Monday, October 20, 2014

Rings and Light bulbs.


I made this ring and I played around in Photoshop with it.

Photoshop is easy.

In the old days to get a picture like this I would shoot the ring into the air with a cannon, and then wait for it to fall back.

Then as it went past my camera I would snap a picture of it and my girlfriend would be lying on the ground beneath the tri-pod and catch it as well.



I also made this ring for a charming lady.

I used the gold of her dear departed husbands wedding band and her one and then combined them.

The dude in the picture is welding new water pipes outside our shop.

These municipal workers are a tough bunch, let me tell you.

Come rain or snow or darkness in winter, they do the job.

I talk to them, I like them, they work hard  and do a good job.



They put the final touches on the job this Thursday.

I like this picture.

It looks like they closing up a volcano.

Or burying Satan maybe.


We use gas for goldsmithing and cooking.

We have two bottles so that if one runs out then the other can also be switched over so that there is always gas.

Last Saturday night both ran out at the same time.

Because Murphy came calling.

At seven in the evening.

So because I had had a couple of beers during the afternoon there was no way I could drive.

You just do NOT drive over the limit here.

In fact, if I consume ANY alcohol I simply don’t drive, period.

So Anne drove , the roles reversed—me doing the backseat driving for the first time in three years.


It was wonderful.

Anyway, en route a headlight bulb blew.

No problem, thinks me.

I’ll buy a new one and replace it.


Luckily the owners of the next door garage had gone on holiday so I could use the whole space to work on Arnold- as our car is called.

First order of business was to get some light in the place.

Germans live in dingy half- lit places.

Everywhere you go there are these 40watt lights, dark houses and dark yellow lighting.


So I made a Meevis plan.

I like the irony of my probably highly illegal temporary cable going over the nanny sign.

So I wired up a double florescent tube unit to it and it at least provided good light.


I parked Arnold skew like this so I had space.

This was an endless source of amazement from the people walking by.

“How did that car get in like that?” was what I heard several times.

One youngster: “ They NEVER going to get that car out” ha ha.


I had forgotten about French design.

The picture says it all.


The fucking headlight bulb.

I read on the internet that in Britain they charge up to 235 pounds to change it.

I now understand why.

Appalling design.




Pie graph of the year in Dusseldorf.

We in the dusty pink area.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Perfect Day Braai.


Yesterday was another one of those interminable frickin’ public holidays that Europe is addicted to.

This time it was ‘unification day’ which was when west Germany felt sorry for the east Germans constantly spying on each other and  shooting themselves in the foot, and gave them $2 trillion in public money to drag themselves into civilization.

Now west Germany celebrates the loss of an inland sea of money stolen from the public ---- with a public holiday.

The irony is strong in this one.

Nevertheless, the day dawned bright and blue and no wind with warm autumn temperatures.

We had been preparing for this braai for a long time.


The bicycles being prepared.

Schpeckles is looking on with a 1000 yard stare.

He just KNOWS this day is going to suck for him.

Inside those two pan bags one can clearly see the outline of the kitchen sink.



These kind of days are few and far in between.


This was our first picnic spot but it proved to be a bit busy with dogs being walked* so we moved up river to a more secluded area.

*Actually, Germans don’t walk their dogs around.

They command them around.

“Schtopf “!  “Platz”! “ Hier”! “ Da”!  “ Vorsicht”!  “Ruhig”!  “Zurück’!

It’s in their genes.


The second choice needed a bit of mountain climbing, of which Anne is an expert of.

It’s her look of concentration that makes her such an expert.


The wild desolate places in Germany.


With a bicycle the amount one can carry is somewhat limited.

So we stick to a one-off fires that one can buy in the supermarket.

They work surprisingly well, but they a bit low on the excitement factor.


Being  a public holiday there were lots of fun cruises and private boats going past.

It’s a bit like a visual twitter.

You spy all the people out on the opposite bank and gossip about them.

No doubt they do the same.


And commerce never stops on the Rhine.



This was one seriously impressive barge going past.


Real braai food.

We ate  and drank ourselves dik through the day.


Eventually the shadows got longer and we reluctantly made our way back.

The return trip proved to be a lot more difficult than anticipated, but it had nothing to do with the wine and beers.

We were just a bit more tired, you see.

