Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Pendant Swap

This has been a long time coming!

This was a fun swap! There were 4 of us: myself, Andes Cruz, Tosca Teran & Ann Jenkins.
We each made a pendant (three actually) and received three gorgeous pendants in exchange in the mail.

Here they are in all their glory. Mine were obviously the sawpierced japanese floral discs with a pearl drop at the end. Andes Cruz made the greenie turquoise pendant with the little spherical pieces surrounding the stone. Ann Jenkins made the one in the grass with the multi colored enameled flutes on a domed disc. Tosca made the jellyfish-like glass and metal pendant.

They are all so beautiful. It's great to see the differing styles and techniques we all prefer to use.

I'm hoping that others may want to do a fun swap like that again.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I've been Busy...

Well, life has been keeping me from writing ... well, the truth is that I've moved house and studio ans as you know, it takes a while to get settled in and iron out the 'bugs' in the new places.

We've had dust storms, electrical storms, wind storms, tropical style rain, blamy spring days and a quick cold change, followed by today's heat wave of 41C and no wind.... my poor vegies.... all limp and waiting for rain... and all that in a span of a few weeks.

Here are a couple of new stack rings:

Just recently, I participated in EtsyMetals Charm Swap #4
i got this bag of goodies:

Friday, 28 August 2009

EtsyMetal Charm Swap # 4

Well, I am a greedy one as i have so far participated in 2 charm swaps and this one is the 3rd for me. I have tried to make charms that are relevant with what is going on in my working life, (being a full time jeweler... and an accident prone one too..) so this time is leaves.. falling leaves off a tree, and then when spring comes we grow new ones... something like that...

What I mean is, if something is going to get lost, then I will be the one to lose it, or, if any hammering of finger happens, then it is usually mine.... But i take it all in as a bit of a humorous part of my insane working life...

I was going to keep writing about what kind of a day I had today, but more of that later...
here are my "leaves" for the swap and my Gorgeous Charm Bracelet with all the charms from the wonderful etsymetal metalsmiths. I will be adding the Charm Swap #4 charms to this bracelet. I will be full up. Then I may start a neck piece for the next few charmswaps that i may participate in..

Saturday, 8 August 2009

New Work

Well, here we go again!! A couple of new pieces: The mahena pendant & the Papal Ring.

I am so pleased with the ring and also think the pendant works really well.

Mahena Pendant
Originally uploaded by howlindoggie

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

These are some wonderful things!

Still in the Mood for sharing all the beautiful things that i love so much and would buy them all when i make my first million!

Have a look at these:

this is from LittleRobot

and I just adore all their bags, but this one I just want right now!!
5 pocket rounded Onishi bag in espresso by valhallabrooklyn

These are just Divine! From MichaelDanielMetal

Here's a beautiful skirt from idea2lifestyle

oooh and this:
Lively Bowl Set from cyrusthepotter

I could keep on going... but ....
see you next time!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Things I have Found That I Badly Want and Love

As we all search the internet for things to drool over that we think are gorgeous and put them on our "favorites" list, I thought I would share my favorites with you.

They are not in any particular order, i love them all.

As I am a jeweler/metalsmith I will start with Melody Armstrong's Eternalism Choker. What a Gorgeous Piece! You could just wear it all the time with anything!!

Here are these Gorgeous Gift Tags from MothtoaFlameStudio

kazuewest bag:

and lastly (but by no means least) this gorgeous skirt from audreyandgrace

All the above items are available from these talented artists' etsy shops. I will be back in a week or so with more favorites from elsewhere on the Net, and also meanwhile show you new pieces of mine.

Till then have fun!

Monday, 20 July 2009

The difficulty with New Work at the moment

jap daisy earrings 2
Originally uploaded by howlindoggie
These have been inspired by the daisy pendant. Of course again the Japaneseness.

It has taken me ages to get it together enough to start producing new work. Yes, odd, I know. I have now almost put together the new studio. Problem I'm facing is that i have to clean up my rolling mill as it got rained on a month ago...besides that we also recently moved house, so a lot of our stuff has been in boxes and i have finally unpacked all and have absolutely tonnes of shredding of old paperwork to do. Yuck.

But a good think is that it can be recycled. We LIKE that!

I have so much new work that i have lined up to make, but i really wanted to make sure that the studio was up & running smoothly before I really got stuck into it and make & photographed new stuff.

a pet dying really sends your life out of wack. I'm slowly feeling a bit more 'normal' these days. hopefully all the websites & shops will pick up for me now.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

kiku in gold

kiku in gold
Originally uploaded by howlindoggie
I had to recently make this piece for an order. I am please with the way it turned out. It has a bit more depth than the flat silver ones as it is domed. The gold makes it more sumptuous & luxurious. Looks great against a black background.

I like the way this piece has turned out, so I have decided to make more of them for my stores.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

New Work!! Finally!!

Here are a couple of new Pieces (chunky Heart ring & The 3 Sakuras) that I have been sitting on for a few weeks. It seems that I tend to do this with every piece that i made for my production. I guess i need to feel that i have made it as I had originally seen it in my head and from my sketches, although some pieces don't even make it to paper, if I get excited about it and can't wait to wear it or give it to a friend, as is often the case.

I have several friends, who( I know enjoy my work) are my 'testers'; which means they get given new pieces from time to time, to see how they wear.

I'm pleased with how this ring has turned out, as i have started making my production rings a little smaller and less chunky than I make my own. I will make one of these, but more like 3 x the size & chunkiness of this one. I also think the pendant works well (i enjoyed making these two pieces!!)

I'm on a roll with new stock at the moment, so expect to see quite a few new pieces from now as I have had a lot on the plate in the last 6 months, so New Work took a bit of a backseat. But now I'm back at it! YAY!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Red Ovid Ring

Red Ovid Ring
Originally uploaded by AndesCruz
I swapped some work with Andes Cruz. It is this beautiful red enamel ring (Red Ovid Ring). The piece that Andes wanted of mine was The 3 Sakuras (see photo).

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Collaboration with Umbrella Prints

Modish and Scoutie Girl have recently written about the collaboration between Umbrella Prints and myself.

It has certainly been a lot of fun collaborating with these wonderful women. I feel honored to have been asked.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Danny's Last Vacation

we spent the last few days of april down at the beach house (our secret location: magic beach)

the weather was interesting, which made for some great photos.

we will always remember danny. especially when we are at his favorite beach.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Our beloved companion Danny (the howlindoggie)

Yesterday at 4.45 pm we had to give the ok for our wonderful dog Danny to be put to sleep. He had been losing weight for a few months now and the vet thought it was because of arthritis, but little did we know that he had developed many little tumors in his lungs. He had developed a cough which the vet thought was kennel cough (even though he was vaccinated annually) and was given antibiotics. He just got worse very quickly and stopped eating. No food for 3 days and difficulty breathing. So after xrays and an ultrasound, it was revealed that he had all those tumors in his lungs.

We could tell that he was suffering and had enough. The vet suggested a biopsy and that he "may" improve a little for a few weeks with some chemotherapy. We decided that we did not want him to suffer anymore and decided to have him put to sleep. He fell asleep in our arms and after having such a loving companion for 12 years, he is gone. Danny was the most beautiful dog we have ever met.

In honor of Danny and all beautiful doggies i will donate 10% of all my sales to the RSPCA in Sydney, Australia.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

etsymetal doggie charms 1

We at etsymetal (a worldwide group of fabulous metalsmiths!!) do this charm exchange thing among us (charm bracelets are available for purchase on the etsymetal shop) . This is the third exchange. The way it works is that we (usually 20 or so metalsmiths) each make up 22 charms and then send them to one wonderful member who sorts them and then resends them (20 charms per participating member) tback to us so we can add to our 'charm' bracelets //chains etc. i participated in the first and third. You can also check out our flickr site (etsymetal) and see all the beautiful charms that we have all made.

This is so much fun that I have already signed up for the charm exchange #4!!!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Some Tips for Sawpiercing

Firstly, I'd like to say that these tips are my tips (found over years of trial & error) and other metalsmiths may have different techniques which are just as good , if not better than mine. So try them out, see how you like it...

Sawframe: Must be of good quality, otherwise you have a hard time sawing and break many blades! I use German ones, only because i find them the most comfortable for me. I have also found a really cheap one that some of my students use that I also find very comfortable. There are different 'throat' (how deep they are) sizes.


These must be the correct size for the thickness of the metal used. a good guide is 4 teeth (approx) to the metal thickness.

Other stuff:
When you put the blade in, make sure the teeth point down (towards the handle, as I consider the handle the bottom. Also make sure that the blade is quite taught and should have a high pitched 'ping' when you pluck at it like a guitar string to see if it's not loose. Lubricate it with sometime of lubricant. I use bees wax or candles(old ones)or if i can't locate the wax and am in a hurry I use spit (YES , spit!!)

Starting off:
I usually 'mark' the spot that i am going to start on by running the blade in a upwards motion first. That makes it easier to start cutting (going up & down).

Litle tricks:
It is easier and smoother cutting if you make a paper pattern of what you are going to sawpierce. By that I mean, draw whatever you are going to cut out on a piece of paper and then stick it on to the metal with glue and then strt cutting. I find that the blades stay sharper for much longer and it is alot smoother cutting.

Oh yes, and most importantly PRACTICE A LOT!!

Hope that helps a bit.

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