Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sale on Etsy Items

Starting today and through the month of December get 25% off your order at the Burning Beard Fab etsy store using the code THEOOHRAY.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jewelry in Progress

Working on an assortment of new jewelry pieces for sale. Expect to see a big update to the store anytime now.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Castings Coming Soon: Cameo Jewelry and Sci-Fi Rayguns

I've been trying to build up some stock for two upcoming sale opportunities, a Dia de los Muertos themed pop-up store in downtown Albuquerque, and a crafty art fair at the University of New Mexico.

I've been making cameos based on molds and casting them in bronze and silver. These will become pendants, pins, rings and earrings.

I'm also making rayguns which will be cast in bronze as well.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Armored Glove

Working on a cast bronze armored glove/gauntlet. Bringing all the soft squishy bits from under the skin to outside the armor.Still in wax right now.

One 'art' please...

Golly everyone, it sure is a good thing that I'm in art school, look at this art I made from a picture of my ancient skull:

I found the contrast and brightness sliders all on my own, and I was brave enough to turn them BOTH all the way up. Get ready world, next I'm going to turn your contrast up!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Clay totems

I've been making a new batch of personal totems. They're high-fire clay and completely hand made. 

Baby Squid

Turtle Fetus

Fertility totems in progress

They're available for purchase on my etsy store or at Abitha's Apothecary in Albuquerque NM.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Seven Day Knife Project- Finale!

I placed all the knives on one decorative placard, the response at school was generally positive.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Seven Day Knife Project-Day VI & VII

Finished a middle-eastern style knife with a highly curved blade, and a dagger with a needlepoint blade. Both have stained birch handles with brass pins.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seven Day Knife Project- Day V

Today's knife, in keeping with the recent (and necessary) quick and dirty blade construction, is styled after a prison-fashioned weapon, colloquially called a "shank" or "shiv." It is made from an old wood chisel, exactly the kind of object an inmate might have access to.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Seven Day Knife Project- Day IV

I wanted to try something new today, sort of like a skinning knife, and it had to be quick. This one is made from a bicycle sprocket.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Seven Day Knife Project- Day II

 My previous every day knife was a Kershaw 1670TBLKST with SpeedsafeTM spring assist. I love having spring assist, unfortunately the blade was less than high quality, the tip bent and broke while folded in my pocket. So I used the same high carbon mystery steel from before to make myself a new blade.*

I started by covering the original blade with masking tape and outlining the space available inside the handle.

Then I drew the new blade shape on the tape, cut off the remainder, and traced it onto the steel and cut it out.

Next I had to make the new blade work with the old handle, this meant grinding and hand filing the two to be identical.

One problem I was having was in locating the detent on the new blade. I didn't want to drill through the hardened steel to transfer the mark through, and I don't have any precision measuring tools to aid me. 

After some contemplation, I noticed that the detent had worn a line into the paint of the blade, and after repeatedly testing the swing of the new blade a similar line had been left on it. So I simply punched a deep divot at the end of that line and it seems to work perfectly.

You can see that I changed the blade length and profile, and added a flapper to help open it with a thumb-stud.

My grind is nowhere near as good as the original unfortunately, but once I get better I can make redo it or make another one. That's the beauty of having these kinds of skills: you're never stuck with something inferior if you're always improving your craft.

*Kershaw's warranty position is that if your blade breaks, you broke it, and it is not covered by warranty. They will replace and sharpen blades with new stock for a fee of $10. For them to be able to cover the blade and labor for only $10 there's nothing telling me that I'll get any better product than I had before, and another chipped blade will be only a matter of time.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Seven Day Knife Project

I've recently become very interested in knife making. I've been collecting knives since I was a tween and now I want to make my own. Pursuant to this goal, and for a school project about ritual and artifact, I've decided to make one knife a day for one week. I will attempt different styles and techniques, and not work on them again once the day is up. This will be difficult not only because I've never made a knife but also because school is in session and I have plenty of homework already.

Regardless, here is my first knife build:

I wanted to start by setting up real quench tanks, no more plastic bottles of water. I've had this medical oxygen cylinder kicking around for years, so I cut it in half. 

I wanted to use both halves but the top (valve) side didn't like to stand up, so I whipped up a quick and easy stand.

One half will hold water and the other will hold oil, both for quenching hot metals.

Starting with a piece of mystery steel from my pile (not the best way to start, but it was Friday afternoon and I wasn't going to go on a high-carbon hunt) I made the length about the same as my current pocket knife.

I sketched my first idea with soapstone onto the cleaned metal and rough-cut it with a cut-off wheel.

Then I smoothed the lines and started grinding the edge.This took a while.

When the edge was nearly done I heated the blade and quenched it in oil

New quench tank.

After finish-grinding the blade I used some wood I had lying around (pine? again, not the best start, oh well) to make the handle sides.

And used high-strength epoxy to attach them. Next time I will probably use brass pins as well.

Once the epoxy had set up I sanded the wood down into a nice grip-able handle.

Again, this was my very first try at making a knife, I have a long way to go still.

Another new thing I'm trying is time lapse photography of my work sessions, I cherry picked from the 400+ photos from today the ones that I thought were cool and in which I don't look too flabby.

Hipster safety goggles.