Greetings all! First, thank you everyone for your posts and help.
I’ve been lurking for a little while and have gotten a great deal of
help from your past comments.
My name is Jon Lowe and I’m a computer programmer located just NE of
Atlanta. I’ve been interested in jewelry for about 2 years, mostly as
a creative outlet (this programming gig just isn’t that creative).
I’m still “testing the waters”, trying to find what aspect I find the
most enjoyable (there are so many different areas that I think I might
Right now, I’ve been working with silver, doing some basic casting
with the Delft method (the 2 rings packed with clay). Eventually, I
would like to try some vaccuum or centrifugal casting, but finances
are still a little limited…
I finally finished my first piece this weekend, a raindrop pendant
about an inch long, in sterling with a small turquoise cab set in
middle. It was a (late) Xmas present for my mom (the turquoise was
from her dad’s collection…maybe I inherited this “bug” from him?).
It provided me with a pretty broad taste, from making the model in
Sculpey, to casting it in the Delft ring/clay, making a bezel for
the stone, soldering the bezel and pendant bail, finishing the piece
with a deep mirror shine, and setting the stone.
After working through this first piece (and thinking of future
pieces), I do have 2 questions I would like to pose…I do a great
deal of reading (both online and off), and haven’t seen this
When I was putting the polishing touches on the raindrop (using
White Diamond and then Tripoli…I did finish with rouge and got a
great, deep shine), how often should the buffs be “loaded”? I
started with a brand new buff, put some lighter fluid on it
(observing all appropriate safety stuff…except for the cig hanging
out of my mouth…maybe that’s why I have no more eyebrows? ) and
then under rotation, touched it to the polish. And, then I did reload
with polish whenever I thought I needed to. How often should I use
the lighter fluid and how often should I put polish on? Would a
variable speed tool (a Foredom) work better (I’m using a Dremel
moto-tool right now and I think that it might just be too fast)?
Does anyone have any experience with using some of the harder
modeling waxes with the Delft clay? I’ve been using Sculpey for my
models, but with some of my newer ideas, the Sculpey needs to be
worked after baking and I’m finding that it chips and breaks a little
too easily. And, the Sculpey is just a little too pliable before
the baking. I think I might have better luck with a hard modeling
wax, but would like your opinions before I make the invest- ment into
a new set of tools…
Thank you all again for your past help!