Nevertheless, we got home safely at the end of a perfect day.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gem Carving and Stuff




Rough, started a couple of days ago.


I finished it yesterday.


Whenever I have no work, which happens a lot in Germany, I mess around with the raw material I have, or I make humming bird pendants and the like.


It came out quite nice.

I am going to make a pendant for it. ( obviously)


I get some trade work from a jeweller down the road from time to time.

These are the instructions to size a ring down.



It’s autumn and farmer Fritz is turning his fields.

Check out the gulls following the tractor.

It’s the grubs, dude.

They much more squishy when freshly turned.


Sunset over the Rhine. The river is low and the weather is nice for this weekend.

So Anne and I are going taking the day off  tomorrow and going for a braai during the day.

It will probably be the last time we get good weather that is in the 20’s so we cook while we can.


You know, art is a subjective thing.

I get it, truly I get it.



So we came across this ‘art’ installation the other day.


She was contorting in provocative poses on the chair while water was squirting over her.


I couldn’t figure out whether it had to do with the Greek water god Poseidon or plain old German sex.


At the same time there was this other guy who was walking up and down the stripe of  water bottles, throwing the water in the air and over himself .


At the same time, there also was this chick doing these poses as well.

And there were thousands of these bags with sand in them parked all over the place.


Plenty of bottled water—’green’ it certainly wasn't.

I cornered one of the ‘artists’ and tried to ask him what it all meant, but he ignored me like I wasn’t there, even when I got pissed off with his silence and told him to fuck off and die and he still didn’t react.

I thought that was pretty boss, because saying that to some one gets a reaction most of the time, in my experience.

Which meant he won.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Nest’s Humming Bird



I played around with making a window type thing.

You know, one of those “I’m looking down a passage” things.



So I engraved and cut out a titanium one.

I figured I will blue the titanium and then sand it down so that the blue in the engraved lines would remain.

But it looked so miff that I simply abandoned that direction there and then and changed tack again.


I pierced and filed this design out of 3mm titanium plate and then made the background out of 1mm plate.


Looked much better than a square thing.


I decided that just the titanium border was not deep enough, so I made a silver filler in between.


Like this.

This was quite cool because it allowed me to add more detail to the actual face of the pendant.


I added a diamond at the top and a stylistic nest at the bottom with three itsy teeni gold eggs in it.

At first I blued the front titanium, but it became too dark so I re polished it to a shiny look.


These are all the finished components before final assembly.





Side view.


It is 63 mm high and 43 mm wide.

It weighs 43 grams.

The pendant is set with a .15ct ruby, a 0.7ct diamond and a 0.8 ct emerald.


I riveted a back plate on this gold studs.

The plate has all the stamps of the metals used and also on it.

The rest of the plate is for dedication engraving.

So now all the jewellery of nest is finished.



The ring first



The titanium spider,



Cool or what……………..

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nest’s Humming Bird.


I been hak-ing a long time on nest’s humming bird.


30mm diameter Humming bird

This was the first humming bird.

It didn’t gel for me—too big belly---too big head.


So I made two steel die’s that I could make the two bowls above them.


The copper one fits lekker in the silver one.



I drew it out first.

I used carbon paper which I had to correct.

Now I learned to use laser paper.


This was the first I made.

I quite like it, but it didn’t really go for Nest.

Too  simple.


Then I made this one and it’s OK for what it is, but again, it doesn’t gell with Nest.—too girly…..

One of the things that is quite difficult to learn is when to stop and change tack.

When I lose liss for a design, it hits the floor with a loud clang.

This was one.



So then I decided to do a cloisonné humming with with transparent enamels.

So I transfer the drawing I made.

I actually started piercing, but the feathers were to close so I made another one with bigger cells for the feathers.


The top cut out—about 0.7 thick.


Soldered to a about 0.7 background as well.


Eye and white gold collar added.

I'll set two diamonds in the holes.



Then I enameled it.


Then I made some flowers for it.

I just put the emerald in the bottom later and the bobbles around it are going to be spread out more.

Part two next.



The white smudge in the distance is a ground- based flock of gulls.


Parking in the shade?

Like the sun is hot here.

It’s got to do with food.


There was even a lone heron in a field.

And the haze was a natural haze, not a pollution one.


Big sigh -------  the summer has ended.

Seriously different seasons in these parts of the world.

Uunlike St. Maarten.