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Photographic Prop Discovery

I have made a discovery which I would like to share with all of you
knowledgable, sharing, terrific jewelry people.

I have been reading with much interest your suggestions for setting
up product photography shoots for jewlery because I am struggling
with this myself. (I still can’t locate the clear putty someone
mentioned!) So,on the eve of a photo shoot, I panicked because once
again, things were going to be askew. Then, I spied a ripe banana in
the kitchen fruit bowl.

I grabbed the banana, covered it up with some beautiful Japanese
white rice paper that I use for bookbinding, pulled the backs off
post earrings, stuck them through the paper into the hidden banana
and presto!! Great photos, earrings didn’t tip over, and I didn’t
have to search online to find it. A minor cleanup of banana gook
seemed a small price to pay. I think the same thing can be achieved
with styrofoam underneath, if you are out of ripe bananas.

There you have it. You gotta have a sense of humor…

With thanks to all of you, Diana Widman at Birch Tree Studio

PS: Where can I get that clear putty and also the studio in a box (if
there is one that doesn’t cost $3000!!)

diana - your shortcut with the banana could open a whole new series of
photo props: don’t even hide the fruit or veggie, push some prase
earring posts into that pineapple; garnets on grapefruit; amber on
avocados; opals on oranges; jade on …

a little help here people.

To those of you who are looking for the Clear Putty to scure your
jewelry for photgraphing,…It is called museum putty and is used
the world over to secure items of value in areas where there are
Earthquakes. Look in the magazines like “solutions”, " Improvements",
or the like! Good Luck!

Hi, Diana,

Quite ingenious! As far as the clear putty is concerned, I have
never seen putty in any other color than blue or white. However,
could you possibly use a dolop of low-temperature hot glue from a
glue gun? I have a couple of those cheap ones you can find at crafts
and sewing stores. They are small and come with a few cartridges of
the glue. They cost about $5.00 each and I think you can find them
easily. That should work to prop up a piece of jewelry. Clean up
should be a breeze, since the glue does not bond to metal, you can
just peel it off. Hope this helps.

Thanks to all at Orchid for sharing your knowledge so freely.

Vera Battemarco

On occasion I have used super glue (cyanoacrylate) to hold jewelry in
place for photography. It cleans off easily with acetone.

Timothy A. Hansen

Hi all

The clear putty sounds great. I will check it out. something that I
have used for a number of years and has worked out pretty well in my
oppinion is a small amount of microcystaline wax (brown sculpture
wax). It is sticky and can be formed between your fingers to the
size you need. It cleans up well and execpt under very intense/hot
lights holds as long as I need to shoot the work.


For jewelry set up, I have been using Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs-
available from the drug store. It is a translucent whitish silicone,
it’s consistency is like a sticky clay. It can be reused, and isn’t
affected by the heat from the light bulbs. Paul Gross of Designer Gold
in Hanover, New Hampshire told me about it-
I love it!

No one has mentioned sticky wax yet. You have to work a little faster
because it heats up under lights but it works pretty well for a fast
and easy stick. I tried some hot glue I have around the shop and it
works really well. Clean up was a problem until I tried alcohol.
Disolved it very well. I also use it to set displays during shows. Hot
glue holds the props as well as the pieces for the duration of the
show… Frank Goss

Frank, what is stick wax? Bill Navran

Bill; Sticky wax is a wax used to attach wax models to the sprue and
the sprue to the sprue base. It is just what it says. It is very
sticky and melts at a low temperature. You place a drop on the end of
a sprue and then place the sprue where you want it on the model and
sticks in place. You can then take a hot tool and melt the fillet for
a nice smooth connection to the model. Same for the sprue
to the sprue base. The smoother the attachment the cleaner the
casting. It is available at your jewelry supplier. Frank Goss

Hi all! Concerning the problem of propping articles for photography,
have any of you ever tried using a hot glue gun? I remember years
ago needing to set up an exhibit quickly, and I used long brass rods
silver soldered onto small squares or brass sheet, all painted matte
black. On the ends of the rods, I was able to stand rings and
bracelets upright with only a tiny glob of hot glue. They stayed
that way for a couple weeks. Just hold the article in place for a
few seconds till the glue solidifies. It peels off with a little
effort when you’re finished.

David L. Huffman