Monday, January 24, 2011

Wax carving

So, after a month, I'm finally feeling more like my old self, able to do things like look after my children and make jewelry and write books, where as before I could only really do the third one (why that's the last to go is not clear to me. Maybe because it's what I've done the longest?)

Today I took a class in wax carving as I explore other techniques to make jewelry. Last week I took a beginners' silversmithing class, which was extremely useful as it showed me the basics of soldering. I don't think I'll do a lot of silversmithing otherwise, as I also learned that it is very hard on the hands, and I'm already pushing my luck with everything I try to do with my hands. Between typing, wire wrapping, knitting, and crocheting, I will be in BIG trouble if I get any kind of hand injury.

I expected wax carving to also be too hard on the hands and require too much equipment to be able to do it at home. Much to my surprise, I was wrong on both counts. I also thought that my utter lack of ability to sculpt or carve would impact my ability to do wax carving, and I was partially right there :-). I won't be winning major awards for my wax carving, but much of it requires being systematic, consistent, and being able to reproduce forms reliably. Those I can do, and since the wax and the tools are so cheap, I think I'll tool around with more wax carving and post the results in my shop.

Right now my Etsy shop is in a holding pattern as I build up inventory in new lines of items, which I will debut in February, most likely. That is, if circumstances allow. Right now there are two hurdles I must overcome. The first is getting my hallmark approved by the Assay Office. The Assay Office, here in the UK, verifies that jewelry is made out of the materials the maker claims it is made out of. They then stamp the items with a variety of symbols, one for the Assay Office, one detailing the purity of the metal used, and one that is unique to each jewelry maker. That third one is the one I had to put in an application for, and it can take up to five weeks to clear. The other obstacle is that my tumbler broke down.

So, I'm doing a little bit of work on the redesign of the shop every day. I've got some fun new techniques and several new items I hope people love!

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