Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Making a Rosemary Ring

Here's a little tour of my Rosemary Ring making process.

All of my herbal casting start with making a mold off a real plant leaf or seed. I couldn't find any photos of my making the Rosemary mold, but <------here is one half of it finished. Its silicon rubber with the negative imprint of a Rosemary leaf which creates a negative space. Like if the Rosemary leaf disappeared in the rubber.
Making a mold is messy and time consuming work. And now that I'm expecting, I wont be making any molds for quite a while... the chemicals don't mix well with baby making! But luckily, I have lots of molds already made and you can use them over and over again.
After I have my mold (or molds) I melt wax in an old coffee pot double boiler. Then I close the mold and pour hot wax in filling the negative space.

The wax cools and then I have a cute wax replica of my Rosemary leaf. This is cast into silver using another mold making process... more on that later.

For the Rosemary Ring I use two cast Rosemary leaves.
They come out of the "oven" a little rough so some filing is needed.

When I have two perfect leaves I bend them into a rough ring shape keeping in mind the desired ring size.

Then, I clamp the two leaves in the correct position and solder them together one side at a time.

More filing and fine tuning. Lots of polishing.

I have made a beautiful shiny ring!

And YES, It is hard to keep long nails while making jewelry!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair

Mark your calenders!
June 5th and 6th, 11am-7pm
Hightower Botanicals will be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, New York!

Look for us at the Bittersweets NY booth, our good friends who feature Hightower Botanicals in their store from time to time.
Stop by and say hi! Try on Hightower Botanicals jewelry in person! Enjoy the summer outdoors! We will offer deep discounts...
And free snacks, entertainment (our lovely personalities), and will be surrounded by amazing handmade crafts with everything between clothing and accessories to pottery and housewares and of course, awesome jewelry!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

growing babies

So. Its been what, a month since I showed you my indoor garden! Wow. Well, lots has happened over here at Hightower Botanicals. The herbs are growing well despite being stuck indoors. Purple basil wins for the fastest growing herb. The wildflowers and Nasturtium are out in front though growing with outright passion! And they are not all that's been growing rapidly around here... I am having a baby!!!!! At first I was sick, tired, and not just tired. I mean exhausted beyond all know reality for me. As a result, my jewelry was pretty much abandoned. I was also nervous about the toxic exposure from soldering and working with metal. At my day job I quit working in the shop immediately after discovering my pregnancy. Luckily, I have other, cleaner work to do there now.
And, I am back to the neglected Hightower Botanicals shop now! I have passed the first trimester and am now healthy in the second. With safety practices I am making jewelry again for Etsy and for some upcoming craft shows...(stay posted) Life is good. I have discovered a whole new world in pregnancy. My husband and I are so excited and happy to start a family.