Friday, January 08, 2010

Turquoise T-Bird...

My love for classic cars began with my participation in car club activities with my parents. Car clubs are fun. We often went on trips to car shows or rallies - sometimes as far as into the States. Both of my parents had classic cars. Mom had a bright orange '65 Mustang. Dad had a '46 Ford Coupe. I dreamt of someday owning a white '63 split-window Vette. My friends and I would gladly grab a rag and polish Dad's 1946 Ford Coupe at a car show just to get the chance to somehow participate. In addition to the shows and rallies, I have very fond memories of Sunday excursions into the city in the '46 to Dairy Queen with Mom, Dad, our dog, Ralph. Ralph even got his own cone. I remember hanging out in the garage with Dad while he worked "his baby", handing him tools or just sitting and talking to him while he worked. I remember my parents trusting me to drive that car when I got my license.

These memories all came flooding back when I was asked by a staff member at school if I could make something for the car club silent auction. She said that there was always an abundance of items for the men to bid on, but they needed something to appeal to the women. Having just given some necklaces to the SPCA for their silent auction, I was hesitant to donate yet more of my jewelry, but I just couldn't turn this one down. Ideas started to boil in my head.

This couldn't just be any piece of jewelry. It had to be car-themed to reflect my love of classic cars. It had to honor my fond memories. My favorite classic car is the '63 split-window Vette, but when I drew the silhouette for one, it just didn't have a distinct shape for a silver pendant. T-Birds always seemed sexy to me - attractive to women as well as men. When I saw the photo of the turquoise T-Bird, I knew I had to give this a try.

I formed the T-Bird shape in silver clay. Once it was dry, I carved in the details using a Dremel drill and hand tools. I torched it, let it cool and sanded it smooth. I dipped it into Liver of Sulphur to blacken it so that the details would show. Much polishing and sanding brought it to the shiny state that it is now in. I felt the need to add "Just Cruisin' " lettering to personalize the necklace for the car club and I felt that the lettering would take away from the car details, so I added a second handcrafted fine silver tag. This tag went through the same construction process as the T-Bird.

I chose a beautiful lampwork bead from Bliss Beads. (I love her work! I bought a ton of her beads last summer while I was in Invermere...) Next, I added two turquoise beads on each side - the traditional colour of a classic T-Bird. Once I had it all attached to the 18" sterling chain, it looked even better than I'd imagined. I hope this necklace goes to someone who loves it... I know it brought back many happy memories for me.

May the Bling be With You...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Restoration, Reformation, Reconstruction

2010 has begun with some repairs, restoration and reconstruction.

restoration, fixing

adjustment, darn, improvement, mend, new part, overhaul, patch, reconstruction, reformation, rehabilitation, replacement, substitution


This watch was purchased by a friend of mine. She loves it, and has worn it often. It was lucky that she did, as it had a construction flaw that I might not otherwise have known about. I'm grateful that she brought it back to Sunshine INdustries for repair. It's vitally important to me that my customers are happy and that their purchases are lasting. After all, I've come to realize that I do this more to see the happiness on others' faces than I do for money. (Just ask my banker husband and my financial statement...)

The flaw was a result of a new watch face I'd found. I loved it because of it's modern look. This is the back of the same kind of watch face. The nylon-covered wire that I used in the original design wore quite quickly against the holes. This attachment system is not the regular one used on other watch faces. How could I attach a bracelet without having the wire touch the sharp holes?

The fix involved using 22 gauge sterling wire wraps against the sharp holes (which I sanded down a bit in hopes of less wear & tear). I added some sterling beads to accent the design. I won't be using this style of watch face again without using sterling wire wraps in the holes! I may also let my friend wear this one for awhile before trying this type of watch face again.

Yes, Sunshine INdustries will repair jewelry made by others...

The second repair/reconstruction of 2010 involved a bracelet that I did not make. I wish I had - it's cool!
The owner found that the charms were starting to fall
off. After examining the bracelet, it was no wonder!

These are the old o-rings/jump rings used to attach the charms. (In the photo below). The larger bright silver one in the photo is the kind that I replaced them all with.

The original jump rings were not thick enough to last long. I pounded the new jump rings with a vintage hammer to give them strength and texture to match the look of the original bracelet. I also used two sets of pliers to gently rock each jump ring back and forth a few times in order to add strength before closing them.

This handy youtube video from demonstrates the correct way to open and close a jumpring:

Hearing the "click" when the two ends meet is very important.

Here is the bracelet with the
new jump rings in place.

So far, I've only worked on repairs "this year",
but new creations are boiling in the brain - fear not!

May the bling be with you...

Sunshine INdustries

Happiness creates sunshine wherever you go.

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