Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Put a *shine* on that gorgeous wire work

If you make and sell sterling silver wire jewelry, especially online, sooner or later you'll
face the problem of having your beautiful jewelry oxidize in all the wrong places. It's bad enough at a show, where it just doesn't sparkle like it should, but in pictures it's awful. There is no way to correct it. It's fairly easy to attend to the problem when it's plain sterling silver, just throw it in a tumbler with some stainless steel shot, water and a little Dawn and let it ride for a while, but if there are fragile gemstones that's not an option.

I have been stocking my ArtFire artisan jewelry studio, JewelryOnTheRocks, and some of my most beautiful pieces were taking on that ugly brown color. Not enough so that it looked like it was supposed to be that way, just enough to make them look drab. It had me stymied so that I couldn't move forward, my pieces just looked terrible in pictures.

Not too long ago I stumbled across a tip that just blew me away. It was one of those happy discoveries that make you feel as if your load has lighted so much. I was wearing a ring that had that light oxidization and had such beautiful delicate wire work that it wasn't possible to use a jeweler's cloth on it and got some smelly chemicals on my hands that soap and water wasn't taking off so I grabbed my husband's cream formula Fast Orange. I knew that it would take care of the smell, nothing is as good as orange oil for taking out bad smells. As I rinsed my hands I was watching that ring because I needed to make sure I didn't leave the residue in it and couldn't believe my eyes. As the cream washed away the ring positively glittered!

I next tried the piece in this picture as a test. I applied the Fast Orange to the right half and left the left half untreated. I think the results speak for themselves! If you have this issue, try this tip and come back to let us know your thoughts.

One important disclaimer: Fast Orange is a weak acid. If you use it on pearls, calcium based stones like calcite and epidote or stones that may be treated with wax such as turquoise and chrysocholla, keep the time limit very short to avoid pitting pearls/calcium based stones or melting the wax on those lovely soft stones.

Visit me on ArtFire to see more of my work at JewelryOnTheRocks. I also have a studio for my beautifully classic handmade findings and small lots of highly unusual beads, visit me at glittercritter's!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Delphi Glass contest

I found this on the ArtFire Staff Announcements forum:

ArtFireSMO said:

Have you heard about Delphi's Ring of Fire Artist Challenge? The contest is open to all artist of all levels. All you have to do to enter is incorporate one of Delphi's "Ring of Fire" products into a piece of art and submit your entry to Delphi's online gallery!

To kick start everyone’s creative engine, we’re working withDelphi to hold brainstorming contests! Today’s brainstorm is to think of ways you could incorporate this FineSilver Wire from Delphi into a new project. Post your ideas in the forum between now and Monday. On Monday morning we’ll randomly select oneof the commenter’s who will get to pick out up to $25 worth of products fromthe “Ring of Fire” .

This picture is from "additional ideas for the glass block" section on Delphi. The winner on May 11 was JulieClarkArt who said:

"I would put two different colors of glass marbles in it - like orange and white - fill it with water, and use it as a vase. The marbles would give a "dots" look to it, as well as hold the flowers in place. Taking it a step further, you could paint a monogram on the outside, customizing the "vase"/block."

This is "15 Minutes in the Dark", an original oil painted from Julia's ArtFire studio:

Julia had such a fun idea! What's yours? Delphi wants to know!