Category Archives: Learn

Tools of the trade – a new light and storage!

It seems to me that, the majority of my life, I haven’t spend much time thinking about light.  I doubt that most people do, until it is an issue!  Well, it certainly is an important issue for a goldsmith working on small (or even tiny) things.  Then add into that aging eyes, and well……

I happened to see an ad in one of my magazines, just before Christmas, for a new light  and storage system that Foredom had introduced.  I’ve been struggling with to find a good solution for lighting at my bench for some time, and I thought this looked like it would work!  So, I bought myself a Christmas present – a light!  And since I was already having a light shipped here from the US, I thought why not throw in one or two of their newfangled storage systems.

Here it is:

My new light in action!
My new light in action!

I know the above photo may seem a little anti-climatic, but this light is genius!  It is on when it’s down (as shown), if you would like you can adjust it’s height on the pole or add more trays.  The light itself is 31 inches long, and I can see now!  It’s great.  Really one of the best investments I’ve made for the bench.

Here it is in the off position:

I couldn't get the whole thing in the frame, but you can see how it works - it's off when it is up.  You can also see how much difference there is in the light at the bench.
I couldn’t get the whole thing in the frame, but you can see how it works – it’s off when it is up. You can also see how much difference there is in the light at the bench.

On top of it, I really like the tray and plier rack as well.  I just bought them on spec, of course, since I they are new and I hadn’t seen them in “real life” before purchase.  Luckily, they work and they work well.  The plier rack is a real space saver.  My bench top isn’t that big and so getting stuff off of it is always good.  The tray holds my gravers and burnishers.  I used have them in one of my bench drawers, but there was way too much stuff in there and I wasn’t happy about it.

The tray and plier arm move around so you can get your tools and then push them out of the way!
The tray and plier arm move around so you can get your tools and then push them out of the way!

It’s not always the sexiest tools that add the most value to your practice!  Practical is good…..

Hope you are keeping warm!

Valerie

Jewellery trends 2014

I can’t say that I’m really a trend follower, but it’s always interesting to see what is predicted to be the “in” thing.  Luckily, fine and handmade jewellery is not fast fashion, and trends change slowly.  The main thing I learned while doing my research for this topic, is that if you attempt to follow… Continue Reading

Gemstones – Amethyst

Ah, purple!  I love purple, which is why I’m a little surprised that I don’t have more amethyst in my collection. Amethyst is in the quartz family, and it is colored by iron impurities.  Amethyst can be found in a variety of purple shades, from a rosy lavender to a deep purple with magenta highlights. … Continue Reading

Color wheel!

I’m always going on about color and how much I enjoy it – especially when it comes to enamels or beading or gemstones….. well, actually, for everything!  I have met quite a few people, though, who have told me they struggle with picking colors and making them work together. At first, when I was learning… Continue Reading

Gemstones – Turquoise

Turquoise is such a popular gemstone, you would think I would have lots of examples in my gemstone collection.  Surprisingly, though I don’t.  I don’t really know why, since the color turquoise is one of my all time favorites. Up until the last Ancaster Gem and mineral show in September, I only had a few… Continue Reading

Fun at the bench!

I made a decision at the beginning of September!  I know, it’s always good to make a decision! This one was specifically about actually designing jewellery that uses stones from my (growing) collection!  Crazy, eh…  I’m trying hard not to become an official and acknowledged hoarder of stones.  It’s hard because I see so many… Continue Reading