Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Smith Are You?

A blacksmith works with iron and steel. The ancient traditional tool of the blacksmith is a forge or smithy, which is a furnace designed to allow compressed air (through a bellows) to superheat the inside, allowing for efficient melting, soldering and annealing of metals. Today, this tool is still widely used by blacksmiths as it was traditionally.

A bladesmith forges knives, swords, and other blades.

A coppersmith, or brownsmith, works with copper.

A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals, usually in modern times to make jewelry. Historically goldsmiths have also made flatware, platters, goblets, decorative and serviceable utensils, and ceremonial or religious items, but the rising prices of precious metals have curtailed the making of such items to a large degree. A goldsmith should be skilled in delicate manual work, have creative imagination and artistic flair, be good at drawing and designing, and be interested in metals and minerals.

The term, metalsmith, often refers to artisans and craftpersons who practice their craft in many different metals, including gold, copper and silver.

A pewtersmith works with pewter.

Traditionally a silversmith, or brightsmith, mostly made "silverware" (cutlery, table flatware, bowls, candlesticks and such). Only in more recent times has silversmithing become mainly work in jewellery, as much less solid silver tableware is now handmade. Unlike blacksmiths, silversmiths do not shape the metal while it is red-hot but instead, work it at room temperature with gentle and carefully placed hammerblows.

tinsmith, tinner, or tinker works with light metal (such as tinware) and can refer to someone who deals in tinware.

A whitesmith works with white metal (tin) and can refer to someone who polishes or finishes the metal rather than forging it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clematis Ring

Took advantage of the warm weather the last 2 days, I got myself out of the slump from being on the road doing holiday shows. With some sterling materials lying around, I made some bangle bracelets and matching rings. Oxidized to show the intricate flower pattern, but mirror polished to slide on you like silk. I'm pretty happy with the results.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Surprise Visit

Once in a while, I like a surprise.

This past Thanksgiving, I went up to Lake Tahoe for the long weekend. Since I am not a skier and the fact that there was no snow on the ground, I mapped out my route for Reno on Saturday. My destination was the Magic of Santa Art & Craft Faire in the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Like years past, my eSMArts buddy Tina Cowan of
M5 Creative Corners was there with her handmade quilts. I had been admiring her work on cyberspace only. Since Reno is relatively close to Lake Tahoe, I took the opportunity to pay her a surprise visit.

After years of experience at this show, Tina staked out her “permanent” booth spot conveniently located near the load-in door and adjacent to the restrooms, which is always a high traffic area. She’s smart, huh! I believed it took her several seconds to realize who I was. She welcomed me into her booth and we chatted for the rest of the afternoon.

ESMArts Guild is an Etsy team that I joined in September (see my blog post dated September 29). Since our team members spread on 3 continents, we had only emailed and chatted online. No wonder it never occurred to Tina that another team member would stop by to say hello, in real person. Besides, I was able to meet her wonderfully thoughtful daughter, Alyssa, who brought us lunch.

One look at her online
store, you’ll realize too that her quilts are not the typical quilts you find in your grandma’s house. Her quilts are like mosaic art composing a theme or an image. The entire afternoon hanging out at Tina’s booth, I fell in love with this beautiful blue and black quilt with a safari silhouette theme. I asked her if she can make a similar but bigger one for me. This gorgeous piece on the right is now proudly hanging in my bedroom. With the close-up pictures, you can see the impeccable details of her craftsmanship. Isn’t this a masterpiece?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Creations by JAE

Jaime of Creations by JAE started stringing seed beads on fishing line at age 10. She started making anklets and daisy chains part time for the past 16 years. About 4 years ago, she saw a Swarovski bracelet made by a co-worker. This bracelet inspired her to return to jewelry crafts. Her love of beads (gemstones, glass, and crystals) is apparent in her work. One of her goals is to learn to work with silver and to weave pieces with beads.
Jaime has been featured on Rena Klingenbert’s “Home Jewelry Business Success Tips”, like several of the eSMArts Guild team members. More info can be found about her at her Etsy shop Profile. Besides being the Marketing Director for eSMArts, she can also be found at numerous online sites: Beaders Showcase, Jewelrygeeks, my Handmade Registry, mySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter