Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mastering Torch Fire Enamel Jewelry

Hello, if your visiting from the Facebook page with the launch of "Mastering Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry" by Barbara Lewis, I am glad your here!  The necklace below is featured in the contributor section of the book which is devoted to the color wheel.

Barbara does not disappoint with the new book, and projects.   There is a lot more to learn, so go and grab your copy, at Painting with Fire Studio, Amazon, or at a book store new you.  There are lots of new projects, tips and things to learn.

Thank you for stopping by!  I welcome your comments!  Be sure to share the post on Facebook for more opportunities to win gift certificates with Painting With Fire Studio! Laura

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grandpa's Journey

Grandpa and Grandma Carlson, and me.

I am honored to have a necklace featured in Barbara Lewis' new book, Mastering torch-fired enamel jewelry.  My necklace is in the section of the book on color.  I have a monochromatic color scheme using green.  The entire necklace will be revealed soon!

The inspiration of my necklace is written with the project in the book.  I am very excited about that, as my story is a fond one, be it about a simple man, yet a man who led a life of hard work, and was a family man through and through.

His name was Clarence, although everyone called him Kelley.  He is my Dad's Dad.  He lived in and around Mitchell South Dakota most of his life as a farmer.  He encouraged my Dad to pursue college and a different life, when he saw my Dad was not the farmer at heart.

Grandpa gave all the little kids life savors after church on Sunday.  This is the way he was.  I remember the trips to get root beer for root beer floats!  Check out the book for that story. I was very young when we would travel there during the summer, but I have vivid memories.  I remember a warm and loving set of Grandparents.

The photo here is the one that inspired the necklace.  When I found the photo decal, it reminded me of this photo, and it inspired my story of Grandpa, and his life's journey.

Photo connector'Grandpa's Journey
I just noticed seeing them side by side, that both the men
have hats, and both the ladies have head wraps! (what would be the proper
name for those?)
My Paternal Grandparents
Here is a photo of me and my 2 sisters with my Grandparents in front of the Mitchell house.  I love this photo!  This conveys a lot about them. 
I am the little one on Grandpa's lap. 

My Granparents
Thank you for reading a little bit more about Grandpa's Journey.  Visit again when I reveal the entire necklace!  I am listing some pieces over time on my Etsy site in the section, Life is a Journey. I hope you will check them out.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Is there a problem?

Hello all!  I decided to create this little chart of "problem" beads,  to show what the enamel looks like on the beads after firing with different issues.  When you are just starting out with the immersion technique of torch firing enamel on iron and copper beads, these are typical things that can occur with the process.  

 Believe me, I had plenty of problem beads to pick from in my bin!  Don't be discouraged when you first begin.   You will get the beads stuck on the mandrel.  
You will have beads that are uneven.  You will have beads with vermiculite on them.  

But, as you fire and practice, you will get better at the coordination.  You will figure out your own rhythm and match it to the system.  Things like how long you need to leave it in the flame, when to dip it in enamel, when to move it to the bead pulling station and so on,  will soon become habit, I promise! 

My biggest advise is to be sure to move the bead when it is red hot: to the enamel for dipping, to pull it to the end of the mandrel or to the BPS for removal.  Another words, 
don't let your bead sit too long in any one position, once it gets red hot.  The process is quick.  

Typically a bead firing would go like this: 2-3 coats of opaque and 1 transparent, 
then to the BPS for removal, and cooling in vermiculite.  

Good luck as you learn and practice!  Be sure you have lots of mandrels on hand, and inexpensive beads to play with. Go to the stores with a magnet, and purchase some things to try.  Wear a mask when firing these items, as they may release fumes, and be careful, as they may burn. 
Most of all, have fun with the process! 

Contact me with any questions, or if you would like a hands on workshop, and are in the triad area of North Carolina, I would love to teach you!