Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the Metal Heads--Shop Tips

After apprenticing with a jeweler, I inherited a few bench tips from him. I've also had a fair share of bench tips from Ganoksin and the Orchid Forum. In that same spirit, I pass these on to those who work in metal. They're not a tutorial of any sort, and consider this the usual disclaimer for any misuse of the information.

Keeping the stones visible

First up is watchmakers' tins from Lee Valley. 101 uses, from stones, findings, bolts and nuts, small tools, or just organizing some of the household junk, like rubber bands, screws, paper clips, that seems to migrate down the bottom of the drawer where you can't find it.,43326&p=44948

2 ways to polish small parts

Have you ever had to polish a small part on a bench polisher? You know how you grip the part tightly so the buff doesn't grab it out of your hand, and go flying across the room? If it has a hole, a bail or a jump ring, you can use a paper clip threaded through that part. It makes it easy to keep control of it and you don't get the hot fingers.

I clip off a bit of the paper clip so I don't have so much to thread the part through.

If you don't have a handy attachment point, an alternative is to use a backer board. Mine happens to be a wooden paddle. A wooden paint stick or one of your doctor's tongue depressors works well too.

You'll notice there's also a small hole on the left for the little stud earrings. Stick the post through the hole, and it's a lot easier to control your earring while polishing.

Hmmm...can you tell I've had a few experiences with these kinds of things?

Look for other postings like this in the "For the Metalheads" sections.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What kind of jewelry do I make?

When looking at various shades of white snow for a good deal of the year, I'm eager to use stones with lots of color and interesting patterns.

Okay, actually I'm a girl that likes shimmer, shine, glitzy, COLOR! and usually big jewelry.

Then again, sometimes I like to make things that are delicate and lacy, like filigree.

Many of my pieces are simple, but bold in scale.

And some are just, "How did she do that? How does that work exactly?"

Whatever I make is going to get noticed, so it's not for the faint of heart. You can check out more information at my website Metals and Gems and current pieces at Jazzn Jewelry Etsy shop.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring? Maybe???

We had some warm Chinook winds last week and it melted/compacted a lot of snow. It's the first time we've seen sagebrush and even some bare ground since early October.

Yesterday, we saw a flock of about a dozen male mountain bluebirds camped out in our trees. COLOR! These bluebirds are a bright cobalt blue with a rosy breast. Today, we have a flock of Savannah and sage sparrows picking through the tumbleweed seeds.

However, it did snow again last night, several inches. The wind is roaring, so the snow is drifting, and it looks like I'll have to shovel out a path from the back door. Crum.

It'll still snow for awhile, but the days are getting longer and generally warmer. Spring might be around the corner.

 Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

Friday, March 25, 2011

Living in Wyoming

Our family lives in a remote area of Wyoming, using alternative energy, because we didn't have an alternative since the nearest power lines are 15 miles away.

It snows a lot here, and frequently the only way into or out of our place is by skis, snowmobile or snowshoe. We can be snowbound for months at a time, up to 5-1/2 months. It allows for a lot of time to be creative.

The nearest grocery store, gas station, restaurant, postal service, library, or any other thing most people would consider to be normal, is 30 miles away.

When looking at various shades of white snow for a good deal of the year, I'm eager to use stones with lots of color and interesting patterns.

It's always an adventure and frequently a challenge!

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak