Saturday, November 30, 2013

Antique Jeweler's Vise

OK you guys - this is THE coolest.

antique jeweler's vise with attachments and magnifier

But you can't even begin to understand how cool it is without knowing the whole story!

Back when I was as young as 3, we would visit my Grandparents in Birmingham, AL, and I remember being fascinating with this doorstop my grandfather used to prop open the door to his study:

antique doorstop?

This shiny silver "doorstop" sat in a black rubber ring, was far too heavy to lift, but was irresistible! It spins in the rubber base, and we were not allowed to touch it, so, naturally, I would spin it and push it and fiddle with it until I got caught and yelled at. And then I would find a way to sneak back to it - forbidden fruit, you know. And of course, I would often stub my toes on it as I ran barefoot through the house!

I know I asked what it was, and got all sorts of non-sensical (to me, anyway) answers.

So imagine my surprise and delight when my Dad came to visit this week for Thanksgiving, telling me he had a jeweler's vise for me, and I opened the box to find my old nemesis, the doorstop, now with all it's attachments!

Elson antique jeweler's vise

This is the base, in it's rubber stand, with the chuck key attached, and the bases for the attachment in place on top. The brand is Elson, and a previous owner has engraved each piece with "L.M." It weighs 25-30 lbs. Very heavy!

The 2 attachments shown here also swivel 360 degrees, and hold all the smaller attachments. What with the base swiveling AND the attachments swiveling, and all the possible locations to place each attachment, you have an infinite variety of ways to position this vise for any project!

These are the attachments - after all this time, only one is missing:

 Elson jeweler's vise attachments

And this is the little magnifier:
swiveling magnifier

Here's a pic with a couple of the bracelet-holding attachments in place:

Elson vise with attachments

My Dad remember that HIS father got this at an estate sale when my Dad was maybe 5 years old, and it was all rusty when his father brought it home. They cleaned it up, put in to use as a doorstop, and obviously stored all the parts pretty carefully. We figure it is easily 100 years old!

At dinner tonight, I asked my Dad why I was not allowed to play with it, and why I kept getting yelled at for spinning it and fiddling with it - were they afraid I was going to break it, or what? Dad says, "No, you knucklehead, we were afraid you'd roll it off onto your hand or your foot." LOL.

I am thrilled with my new vise, but have completely failed at trying to find out anything about it. I found an antique Elson Watchmaker's Lathe on Ebay, but it looks nothing like this vise. And it is priced at $2500.00!

If anyone has ANY information about my "new" antique Elson jeweler's vise, please share! Thanks!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Enameled Headpins now Available - Choose from 20 colors!

I'm now offering colorful enameled headpins (in 2 lengths, and 2 different styles) in my Etsy Supply shop.
They're available in 2-inch and 3-inch lengths, and also as a 4 inch double headed variety.

These colored headpins are perfect for taking your designs to the next level! Add a dash of color and whimsy to your earrings and dangles, and use the double-headed style to wrap, coil, and twist into your wire and metalwork. Fun!

This is a pair of earrings I made using my enameled headpins:

And the Zentangle-inspired copper connectors I used in these earrings are ALSO available in my Etsy shop, in several styles; here's the link to one of them.

The headpins are listed on Etsy in lots of 10, with a drop down list from which you can choose your colors:

 The double headed ones look like this:
They have the same color on each end, and are 4 inches long, but if you want me to mix up the colors or make them shorter, just convo me through Etsy and we'll get you set up. These are SO much fun to design with!

The 2-inch headpins are listed here.
The 3-inch headpins are listed here.
The 4-inch double-headed headpins are listed here.

These headpins are all made to order, so there is a 3-5 day turnaround time to allow for cutting the wire, balling and enameling the pins, pickling them, work-hardening them, and buffing them to a high shine.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Custom Prayer Beads

Here're the prayer beads I designed for the customer that requested them this morning:

Prayer Beads

There are 25 faceted agate rounds, connecting to a beautiful dyed agate cylinder, from which a sterling silver "Om" symbol dangles. I think she'll be pleased.

The Cart Got Before the Horse Yesterday

I listed a new bracelet on Zibbet Thursday evening:

Faceted Citrine, Wire-wrapped with Vintaj Natural Brass Wire

Large faceted citrine, ranging from light golden to deeply gold, wrapped in Vintaj Natural Brass wire. The bronzy brown of the wire looks so good with the golden yellow citrine!

Now when I say "new", I mean new to my online shops; I actually MADE this bracelet about 5-6 months ago, and it' been available in my bead shop for sale, but I never got around to photographing it and listing it online, or even to blogging about it. I don't know why. But Thursday, it caught my eye, and I found myself with the time and inclination to go through the photo and listing process, so the listing went live sometime Thursday night. And I think I tweeted it.

Friday morning (yesterday), I decided to blog about the bracelet, and opened up Blogger to the "new post" page. Then I opened Facebook, and was going to post the bracelet on FB before I blogged, and as I was composing the FB status, a customer came into the shop.

And bought the bracelet. (And a bunch of beads.)

Now I find myself wondering if this trick will work for anything else I have lying around the shop, waiting to be sold? Especially since as I was writing THIS post, a lady came in looking for custom-made Buddhist prayer beads, so we picked out gorgeous beads, and now I have a custom order to make! I'll post the pics when I'm done.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Swirls of Color!

This necklace is my newest listing on Zibbet:

Swirls of Color - a handmade beaded necklace

Bold, colorful lampwork pendant

Colorful handmade lampwork discs and faceted Picasso Czech glass rounds finish the design

Swirling colors - in the handmade lampwork pendant and in the faceted Picasso Czech glass rounds. I added some Swarovski crystals, pewter-colored seed beads, and colorful handmade lampwork discs. The sterling silver S-hook and chain closure allows for an adjustable length.