Monthly Archives: March 2009

Experiments — Wire Wrapped Cabochons

I’ve been work­ing with wire the past cou­ple of weeks. One fas­ci­na­tion is how to use wire to cap­ture cabo­chons. I bought a bag of small glass cabs that remind me of can­dy. By using light weight craft wire I’ve been able to cre­ate some inter­est­ing cages.

Here are two:

wire wrappings

wire wrap­pings

The blue doesn’t seem to have enough wire wrapped around it’s front but it doesn’t shift. So maybe you don’t have to use quite so much wire as I did on the green one. Though the exces­sive­ly snaky look is kind of cool.

I built these using a square of wire on the back and join­ing a much longer piece of wire with coils. The tight­en­ing the loose front wires by putting bends in them. Think tight­en­ing fences.

back of the wire wrapping

back of the wire wrap­ping

It’s all a bit of a spaghet­ti dis­as­ter while I’m try­ing to get the two peices of wire attached to each oth­er. Maybe it will get eas­i­er with prac­tice.

There is also the ques­tion of how to make the top/bail tidy.

First though I have an idea for mak­ing the front wires into a star…

WIP — Pierced Copper for JM1 Class.

I’m tak­ing Jew­el­ry and Met­al­smithing 1 at the Pratt Fine Arts Cen­ter.

Our first project is a ring. The top is made of a piece of pierced cop­per sol­dered to a half dome. Below are pic­tures of the two tops that I made last week. The pat­tern is gluesd on with rub­ber cement and then holes are drilled in the cop­per so that you can thread a jewelr’s saw through it and make the cuts.

The first ones didn’t quite work­out. The rays on the start just wouldn’t stay straight. More prac­tice is clear­ly the answer.

moon and stars pierced copper

moon and stars pierced cop­per

The sec­ond piece worked nice­ly.

tree design pattern

tree design pat­tern

The cir­cle on the front shows where the half dome will be sol­dered on.

From the top it will look like this.

the front

the front

More next week when I make the dome and learn how to sol­der things that aren’t car­ry­ing elec­tric­i­ty.

Recent Work — Wire

I’m learn­ing to work with jew­el­ry wire. Here are two recent (begin­ner) projects.

charm holder and charms, pounded wire leaf link bracelet

charm hold­er and charms, pound­ed wire leaf link bracelet

On the top a charm hold­er made of 14 gauge ster­ling sil­ver and five charms. You can learn to make the charm hold­er at the Bead Club in Wood­inville. It’s a very good use of three hours.

The sec­ond piece is a bracelet made of 20 gauge sil­ver filled wire. It’s a vari­a­tion on the Spi­ral Bracelet project in Chan­dler and Ritchey’s Get­ting Start­ed Mak­ing Wire Jew­el­ry and More. The orig­i­nal has a much tighter coil in the cen­ter and a coars­er tex­ture pound­ed into the wire. I pre­fer the loos­er feel of this one. I’m going to try some­thing sim­i­lar in heav­ier wire. This one is too del­i­cate as it stands (sits?)

Also I promise to get some oth­er col­ors of fab­ric for tak­ing pho­tographs. All this dusty rose is start­ing to make a lit­tle queasy.


I cleaned out the top draw­er in my bed­side table. Among the detri­tus were these.



Rang­ing form a brass koala giv­en to me by a stranger in San Fran­cis­co my fresh­man year in col­lege to a bot­tle shaped pin from the Maker’s Mark dis­tillery and about a dozen zoos in between.

Kindle 2 — New Gadget Post

It has arrived. On, of course, one of my busy must-be-out-of-the-house-by-10 days. So it lan­guished on the front porch for 6 hours…

bedside reading

bed­side read­ing

I’ll save you the unbox­ing post. You can have a look here at Engadget’s unbox­ing. I must say that Ama­zon has tak­en a lot of care with the pack­ag­ing. A very nice expe­ri­ence. (I do have to admit that I am impressed with how well the e-ink phot­graphs.)

As I expect­ed there is lit­tle or no Whis­per­Net ser­vice here at the house. T-Mobile is the only reli­able cell ser­vice out here in the din­gle­weeds. Sprint is one of the worst. I can get a slow sig­nal on the front porch if I face the barn (and jug­gle blue squir­rels, etc.)

I don’t find it that much of an incon­ve­nience. I go to town most days and can stop for a few min­utes to down­load some­thing if I’m feel­ing too lazy to down­load via the com­put­er.

Read­ing on it is a fine expe­ri­ence. The brief reverse image flash as I “turn” pages is a lit­tle dis­con­cert­ing. I expect that after a cou­ple of days I won’t notice it any­more. The adjustable font size id great for accom­mo­dat­ing fatigued eyes.