Kiln Progress

Kiln making progress at Alaska Handmade JewelryThe lampwork annealing kiln is beginning to take shape. The kiln parts have been in storage all winter. Now that the weather is nice, it is time to use the garage as a convenient workshop.

The bricks are IFB, lightweight and easy to cut using woodworking tools. The issue is how to hold the bricks together. Some wrap the entire assembly with a stainless steel sheet metal shroud. That would work, but would require the use of a local steel fabricator and extra cost.

In this case, kiln brick support was devised using a removable steel cage. All of the major sections are removable and held together with 5/16 inch machine screws. This is in case there is a need to remove and replace any bricks or the heating element.

The cage is made of 1/2 inch .0625 thin wall square steel tubing. The ends are fitted with 5/16 inch nuts which are welded in place using a MIG wire feed welder.

MIG works well, but is a bit difficult to use when the steel is 1/2 square material. i.e. not much room for error! A better choice may be to use oxygen/acetylene gas welding torch for more control. It is slower, but less costly than purchasing a TIG machine to perform the same basic function. i.e. however, in a production shop TIG would be a necessity.

The entire kin, with the excision of the front door, will be wrapped with one inch ceramic blanket. This serves two purposes, 1) to cushion the bricks and 2) Side view of handmade kiln at Alaska Handmade Jewelry, Anchorage Alaskato add additional insulation. In the image, the top is missing a piece of blanket which will be installed after testing.

This front loading kiln has a useable opening of 8” H x 11” W x 13” D. The heating element is placed high to avoid the possibility of hitting an energized element with a bead mandrel.

An additional production step is to add two center supports on the left/right sides to hold the blanket against these sides. Plus adding a removable blanket holding grid to the back of the kiln is another part of the project.

Then it will be the design of the front door and its supporting members. And it is not finished yet, as a six inch stand will be welded up to support the kiln. And so on and so on with the project.

And gee, I thought that forty feet of steel tubing would do the job. Guess again and buy another stick!

Open Chain Necklace

Open Chain German Silver necklace at Alaska Handmade JewelryOne of the current looks is large open chain necklaces. The thing about that is, often they are heavy and huge with a capitol "H". So, how does one wear the style and move freely?

Here is my answer, handmade big bold links out of the correct gauge of wire. The design is open and allows for lots of movement. Some sparkle is added with Swarovski crystals accenting Turquoise Magnesite.

Often another thing that comes into consideration of larger styled necklaces, or any necklace worn when working or relaxing, is the clasp. The clasp on this necklace is the same as the links on the chain but smaller and hooks into the chain itself.

My wire creations are being previewed on this blog. Many of these creations will be offered a limited time and then go on to a gallery showing. And not made available other than through the gallery. So by following this blog you get dibs.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about this or any of my creations.

Thanks for stopping by.

Alaska Charm Bracelet

Alaskan Charm Bracelet German Silver at Alaska Handmade JewelryThree Alaskan charms are featured on this handmade silver tone charm bracelet. They are a 7/8 inch oval imprinted with Alaska, a 1 1/8 inch wide nicely colored moose (got to have a moose on an Alaska charm bracelet) and an approximately inch long Alaska state flag.

The hand made wire sculpture bracelet consists of a four leafed clover shape (yes, for good luck). Joined by a swirl that symbolizes the Northern lights. The bracelet is 7 3/4 inches long (be sure to add a little extra in length for hand made wire jewelry).

Thank you,

Alaskan Whale Necklace

Whale Wirewrap Necklace German Silver at Alaska Handmade JewelryAnimals are very special beings. With that in mind, there is quite a lot of thought that has gone into this Alaska Whale necklace. It features a whale with lots of symbolic wire sculpture. The following description will explain the symbolism of the placement of the wire.

This necklace features a carved three inch long swimming whale brings to mind the whales we enjoy in Alaska. When wire wraping the whale I wanted this beautiful creature left free in its elements of water and time. With this in mind, coils under the whale symbolize it passage through time. The twisting wire leading over the whale is water. The three loops that join the bail are for the three times: past, present and future. The bail is reminiscent of swirling water. The whale can be easily removed from the bail--this preserves the whale's freedom.

This creation is very dear to me and hopefully you enjoy seeing it. This is truly a one of a kind creation.


