I last used it. The colors are bright and opaque. Love it!

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Leather

I found a synthetic leather that engraves with insane detail but it’s thin, so I ended up backing it with suede for strength and stiffness. I like how it turned out! I have brown suede on the way for the brown synthetic cuffs, but here’s the first one in black lined with gray. I also just posted a few cut leather cuffs on Etsy.

Long Hiatus

So. It’s been a while, yes? Well, sometimes you get hit by a car and things don’t go as planned, but I’m back to making things in new ways. My casting is on hold until a new shop is built to take the place of my previous one. Hurricane Irma dropped a tree on that one. What I have in the meantime is a laser cutter, and I’m experimenting quite a bit with that! It’s running right now with some earrings, and I’ve made some jewelry boxes just because. I’ll be posting up some progress pictures, and everything that’s finished is up on etsy.com/shop/hkmouse or jewelsbymouse.com. Here we go…

nautilus walnutDT1

Long overdue update

Hi, all! It’s been a while since I’ve had much to share here. I did have a special commission for Christmas that I was really happy with. That’s a black pearl and black diamonds set in sterling. I like the look of tube setting faceted stones, but that spot in the curve was a bit tricky to get in to bend the bezel. Something to practice, for sure.

On my bench right now is a new stack of copper to etch for the claddagh bracelets. These have been my best seller to date and I can’t keep them in stock!

I’ve been playing with bronze clay to try to make centerpieces for other copper cuffs, but I just can’t get the hang of the stuff. I’ve tried several firing schedules and the pieces always end up weak and chipping. The silver and copper clays are fabulous to work with, but I think I’ll stick with lost wax casting of bronze only. If anyone has any suggestions for the bronze clay, I’m all ears.

You know what I did find that’s also fantastic to work with? White bronze. Yup. It casts clean and looks like sterling at a fraction of the price. I hope to be posting up some pics of the cast white bronze soon. It solders easily to sterling findings for setting stones, too. This brings me to my current main project of carving interesting waxes for casting the bronze. I’ve always been more of a 2D sort of person with painting, drawing, and printmaking. I took two sculpting classes in college at a price of ten stitches and decided perhaps 3D wasn’t my thing. Here I am trying it again though, hopefully with better results than my younger self. Working small is a challenge for me, even if the wax is pretty forgiving. The other thing I need to work through is being able to see what I want to make in three dimensions, then having it translate accurately from my head, to drawings, to that square block of pristine wax. Practice, practice, practice. I said it out loud and want you all to be my witnesses: I plan to spend one day of the weekend in the shop carving waxes. Hold me to it!

Until next time, have a wonderful day and go make something!

More bronze!

I love casting bronze! I’ve got new wax models in progress, but I cast a few items I’ve already done in silver. I hope to have new pieces to show off this week, but in the meantime…

Bronze

It’s been a while since I’ve had something new in the store to show you. This past weekend I cast bronze, and I really like working with it. Silver prices are still high so I chose this as an alternative metal. Bronze alloys come in various colors, including a white bronze, so I may cast some silver-looking pieces that don’t carry the price tag of silver and aren’t silver-plated, either. These are my first two experiments. Bronze uses a very similar casting technique as silver. The koi was initially carved in wax and cast. The bird skull was a wee pheasant from a bird farm that I took a mold from to make the wax to cast. Let me know what you think. I think there will be more to come along these lines.

Black Dress Deco

I’m so excited about this one. A friend asked me to make something in a style I appreciate but don’t generally work in, art deco. After some sketches (a few of which will still be made at some point because I liked them all), this is the result. The deep blue stones are lapis, and the smaller stone between the curls at the top is a blue moonstone. I’m also very pleased with how much color came through the moonstone as I’ve only worked with the white variety before. The back shot demonstrates the 2″ chain to make the piece adjustable.