Last Day of June

Get your name into the June - Give - Away  open till Midnight - or tomorrow morning

I'll be pulling a name tomorrow - not sure when - maybe in morning

Was busy in between things this weekend - birthday cakes, birthday party

Got some 7" bracelets done
Etched and cleaned 

I use the bracelet former but they come out really round when they are this thin 

so after I use the former I use the tried and true wooden form

Has a nice oval to it 

All done and sealed 

Today I made a dozen of the 6-1/2 "  
Got a really good result from the heat press - I think I have it down now what to do 
works great - I can make a good batch at a time - in this case 12 
Didnt have to do any touch ups 

Into the etch  and then all cleaned up 
I wanted to try something different 
I split this batch into two - one set of 6 liver of sulpher and the other set of 6 colored 
but the experiment was to seal them flat and then bend - 

I sealed then bent them with the bracelet bender and it didnt leave a mark (I did use paper towel as protection when I formed them ) and save a lot of time 

something else I tried doing some  Kumihimo wire weaving 
Not too bad but interesting pattern

Busy Friday

I cleaned and re prepped my thin bracelets and put the PnP resist on them by the same method as before

some still had some spots that needed a touch up so I used the stop-out varnish 

Once done I put them in the etch 

I like the premium tape I had to get from Canada post - the thiner stuff is ok but I like the stiffness to this tape 

I'll clean them up on Sunday and get them ready for patina and sealing 
I only did 10   so I'll do another 10  as well sometime this week 
Using the heat press really does cut down the time 

Also made the birthday cakes for my granddaughter 
The pig cake
and the rainbow cake right out of the oven
with leftover batter made some cupcakes and we cut one open just to see what it looked like 
was amazing cant wait to cut into the cake

 The final rainbow cake with homemade butter cream icing and rainbow sprinkles

was a pretty good day - but it was hot out  

A Little More accomplished

It was hot last night but made my way up to studio to finish sealing the back and sides of the bangle copper etched bracelets

Feel better now that they are done and out of my rework box 
I then prepped the thin copper bracelets - filed the corners and cleaned the tops in prep for the pnp and placed them in my now conveniently placed heat press 
I use unwaxed paper under the pieces - on top of the high temp rubber base (to keep any pnp from sticking to rubber) and for ease of moving them around the rubber base if I need too) 
then in this instance I wanted to test just cutting a full sheet to fit over the blanks - (rather than individual ones ) to speed up the process 

I took my full sheet 8-1/2 x 11 of my Zentangle Pattern PnP sheet (available on etsy) 

cut it down and fit it over the blanks (face down ) 

I then add more unwaxed paper to help cushion the top - I find the copper bows and is never truly flat and this helps push the film down onto the copper 

I then turned on the heat press - in the past I already set it so it would go to 170 degrees F  it does not take long to heat up  (this is a t-shirt press and works great ) 
and once to temp I pull down the handle and it puts pressure on and it starts to heat up 

so I did my multiples at at one with one sheet - no additional cutting
typically I hold for about 3-4 minutes 
but my daughter and grandaughter showed up to go swimming so I cut it a bit short 
and as I peeled up I noticed not all the pnp stuck 
I'll clean these up tonight  (pretty easy - just some acetone and wipe off the pnp )- and try again 
what I typically do is check and then move/shift the group  to a different section of the press  in this case to the left as I see the press hits better there and let it heat again  and I am sure it will give me 99.9% results 

But if you dont try you will never know how to make it better, easier or faster  or give you new idea 
Practice Practice Pratice 

Getting Busy

Getting Busy - of course I only have 3 weeks to next show and all the things I wanted to make have not happened

Did I make any lampwork beads last weekend - nope  - but I built a new table to put my heat press and my mini sandblaster on
needed some new work space if I wanted to make silk screens using the Yudu finally  and keep it safe under the table till I need it - or can use it under the table to just expose the screens  - very happy now to have it done  - just ordering the stainless steel top for it this week - I also put a nice big power bar in that area so I can plug into 

Did I finish my bracelets - nope - I only played (see earlier post) with my mini sandblaster I pulled out of storage (I bought it 12 years ago and only used it once ) but now using to clean up the bracelets 
Last couple of nights I've gone to the studio - put on the fans (cause its hot hot hot )  and cleaned the bracelets up to prep for liver of sulpher and sealing 
got them all clean finally last night and sanded and put on the liver of sulpher - I dont dip I use a q-tip and applied so I would not get on the backs - for easier finishing 
once on I rinse in clear running water and then dip in bicarbe and water to stop the reaction and dried - then sanded them with my dremel and split mandrel and sandpaper 
I then applied two coats  of the permalac sealer (they dried by the time I came around for second coat) and I've left them to dry - Wednesday night I do the backs and sides  and they will be finished 

Next on the agenda is to make some larger thin bracelets- at least a dozen  - have a bunch of small but need the larger size 
I've started them by cutting the corners and flattening the metal - I just need to file the corners smoother and clean one side of the metal so I can heat press the pnp blue of my zentangle designs on them for etching. The etching is easy compared to the prep and clean up 

I still have some things to clean up in my rework bin
they need cleaning and then I can figure out what to do with them 
I do have some washers I made - thinking about a necklace of some sorts 
If I have time but I like to lay out stuff to look at while I'm working on something else - sometimes it gives me ideas 
Like these - still thinking of the embellishments for the pendant with the dichro center and the oval cut outs - I want glass in the center just cant think if dichro or possibly a lampwork eye 

May be this weekend - although I have babysitting chore friday with the grandkids and my grandaughters 12 th birthday on saturday may be dead days for making things 

Copper Etching - Good information for those afraid of using Ferric Chloride

I know some people shy away from chemicals because they are afraid of what they can do to you- it took me a while to want to etch because becaue of it -

But there are more caustic materials under our kitchen counter to be more afraid of than the Ferric Chloride

Laundry Bleach for one .......

