Thursday, August 30, 2012

Live and Learn

As mentioned yesterday, I finally got around to using my drill press and it was a piece of cake.  Okay, maybe not.  It had been quite awhile since I bought it and I was too lazy to get out the directions.  The directions were a hoot to read though.  They were written by someone who thought they knew English.     
(They don't know English!)  I also forgot that it came with a large allen wrench to tighten the chuck.  I tried to tighten it with my fingers but that was not very good.  After about a half hour, my brain managed to remember that I put something in the front drawer of the old sewing machine table that the drill press sat on.  Voila, there it was!

For a long time I've wanted to drill into beach glass.  Everyone tells me how easy this is (and they are right.)  But for some reason I kept putting that off too.  Drilling into glass takes a diamond drill bit (those buggers aren't cheap...... that might be another reason why I kept putting it off.)  I finally ordered some of those so I no longer had an excuse.  

I have incorporated beach glass into my metal clay through actually firing it with the clay or adding it to metal clay through a cold connection.

Using cold connect techniques to hold the glass.

Wrapping clay around the beach glass and firing.  This changes the color.  This piece started out a teal color and ended up an olive color.  This is a chemical reaction to the silver.  Frosty white glass turns a clear amber color.

My next step was to hit the internet for information on how to do it.  (Isn't the internet wonderful?)  I watched a couple of videos on YouTube (which contradicted each other.)   One said to use a very high speed and the other one said to use a low speed.  One said to drill half way through, turn the glass over and drill from the other side.  (They did say this took practice.)  The other one said to drill all the way through.  One video put the glass on a piece of wood, while the other video did not.  What they both did though was drill in water.  That much I knew (although another jeweler just told me to use oil.)  

Another thing I noticed that was the same in both videos was that they were doing a "pumping" action with the drill.  Neither one of them said why.  (As I discovered today, there is a very good reason for that.) 

Which I'll tell you tomorrow! 


Zoe Nelson said...

This is something I want to try, as well as small stones. I'll be interested in hearing how it goes for you.

Alice Walkowski said...

I want to try stones too. I think that is mostly why I got on the ball and ordered the drill bits. One of the bezel pieces I was working on wasn't going well and the other jeweler in the building suggested I drill holes and mount it on the backing. That was a $32 stone and somehow it just looked like it needed a bezel instead (so I'm on my second one.) But I like the idea of drilling stone. I'll let you know.