Thursday, July 28, 2011


i know you are probably starting to think that i will never post photos of new jewelry that i have made ever again. you think i am too busy camping and going to see music to make jewelry. that's not true! in fact, i will be out in the shop all day tomorrow and also sunday. although, i may be spending that time fiddling around with all my new casting equipment! yippee! patty and i drove all the way to albuquerque and back yesterday to buy it. i am so excited. i have almost everything i need to start casting.

patty is the greatest.

here she is with bill, the man i bought everything from. he was so nice and told me to call him or skype him anytime i have questions about any of this stuff. he is also a lapidary artist and had samples of turquoise from all of the american mines. patty was in heaven. she bought some cabs from him as well. i think i will be making a ring with one of them tomorrow.

so, from bill i purchased practically everything i need to start doing all of my own casting, which is something i have wanted to do ever since i took my silversmithing course in high school (during which i cast a solid sterling silver dancing bear that was about 2" high. i carried it around in my pocket forever.) i got TONS of wax, i got casting flasks, flask bases, a vacuum pump and a bell jar, an investment table, a wax injector, a digital wax pen with various tips, wax carving hand tools, a casting torch as well as a small smith torch, draw plates and a bunch of other stuff, some of which i cannot identify at this point. i have so much to learn. the only two things i still need are a small air compressor and a small burnout kiln (which patty thinks she has already found on craigslist). and, i will most likely need to figure out a way to enlarge my shop, as there is no room for all of this wonderful stuff in there.

however, the very coolest thing that i got is this. a casting machine made in 1916! it is so freakin' cool.
i know it will be a process, but i am so excited to get started with it. i can't wait to learn this new technique. the possibilities are endless...

and, since we were in albuquerque already, we also decided to take a little field trip to rio grande, where i order much of my silver and supplies from. it was fun. they even have a closeout section, where you can buy lots of tools and equipment ridiculously cheap. it was fun to place my order there and have them hand it to me rather than order by phone and pay for shipping.


Lisa-Maladylis said...

will you ever stop posting about stuff that makes me so envious ? lol Funny, I learned silver smithing in high school too and it was wax casting he taught us. How weird ! You didn't go to school in Utah did ya ? I love your new equipment ! Have fun !!

susie said...

Oh, I wish I had a Patty:) I've always wanted to learn casting, I can't wait to see what you make.

p.s. So excited for your home renovation:)

Silver Sparrow Designs said...

well, lisa, i guess if we love the same stuff, then no, i hope i never stop posting things that make you envious! my high school silversmithing class was a year long course at arapahoe community college in denver. i actually just came across a photo of myself in that class. i have to scan it so i can share it with you guys; it is pretty funny!

and susie, i wish EVERYBODY had a patty. she is an enormous blessing in my life and i do not know what i do without her.

Rag and Stone said...

aaahhh...the wonderful world of are gonna love it!