Beating Up Silver!

Turning up the edges of the pendant base
August 29, 2012  Today I spent some time beating up on silver. Yes, I man-handled it more than it had been. Just what does that mean? A couple of weeks ago, I had applied some course texturing to the sheet metal by placing it between some 25 grit sandpaper and a couple of pieces of bronze and sending it through a roller mill. It gave me the pebbly effect. Then after annealing (heating the .

Count Down to the Colorado Balloon Classic

August 28, 2012  What does the Colorado Balloon Classic have to do with silversmithing? It’s really simple. I serve on the Leadership Team of the Classic… and today was the Pre-event Luncheon. And while I was able to spend enough time in my studio today to cut out the oval leaf shape for the coral-amber pendant that is my next project, I was limited in what I could get done. There have been a .

Finally Finished!

Cripple Creek Turquoise Ring by Dusty Shutt
August 27, 2012  Well, it’s finally done… after 6 soldering attempts and a little chemical bonding. This is how the ring base looked after 3 attempts at soldering. Notice at the bottom of the ring near the wire is a spot of solder. It has been pickled, but not polished. All of the leaves were attached to wires and flexible except for the two leaves with the silver ball. It was where I left .

Rings & Things

August 24, 2012  Today was a bit more interesting, but unfortunately just as frustrating as yesterday. I started with these component pieces: Cripple Creek Turquoise, Sterling Silver Ring and Sterling leaves attached to wire. The ring base was started back in October of 2011 when I was taking Sandy Murphy‘s Silversmithing 101 class. It didn’t get finished because I tend to work slowly. This week I decided to take up the project again… and .

Frustrations Abound

August 23, 2012  I wish I could say that the time spent in my studio today was more productive. While I did attach a couple of those teeny, tiny leaves to some 26 gauge wire… I did melt through one of the thin wires. I was sufficiently frustrated I chose to go to Ackley’s Rock Shop and spend some $$$$. My big purchase was a tripod with mesh screen for soldering. I also picked up .

Teeny Tiny Pieces

9 Little Leaves
August 22, 2012  In my studio today it was a bit frustrating… I spent 2.5 hours sawing out and filing 9 little leaves – 1/4 inch long by 1/8 inch wide. The resulting product is going to be cool, but I’ve got to figure out a better way to shape little leaves quicker. It’s very difficult to saw out a little leave smoothly. I also need to have a second pair of needle nose .

PMC – Precious Metal Clay Play

July 14, 2012  This workshop happened prior to getting my studio in silversmithing order. I was anxious to take this workshop because I have some ideas to make out of PMC niggling around in the back of my head, but I wanted to make sure that they had a chance of working before I purchased $40 – $120 worth of clay. The workshop was taught by certified instructor, Sandy Murphy. Not only was Sandy the .

Vacation & Other Observations

Polished & Unpolished Larimar
August 4-11 For 9 days nothing was done in the studio as we headed east for vacation. On Saturday we hopped a plane and flew to Baltimore, MD and then drove to Lancaster, PA. That night we went to Sight & Sound Theatre and saw Jonah… (more on that later when I do the whale pin). Suffice it to say, it was an amazing production. On Sunday, we headed to Philly to see the .

First Steps & Tiny Progress

The Prologue yesterday brought us to the end of July. July 27, 2012 I was finally forced to clean my studio for Cottonwood Center for the Arts‘ new show opening. It had been going through the conversion from painting studio to silversmithing studio slowly. I never realized just how much paper a photographer/painter could collect in one place. There was too much paper to safely play with fire. On the last Friday of the month, .

Hello world!

Dusty's Cobblestoned Pendant
Hello World! As a relatively new silversmith, I decided that I was going to share my Trials & Tribulations of a Rookie Silversmith.  So where do I begin? I guess the best place would be at the beginning is a good place. Prologue:  September 2011  I’ve always admired the jewelry of the Executive Director of Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Sandy Murphy. So, when given the opportunity to take her Beginning Silversmithing 101, I .