Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fusing Fine Silver Jewelry

A word of caution: This is not a tutorial! Take a class from a qualified professional before attempting this.
I recently got my start from a class I took at Maui Community College with Iris Sandkuhler She is excellent at explaining all the steps it takes to make beautiful silver jewelry with extra care given on how to do it safely. We start by learning how to make basic rings and fused loops using .999 fine silver that are hammered and then polished with a polishing cloth. She has a great book that you can order from her website.

I had to order almost all my supplies online since Maui is very limited and expensive. Some things I purchased on Amazon which was great since they offer free shipping on $25.00 up, some of the things I had to purchase are very heavy. Like this bracelet mandrel.
Bracelet Mandrel, very heavy!
The first thing I had to look for was a brick that can withstand temps of at least 26k. Its called a soft kiln brick and people use them inside kilns for ceramics etc.
Soft Kiln Brick and cross-lock tweezers.
I purchased a butane torch and butane from my local hardware store. They actually have these in stock. (Can also be used to make creme brulee) The first one I purchased doesn't do well with thicker silver, so I am going to try one that is a little bigger, but to make rings and loops, a small one is okay.
Torch and butane
Also, a cookie sheet to put your brick on so you don't torch your nice table. I highly recommend taking a class before attempting this on your own! This is not meant to be a tutorial on how to do this, I am just sharing with you what I have learned and the beautiful jewelry I have been making and the process that goes into it. 
Some of the other tools I use:
Steel bench block, ring mandrel, texturing hammer, hole punch.

Pliers and cutters for working with the silver.
The silver comes in coils and you buy it by the weight, or foot.
Fashionable head gear.
I also found out the hard way that things can explode when they get too hot. I was making a bracelet with a fresh water pearl and the pearl exploded into a gazillion pieces. Luckily I had on reading glasses and a mask.

So these are some of the beautiful things I have made in a pretty short time and I sell them on my Etsy website
Stackable rings
Earrings with the fused loops.
I'm really excited about all the possibilities!
Thanks for looking! And don't forget to check my Etsy goodies.
Here is a little video on youtube I found that shows fusing. Link

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Maui Sunset

We had a beautiful sunset tonight!

Overlooking Hookipa.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Quantum Leap

Maui has recently been visited by a "drifter". On Thursday night a 48 foot sailboat named "Quantum Leap" drifted onto the reef at Baby Beach in Spreckelsville, after drifting on the open ocean for a couple of weeks.
Friday morning my good friend Suzie called me to tell me I should come down and take some pictures.

Apparently the crew had to be rescued due to generator problems, rough seas and an injured captain. It is amazing to me that you can just let a boat of that size drift along until it finds something to crash into.

Thursday morning. It still had a sail, a dirt bike, an outboard motor
and whatever was on the inside.
Can't help getting "artsy". Slow shutter speed and zooming in.

By Saturday morning, the tide and swell had pushed it into the bay where people like to swim and exercise and it had also been pretty striped of anything that could be removed including the dirt bike. Not sure how they took that off but where there is a will, there is a way I suppose.

No pot of gold under this rainbow!

I used 3 neutral density filters on this image to get a slow enough shutter
speed to slow the water down.

Quantum Leap has run its course.
A little pile of trash that people have collected.

Party Barge!
Looks like an accident waiting to happen to me.

At the end of the day, it makes for a nice subject matter.

For more information on this unfortunate journey, click on this link.
Watch the video on youtube:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Camp out on Haleakala, photos from the crater.

I was on a recent camp out on Haleakala, Maui's eastern volcano, to partake in Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk. Spending the night at Hosmer Grove, I was able to drive to the top of Haleakala and capture the sunset. The temps were about 40-50 degree F. with some windchill factor. One really needs to dress accordingly! Gloves, beanie, jacket, long pants and shoes. There are lots of other people up there doing the same thing, as well as sipping wine and eating cheese.
A tripod is a must, along with a cable release. Your hands get so cold, its hard not to shake the camera! Also a head lamp comes in handy to see your camera setting in the dark. It gets dark pretty fast here on maui.
Above the clouds, sunset at the top of Haleakala.

The moon over the observatory.
My friend Angela took this shot of me taking pictures.

