Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Volcanic glass is not a good idea....

I recently had a small chunk of volcanic glass or obsidian donated to me. I thought "WOW" what a great idea. Volcanic glass jewellery, now that's a new one on me.

So on with the safety spec and a big hammer. I preceded to smash the living daylights out of it. I did manage to stop before totally breaking the whole piece. As you can see from the next picture. All nice and shiny and black.



I then picked up all the shards of glass and placed them on the kiln shelf and set the kiln going on the normal firing range. I did not worry about the expansion of the glass as I was just trying to slump the bits into jewellery size pieces and not mix it with other types of glass.

As you can see from the following picture the end result was not what I was expecting. This beautiful black glass had turned into this boring dull grey colour stuff that looks like what you would find in the garden.



Well after this disastrous outcome I decided to do a bit of research on this type of glass and it seem I need to get the kiln up about 1500 degrees C that's about 2700F. About 500 degrees C above what my kiln will do.

So the lesson of the day is stick with what you know until full research has been done. But as a man I would probably still have a go just to prove it cant be done. :o)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Thin drop pendants.

Hi all. Its been a while since my last blog. Life just sort of took over again.

I managed to get a little done in the studio yesterday in between visitors. I fired up the kiln and cooked a few more thin drop pendants along with a few other things. I am still amazed at the beautiful colours that come out, because these are so narrow (about 1/2") the designs are quite simple as too many different colours and they begin to look a bit messy.

I also had a go at designing a landscape image with the glass for a pendant and it turned out quite well for the first attempt. More attempts will be made at a later date I think. I just need a few more hours in the day or a extra weekend day in between Sunday and Monday. LOL.





As you can see its a sort of landscape image!


If you would like to see more of my designs then please click here for my website

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dichroic Stud Earrings

Another quick Post as its half past my bed time now.


Here are just a short selection of some of my Stud earrings. They are set on solid silver posts and solid silver butterfly backs. The colours are about the best I can do but still do not show off how sparkly and colourful my jewellery is.


You can see these and other creations on my website


Price's start at £5 and don't forget the p&p is free until the end of March 2012.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Dichroic Glass Cats Eye Cufflinks

Here's something else for the boys. A great looking pair of Cats Eye Dichroic Glass Cuff links. I had this idea a while back but didn't know how to best go about it. I looked into using etching paste. After realising how harmful that was for my health and well being I decided against that. I had a go at cutting the glass to look like a cat eye but that didn't work. They looked more like a squinting cat on prozac. Then I thought about using a Dremal and just taking off the Dichroic that I didn't need.




WOW.... That really works well. Obviously the glass fuses slightly differently for each piece but I think if you are after a pair of cats eye cuff links then these look pretty good. If I say so myself.


I also managed to source a few pairs of solid silver cuff link posts that are really great quality and with a bit of epoxy glue, these cuff links just shines quality.


The next problem I had was how and what to display them in. Another searching for about two hours and I came across these really nice chrome effect cuff link. Well I hit the buy button and a few days later the shiny new presentation boxes turned up.





You can buy these beautiful solid silver cuff link via my website or contact me through blogger. Don't forget, free p&p until the 31st of March 2012.

Dichroic Glass long thin pendants

Carrying on with the long thin Dichroic drop pendants. Here are a few more that I have just made. The colours are just amazing and as always the picture does not show this to its fullest. They are about 2" x 1/2" and have a silver plated bail attached ready to be hung from your own cord or chain. Hope you enjoy.




You can see/buy these from my website in the shop section along with many other glitzy dichroic jewellery both for men and women. Prices start from £5 for stud earrings and go up to £45 for solid silver bracelets.



Saturday, 10 March 2012

New Bracelets.

Here are just a few of my latest bracelet creations. The one on chain is £10 and the others are £15 each and DON'T forget there is free P&P until the 31st of March 2012. You can contact me through blogger or order from my website.



















Just a quick note to say that I will be posting a story about volcanic glass, very soon. A lesson in what not to try, even if if sounds like a great idea.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Two more Jazzmataz drop earrings.

