Monday, 29 August 2011

DG3 Project - Glittery Jewellery

DG3, one of the glazes that works really well with glass tile jewellery, can also be used to fill some shallow bezels.  I thought glittery jewellery was a good and super-easy project to explain how DG3 can be used to do this.

I got together my DG3, some small bezels (here I have 10mm silver plated shallow round bezels of the kind I sell with my dangly earrings) and some glitter.

Simply spread a drop of DG3 inside the bezels making sure it covers the entire surface and then carefully sprinkle your choice of glitter on top.

It will make a little mound of glitter - and you leave this to dry for a day or two.

When dry, you can shake off the excess glitter, you will see the inside of the bezels will have flattened and may dip a little - nothing to worry about.  Add a final layer of DG3 over the glitter straight from the bottle, again making sure it reaches all edges and the glitter is all covered - however be careful not to add too much, you just need a thin coating.

Leave to dry for a couple of days and hang from some earwires, for a beautiful pair of earrings that look like they took a lot more effort to make than they really did.

However, DG3 does have its own peculiarities and I want to tell you about them to make sure you know what it can and cannot do.  Firstly, it's important to note it is not a resin - it is a glaze, and so it can only do light coverings over your chosen inserts.

Too many layers, too-thick layers, or glaze added over layers that have not dried will result in bubbles and a cloudy finished piece:

However, if you go slow and are careful not to overfill your bezels, you can even use a large pendant tray:

This one was made on a 25mm square tray with three different colours of glitter, yellow in the middle, orange around it, and then red on the top edges.   The glaze does not fill the tray to the top, I think if I had added any more DG3 to this, it may have turned cloudy, so I am happy to keep it as it is.

And a super important bit of information:  DG3 does not dry rock-hard - in fact it retains a lot of flexibility and it will not stand up well to knocks and scratches, therefore I would not recommend that you use it on items of jewellery that would receive a lot of wear - generally rings and bracelets have to survive the most wear, whereas pendants and earrings do not.  Still, I could not resist having a go:

Gorgeous huh?  Sadly it's not exactly practical.  See the darkest red bezel?  When I stored this bracelet the bar on the toggle clasp sat over the DG3 on the red tray, and look, you can see quite clearly how it has left a rather deep mark!  So no, this lovely thing will not live up to normal daily wear, so it is not recommended that you use DG3 on bracelets and rings, and just to be on the safe side, you should warn your customers that they have to handle and store very carefully any pieces that you have made with DG3, to prevent them knocking against one another, as it will mark.

However, there are plenty other things you can do with DG3 - like Diamond Glaze and resins, it has a tendency to pull into itself and form a drop, so you can use it over flat surfaces as decoration.  I made some colourful glitter droplets over the flat pad hair pins that I have - I think these look rather nice:

You must dry them straight however.  Want to know a little trick?  Jewellers working with metal clay already know the wonderful multi-uses of an old pack of playing cards!  And here, they were used to stand the bobby pins perfectly horizontal until the glaze dried.  But of course any sturdy bit of card or plastic will do.

There are many other things to use as well as glitter, however you need to ensure it is small enough that you won't need a deep covering of DG3 that could turn the item cloudy.

Oh and one last thing - Diamond Glaze and DG3 do not behave the same way.  Diamond Glaze will often dry bubbly if used to fill bezels so it will be risky to use it on the ideas shown here as more layers usually mean more bubbles - having said that, it can be used to glue things and as a glossy top layer over a sealed image.

See what ideas you come up with and show us your makes on our Facebook page @ Jasmin Studio Crafts!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Just Arrived: High Domes!

Very excited about these new cabs I have just received - these beautiful bubbles are high domed solid glass pieces that measure 25mm across ...and they are a colossal 11mm high!  They are just as clear as our popular 25mm glass pieces, so if you thought our usual cabs did wonders on your images, wait until you try these!

See these new high domes (left) compared to our standard 25mm cabochons (right):

We also have for sale high domes in 12mm and 15mm, and more sizes will be coming to the shop soon.  Three cheers for choice!

