Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just a quick couple of things.  First, I recently did a lecture for Joe Wood's Digi fab class. They had a Radical Jewelry Makeover exhibition that Joe worked so hard on putting up.  It looks great. Lots of great work in the show. I believe they are auctioning off the work tomorrow!   

This semester has been a but blurry. I am trying to squeeze work in here and there but it has almost been impossible. I have however been productive on the stone setting front, dramatically improved my CAD workflow and messed around with the Form1.  

We have had a million visitors.  Recently, after AdamWhitney, Zac Lopez-Ibanez from Fehlo and Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro  both came to lecture.  Their visits overlapped! I have also been dusting off the old metalsmithing arm and making a few things in class.

We only have a few days left in the semester! Eeek! I am looking forward to the break.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

So many things

The last couple of weeks have been intense. Recently, we had mid-terms (along with a visiting midterm critic). This past week Adam Whitney came to lecture for the professional practices class. Along with Gabriel Craig and Amy Weiks, Adam is a co-owner of Smithshop in Detroit. He also stuck around and did demos for the metalsmithing class. Adam is such a great example of a metalsmith that is actually participating in the field in a non academic way. Smithshop does so many things. It is so great to see their success. We had a blast!  The seniors also had a great trip to Boris Bally's studio where he showed them his bench tests from when he studied to be a goldsmithing in Europe.  I was blown away! 

Tanya Crane came to town for halloween. Liz dressed up as Rosie the riveter, Tanya dressed up as Frida Kahlo and I of course wore my hotdog costume. We went out for dinner and then did karaoke.  It was a blast. I needed a little down time.  

On another note, Liz has been doing a lot of small drilling and I thought I would get her a small drill press.  We had a few Dumore drill presses at New Paltz.  I kind of thought I would never want/use one myself but I have also needed to drill holes for settings etc.  I kind of got burned on eBay.  It has been a while since that has happened. The listing said is was "missing a small part" but is other than that brand new!  Well the entire inside of drill was missing.  The motor, the cord, the switch etc. Basically it was a hollow shell. When I called Dumore to get replacement parts they said it was going to cost $600!!!!! Wha wha whaaaaaaa. I did get lucky and found a new/old one on eBay for $300. Now I have spare parts.  

The links for my bracelet came back today.  I am excited to get this show on the road.  I need to get this work out the door for the holiday.  I have not had the time to dedicate to the work that I would like and as a result it has been slow moving.  I have also started working on a few more bracelets for a show. Again, super slow. Lots of tests. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

3D printing woes

I have had some successful prints over the last couple of months. I am happy with about %20 of them (two out of eight!). Gah. I am working hard to do three things.  One, create a workflow for my CADCAM II class next semester, two, make some work (conservative, production-type stuff) and three, learn some stone setting along the way.   

It might be super ambitious. 

I have never tested the mechanical accuracy of the metal through shapeways. I have always printed an object as a stand alone thing. It never had to fit another object or click into another object... until now. I have learned a lot. First and foremost, don't forget about shrinkage!  Remember if a piece is printed, cast, molded and recast you are talking at least %5 - %20 shrinkage. So all that time you spent modeling that ring to fit that stone goes right out the window. I actually successfully made a box clasp that works (needs some clean up) but.....it can't be molded because it will shrink and everything will be off. This just means that every clasp has to be printed together then cast which costs a hell of a lot more that molding. I will say that is has the perfect little click though. 

I will say that over the years the quality of the print/cast option has improved quite a bit. I actually had .8mm holes for my hinge and they all came out. I modeled in some slop in the hinge intentionally just in case but it turned out that I didn't need it. Unfortunately, I have to re-cut all of the seats to fit the stones because of shrinkage. Now that I have figured out both of those I am going to try to print a large bracelet with both a hinge and a clasp. Fingers crossed this might be a dud. 

Another pro-tip: even numbered stones tend to be easier to get than odd number stones. When I modeled these things I just threw a dart in it. 7mm stones look great! Right? Finding non-synthetic stones that large can be tough. You of course can get stones in any size if you can afford it.  It is way easier to get 6mm and 8mm than 7mm.  

Back to the computer for more modeling.  Fingers crossed!