Forget-Me-Nots, Alaska's State Flower

Forget-Me_Not German Silver ring at Alaska Handmade JewelryAs you may know, Forget-Me-Nots are the Alaska State Flower. And I have been working on coming up with a simple design that features a Forget-Me-Not.

Here is a peek for you. It is a simply done German Silver ring featuring a transparent bead that is colored and shaped like a little Forget-Me-Not. This ring design can have more pizazz with additional blossoms. Another addition can be made with a blossom done with a Swarovski crystal.

Prices can vary on this cute little remembrance of Alaska. And the ring can be made in sterling silver, if you prefer. Our price, as pictured here in German Silver is a bargain at $10 for a great Alaskan memory.

Although this ring has not previewed on the site, for Alaska Handmade Jewelry blog pals you can use with any requests or questions about our Alaska Forget-Me-Not ring.

Have a great spring.


The Wait is Almost Over

The wait is almost over for the posting of the wire sculpture featuring Green Tree Agate. It is anticipated that this creation will be posted this evening. Click here to view the Green Tree Agate set.

As a result of comments on our blog, Wire Wrap creation at Alaska Handmade Jewelrythe set includes earrings, necklace and bracelet. The price for this new wire wrap creation includes all three pieces.

The Green Tree Agates are floating. For this reason there is some movement of the Agates. As you know, in designing jewelry, my creations have freedom of movement when completed.

It has made my hobby of designing and making jewelry more fun to share with everyone the sneak peek and progress of piece. Thank you for allowing me to share and joining in with your comments.

Sneak Peek

Skutt kiln at Alaska Handmade JewelryThis is so nice that I want to share quick peek with you before the creation is completed. These are the earrings that will accompany a necklace.

As you know we have been expanding in wire sculpture, aka wire wrap jewelry. Each component and completed piece is different. This provides a very unique look for the person who wants one of a kind jewelry.

German Silver is the metal that is used in creation.

Often the more intricate wire wrap is called wire weave. Looking at these earrings can certainly see why.

Keep a watch out for the completed set to be listed in New Creations.

Hope you enjoy the sneek peek.


Wire Creation

Silver wire wrap creations at Alaska Handmade JewelryWe wanted to share with you a look at a creation designed by request. It is done in sterling silver wire and meets the client's desire for their favorite colors of rich pink and Abalone.

This free form wire sculpture necklace provides a rich pink color with Rhondite and Abalone including a nugget of Abalone with deep creme colored accents of River Stone. It accents a joyful, happy and full of life spirit.

It is an honor to do specialty creations for clients. I feel very complemented to be asked to do so. The creation ends up being quite an accent for the new home it goes to.

There is always the challenge of finding just the best color, texture, mood and over all feeling of each part of a creation. And from that experience comes our adventuring into creations made from copper.

Sliver Clay Ring

Alaska Handmade Jewelry is impressed with "The Arty Crafter". This site was located through one of the jewelry forums. Check out their "Gallery" page for a wonderful variety of handmade objects.

Silver Clay Ring made out of silver clayThe Arty Crafter also has an excellent PDF on how to use Silver Art Clay to make a ring. The best part is that a person does not need specialized equipment to fire the completed ring. In this case, just a butane touch. Most interesting. To download this helpful PDF use this link.

Many sites on the web sell Silver Art Clay. Prices will vary for this fun product.

The Thaw

Winter time is interesting in Anchorage. Just last week it was in the -10 F (-23 C) temperature range. This week there was a lot of wind and much warmer temperatures up to plus 50 F.

Some power outages and downed trees, but nothing major. Car in driveway as it should be placed. Our little street was all ice including many driveways.

Winter has its little surprises. Many folks just like to wait until June and then their snow covered paths to the garage melt away. Nothing wrong with packed snow with a hill for a driveway. But mother nature may have other ideas.

When the temperature hits 50 F (10 C) and it rains, all of those slanted driveways become down sloping ramps. Our neighborhood was no exception. Residences found their cars parked in the street. Car after sliding out of driveway due to ice and water and warm temps in Anchorage Alaska. Not because they wanted to, but due to mother nature's desire.

Seems that gravity, plus lack of friction works well on moving one's car. Just a slow slide into the street. No damage, but a thought that perhaps driveway snow removal may become a bigger priority!

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