I came across a great article on the Chemistry of Ferric Chloride - for those of you who are a bit afraid to work with it

Here is a segment  from the article

"Since Rembrandt, etchers have used nitric acid and Dutch mordant to etch copper. At the turn of the century ferric chloride solution was introduced in gravure work, principally because of its interaction with gum bichromated gelatine. With the increased emphasis on health and safety at work, we have had to reappraise these and the other chemicals we use.
The salt, ferric chloride, has none of the disadvantages associated with the other two acid etching solutions: it does not produce dangerous fumes, is odourless and, though corrosive, is not absorbed through the skin.
Ferric chloride solutions in water are strong acidic but in their reaction with copper no significant fumes or gases are produced. "

You can read the rest of the article here:  

Now the highlighted red area is the most important to everyone - we always worry about fumes and absorption and working with chemicals - if you prevent what could happen even with chemicals they say are safer   - you are already ahead of the game 

Even though it says non absorbtion on the skin - I always use latex gloves to protect my hands - the stuff stains your hands - makes you look like a 100 pack a day smoker - yellows and darkens your skin. Sometimes its inevitable and I get it on my fingers or hands .  I have posted in the past that I sometimes use a dab of the Lysol toilet bowl cleaner (the blue stuff)  and it takes it off - this may not be good for some who are more allergic to chemical and are prone to break outs - so this is only a suggestion - you are the one to determine if you can use.  (works great on your sink when you stain it with the ferric as well - like new - next time I'll take a before and after pic ) 

 Even though it says does not produce dangerous fumes and is odourless -  I still put on my exhaust fan and have more than adequate supply of fresh air flowing through my studio. 

 I wear eye protection when pouring - just in case something fly's up and splashes me -  

 Stay safe - take things slowly  and be prepared should you spill any - it stains  (again I use the lysol toilet bowl cleaner on my concrete floor and on my stainless tables - works great) 

I still have to do the comparison of electro-etching  vs the ferric chloride -  since I am so happy with the Ferric I have not taken the opportunity to try the electrical version - but that does not mean its not as good.  Hopefully in the next month I'll have my comparison for you to see 
There are some good sites to check out like :

New Teaching Dates coming up

Keep your eyes posted  I am setting up dates for classes

first with The Glass Shoppe in Ottawa :

we are tentativly setting Aug 23 - 25 with friday night as a possible copper etching class , Saturday a couple of enamel metal bead classes and Sunday as a lampwork beginner enamel class
so excited - I'll be putting the info together this week for the wonderful Grace Edwards who owns the Shoppe and we will see how it works out

Also some other great  news - I'll be teaching a beginners lampwork at the Creative Craft Festival at the Nortel Booth this year (October 25 - 27)   I'll get more info for everyone soon

Just 6 more days till the June Give-A-Way Draw - get your name in now

Yes June is flying by and there are only 6 more days to get your name into the draw 

and just place a comment  (only on the give-a-way thread above ) and you will be eligible to win  this months prize - a Zentangle Engraved Dicro Pendant - no charge - free shipping etc.

Work in Progress

Pulled out bracelets I need to clean up and get ready for July show
They originally had the wax sealer on so I am cleaning that off and going to clean up - repatina and seal with the permalac -  I noticed that the bracelets I did with the wax darkened and looked awful after months of sitting while those sealed with the permalac look like I just finished them - so the wax is now history

pile to the left is to be reworked - pile on right cleaned - once all done then I'll do the patina and seal
hard to see difference from sunlight shining on but there is 

I also  looked at making some sample dangles for the round pendants - still not sure what I am doing with them as yet 

Check out Beaducations free class ! Love this place

If you have never been go visit  they have some pretty cool on line classes and free patterns as well

this one caught my eye on facebook  - looks pretty cool and easy to do too - remember when we used to do this in math class and make triangles and designs with cardboard and thread

Prepping another design

Prepping one of the cleaned pieces (same style as earrings ) except this one is going to be a bracelet center
cleaned and punched the holes and dapped
now I just have to decide what will go in the center or if it requires more work

Final Test pot melt out of 2nd firing

not too bad- smooth edges and reduced in thickness  - I'll have to look more into how to mix colors or figure that out but all in all a nice mix of the yellow green and red on the melt -  I'll see what I can do now to make up some pendants

Sandblast Cleaning of Copper

I was visiting Nortel last week and noticed that Peter cleans his soldered copper connections by sandblasting - cleans them up great - soooooooo

this weekend I pulled out my little table top blaster  from Romanoff - e-z Blaster
(you can get one here  

I have a two hand blaster

I've had this little blaster for years and orginally use it to blast beads
2 hand ez-blaster

You hook up to a basic compressor  and it has a light inside, recycles the blast material internally, has side hand glove access, the front panel opens to place your items in - all self contained  - easy set up

Here I take items before blasting
want to take off the wax so I can clean up and redo 

take off resist and clean up 

take off resist and clean up 

I love the light inside 

and the self contained and the small footprint of the unit 
works very well - I use a small pancake compressor

connect to the foot pedal

and after

Its a flat dull copper finish - so this does away with the chemicals to clean up the resist 
I think I"ll work with this some more 

Now that its out I'm going to play with it for etching beads and cleaning copper