Wednesday, May 20, 2015


If your interested in taking a class  for :

Torch Enamelling
Basic Glass Fusing
Copper Etching - bracelet
Copper Etching - Pendant
Glass Painting
Basic Lampworking 

Please drop me an email at  with "Class" in the subject line 

Its time to arrange some classes  and I know there are certain people interested but I dont want to select a weekend your not available - so if you let me know when your available I can work around some dates 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

After 10 years - unpacking rubber stamps

I have wanted to unpack my rubber stamps for a while - now that I am stamping copper I wanted to get them out so I could star to make up some different pieces -  the fish was one of them

So I assembled  a couple of shelves  and moved movies around so I could use the one side - but evidently I have a ton of of stamps -  I filled the three shelves - they are 8ft long - the top alone is flowers, leaves and trees

 still have partial boxes yet to file - I think I'll add another couple of shelves on other side  of my vent

this box is full of unmounted rubber stamps a some small stamps 
But I at least got to go through them to refresh my memory 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

When Etching copper goes too far ?

I stamped a piece of 26g  with intent for a necklace that I was going to enamel or put colored resin in the deepened areas .....
I used the staz-on to stamp and put a big border of black sharpie around the edges - left a small border of copper around the stamp

Now I had full intentions to pull this out probably within 1-1/2 hrs - I even checked it twice - and I was probably 1/2 hour out and I got the "squirrel" moment - my daughter text me if I wanted to go get a pedicure - she was sick on mothers day so she wanted to take me today -  so I raced in the house - shaved my legs and picked her up -  1/2 way there I said - O well I guess my  copper piece is gong to be full of holes or totally eaten away - but it would be good to see what it looks like

I had read about how they made some copper lamp shades where they let the copper get eaten completely away   - thought gotta try one day

Well that day has come - it was amazing - I looked in the etching solution and I could see the design from the back through the tape
I took out and rinsed

look how intricate it was 

 It was like a lace - unfortunately some areas are not connected and the tape very sticky so to get off was going to be impossible without wrecking the design- giving me a few ideas for some pieces I want to do - but totally amazing how it ate around the etching right to back of the tape

Copper etched fish bracelet proto

I was going through some of my rubber stamps and came across a goldfish stamp - a really big one - unmounted - so I thought I would see what I would get and size - shape etc.  so I did up quickly on 24g (really too thin for bracelet) but I can see what it would look like bent etc...
and it was easier to cut for now - I can flatten and use as a template when I use about 18g for final bracelet
its quite large  6-1/2 inches long - the stamp I use is staz-on  and I went around the edge with a black sharpie marker 

after the etch - I have to watch as its only 26g  so I need to ensure the etch does not go too far 

turned out well 
started cleaning up with some varsol to take off the marker and the staz-on - then started sanding 

I didnt go too far as I like the darkness on the piece 

bent it 

way to flimsy for a bracelet - but I'll flatten back out and use as a template sample 

3" paper punch for 36g copper sheet

I splurged and got a 3" punch - which makes it easier to punch out 3" circles that fit perfectly in my 3" die set

they seem to be piling up 
I need to work on some finished pieces soon 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

More Hydraulic forming - microfolding and other patterns

I did a basic microfold on a slightly heat patina surface after I did the first microfold then pinched every other line to give a diamond sort of design 

used just a pair of flat nose pliers

cut and placed in die form


what it looks like after 

then did a simple "S" fold 

patterns from my cuttlebug and formed 

did a pattern on the copper through the rolling mill 

the "5" just means I did 5 pulls (too much ) 

it cut through - again I will be cutting out anyway 

the patina looks great with the pattern 

some fun 

took  a 2" wide bracelet from etching 

came out rather well 

after pressing

not too bad 


More Hydraulic Forming - Making a simple T fold -

Went back up and played till it was time for lunch with the kids 

I am playing with 36g dead soft copper - comes on a roll and is easy to work with - scissors !

It does become work hardened and is light 

Making a T fold 

I dont always  anneal since its so soft to begin with 

I cut a piece that would be fit in my 3" ring for pressing -  extra on the sides as I will be folding in a bit of material to make it smaller 

I annealed  the piece - U use a bernzomatic (from home depot) with the quick ignite switch (makes grabbing and firing fast - then cooled  ( didnt do any scale removal etc..) 

then matched the ends - I did not squish it in half - leave it round 

then I placed in the vice and left about 1/4" above the lip 

tighted vice 

take your chasing hamer  and tap lightly the end which will cause it to start to collapse
I tap all the way to the ends first 

then wach some more 

till its flat

nice an smooth 
it does not take long 

I open the vice and take out 

You can see it looks like a T-rail 
slide open the two largest pieces that are folded together

open like a book -  I dont pull too much 

I place my restraining ring over top to draw the circle to cut 

just used a marker -  I positioned what portion I wanted to be within the design 

because its so thin I used a plain pair of scissors 

my circle ready to be pressed
I put the heart die (from Potters USA) on a base 

then I put my 3" restraining ring ( I had it cut from a piece of steel pipe - was not sure the height so I wanted to  test - I am going to have it adjusted to be the full 1.25" and put a solid base welded to the bottom - but this works 

then I place the piece with the fold face down - the T-is on top 

Placed the polyureplug that will push the metal down into the die 
this is a 95 durometer 

then I placed a pusher cap  over the plug 

Placed it in the 12 ton press 
bring the pusher down to touch the top 

gave it 5 pumps 

what it looks like after  in the die 

from other side of the die 

5 pumps too much it is tearing away - although not a bad thing since \i am going to cut it out anyway 
I switched dies 
I did a flame patina - which turned out beautifully - more purple that ended up in the center of the fold 

So positioning can really be helpful when deciding on placement of where you want your fold