Another craigslist find – Paragon Kiln j141

I sold my Paragon kiln a few years ago to a dear friend. I had decided to clean out my studio and wanted to downsize some of my jewelry making equipment and I let me kiln go. Fast forward a few years, I miss enameling! In those few years my jewelry skills had continued to grow as skills do when you continue to work at your craft. Now I was missing my kiln. I didn’t want to invest in a new one so I would occasionally check craigslist to see if someone placed their kiln in the for-sale classifieds. I wasn’t desperate for a kiln, if it was meant to be, great, if not, fine. At the same time, I was looking for a bargain, a steal of a deal, and I found it yesterday. It’s amazing what a $100 can still buy you today if you are patient and persistent.

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Yes, this baby! This Paragon kiln was given to the man I purchased it from by a friend and he hoped that he could use it for making those pottery mugs children make at those pottery places. Instead of paying $30 a mug he thought he would try using this kiln. Nothing ever came of it and the kiln just sat in his garage. He was moving and needed to clear things out, and listed the kiln yesterday, which is the same day I decided to check-in with craigslist.

Its larger than my first kiln, larger than what I really need, but thrilled to have it. It appears the original owner used it for lampworking (below).

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The kiln came with all the bells and whistles, especially thrilled to have the Pyrometer.

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I probably won’t fire this up until after the new year. I want to make sure I set it up correctly and safely and also with good ventilation. If anyone has a kiln in their home studio which is located in the basement without a window, I would love some advice about going about setting it up.

Craigslist can be an awesome place to find expensive jewelry equipment at very reasonably prices. Though, finding something this cheap is is hard to come by.  I am pretty certain that this gentleman was not aware what an expensive piece of equipment this kiln is.

For safety reasons I asked the gentleman to meet me in a public place to make the purchase.  I would not recommend going inside someone’s home, or if you need to enter the home to see the item, don’t go alone:)

Election Day and Shop Update

Ironic that my shop update falls on election day. I try and keep politics out of my professional life. However, without hesitation for this election, I am not shy to share that later today I will be heading down to the polls to say,” I am with her.” And then I will wait, with bated breath, that she wins. Whoever your candidate of choice is, I hope you get out there and vote.

Now for a shop update. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to focus on creating rings. With each ring I created, I learned something new. Though a ring is small in size, it’s still a piece of jewelry that demands just as much attention to detail as larger pieces. I am guilty of sometimes rushing the steps because I was so excited to see how it looked finished. Most of the rings I made this year were only to be taken apart right after completion and thrown into the scrap pile because they didn’t measure up. But I am happy to say as we are closing on 2016, more of my rings are seeing the light of day. They are a joy to create and have now become my favorite piece of jewelry to make. Now if only I could find more time to spend in the studio, but with two teens, one wheatie, a husband and with house that needs to be cleaned every once in a while, I have finally accepted the reality to be appreciative of any time I find to be in my studio, even if for only an hour.

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Jeanette Blix Ryan is a metalsmith who lives in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.

Rings…

This year I have been focusing on creating rings. Up until a year ago, my creations were everything but rings. But now that I have started, I can’t stop.

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For such a small piece of jewelry, rings are very tricky to create. I am a stickler for craftsmanship and there were many ring creations that didn’t make the cut and ended up in my scrap pile. All that time I spent on a ring, and almost upon completion, an error. An error that perhaps I would only notice, but none the less, unacceptable for me to share with others.  I love the look of a piece of jewelry that is created with ones hand over something that is manufactured, however, it’s the patience and love that one puts in each creation with no rushing, no short cuts-that makes the difference.

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So, this is what has been consuming my time this year when I am fortunate enough to find some time in the studio. I’ve listed several rings in my etsy shop if you would like to see some of my other creations.

chalcedony ring copy

 

Jeanette Blix Ryan is a jewelry designer and metalsmith who lives in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.

I’ve enjoyed the return to my studio after a long hiatus. I am having so much fun with my torch, metal and wire, and see where it takes me. No expectations. Just enjoy and create.

cup earrings

The earrings above is a new design for me.

teagan and pearl

I piggied back off the earring design and created a pendant with a freshwater pearl.

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Hoops! Perhaps it’s the warmer weather and summer is approaching – I can stop making hoop earrings. All shapes and sizes!elongated hoops 6:4

Smaller oval hoops too.

small oval hoops

and small heart earrings

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Some designs have been listed in my etsy shop. Thanks for stopping by:)

Jeanette Blix Ryan is a jewelry designer and instructor who teaches wire and metalworking workshops in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.

Earring Workshop

 

uncoiled

I am preparing for an earring workshop for next weekend in Northern Virginia. Pulling out class samples for the students to see the variation in designs that can be done. Here they are above with just the metal armature and dangling gemstones.
blue coiled

Above are the earrings coiled with wire..

trio

or wire-wrapped with rondelles..

pearls

and again, simply the wire form with pearl drops for a touch of elegance…On a side note, these photos were taken with the iPhone 6 camera and I can’t get over the amazing photos they take!

Jeanette Blix Ryan is a jewelry designer and instructor who teaches wire and metalworking workshops in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.

 

Knotted Jewelry Love

Recently, I have been enjoying a new jewelry technique for me, knotted jewelry. I thought it would be a nice change from wire working the beads together to knotting them with either silk or nylon cord. I must say I was hesitant about the piece standing up against the day to day wear and tear, because, well, it’s thread, not metal. But so far I have been pleasantly surprised, and I am glad, because I really do adore the knotted cord with gemstones. I did add some metal to the piece, I couldn’t help myself. I created a handmade spiral clasp as the closure and added metal chain as an extension with wire wrapped rubies. I love the way it came out and will probably be working a lot more with cording of all kinds of materials. PS. I also added a handmade leaf charm..

gemstones knotted bracelet

Jeanette Blix Ryan is a jewelry designer and instructor who teaches wire and metalworking workshops in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.

Jewelry celebrating a healthy lifestyle.

Hello everyone!

I have just launched a line of jewelry to celebrate a healthy  lifestyle. Each piece carries words designed to inspire or can be customized to reflect  your own personal vision. Choose your favorite healthy phrase or words of inspiration and put them on display with these attractive hand-made creations. This jewelry line will also fulfill a personal mission of mine, which is donating a percentage of each sale  to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Nutritional Research Foundation that focuses on conducting clinical research to study diet styles designed for their disease-preventing and disease-reversing properties. To visit the shop, please click on the photo below or on “shop” page above. Thank you.

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Jeanette Blix Ryan is a jewelry designer and instructor who teaches wire and metalworking workshops in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. She also published the Glass Art Calendar, the first glass calendar published featuring lampwork beads among the leading glass artists in the field today.