Welcome to Stormflight Designs


If you've always wondered about how jewelry is made and fine craft is done, this is the blog for you! Our intent is to show you the step-by-step of creating jewelry from a silver-smith's and lampworker's point of view. We'll throw in some other interesting craft-work too. Consider this a "tutorial-light" blog in a way. You'll get to see the creative process from start to finish. Sometimes it may take a while to get to the finish, so please be patient! We often have to wait for the muse to strike--sometimes in the middle of a different project!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part 3 - Pewter Repousse' Jewelry Box

I have just a few more dots to finish and a couple of other small details...

On some designs I like to accentuate the work by making a design in the negative background space.  I usually always do this with my Celtic design-work.  On this piece it is very busy and it really doesn't need that.

I need to fill in the hollow areas on the back so that the finished piece doesn't get smushed (yes, that is the technical word...).  I use a very thin paste (again from Mercart).  There are probably other things you can use, but this is just what I have used in my work.  I like the product and it works well.  Although they have a new liquid product that looks promising.

So, turn the project over and fill in all the pushed out areas with the filler paste even with the flat metal.  Let it dry.  You don't want any blobs sticking up or it will make it uneven when you attach it to the box.

I like to use a patina on my projects to accentuate the intricate detail.  I use a tin-patina since this Pewter is tin coated to protect against the lead.  This is simply brushed on to the desired depth of blackening and then rubbed off so that is only left in the creases.  Then give it a final rubbing with paste polish.

I attached it to the jewelry box and it is all done!  I think it has turned out just wonderfully!  The box itself is a great wooden box, velvet lined with the added feature of being a music box as well!  It plays "If I could teach the world to sing"

This box has been sold and is on it's way to England! 

If you have any questions, just let me know!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Part 2 - Pewter Repousse' Jewelry Box

Ok, so I've been moving right along with my design.  Here is how it looks so far...I'm about half way done at this point.

I continue with the same process of pushing out metal (being careful not to push too hard and making a hole!), flattening out other areas.

Here you see an example of where I still have to push out some dots.  I have a special "cup and ball" tool I use for this.  You can purchase them in different sizes.  You use the ball end on the back of the metal to push out the dot.  Then flip the metal over and place it on a smooth hard surface (my corian countertop works just great) and use the cup side of the tool to push the metal down around the dot.  This accentuates the dot.  I have arrows showing where the dots are still to be done.

I will continue to work on the rest of the dots and hopefully not miss any!  I if miss any, you will be able to see it from the front of the metal...not good.  I've got to carefully look over the piece before I decide I am all done!

Look for the next blog which shows the finished product!  I will be putting it up on my Website for sale soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pewter Repousse' Jewelry Box

I have just finished a creating lovely pewter repousse' design for a musical jewelry box.  It is really a celebration of Spring...despite this little cold snap!

The first thing I had to do was decide what picture I wanted to reproduce in Pewter.  I borrowed some design books from my friend Jamie which include CD's so you can size the picture to fit what you are doing.  This is the picture I choose.  It has some birds and flowers so it just seemed to say "Spring is coming"  when I saw it. 

Once it was printed out to size, I had to transfer the design to the pewter sheet.  I just tape the design to the metal and use an embossing stylus to trace my lines.  Using a ruler is a must to get straight lines.  There is nothing worse than putting a design on a box and then seeing that the lines don't match up with the lines of the box.

I use tools and supplies that I purchase from http://www.mercartusa.com/icat/icat.htm
They specialize in repousse' supplies and have everything I need in one place.  That saves on the shipping costs.  Plus, their prices are good overall.

It is really important to transfer your design carefully.  If your lines are wavey and uneven at this point, that is probably how they will look when you are done!

These are the basic tools I use to begin: the stylus embossing tool and the refiner tool (plastic tipped tool).  The Refiner deepens the design.  You constantly work on both sides of the metal sheet (flipping back and forth) to bring the design into focus.  I use an artist's paper stump to flatten areas or add depth.  To flatten, use on a hard smooth surface.  To add depth, use on a piece of suede.  You can round at this point with the suede underneath and even add more details.

Here is the top side of the pewter showing my lightly pressed-in design as well as the areas that I have pressed out already.  I work little by little in one area and move along as I finish each detail.  I  find that the easiest way to work.  I go back at the very end and add any finer details that I feel are needed.  But overall, I finish each design before moving on to the next element.

Stay tuned for the next blog to see the final steps...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Urban Edge - Sterling ring

Sometimes things are created by accident--I was working on a project that didn't cooperate with me. So I decided to morph it into something else. This is the something else that emerged! It is totally and 100% opposite of what I was originally intending, but totally cool in it's own right.

Its a lesson we can apply in our own lives--things don't always go as planned, but they can be good, unique and positive just the same!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Foodie Pendant Project

Well, its a rainy Saturday, what would be better than working on some jewelry? Well, nothing that I can think of...but it looks like I have a long list of things to do before I get to do that!

So, my sister, Lyndi, has me involved in a give-away for her blog: http://www.nwafoodie.blogspot.com
(It won't be posted until the pendant is done, so, keep an eye out, but in the mean-time, enjoy her great posts).

I am creating a pendant for her for this give-away...you'll have to check out her blog to get the details. I have been creating this pendant out of filigree frame silver wire. Right now it is in the pickle pot getting cleaned up. I have to do the polishing work before it is revealed!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bumblebee Revealed!

So, the bumblebee is all done and looking great!

Now I have to send it to my Dad! I hope he likes it and that my Mom will like it when he gives it to her.

If you have any questions about this project, feel free to ask!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bumblebee - Step 8

Time to polish up the piece. Its going to start looking really good soon!

Polishing is really messy! You have to gradually go through different grits of polishers without touching the delicate filigree wires.

Final polishing with a cloth.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bumblebee - Step 7

All soldered!

You have to carefully check to make sure all the wires are securely attached and nothing is going to catch on your favorite sweater. go back and attach anything that is loose. Get it right before you move on to cleaning it up and polishing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bumblebee - Step 6

So I have continued to add the filigree wires one by one. When I finished that I had to do the tricky part--soldering it without melting the delicate wires (like that has ever happened...). But you've got to get the solder on first.

The solder I use is a special blend of metals and flux made by Victoria Lansford. You want it just in the right spot...not too much or then it looks blobby, not too little or then it won't hold the wire intact. But, its better to have too little because you can always go back and fill more in. A pain, but better than trying to file solder off.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bumblebee - Step 5

I was finally able to work on this little bumblebee again! It drives me crazy when things get in the way of my silver work...just small things like, eating, the family, etc.

Ok, so last time I got it all soldered and cleaned up. So, now it is time to add the filigree pieces. The filigree wire is very small, twisted, flattened wire. One of the hardest things to do is figure out how to put it in the piece.

Just fill it in piece by piece until it looks good. I moved so many around until I finally got the look I wanted.