What happened to the colour black?

O.K. as I stated in my last post, I am not a graphic designer, and that became quite apparent when I uploaded the poster on my last blog entry. In photoshop the blacks looked really good and deep, but once I put it up here it all looks kind of desaturated. When I reopen it in photoshop it still looks all nice and black. What's the story? Anyone?

Becoming a graphic designer

So, I have a little opportunity to get some free advertising, all I need to supply is an A4 poster for my company. Yesterday I sat down with photoshop and came up with this. posterAnyways, as I am not a graphic designer and am just relearning photoshop after 14 years, I was pretty happy with the result. Having the lighter box behind the word wax was a bit of a happy accident, I had it as white text, but when I selected the word, it showed it as black with a lighter background, and it looked great, so that's what I did. Thanks photoshop!

Get everything you ever wanted at the 109 collective

If you are planning to come to Byron Bay this winter, make sure you are here for the 21st-23rd of July. It is time for the 109 collective's winter exhibition, where you will be able to get your hands on some pretty nifty goods that you probably won't find anywhere else. Ever again. We have some amazing local artisans displaying and selling their creations and inventions. Every time I go, I am amazed at the awesome raw creative power all concentrated in one building. Jewellery, textiles, artworks, photographs, it's all gonna be there. Are you?

Treat me nice and I'll be your friend forever

To be honest, as a Canadian living in Australia, one thing I have noticed quite often is the frequent lack of customer service and support. Not a big deal, I have become used to it in general, which I guess is why I was so pleasantly surprised the other day. I had ordered a Paragon kiln from a company I found online called Metal Clay, the kiln was shipped from the manufacturer and arrived at my doorstep. Only one problem, it didn't heat. And that's what kilns are supposed to do.... Lame.

So I called up Metal Clay, and talked with a wonderful lady, Jennifer, who assured me that they would get the problem sorted Asap, and she did, staying up until late in the night so that she could call through to the U.S. based manufacturing plant and hopefully get the problem sorted before the weekend. The next morning I got an email from the manufacturers, giving some instruction as to what might be the problem, and in an hour, I had it fixed and running. Funny, as I write this it doesn't really sound like a big deal, but to me it was, just to be treated like a real person, who was probably a bit disappointed in receiving a dud product. So, for that little bit of time invested, Jennifer has got me as a customer if I need anything that she carries in the future. And If anyone out there is looking for a kiln, MetalClay seems to have the best prices on Paragon kilns in Australia. And good customer service to boot. Sweet.

You rock, Dragonfly.

Hey, I have had this dragonfly thing in my mind for a long time now. Here's a sketch that has been sitting in my sketchbook since the very start of my clockwork jewelry journey. I never could quite get my head around how exactly to make the thing though.

Well, I finally gave it a crack and am very happy with the results. After a week of figuring, riveting, soldering, and almost swearing, and 141 seperate bits of copper and brass all assembled together, I have got something awesome!   A super sweet clockwork propeller driven bug. First thing my 4 year old son said when he saw it was "dad, fly it around the house!" To be quite honest, I was more than happy to oblige him, in fact I can hardly stop flying it around, it just feels so good.  And when you blow on the prop, it spins. Can you get better than that?

For more photos, have a look on my photo gallery.

Making a pendant

[caption id="attachment_84" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Hand engraving "][/caption] I thought I'd put up a couple of pics every once in a while to show some of the processes I use to create my jewellery. I use a variety of different modelling techniques. For this one, I am using the outside of a plastic gear I scrounged from an old printer, combined with a copper sheet that I have hand cut and engraved.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_85" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Gear set up ready for molding"][/caption]

After I have got the design engraved onto the copper and the copper cut to fit exactly in the center of the gear, I make a mold of it with liquid silicone rubber. Hopefully when the rubber cures and I cut it apart, I will get a perfect wax replica of this model!

Want to quit your job and just play in the shed?

Looks like my dream of making my own jewellery full time has finally arrived. It was something I thought about and was working towards, but never had the guts to give up a steady paycheck and step into the unknown realm of home business. A couple of weeks ago the decision was made for me as the company I was working for closed it's doors and now here I am. Free to make whatever I want. Freaky. Anyways, I have been banging and grinding away in the shed, creating some of the tools and things I am going to need to make my shop run smoothly. And then..... make some jewellery.

It's gonna be good.

My mechanical heart

It's been a while since I have made anything new, but the 109 collective art show spurred me on to create this baby.

[caption id="attachment_62" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mechanical Heart"][/caption]

She's made of copper and brass with sterling silver rivets. The little porthole door opens and closes to reveal the inner workings of the heart.

My jewellery has a style: Steampunk

Looking back through some of my old drawings and jewellery designs, I realized that I have always been drawing designs with lots of gears and mechanical bits and pieces. I never made any of them cause I thought people wouldn't really be interested in them. But in the past few years, Steampunk has emerged, which if you haven't already heard of it, could be probably most precisely described as victorian sci fi. Yep, bring technology back to where everything was mechanical- you could actually see machines working, gears moving, things ticking. Now throw in a couple mad inventors, creating giant, steam powered robots or whatever other equally fantastical machines you can think up- possibly an airship or two and you have steampunk...... And so, I no longer make jewellery that has lots of gears and things. I make Steampunk jewellery.

It's all on

Well, it looks like the jewellery thing is actually happening! Today, the owners of  "Handmade in Byron Bay" came over to take some photos of me working in my shed to put together a little bio of me. I have a couple of pieces in their shop right now and apparently they are generating a lot of interest. Sweet. Here is one of the cute little metal bugs. I like to imagine little people flying around in this contraption.

In the beginning

So here I am, starting a blog. It's not the type of thing I would normally do- I don't read blogs, and I never learned to type properly. So why would I start now?  I guess I could give you a bit of background of  why and how I got here.  I have been in the jewellery industry for about 16 years now, have always been employed by someone else, and I was pretty content. Either that or too scared to make a change. Maybe a little of both. Well, a couple of months ago, I learned that my job was at risk, due to the GFC, and that gave me a boot in the butt to start making a few changes. So, I have decided to start my own business "Lost Wax" and this blog will be a peek into that process for me. Starting from having no idea about setting up a small business and hopefully ending with some form of success.... or at least me learning something.