Saturday, June 28, 2008

Memory wire hoop earrings

I may have invented these, so I want to put them on-line.

There are hoop earring designs on-line that use memory wire, but I have only seen ones that were hung from other earring hooks.
It's possible to make hoop earrings from memory wire without using other earring findings as you can see here. The lampwork is from my very first batch of home-made beads and they are not annealed, and the cages are craft wire. I never made bead cages before, but they worked out. The instructions I used for the wire cages are from wigjig (I don't have a wigjig and the wire cages have tool marks)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My first home made lampwork

Well, of sorts. Having been bitten by the lampwork bug since my visit with Kalera Stratton, I think that was 2005, I took a class from Eva Anderson-Terada (who was the one to tell me that "this town needs a bead store") this past January, then a (rather way too big for my purposes) used torch came up on the local Craigslist and I decided that this time I wasn't going to procrastinate like I usually do when it comes to spending money, I went last week and bought myself a hothead kit.

It took sleeping over it a few times, and getting to the weekend to put together something where I can make beads. I wouldn't exactly call it a studio, but it's rather well ventilated by being outside, yet out of the wind (no cracked beads in my first batch, even without a kiln). As I can't find didymium glasses that fit over my reading glasses I borrowed some welding goggles from work, those do fit, but as Eva told me, I didn't really need them for the soft glass. I got myself some clip-on sunglasses, and those will probably do for a while. The hardest thing to get going was to get the mandrels dry on that almost 100% relative humidity day - but if it hadn't been raining I probably would have been working in the yard -, of the first 14 mandrels the bead release cracked on 9 during drying. So, I used the others, had myself a break after washing the mandrels off and re-dipping, and started again, and a 3rd time, but after that my 14 mandrels were used up. One time the bead release cracked when I already had glass on the rod, so it went straight into the water bucket and turned into some greenish sand.

One thing happened that I found rather curious: when applying the glass for one beads the bead release released. Turning the mandrel the glass stayed in place. So I said, well, if this one doesn't want to be round I'm just going to leave it as it is.

The colors I used aren't exactly my colors. They came with the kit. As I didn't expect to get anything near viable out of this first attempt at home made beads I took the colors that I would least likely have bought.

The cloudiness in some of the beads is probably due to using propane, but I thought I'd give that a shot as we have it anyway and those little Coleman bottles are getting rather rusty. And at least for the time being I'm going to stick with propane. We have propane anyway and it gives me more time to get the glass where it's supposed to go. You can tell from the "accidental pendant" that it's not exactly going where and how it's supposed to go just yet.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More velvet seeds, and some other stuff

Monday I got more weleweka/velvet/Hawaiian pussy willow/mgambo/ Maui mink/or whatever other names these go by/ seeds. I currently get those from Oahu. While they're not from the Big Island until my own trees are big enough, at least they're from Hawaii, and my supplier's last name is a Hawaiian name.

One of my co-workers asked me about hoop earrings. I used to wear hoop earrings a lot, and "had a think" about them. I don't like to wear hoop earrings that dangle from e.g. French ear wires unless they're strung on SoftFlex (or some other soft material - I have SoftFlex at HiloBeads), but I wanted to make real hoop earrings. Given that I don't like to wear 20 gauge wire in my ear holes, I made them from memory wire, and that works rather well. I'll need some mini crimps to secure the beads on the wire (I hate using glue), but I think I'll be making more of those (I'll get a picture in here when I get one. My outdoors 'light tent' only works in reasonably good weather, and I'm not saying that I've been home during daylight since Kamehameha Day, and before that the weekend).

I put the 30" 4 strand royal poinciana seed and seed bead necklace on Craigslist today. It's a good necklace and I don't insist on keeping it. The price it is listed at, both at my website and on Craigslist, reflects the amount of hand work and materials in it more than any design thinking or other creativity. (So if you like it, grab it before I change my mind. And there are no kinks or twists in it.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Emails (loss thereof), and other updates

Today somebody at my work place found that some emails had gotten lost. If anybody has sent me email to my .edu account and never got a reply, I'm afraid I have to tell you that I never got your email. I replied to all emails that I received. We know that some Google mail was never received (at work), as well as email from a rather large .edu place, so this looks rather indistinguishable from the outside as to what kind of places may be affected. Please email me again to, I don't know of any emails to that having gotten lost yet, and I do check my spam folder on a regular basis, just in case - so far all I found in it was spam.

My second batch of jewelry got sent off to Trudy's Island Art today. I don't think she'll put it on her website (just yet?), but if you're in Kona, you can find some of my jewelry there in the International Market as well as at Showcase Gallery in the Keauhou Shopping Center. Kona Beads have a Royal Poinciana seed bracelet as well as some of my Royal Poinciana seed spacer bars. The latter, as well as some of my mgambo seed/weleweka/velvet seed/Maui mink/Hawaiian pussy willow (these go be several names), are also available at Island Edges in downtown Hilo.