Saturday, March 22, 2008

small victories

Today, I got up early, made it to the Post office on time to mail a package and then I went and had my hair done. On the way home I found myself in a really good mood and ready to accomplish more when I got home.

The picture above shows several failed attempts at a bit and one in progress bit. (the round unfinished spade bit is the one in progress. The other three: two domed that I think look silly and one flat that I couldn't figure out how to finish correctly)

I was able to actually find a bit that I think that I can make this week. Working in silver using my hit or miss method makes me nervous. Now that Silver is $20 an ounce (instead of $5 an ounce when I started working with silver beads 10 years ago) I'm very cognisant of the cost of what I'm wasting as I'm grinding away on my little bits.

I started taking a silversmithing class this time last year. I didn't finish it due to the fact that I became pregnant and I couldn't drive a car. (vertigo and nausea when I rode in or drove a car) I did learn a lot in the few classes I attended but I am not able to replicate the work benches in class here at home. I don't have anything I can attach an anvil to, to hold the silver in place so that I can use thin jewelers hack saw to cut out my designs more precisely.

Because of my slight nervousness in working with silver, I can only make bits when I'm in a very confident and focused mood.. like today. The REALLY hard part though is making two bit shanks exactly the same or similar enough to pair together. On my last mother hubbard set, I made a silver bit and I recall at least 4 or 5 tries before I had a usable pair. So far I'm at try number 4 with the bit for the Mother Hubbard II set. I kept picking beautiful, but complicated patterns that I was not able to replicate at my current skill level. Very annoying... But I think I have a good start with that round one. Just that one little unfinished shank represents about 2 hours of work and it's far from finished.

The other two bosals in the picture: One that looks finished, really isn't. I intend to add another color to the heel knot when I get time to learn how to. The other is another unfinished pencil bosal for the Mother hubbard II set that is fancier than the one that was auctioned off last week.

The second picture is a look at the screw on my fluorescent magnifying lamp. Things sorta hang there until I either finish them up or until I sell them. The tiedown/bosal and leather bridle matches the Roping set that I made for Kay Callahan. I decided to go back and add some fancy knots to it and I'm not quite done yet. Yes, there is my susan Bensema young bridle lurking in the very back. I keep it in my sight while I work on interwoven knots as inspiration to keep going :-) Also hanging there are the reins for the bridle for the mother hubbard II set.
Also, I have an arabian show halter in progress as a donation to a show I'm going to. I try to donate something (anything, not always tack) to any show that I go to.

All in all, lots of projects on the bench!

1 comment:

  1. I found the most useful tool at Tandy Leather recently that you might like for your workbench (if you don't already have it): A mini anvil. It's around $30 if I recall, and I find it indispensible.


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