Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Day at a Belle's Bench

Ever wonder what a day at the bench is like? I thought you might, so I documented a little bit of a normal afternoon of jewelry making. I had to make several discs of copper and sterling for a few projects. Enjoy!

Don the proper safety equipment.

Find disc cutter and insert sheet metal.

Whack the thing with a brass hammer several times, and wonder about the people who claim they punch their discs with one blow.

Repeat several times, then sit back and admire your hard work.

Hammer discs.

Flip hammer and hammer some more for cool old weathered type look.

Keep hammering until all discs are done.
Take nap because your arm is now ready to fall off.

Wake up and admire your work.

Gather doming equipment.

Start to dome discs.

Get ticked off because you forgot to punch holes first.
Get hole punching thingamabop and punch holes.

Get ticked off again because you forgot a couple discs.
Grab disc cutter again and punch more discs.
Grab doming block again and finish doming discs.
Try to sit back and admire your hard work, but have a hard time because you're still annoyed.

File where needed.

Do some sanding.

Prepare soldering station.

Cut little solder bits.

Dip stuff in flux.

Melt solder onto posts.

Solder posts to discs.

Sit back and admire your hard work.

Put freshly soldered stuff into make-shift pickle pot full of all natural non-toxic acid-like stuff.
Call mom and remind her to bring you the crockpot she promised soon.

Have a cold and frosty Canadian beer (root beer, that is) while your stuff takes a pickle bath.

Read the wise quote on the underside of the lid and laugh as only a redhead can.
Silly Canadian root beer.

Rinse off pickle and throw stuff into tumbler along with all their buddies made earlier.

Cover with tumbler stuff and tumble for several hours.

Make good use of your time waiting and go outside to smell the roses.
Or the dogs, if you don't have any roses.

Don't forget their close-ups. Dogs need close-ups, you know.

Check out your baby squash.

And your first baby tomato (which now unfortunately has a caterpillar hole. *grrrrrr*)

Don't forget to feed your man. They get kind of hungry about this time.
After several hours have passed, pull stuff out of tumbler.

Do lots more sanding.

Go through all these different grits and make the stuff look like a mirror.

Decide you want it to have a satin finish instead, so go back to grit #1.

All done! Sit back and admire your hand work... and pray it sells so you can do it all again tomorrow.


Jessica Morris said...

so I am tired just reading about all you do! :)
Gorgeous work!

Bethany said...

Now that was just super-cool!!! I wish I was creative enough to do a fun job like that instead of accounting. Alas, we are not all so gifted!

I like the kitty root beer, too.

Dustin said...


Oh wait...we have a camera with a timer...

Nevermind :-P <3

Shannon said...

You've convinced me to never make my own jewelry; I'd much rather just pay you to do all that work :)

Mmm, now I want rootbeer...

Heidi @ GGIP said...


Jeanie said...

Does it come in cobalt blue?

r8chel said...

Wow - impressive!

What does the pickle bath do?

Crystal said...

The pickle gets rid of the firescale that happens when soldering. It's black stuff... not too pretty.

Laurel said...

Hey, that was a really fun entry.....You did such a wonderful, humorous job. Your writing skills are almost as good as your jewelry skills!

We truly DO need to talk more!!

Laurel said...

OH...and you didnt even go into how much work it took to get that picture at the end......that's a whole 'nother Day!!

Crystal said...

"OH...and you didnt even go into how much work it took to get that picture at the end......that's a whole 'nother Day!!"

Aint that the truth!!