Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Short Video on Casting in Cuttlebone

Here is my latest video on  how to cast a silver pendant in cuttlebone. If you have ever watched the first Hobit Movie they quickly show the ring being cast. The method they are using is cuttlebone casting.

This video shows how to prepare, carve a design, and cast sterling silver scrape into cuttlebone. It Shows the setup, how to set a half drilled pearl, and finishing techniques.

If you have scrap metal or metal clay fired pieces you don't like they can be melted into something new! 


Saturday, June 21, 2014

More Tips on Photographing Jewelry

In my last blog I discussed the basic setup of light, camera, white balance, and camera stand. What’s next? Sometimes the area around the table where you are taking photos can be a drain on the lighting or cause shadows. Here is what can be done to give a more even light on your jewelry. Use three number-4 USPS boxes taped shut and placed in a "U" shape on top of the cutting board. Then put a white piece of mat board against the back box.

By putting these boxes around three sides, and with them being white, they reflect the light back to the center area. If you want, cover the blue label with white paper. The white mat board acts as a backdrop when taking photos of earrings or anything vertical.

Photo Problem 1
The first problem piece of jewelry is a pendant with a hidden bail. It won’t lay flat and tends to fall to the left or the right.

My fix for this problem is a simple foam earplug. No, it’s not used! I cut it in half and, if needed, take that half and cut into two pieces. Wedge the two pieces under the pendant. Problem solved.

Problem 2
I want to take a photo of a ring standing up, but I don’t want to have it propped against anything. Glue dots are your friend! Use the extra strong dots found at Hobby Lobby.

There are two sizes, 2mm and larger. I use both depending on what I am trying to hold. In this case, I want to hold a simple ring on its end. I use a small dot. If its a heavy ring I use the large one.

Next time, I’ll discuss some other tips for photographing "trouble" jewelry.