Learning some basic filigree techniques

While I have been attempting some SEO for this site Doka has been carrying on with creating some new jewellery for our 2012 season.  Yesterday I offered my ‘help’ with some of his work… My mission was to turn some of these (left) fine silver threads into some of these…

It appears so easy, especally when Doka experienced fingers are involved.  I feel so clumsy but determined to get the threads rolling in the right direction.   The threads that we are using are only .4mm wide, and my fingers do not yet ‘feel’ the silver and roll it like an expert.  I like instant results, I like my current knitting project on 20mm needles and I so want to get this right.

The initial roll is started with a pair of tweezers and tweeking the silver very slightly to start circular pattern. Once the beginning of the circle is formed it is then rolled between finger and thumb.

Of course I want my rolls to be perfect and they didn’t always co-operate but after some time I ended up with about 40 of these; (they’re tiny!!!)

They are being used to help fill in the framework that you can see above, and these pieces will become part of a new bracelet.  Although I am often here and able to observe the work that is involved in creating our filigree jewellery it was a great for me to be more involved and gain even more appreciation of all the work that goes into each of our completed pieces of jewellery.  The bracelet will be made up of 6 of the rectangular pieces that you can see above and will be ready to load onto the website sales section shortly.




How Social Media helped me find a Graphic Designer

About 4 months ago I signed up for Nikki Pilkington’s 30 Day Blog Challenge, as a complete novice and new comer to blogging and Social Media.  I found the challenge an excellent resource and introduction to blogging.

The support and advice from fellow bloggers and facebook users  is something I have written about in a  previous posts, (A Vote of Thanks). It is fantatic to have an on-line group who will answer my silliest questions without me feeling silly!

Via the 30 Day Challenge group set up by Nikki,  I have ‘met’ Helen Bogun who runs Helz-Design, a graphic design company based in Berlin,  http://helz-design.de for our German friends.  Recently I asked Helen if she would be able to design something for our Christmas website…

we LOVE it.  Look at all the work that went into cutting around the details in our filigree jewellery. A stunning tree and lovely bit of graphic design from Helen.  We will be visiting family in Berlin in February and look forward to meeting Helen as well, our first live social media meeting, fun!

Working with Helen was so easy, she gave me an idea of when the work would be ready, answered all my emails very promptly and the work was ready on time and very reasonably priced.  What more could we want from people we are working with?  If you’re looking for a graphic designer and unsure where to start I would like to take this chance to recommend Helz-Design, drop her an email; hello@helz-design.com I know she would love to hear from you and help you with your project.

It’s PETAK! My Struggle to learn the Croatian language Part 2

Todays word is Petak –Friday!

Seemed appropriate (posted on a Friday) and it is one that I feel confident enough to pronounce, yah for Friday!

A Friday fishing expedition

While I can now recognise most of the days of the week when I see them written down – (this is no mean feat, see below) Friday and Saturday are the two that I am the most confident with.  Petak, (pronounced pay-tak) and Subota two great week days!

Have a look at the rest of the week here and you will see what I mean about Petak and Subota being the easiest to deal with; Ponedjeljak, Utorak, Srijeda, cetvrtak, Petak, Subota & Nedjela (aka Monday – Sunday).

There are so many new words and new ways to pronounce the letters that I have grown up speaking and mumbling for all these years.  I feel like I have been making some progress but think my major stumbling block is lack of confidence in my pronunciation skills.   I know this is a big mistake on my part and that people here will not mind my fumbling with their language so I must persevere/try harder!!

Now that our business is closed for the season I can no longer use the ‘I’m too busy’ excuse.  It has been true, Doka and I have worked really hard since arriving back in Korcula in March.  Now we are enjoying some lazy starts to the days and visit our shop to use the internet and Doka is still creating beautiful filigree jewellery.

My new language comes with it’s own new alphabet and a new way of pronouncing most things, and I have no idea what to do with the grammar – the grammar aspect can wait for a later date/month/year.

I am finding it quite touching how some of our friends here are impressed with my minimal language skills – really I only have a few greetings, some random words (kisha = rain, zima = cold etc), and some numbers, that I am confident with.

For the most part I feel pretty embarrassed about my lack of language skills.  I have been living in Korcula for 7 months now and feel like I have made such a small amount of progress, it is just as well that everyone’s favourite word here is Polako – slowly!  See My Struggle with the Croatian Language, part 1, for more on that.

Growing up in New Zealand I didn’t envisage spending so many years living in Europe or marrying someone from Croatia! We had the choice of learning either French or German when I was in high school and I ignored both of these choices.  I hope that after a quiet winter here in Korcula I will be able to report in with some more positive updates on my language skills for you in the new year!

If you want to keep track of my progress sign up for updates on the top right of this page.

How we create our stunning Filigree balls – Part 3

Last week I started writing about how we create our Filigree balls, here is the follow up…  We had just soldered the dainty silver pieces into their frames and given them a polish as we wrapped up Part 2 of this filigree photographic journey.

Now the balls must be very gently tapped into shape – we have a bronze mould that we use to ensure the bead pieces are the same shape;

When the beads have been shaped to their desired size a small silver band is created to join the two halves together, the use of a band to connect the halves is not necessary but tends to make a design look more complete. The band may be plain, or several small pieces of silver linked together, incorporate or a twist of have room for pieces of coral or turquoise to be inserted into the band – the choice is ours, or yours as the customer.

Balls and bands waiting to be joined together

Here you can see balls being soldered together – a small piece of wire is used to hold the halves of the balls together while they are joined.

A selection of band options.

After the pieces are joined together we must clean and polish each one – each piece is cleaned and re-heated many times to ensure a shine and polish that we are happy with.

The image above shows beads being heated, a clean and polish will follow.

A selection of completed Filigree Beads from Seba Dizajn

It continues to amaze and fascinate me that there are so many things that can be done with tiny silver threads, some basic jewellery making tools, and a lot of patience and imagination.  We hope you have enjoyed this photographic journey and learned something about the work involved in creating our very intricate pieces of filigree jewellery.

If you would like to see some more examples of Seba Dizajn Filigree balls please visit our facebook page, www.facebook.com/SebaDizajn – and look in the ‘Balls’ Album.

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