Thursday, September 12, 2013

Potato Chip Patina Earrings Revisited

You've seen these earrings in a previous blog post, but they were basically naked. So I dressed them up since its getting cold out there...they appreciated it and I like them so much better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Alive and Well in Boston

I'll be back in the studio soon and posting more jewelry-related stuff...but in the meantime:

Cheers from the Beehive in Boston! (Love this town!)

Pigged out here on beef ribs:

Said hello to Paul Revere and some other cool dead people:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Stuart St,Boston,United States

Friday, August 23, 2013

One-Day Vacation (or "My Precious Day Off")

I didn't make any jewelry yesterday...have to live up to my halfassed reputation. So I took a mini vacation instead in Saratoga Springs, NY.  I had a hair appointment there anyway and made a fun day of it.

With my tunes, all the windows rolled down and the sunroof open, I savored all the smells the countryside between Johnstown and Saratoga had to offer...

My Tunes

Don't worry...I pulled over for this shot. I'm not that crazy!
But do I sound crazy when I tell you that the dead skunks even smelled good? 

After Chris, colorist and cutter extraordinaire at Fusion The Salon, mad me beautiful, I was starving...looking this good is hard work.

I took myself out to lunch at The Putnam Market on Broadway...ate their country pate and red onions with a honey mustard on a French baguette.

Yum...Sorry, I was so hungry I took a bite out of it before I realized I wanted to take a picture.
Gorgeous day to eat outside and people-watch...especially just before the Travers Stakes!  The town is filling up fast.
On the way out of town I stopped at The Hidden Gardens on Church Street and went overboard photographing their incredible array of garden and home antiques.
I've driven by their store a hundred times and finally decided to stop in.

Horses...of course


                                                    Love the creepy cigar-toting clown

More cigars...except from a traditional Indian.

If I had a fireplace, this is what I'd want around it.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Salt and Vinegar Potato Chip Patina

Thanks to Anvil Artifacts salt and vinegar potato chip patina recipe, I've created these ancient-looking copper earrings. 

They have a feel of being just unearthed from a new archeaological dig at Stonehenge. 

I gently folded the metal and pinched it tightly down in the middle before using the patina recipe.

The interesting thing about this patina is that some parts of the copper were actually corroded...and I think you can see it in the photo.

Chew on that (no pun intended) next time you dive into your next bag of salt and vinegar chips...what's it doing to your stomach???

But I love them and I'll still eat them...even though I feel like I'm getting a blister on my tongue afterwards!

I think I'll drape these beauties with some fine-gauge sterling silver chain for bling.  


Monday, August 19, 2013

Here's a quick post for you halfassed jewelry makers who love an interesting patina.  Check out Anvil Artifacts

I've already tried the salt and vinegar potato chip patina recipe with great success, but ruined the finish by using a scotchbrite pad on it (stupid me).

I've got a pair of earrings in the chips now...I'll take pics tomorrow after 6:30 when it should be done cooking.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Finally...Halfassed Jewelry Artist has been Remodeled!

I hope you guys like the new look...The old design was so outdated, I was unable to add certain widgets to it.  I've added a Facebook and Twitter Share button and a place to put in your email address if you'd like to be notified of new posts.  More updated design to come. 

So since my blog has a new design, I needed to design some new earrings.  Here's a few:

I sell my jewelry under the name Betsy Eliza (my real name is Elizabeth).  I've discovered some cool things to do with's not just for necklaces and bracelets anymore. Soon I'll have to use copper chain on sterling or fine silver sheet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm Not Moving Halfassed Jewelry Maker...I'm Staying Here!

Just a quick post to let you guys know I'm not moving my blog to Wordpress.  Thanks to my chief tech and Google washer...Barney, my better photo upload problem has been solved.

So sink your teeth into this luscious form folded copper cuff with fine silver studded rivets:

Unfortunately, it was sold...tough to see my babies leave.  And I wanted to wear it so bad!

A Few Photos

As promised, here are a few photos of pieces I've made:

I created this with the help of Kate McKinnon's book, "Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry", by and large the most fun book ever written on the's full of the most ballsy, in-your-face, hefty PMC pieces I've ever seen. 

Yes...It's a finger. My Finger. This had to be the most fun I've ever had working with PMC.  I used Cold Mold compound from Rio Grande, item 701-042 to make a mold of my index finger, pressed the PMC into the mold, and fired it up in the kiln.  I wore it to work on Halloween 2012 (not 20012 as it says in the picture...too far into the future).  Maybe this year a necklace of fingertips
I've also explored fold forming during the past couple of years.  It may be a little rough on the fingers, but it give me some of the most serendipitious know, happy accidents.


Fold forming is the technique that really makes me feel like a hard-working, kickass craftsperson...kinda like the village blacksmith.  There's annealing, quenching, folding, annealing again, quenching again, unfolding, pounding with numerous types of hammers, annealing, quenching, unfolding....and on and on till I get the look I want...Aaaaarrrrgggg! (picture here a muscle-popping blacksmith pumping a bellows and pounding a hunk of iron at the same time...yeah...that's me).
Wendy Edsall-Kerwin's blog Hammermarks is the go to site for fold-forming enthusiasts (at least as far as I'm concerned).  She's the person who turned me on to the chasing-on-air method of fold forming.  Wendy not only creates one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces using this method, but also makes very interesting sculptural bowls and wall art pieces.  Oh, and did I mention she has an Etsy store? You can get there through a link on her blog...just tell her Betsy sent you.
If you're serious about learning this method of manipulating metal, the go-to book on the subject, "Foldforming" by Charles Lewton-Brain is the best there is on the subject.  Might be the ONLY book there is for all I know.  When I first became interested, I found it pretty hard to find information on the subject.
Let me know about your own experience, if any, with fold forming...we'll share ideas and maybe Pinterest boards and other sites.  And BTW, I'm still learning my way around Pinterest, so go easy on me.   


Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Been a Long Time!

I'm baaaaack!

I's been awhile. Literally.  I haven't wrote a thing since 2009.  And I apologize for that.  But apologies are like wind, just like excuses. So, because I'm full of them, I'll name a blip, lack of mojo (is that another term for laziness?),too much work at the hospital, and too much home remodeling.  Oh, and here's another...too ashamed to start writing because of how long it's been.  But I have to start somewhere.

Now that that's out of the way, I hope you guys aren't too pissed at me.

A lot has happened since then.  A great bead shop sprung up in my town, Johnstown, NY...Black Bear by talented jewelry maker Jamie Levendusky...but, alas, closed just last year.  Had a blast teaching and learning there.  I took a PMC stone-setting class from none other than Holly Ginsberg-Gage, and I taught a few fine silver fusing classes there myself...good times!

I also learned a lot about working with PMC from Nancy Miller at her studio in Saratoga, NY.  Thanks Nancy!

There will be more to come soon...I wanted to post some photos, but Google has me ripping my hair out trying to upload the right ones. So much so that I'm considering moving this blog to Wordpress.  I've been assured that if I do, nothing, including my links to my fav blogs, comments, and followers, will be lost.  Everything will still be there.  We'll see...need to research more.

I hope this post finds you all well and in good spirits!