New Name Stamp

I’m not sure when I started signing my work, but I know it was after I started adding silver to my polymer clay work.  When I worked exclusively in polymer clay I never settled on a method of signing my work that felt right.  I’m not sure I felt the work was worth signing either.  I remember that it felt big to choose to sign pieces.  In any case… eventually I started using some of my metal letter stamps to sign the back of pendants.

namestamps_old

The picture above shows how my name should look when I managed to get everything right.  The problem with individual letter stamps is that it can be tricky to get the spacing right.  Other things can go wrong too.  Common problems included incomplete stamping, incorrect letter orientation etc.

So recently I ordered a custom name stamp from Infinity Stamps.  While the version above looks fine, I have to say that I am thrilled with my new stamp.

namestamp_new

It’s so clear and precise and now I only have one stamp to line up instead of four.

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Torch report

I picked up a new butane torch a while ago, and yesterday was my first opportunity to try it out.

torch_libzoid_070409

This torch is the first butane torch which seems to have been designed with jewelrymaking in mind.  It has a larger reservoir which claims to provide as much as 90 minutes of burn time.  The best part of this torch though is the ability to adjust the flame to a larger bushier flame.  I soldered 4 complete bezels yesterday and my new torch performed beautifully.

new_bezels_libzoid_070409

Once I finish filing and drilling holes, I can switch to some polymer clay work.  I love being able to switch between the two.

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Ventilation system

The studio mess is under control.  I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  Really.  The tables have been cleared off, and my metals and soldering work areas are all set.  I’ve still got to clear up my polymer clay work area, but it’s okay for now.  As a reward for all my cleaning, I cut out and filed 3 unfinished bezels I found while cleaning, that I had soldered a few weeks ago at the Guilford Art Center.  They were tucked away in a compartment of my metals class tool box, and I had started to wonder if I had imagined soldering them to base sheets.

I am really excited about the new ventilation system I put in at my soldering table.  One of the really nifty things about taking a Rio Grande Education In Motion class, like the Microfold Texture class I took at Bead & Button, is that you get to try out lots of exciting tools from the catalog.  The item that most intrigued me in the class was the ventilation system they had set up at the soldering stations.

ventilation_libzoid_studio_

(click to enlarge)

It’s a dual filter system designed for fume extraction at a soldering station.  It is fitted with a “Loc-line” hose which is flexible, but will stay where you aim it.  The shorter section at the front of the base unit is a noise dampener which works beautifully to bring the fan noise down to a reasonable level.  It’s a powerful unit and without the dampener, it sounds like an industrial fan.

My basement studio doesn’t have any windows and it was more than time for me to install some kind of ventilation system.  I don’t do tons of soldering here, but I do enough that I needed to address the issue.  What I like about this system is that it is portable.  If I rearrange the studio, I can move it to a new spot.  When we eventually move again, it goes with me.  It’s quite powerful and with the noise dampener, quiet enough that I can still hear my ipod playing (ok, blaring) in the background.  And I am pretty happy that installing it didn’t require cutting a hole in a wall.

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