New Ideas for the Workshop

I have gathered up a few tips and ideas that I am using in my workshop as I continue on my current obsession with learning how to make rings.

Plier Holder- Thrift shop find – a paper towel holder.

4.PlierHolder

 

Rolling Mill Holder: Bench grinder stand from Harbor Freight and a couple of sturdy C clamps.

5.RollingMillStand

Sawblade Holder: Spice holder.  Another thrift shop find.

6.Sawblades

 

I keep most of my stones in photo slide pocket storage pages in a three-ring binder.

7.Stonestorage

 

I raised up my bench pin by securing it to a wooden box

 

1.BenchPin copy

I made a holder for flex shaft and rotary tool attachments.  I found a wood box at the thrift store and drilled holes in the top.

2.Box

And I can keep a few more items, like collets which I am always misplacing, in the box.  It makes it easier to find things so I can spend more time learning and making things.

 

3.Box2

Sleeping in the Workshop

Sometimes Boris comes down to the workshop to “help” me but usually he ends up jumping into his Sleepy Box and napping.  I have two rock tumblers going at present and they don’t seem to bother him.  Nor does the soldering, sawing, hammering, banging and other assorted sounds I make.

I pulled out boxes of metal and polymer scraps and am trying my hand at making metal boxes with lids.  I am also tumbling a summer’s worth of porcelain beads and pendants that I made at The Clay Studio.  I am rooting through my tools and hardware for items to use in the mixed media sculpture class I am taking at Fleisher.  I found some 6 gauge copper wire at a house sale and I am making huge jump rings with it.  I am finishing some old projects little by little and trying a few new things.  I am not the one sleeping in the workshop!

 

What’s Going on in the Workshop

This has been a very challenging summer for me. Lots of changes with loved ones coming and going from my life.  There’s the 5th year anniversary of my Mother’s death,  my impending retirement,  more and more silver appearing in my hair (which I refuse to dye-been there done that) and the feeling that things are moving slowly,  but that I can’t keep up with them.    

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It is at times like these that I find myself going into the workshop to make components without any idea of how I will  use them, if I end up using them at all.    I am past the point in my life where everything has to have an immediate goal and purpose.  Sometimes just “being” is the best thing for me.   
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So here are some pictures of the meanderings  I have taken with my materials this summer.  

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Some etched copper.

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I am trying various kinds of chain making, soldered and unsoldered.  

image etched copper pipes

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Mixing chain components with polymer beads

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These pieces will become toggle clasps,

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Spirals for dangles

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Clasp experiments based on vintage belt buckle design.  Front

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And back,

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And here is a bracelet where I try to pull it all together with glass and polymer beads. 

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This picture shows a spiral dangle and one of the finished toggle clasps in use. (after a bath in liver of sulfur)  The wrinkled bead between the red  (one glass and one polymer) beads is a copper bead made from crushed pipe.