Glass Painting Fun

I have always thought that our glass pieces lend themselves beautifully to being painted, and yeay, I was right!!  I bought some Lefranc & Bourgeois glass paints and outliners and set myself up in the garden (one rare warm day).  

Amazing!  The paints were easy to use and came in a pack of 10 small pots of colour.

For some pieces I just painted straight onto the back of the glass, and for some others I used the outliners and painted in between the lines (after they had dried) to create some definition and metallic accents.  It took a little experimenting to get the lines to be thin enough not to overwhelm the little glass pieces, but it was easy enough even for me!  

You don't have to paint the back of the glass either, you may prefer to paint the front of your tiles and take advantage of the puffy effect of the outliners, but painting the back means you retain the 3d effect that the glass gives, and it looks rather beautiful.  But if you do paint the back, you will need to remember that you are working back to front, so the detail needs to be painted first, and the backgrounds last.  Also, remember that you need to write in mirror image for any text to show properly when reversed - this will not do:

Ha ha, me thinking that writing upside down was the way to do it... 

Evidently not!

Now that's better!

The painting itself is really easy - if you want to use an outliner, just apply it very very gently as it's easy to make lines too thick.  However, if you are very careful you can scrape any stray bits when dry.  

Then you can apply the paint with a soft brush - there is a brush provided with the paint sets, or you may prefer a thinner one for detailed painting.  You do need to make sure your glass is very clean and free of grease to begin with.

The outliners are available in silver, gold and black, and the paints are available in two finishes:  opaque and transparent.  The paints come in sample packs of ten diddy pots in the following colours:

Transparent Colours are: Lemon Yellow, Mandarin, Red, Magenta, Purple, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Light Green, Dark Green, Brown

Opaque Colours are: White, Black, Brown, Tan, Dark Green, Mid-Green, Dark Blue, Mid-Blue, Yellow, Red 

Colour sampler - transparents to the left, opaques to the right.  
(Think I applied the transparents a bit too thickly that they look opaque!) 

Colours can be mixed and you can make your own combinations. Wet colours applied side by side will end up mixed, so to keep colours true just apply your colours in layers, making sure each layer is dry before applying the next - this takes about an hour or so.  Or you can try marbling or fading effects by using wet paint.

I have made several examples and will show them once I have made them into finished jewellery - they look rather fab!

Work in progress

After you have waited 3 days for your piece to dry, you can bake it in your home oven at 150oC (300oF, gas mark 2) for 30 minutes after which the paint becomes permanent and can even be dishwashed!  Ok, so you may not have a need to pop your jewellery in the dishwasher - but your new-found hobby doesn't need to stop at jewellery.  Think of the new gifting possibilities....  personalised celebratory champagne glasses?  Customised mugs for each member of the family?  Unique ceramic tiles for your bathroom?  Just ensure that the painted area will not come into contact with food (more than anything because constant scratching by cutlery would affect your image) and will not be painted into dishes that are meant to go in the oven at high temperatures, but beyond that, the glass and ceramic decorating world is really your oyster.

I have brain buzz. Can you hear it?  

If you are interested in purchasing these paints, they are available in the shop.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Novel Jewellery Design

Hello world!!  I am here, we have had a small break (though we didn't manage to do much more than a few day trips!) but mostly we have been at home, planning the next work effort, but mostly just 'being'.  It feels like I have been away from this blog forever, and I apologise for this - most of you will know that I have a five year old daughter, and when she is home from school, life takes on a different rhythm.  We are a little more relaxed about things, we eat a proper breakfast, we talk, and we make things.  Jewellery-making is - obviously - a favourite past time in our house, and of course, all her attempts, from threading a simple pendant to stringing a few wooden beads to make a bracelet, are met with excited "ooohs" and "aaaahs" from her very captive audience.

Recently my mini-crafter grabbed a few supplies from my spares drawer, laid them all out on the table, and announced she was going to make some wooden tile pendants.  She called me ten minutes later to show me her creation... and I let out the loudest whoop when I saw her novel approach to pendant making.

All beautifully glued together.   And the best bit?  When you get bored of wearing your pendant, you can stick it to your fridge.