Moxy Metals

My First Shoes!
June 6, 2010, 3:36 am
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

Hi All,

What follows is my first attempt to make shoes, as aided by the intrepid instructors of the shoe making class at 3rd Ward (check out the classes section in the link to my studio for more info).  These shoes are made of leather, with custom copper enameled pieces over the toes.  I also created moulds of my feet to build in custom arch support – here’s hoping I can make them less bulky this time!  That could be said for the entire object, but I figured better too big than too small.  Also, the soles of the shoes are hard leather, and have been cemented on.  I’m proud of my ability to stretch and work with the leather, but the sewing part still leaves MUCH to be desired.  Perhaps the next pair will have raw edges, we’ll see!  Here’s hoping for an advanced class, this is my 3rd attempt at shoes, and the first that I’ve had any success with.  Anyway, enjoy the pix:

Though I did finish my original cast hardware, I decided to fabricate something easier to get the leather through for my first attempt.  Hopefully I can use the original cast pieces for something else, though they currently include a green finish I’m not too happy about.


Waxes for custom shoe hardware.
May 19, 2010, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: ,

Above is a wax I carved for custom shoes I am building.  Below is his mirror opposite twin:

These pieces will sit in the center of the foot above the toes, sort of at the nexus of straps for a fancy flip flop.  I hope to post pictures of the shoes when they are finished in two weeks.  These were and hand carving challenge, because they are mirrored (left foot, right foot) I couldn’t just make a mould duplicate my wax, I literally carved the two to match by hand.  I cast them in copper and have since been experimenting with finishes.  I’ll probably stick with a solid blue enameled finish, but I haven’t decided yet.  I’ll post images of the finished shoes later on.  These waxes are about 1″ x 1/4″ x 2.5″ and were carved from blue plasticene carving wax.

Enameling Sample: Double Circle Pendant
May 19, 2010, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , ,

Here is a sample pendant from my enameling class.  I like the way the transparent blue transitions into the opaque cornflower blue.  What a fun little workshop!  Enameling is so satisfying to teach when the ambient air temperature is warm enough so that people’s work doesn’t crack.  I could even wear this piece, I think…which is not how I feel about some of the larger scale pieces I make.  Sometimes I think I should just do little one-a-day projects, and be done with it.  Perhaps as an addition to other things…we’ll see. This piece is copper with transparent and opaque blue enamel, it’s about 3″ in exterior diameter.

Stone Setting Sample: Googly Eyed Fish
May 19, 2010, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , ,

Each time I teach stone setting I create a demonstration bezel setting for the class.  I got so sick of making flush settings that I started to create designer back plates.  This one is my most recent…not nicely finished, but there you have it.  I realized in looking through a lot of the samples I keep in my tool boxes the googly eyed fish is something I keep going back to.  It’s a fun shape, and it’s not that common, so I’m sticking with it.  This one features sterling silver sheet, a fine silver bezel (not finely set, I was rushing!) and a lab-grown ruby (cough::fake::cough).

Ivy Leaf Belt Clip
April 29, 2010, 4:09 am
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , , ,

This Friday my boyfriend Brian has a big performance, at the MoMA no less!  I have an ok dress, nothing too fancy, so I decided I’d make a center-piece to fancy it up a bit.  I came up with this sort of clip accessory to attach either to the center of the V neck of the dress, or to a high waisted belt.  It’s about 4″ x 4″.  It’s hammered and chased 26 gauge copper sheet.  Tomorrow I’ll turn this piece green, and take photos of the finished product on the dress where it belongs.

Double Bird Pendant
April 12, 2010, 8:13 pm
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , , ,

This pendant ended up a little two subtle.  It is supposed to feature two birds facing away from one another, with an abstracted tree behind.  The piece was enameled several times , with the hope of achieving a raven/iridescent black effect.  Unfortunately, the more times it was enameled the more details were lost – line work in the feathers, and hammer markings for eyes and wing details.  I’m ok with the piece as an abstraction, but would have preferred it to be more literal.  Also lost in the multiple enamel firings were three holes at the top to create a place where the pendant can hang.  I’ll have to epoxy on a jump ring, or re-fire one onto the back side.  I think I’m done firing for now.  Below is the art nouveau wallpaper that inspired the piece in the first place.   Expect more art nouveau inspired work this spring.

Stone Setting Sample Pendant
April 12, 2010, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Spring 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I’m always happy when I can pull a finished piece off in a short time.  This pendant was built with scrap silver as a demonstration bezel setting for my intro to silversmithing class.  It includes a wimpy little aventurine cabochon on sterling backing with fine silver bezel wire.  The entire piece is about 1″ long, and 1/4″ wide.  Sometimes, though, it seems like the simplest pieces tend to be my most wearable – I hope this doesn’t mean I have boring taste!