Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Surface Textures for Anodised Jewellery

Texture techniques is such an important part of my work and I am forever looking for new alternatives to add to the uniqueness of my pieces.

Specially made texture hammers are a great product on the market, I enjoy the challenge of making as many patterns from the one texture by transferring the texture in different angles, and combining one texture with another. Add a stamped letter or number into the texture for a one-of-a-kind look.

I have fun experimenting with my rolling mill, which is a much quicker and definitely quieter method – one that I’m sure my neighbours prefer. One of my favourite textures made with the rolling mill is putting the metal through the wire rollers where raised lines of different thicknesses are formed. Lace and wire netting is also a popular material I use either in the rolling mill or using a hammer to force the creation of the texture.

My latest pieces -

Anodised Aluminium Earrings

Anodised Aluminium Rings

Anodised Aluminium Cuffs

Anodised Aluminium Cuffs

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Anodised Aluminium Cuffs

I'm preparing to make a few sets - cuff, ring and earrings, ready to submit to galleries. I have some cuffs complete and love the different colour combinations.

The red on black cuff was inspired by, and will be a gift to, an Australian celebrity and fashion designer, who has a stunning public presence.

Now that I have my PH Meter I find I am forever changing the PH balance of my black anodising dye, but at least it is now giving me excellent results. I wonder what my next challenge will be.

Top cuff in Bronze and Copper; Left in Red on Black; Right-Black on Red

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anodising Trials and Tribulations!

Anodising aluminium is such a fickle process, one little thing goes wrong, and the whole anodising process has to be repeated. Admittedly, I do love the challenge and the new knowledge it brings. I think it would be a sad moment when you felt you had all the knowledge you could possibly have on one subject, if there was nothing else to learn, what satisfaction would you have continuing with it?

This weeks problem was that a dye I'd recently purchased and which had been giving excellent results has not been successful on my last 2 attempts. With the anodising process, this could be contributed to many things, but as with all things the more experience you have it becomes a little easier to pinpoint. My suspicion was that the PH balance wasn't correct in the dye. Another purchase necessary, a PH meter, which proved my theory to be correct. Ah the trials and tribulations of anodising!

I have enjoyed experimenting with duo colours, a lengthy but intriguing process, where the item is dyed, then dried, a rubber cement ran over areas where the base colour will be retained. Then the piece is placed in diluted ammonia to remove the remainder of the dye, then redyed and sealed. Once the sealing process is complete then the messy job of removing the rubber begins! I did show a cuff done with this method in my last post, here are a few more examples of my anodised jewellery in two colours.

Anodised Aluminium 'Peace' Ring

Anodised Aluminium Ring

Vibrant Anodised Aluminium Earrings

Blue and Gold Anodised Aluminium Earrings

Funky Anodised Aluminium Cuff

Green and Blue Anodised Aluminium Cuff

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Continuing the Anodising Saga.....

It's been a long time since I've added to my blog, but I have continued with my anodising venture. There were many hurdles to climb over along the way but it has all been worth it.

My turning point was about 18 months ago when it was brought to my attention an anodising course was being taught at the Jam Factory here in Adelaide. I joined the course in hope to iron out the few problems that I could not find a solution for.

The biggest fact I learnt was there is actually two different methods of anodising aluminium, the LCD method I was following and the 'old method' which was taught in this course. The major differences being, instead of measuring the surface being anodised and using a calculating table to define the setting of the amps on the power supply and the length of time the anodising should run, it was a simple 10 Volts for 1 hour.

Taking that on board and adding a small aquarium pump for the agitation of my anodising bath, has made the difference between failure and success.

Another great tip I came away with was whilst working on aluminium pieces, cutting, filing and sanding, etc. When the pieces are hard worked and require annealing, aluminium does not indicate annealing temperature by changing colour as most other metals do, making it difficult to calculate when melting point is nearly reached. To remedy this, rub the pieces with moistened soap, anneal until the soap becomes dark brown almost black, then take the flame away, perfectly annealed.

Here are a few of my recent anodised pieces -

Anodised aluminium ring with one of my lampwork beads

Anodised aluminium cuff bracelet

Anodised aluminium earrings

Anodised aluminium pendant on a sterling silver snake chain

Anodised aluminium necklace joined with titanium links