Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Hand Etched Dichroic Glass Cat Pendants

Here are a few of my latest hand etched dichroic glass cat pendants. I etch the cats by hand using a pointed diamond tip drill bit. After a day of etching, the drill bits can start to go blunt leaving double lines on the glass, so it's always handy to have a few spares. I usually buy the large multi packs of diamond tip drill bits and work my way through the pointed ones!

I etch the cats straight onto 2mm thick dichroic glass. I then sandwich the dichroic glass between a piece of black glass and clear glass. The clear glass goes on top and will give a nice glossy shiny finish to the pendant.

The pendant is fired in the kiln on a 'tac fuse' firing program. This heats the kiln up to 1400 - 1410 degrees fahenheit and holds this temperature for 10 minutes. Tac fusing the glass will allow all the layers to merge together, but will still leave fairly straight edges for me to grind afterwards. (A full fuse program will make the glass slump down more and the edges will start to round off.)

After the kiln has held it's temperature for 10 minutes it rapidly cools down to 950 degrees fahenheit where it begins the annealing process. The annealing process is very important and allows the glass to relieve any internal stresses. Glass that has not been annealed could break or crack.

The kiln must be allowed to completely cool down to room temperature on it's own, before the door is opened. Absolutely no peeking is allowed as this could completely wreck the glass inside!

It takes a good 9-10 hours for the kiln to cool to room temperature on it's own. This will definately test your patience, but is well worth the wait when the kiln door is finally opened and you can see all the glass pieces sparkling away : - )

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Jewellery Making Findings Kits

Check out these fantastic little jewellery findings kits at just £4.99 each plus postage from Chloe's Designs. 

These kits are perfect for beginners and are also an ideal refill kit containing a variety of metal jewellery components, wire, thread and a basic guide to jewellery making to get you started.

The only additional things you need are some pliers and some pretty beads to start making your own jewellery creations.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Making your own brooch...

Making your own brooch is very easy to do and only requires a few items. There are lots of things you can turn into brooches, such as coins, plastic/fake flowers, flat cabochons, gemstones. You could also make something using polymer clay, silver art clay, inkjet plastic shrink paper or even fabric.

When you have chosen your brooch piece, you will need to attach a brooch back with a small amount of glue. If the back of the brooch is shiny, you may want to lightly sand/scuff the area you intend to glue. This will help the glue bond better.

It's always handy to have some blu-tac lying around too. If your brooch has an un-even or domed surface, you can rest it on some blue-tac while it's drying. (I have often come back to my brooches and found the brooch back has slipped while drying!)

Silver & Gold Plated Brooch Backs from Chloe's Designs.