Camping consisted of the back of my car, a sleeping bag, a log for the marshmallows and warm clothing.
Oh and maybe a little tequila to keep warmer. This was my first overnight excursion in my car and learned a few things such as: don't park at an angle! My sleeping bag and mattress were both nylon making me on a slippery slope! Mummy bags are not that great! Although I was plenty warm. I think I slept just enough to have a strange dream about strange people wanting to harm me. Must be because I kept the back doors open. 
 The alarm went off at 4:45am, although I was already awake! There seemed to be a steady stream of cars that drives up around 3 or 4 am to get to the top and grab a good spot to watch from. It wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, but the fingerless gloves I bought at Ross the day before came in really handy.
There were some pretty spectacular views from the look out.
Sunrise, looking towards the Big Island of Hawaii.
House of the rising sun.
As the sun rose, lighting up the valley below.
 I used a little HDR processing on some of these to get all the detail my eyes saw.
I was reluctant to try HDR because a lot of the images I had seen looked so fake and surreal so I was pleasantly surprised at how natural my images looked after I processed them with Photomatix. They looked just as I saw them that morning.
A black and white conversion.

Morning light hitting the shrub where I was standing.

It was cold up there!
Some of the people in our group minus Angela who was taking the picture.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Making my beach inspired jewelry

The process involved for making my puka shell necklaces involves a bit of time, from collecting them on the beach which just so happens to be a favorite pastime and is also very therapeutic and relaxing.  I have been collecting these shells for 17 years on and off and it does seem like they are getting harder to find. Certain times of year seem to be better than others and low tide is best.
When I get them home, I first have to clean them which means flicking the sand out of the hole if there is a hole. If there is no hole they go in a pile of "need to drill" pukas. Then I sort them into size groups and also quality groups.
Getting my toes in the sand.
It takes years for a puka shell to become what it is.
Puka is a hawaiian word for hole.
This small amount of treasures probably took weeks to find.
Once I have enough shells to make a necklace, the design process begins. Sometimes I like to put a different kind of shell in the center to keep things interesting.
My newest design has a beautiful smooth brown striped
cone shell in the center
A tapered necklace with larger shells in the center
 to smaller ones in the back.
I also like to make jewelry with shell charms and sparkly beads or stones.
Natural shells and purchased pearls or recycled findings
like the piece of coral, is from an old necklace
found at a yard sale.
Beach glass is also a favorite thing to use in my jewelry.
What people discard in the ocean often washes up as my treasures.
It takes years for glass to become nice and polished from the surf. 
When I have a few pieces made, I have to take pictures of them so I can list them on my jewelry website, Etsy. This involves setting up my photo studio of lights, camera, tripod and some props.

I use a picture that I took at the beach as my back drop for some of the shots.
And it will look something like this.
Click on this link to get more info on puka shells from wikpedia. You can also see my jewelry on Etsy by clicking on the link above, "my jewelry".


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Surf photography, Maui 1990s

When I moved to Maui in 1993, I continued my surf photography at places like Jaws, Hookipa, and south shores. It was great to watch people like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama riding huge waves and trying new things like straps on surfboards. It is very exciting to watch a place like Jaws breaking with its rugged coastline, high cliffs, plus it is not that easy to get to. Back then the surfers didn't wear PFDs (personal floatation device).
Wind is always a factor on Maui, so naturally I shot a little bit of windsurfing.
A lot of my shots are posted on flickr.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the 90s on Maui.
Archie Kalepa at Honolua Bay 1990s
Charlie Solario at Maalaea 1990s
Dave Kalama testing footstraps at Hookipa 1990s
Ever style master Laird Hamilton at Hookipa. Blame Laird!
Thanksgiving Day, Dave Kalama at Jaws 1990s
Casual style at Jaws, not sure who this is. 1990s
Mike Waltze at Jaws 1990s
Josh Angulo at Hookipa, 1990s

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Surf photography retro 80s by simone reddingius

My surf photography started in 1976, when I moved to Santa Barbara and lived near Rincon beach (the quality of the images was pretty bad so I won't post them). I loved to surf there, so after surfing or if it was too big for me, I would set up my tripod near the rocks and shoot whoever looked good on a wave.
In the early 80s, I started working at camera stores so I was able to buy better equipment. I even bought a used Scott Preiss water housing from a friend and experimented with water shots. One of them was eventually published in Surfing Magazine.
I would take pictures of my favorite surfers, they included Tommy Curren, Kim Mearig, Shaun Tomson and Andy Neumann.
I will never forget this wave, Tommy Curren got covered up on the take-off and he just wiggled out of it and did a big bottom turn and then hit the lip. 

Andy Neumann was (and still is) the stylemaster on a longboard. This was taken during a Surf 'N' Wear  Rincon Classic surf contest.
Shaun Tomson. This was black and white film that got damaged over the years of storage. Taken with the Scott Preiss waterhousing on a gray day.
Kim Mearig was always fun to shoot and watch. She was the most stylish woman surfer anywhere.
This is one of my favorite shots and it got published in Surfing Magazine, almost a center spread.
This is Tim Smally who was one of the hot young rippers at Rincon.