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I second John’s tip. My computer is an invaluable aid to me. I have
all my sketches scanned, and I can scan the stones and work on the
designs on the computer. Being able to size things precisely is a
wonderful thing. And since much of my work involves layers of
piercing, I can put different design elements on different layers and
reshape and resize everything separately. Duplicate all the elements
so I have the complete design for reference plus all the elements
separately , print the whole thing out, and glue it down on the metal.

Janet Kofoed

Janet, What program do you use to size up and generally work with your
drawing on the computer. I have had little luck manipulating my
scetches with just general art programs. Ron Kreml

I use Photoshop. The layers feature, the transforming and reshaping
functions, and the distortion filters are just wonderful. Plus the
scanner’s tied into it. It’s definitely my program of choice.

Janet Kofoed

I have problems with the “sticky paper” peeling up from the metal as
I pierce. Therefore, I reverse the image, if it matters, and print
it out. If you are using a laser printer, place the image face down
on the metal, and moisten with acetone until the image is
translucent. Let it dry a moment. Just as the paper becomes opaque
once again, peel the paper up. You can even peel the paper up part of
the way to see if the image transferred. If it didn’t, put it down
again and repeat. If you are using an ink-jet printer, take the
printed image and have it photocopied before doing the acetone thing.
I find the image transferred from the paper to the metal holds up
better than sticky paper, or gluing the paper to the metal.

Marrin, that idea of printing out the image backwards is great! I
still use White Out and mark the image by hand, all very laborious!

Geo.

Holding silver pieces while polishing them has been a problem for me.
Surface area is too small to get a good grip and the piece gets to
hot to handle. I have several vice grip pliers that I have modified
by grinding away the teeth of the jaws. I cut old rubber pieces and
bond them to the jaws with contact cement. The vice grip pliers can
be adjusted for proper gripping of the part and can be released very
easily. one set of pliers i have has 2"x 1" plates for the jaws.

good luck
Lee