Jazzmataz Earrings, are one of the most captivating pieces of jewellery anyone can wear. The dichroic glass shines different colours depending on the angle that they are viewed. These and all my other designs are unique and refreshingly original.

If you would like to own a pair of these and more then email me at stevesmithjewellery@yahoo.co.uk or take a look on my website at www.stevesmithjewellery.co.uk

All my drop earrings are set on solid silver (925) and hung on solid silver wires. They cost £10 per pair and come in a gorgeous hot pink box, also if ordered by the 31st of March 2012 the P&P is FREE.


Jazzmataz 7


Jazzmataz 8


Like I said before. These and others are listed on

my website and if you would like any further information then please contact me.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Designs from broken beginnings.

This is my continuing happy ending story. If you have read my previous post then you will know the start of the story and if you have not then take a look.

I had a selection of very small cabochons left over from a previous firing and with the idea I had before I thought I should have a go at repeating the previous firing outcome.

I spent about a hour choosing and cutting narrow strips of dichroic glass and then choosing how to use the cabochons.

Oooops, I haven't told you what my idea was after breaking the narrow drop pendant. Well, when the pendant hit the diamond file and broke in two and after the initial swearing LOL. A image flashed into my mind of two drop earrings. And that's how the idea started.

The following pictures show the new drop earring pre-fired along with some extra narrow drop pendants. As you can see, I did not want the small cabochon to melt completely into the base glass so they were placed on the center of the kiln tile. This is slightly less hot than the edge of the tile.





After a very quick kiln heat ramp of 830C (1526F) per hour and no soak time. I started the kiln off to reach 800C (1472F). This took about 53 minutes and at that point the heating turned itself off and I crash cooled the kiln to about 350C (662F) by opening the door about a inch. I then kept the door closed for about 20 minutes to anneal the glass and then opened the door again so the heat returned to room temperature.

EUREKA

The fused cabochons looked amazing, colours were better than expected and the resulting big smile on my face showed everything.

As you can see from the pictures below, these new designs are quite different and Sue my partner came up with a name for them.

These knobbly drop earring are know called "Jazzmataz". They are quite quirky as the backing glass matches in pairs but the knobbly bits are all different. I really liked that idea but I know some like order and symmetry.


Another picture showing fused dichroic glass. Some narrow drop pendants and some Jazzmataz earring.



Here you can see the most beautiful colours that I have done. At last a red that stays red after firing, now that's another story......



After gluing the silver back on and attaching the silver wires you can now see what I saw in my head over a week ago.


Jazzmataz 1


Jazzmataz 2


Jazzmataz 3


Jazzmataz 4


Jazzmataz 5

Jazmataz 6

If you like these new designs so much you would like to own a pair then they are for sale at £10 per pair and until the end of March 2012 the postage is FREE. You could even have a look at my Etsy shop for more beautiful designs.

I really hope people like these new designs and you can leave comments if you want to.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A New Idea from a mishap......

As all my readers have seen, I recently had a go at making some very narrow drop pendants and for the most they were a success which you can see in my website or Etsy shop. This is one that I was really pleased with. Firing very small cabochons that I had previously done onto a narrow piece of dichroic glass.

I set the kiln going with a slightly different set of parameters and started the fusing process.

To my happy surprise this worked and a few hours later this pendant looked and felt great.

At this point of my posting I must tell there is a sad and then happy end. The sad part of this short story is whilst admiring this new creation, seeing the beautiful colours and feeling how tactile the the knobbly bits were. It slipped out out my fingers and fell directly on to my diamond file. With a pinging sound, this beautiful unusual drop pendant became a couple of scrap bits of glass.



Oooops, I said, well I had a few more choice words than that but you get the meaning.


The Happy Ending


This part of the story begins about a week later. Whilst in the studio contemplating life, the universe and everything or shall we have chips or pasty for dinner. I spot the fragments of what once was the drop pendant and the thought of reuse and lateral thinking began. I suddenly saw these two pieces of dichroic glass dangling on earring wires and then a image popped into my head of a new collection of knobbly drop earrings.


So, the next creative chance I get. The glass cutter is coming out and my new range begins. I cant wait!!!!

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