<![CDATA[Christina Dean Jewelry - handmade sterling silver and copper jewelry - Blog]]>Tue, 17 Oct 2017 04:34:17 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Bee Stings Wine Party, Creativity Buzzes]]>Fri, 13 Sep 2013 03:15:59 GMThttp://christinadeanjewelry.com/1/post/2013/09/bee-stings-wine-party-creativity-buzzes.htmlWell my dear friends, it's been much too long since I last spent some quality time on my website.  Traveling and moving to the city have consumed much of time this summer. That said, I am ready to dive back into some some metalsmithin' fun!

Tonight's plan was to go to a friend's annual (or semi-annual), girls' night wine party.  That plan got a bit stymied when I was 5 minutes into a run (yes, I forgot to tell you... I started RUNNING this summer... although to most it is a sad looking jog to most), ANYWAYS --- 5 minutes in I felt a painful ZAP right in my rear end. OUCH! I gracefully tried to shoo whatever was in my shorts OUT and continued on down the trail.  Three second later I felt two more powerful zaps shooting right into my lower back. OKAY, it's on. I swatted like hell and ran (this time is was running like people who are really "runners") back to my car and purse for some Benydryll. For those of you who don't know me well, I am prone to accidents. Primarily skin-related medical issues. That pink pill has saved me on so many occasions, it's hard to count. Anyways, I extra dosed on the Benydryll and didn't see how driving and drinking wine would work in my favor (tonight anyways). Okay, change of plans...

The task of unpacking and setting up a workspace is always daunting for me. I've moved just about every year for the last 6 years so I should be used to it by now. So many boxes and pieces to reconfigure in their new homes. Tonight, I finally got my butt in gear (thanks to the bee) and took it on one box at a time. After opening the first box, the memories came flooding back to me. Not just WHAT I owned for tools, but HOW I've used them in the past. I recalled working on that custom ring when I held the ring mandrel and making the domed cup earrings when I found the perfect place for my disc cutter. I think it's so cool that humans can retain such unique memories, tuck them away for so long, and then in one split second -- recall an entire experience. 

And so it has begun. All but two boxes have been ripped open. Parts and pieces have been reassembled and reunited at last. The bench is ready to rock. What still awaits is the soldering station (fire, torches, chemicals, the real fun stuff). This requires a bit more technical and logistical help in setting up to ensure good ventilation but I am shooting to have it ready by the first weekend in October.  This way I'll be all geared up for the holiday season! Initially I thought my unexpected stinger friend got the best of me, but it turned out he gave me just the kick in the bum I needed. Giddy up.

Here is a quick pic from mid-unpacking experience. 
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<![CDATA[Sketchy Sunday]]>Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:36:18 GMThttp://christinadeanjewelry.com/1/post/2013/03/sketchy-sunday.htmlPicture
This past weekend I had the true pleasure of attending my first C'Ville Artist Meet-Up group.  This group was formed to create a network of artists who want to make connections, share ideas, collaborate, and inspire!  Sunday's afternoon meeting was a simple sketching session, a time to work on your own projects in the midst of other creative minds.  I've included a few of the earrings sketches I came up with during that session and hope to make them into a 3D reality in the coming weeks. Please check them out and let me know if you have a favorite. I certainly love the feedback!

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This flower-sun earring has a lot of potential for me. Something whimsical, fun, and keeps in theme with my "trio flower bud" series, only with a twist of summer sun. I can see that is a mixed metal earring with silver and copper. What do you think?

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My final sketch is something that quite surprised me because of its complexity.  This started out as just 3 simple lines, but as the Meet-Up conversation carried on, so did my Ultra-fine Sharpie! :)   I typically like to stay away from traditional imagery like stars and flowers that might normally adorn a high school art-student's chemistry notebook, so I'm totally not sure how I feel about this yet. Perhaps seeing it cut out in metal will sway me. 

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I went to the meeting having no clue what to expect but left feeling like a had tapped in a somewhat latent part of my brain.   As the meeting ran on, the snow started to fall... and today I enjoyed this lovely view of my backyard... ahhhhh....

I can only laugh humbly, as I remind myself that humans can only try to make art.  Nature SO has us beat.

