Saturday, October 17, 2009

Projects 7, 8, 9, and 10: Jewelry Diversity

Poor, neglected blog! 3 months of no posts is a bit long. Here's what I've been up to-

I found a good way to seal rings - 4 coats of varnish followed by 3 coats of clear nail polish. This combination works surprisingly well; it can stand up to water, medium scratching and jostling, and doesn't aggravate the skin. I've made a few rings but have given some away. I still have two.

This ring is made out of bocote (ba-cote-ay) - a lovely, ringed hardwood from India. The rings are starting to take less time - about 3 hours now.

This ring is made of paduak (pah-duke), which comes from Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, paduke is a softer wood, which I have learned is not good for rings. I was refreshing my bad habit of popping my knuckles and in the process heard this ring crack. It's fractured in 3 places and I'm hoping that a bunch of nail polish coats can stiffen it up. I also carved this ring so that the grain of the wood is parallel with the width of the ring. The grain of the ring runs up and down in this photo. This is also a bad idea because it weakens the compression strength of the wood. A pretty brittle ring. I suppose I'll enjoy it while I can.

These earrings are made out of ebony from Africa. Superglue (what else?!) was used to affix the metal backs. They turned out a little more Gothic than I intended. I was shooting for more of a shooting star/comet design but they came out looking like menacing teeth. These took about 6 hours.

Making a bracelet was totally new to me. After many mess-ups, I was able to make beads by drilling into a block of wood and then cutting the holes and surrounding wood into bite-sized pieces. These pieces were carved into beads. The woods are, from left to right: maple, bocote, ebony, paduak, bocote, and then the same list mirrored down the right side. The cord is black leather. This bracelet took about 10 hours. Now that the design and methods are figured out, I could probably do another in half the time.

After finishing these projects, I now have a good handsaw and push drill, so I probably won't use any more power tools for cutting and drilling.