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<![CDATA[One was planned, one was a surprise...]]>Tue, 12 Mar 2013 02:47:00 GMThttp://christinadeanjewelry.com/1/post/2013/03/one-was-planned-one-was-a-surprise.htmlPicture
No.... I'm not talking about children, but I AM talking about the earrings I completed today! What I love most about the creative process are the unlikely sources and times of inspiration.  I set out today knowing I would complete the flower bud trio earrings but was never quite settled on how I wanted the post to look. 

After some quick sketching and imagination, I got to work on making small discs that would later be hammered with a texture to match the larger oval, drilled,  filled with a bud-post, and soldered to the bottom oval. As I was making the little discs, I was struck by how simple and attractive they were all by themselves.  BOOM! New earring idea. With my creative juices pumping and the Flower Bud Trio Earrings complete, I immediately got to work on a new pair of smaller BUD STUDS.

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Simple, with a touch of funk, my new bud studs are complete and have been added to my Etsy page. The most rewarding part of today was that merely 15 minutes after posting to Facebook and Etsy, I received one of those heart-warming emails with the "Etsy Transaction - Order Confirmation" header.  Not only did I have the quickest moment of inspiration, but I also completed my fastest sale!   

{Buy FLOWER BUD TRIO earrings}

{Buy BUD STUD earrings}

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<![CDATA[My favorite earrings from start to finish...]]>Fri, 01 Mar 2013 00:27:53 GMThttp://christinadeanjewelry.com/1/post/2013/02/my-favorite-earrings-from-start-to-finish.htmlWell, today was super productive and although I did not entirely get through what I set out to complete, I did end up with this new website and blog! Hooray!  For my very first blog post I wanted to share a step by step photo sequence showing the creation of my most favorite pair of earrings. I get a lot of questions about how I actually make my jewelry and am delighted to share the inside scoop with you. Please enjoy and definitely ask questions if you've got em! I love a good conversation.
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First I use adhesive spray glue to stick the design on paper to the copper. (I always have an ultra fine sharpie near by.... you know, in case of emergencies.)

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I then saw out the outer shape of the earring using a jewelry saw. Notice how super tiny the saw blade is.... yikes!

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I use a jeweler's drill press to drill holes in all the areas I'm going to be sawing out.  These are not you standard "joe-homeowner" drill bits from Lowes but are insanely small yet powerful!

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By opening up the bottom of the saw, I can position the blade inside of the circle to cut out any interior shapes, then I fasten the blade back into the saw frame. This blew my mind the very first time I saw it done...I really had no idea.

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I then file and sand all of the edges as well as the front and back of the earrings to smooth everything out. Nobody likes to get cuts from wearing their earrings, right?  I will sometimes use a dremel tool too to help speed up this process.

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Using that dremel tool I just talked about, I add texture to the earrings to add a fun and totally unique effect. This may be my favorite part of the process because it's so reckless... I just get to let loose and carve some metal at high speeds... yeehaw!

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I always make my own "findings" ( fancy name for the hooks or posts that go into your ears) from scratch using sterling silver wire.  These particular earrings look best with an angular post finding.

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FIRE!! (Didn't think we'd go through this blog without some pyrotechnics did you?) Because I want to ensure my beloved earrings never stray from their finding, I always solder them shut. Okay, THIS is my favorite part about making jewelry. I am a Sagittarian and there is no mistaken that we are the FIRE sign.

*I also don't recommend playing with fire and taking pictures. I took a chance my friends, but I think it was worth it.

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After cleaning up the earrings from the heat using a hot chemical solution called  "pickle", we're ready for the magic!  Imagine dipping Easter Eggs in food coloring only this time you're dipping copper into liver of sulfur (a smelly mineral that works wonders for copper and silver).  This magically turns bright shiny copper black.

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For the finishing touches, I sand off some of the black patina we just applied so that the shiny copper shows through.  This is a great way to achieve an antiqued effect and to really help that texture pop out.

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Once I polish up the posts, earrings are ready to wear!  Tah-dah!!



Thanks for checking out my first ever blog post. If you love these earrings as much as I do, they can be yours by clicking this link: {I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THESE EARRINGS}
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