Repurposing and Reclaiming tools

As a jeweller, repairing, repurposing, designing and making tools is an invaluable skill.
I have had my old peg for about three years, and after a series of intricate cuts, it had worn down a fair bit.

If you’re new to sawing, you may wonder how that happened. All the tutorials tell you to hold your saw steady and move the metal to ensure straight rather than bevel cuts, save your peg, and so on…
True, but to cut a long story short, after a while that becomes a load of cack (Sorry, I couldn’t think of another word)! Moving the saw around, as well as, or in some cases, instead of the metal, can actually provide better control, and certainly saves plenty of time – especially on those tight corners. The price for that speed, and unbroken flow is a that a bit of the peg is often sacrificed. Well, worth it in my opinion.
Now that ramble’s out of the way, today’s fix.

Although a new peg arrived a few months ago, it’s been stuck at the bottom of my drawer because it just doesn’t feel right. At the same time, the chasm between both ‘legs’ of my peg made it increasingly difficult to cut those tiny 5 – 10 mm pieces in a reasonable amount of time.

Enter the redesign. Here is my peg pre interference. The plastic bag is my makeshift bin.

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The green lines represent the redesign I had in mind. The steps on the left serve no real purpose but I rationalised them as providing some kind of rest when I need to cut jump rings.

The hole in the centre helps when making internal cuts in large pieces, because they can be centred better.

The heroes of this story are my 4 in saw frame, a 21tpi saw blade for the scroll saw, some cut lube, engineering files, 150 grit sandpaper and renaissance wax.

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Here is the saw doing its thing. At this point, the ‘hold the saw perpendicular to the floor’ rule applies. Last thing you want is a bezel cut, because it will have an impact on how you cut blanks too.

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By the time I got to the circle, my bicep was a little tired, and the discomfort of the dust mask was beginning to grate. The circle thus became a semi teardrop – large enough for my saw to move around freely but small enough that internal cuts in the smallest pieces would still be a breeze.

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The engineering files made quick work of the sharp edges and a little renaissance wax on 150 sand paper ensured a smooth finish.

Just as I was about to walk away, I decided to add a groove to support tube. I have designed a series of etched tube pendants but as they are still at the trial stage, the expense on a tube cutting jig cannot be justified.

I forgot to take a photo but I started with two parallel lines about 8mm apart. I started with the line closest to me, and  slanted the saw as I gradually cut, increasing the gradient until I got to the centre, and a depth of about 4mm, then reduced it until I got to the second line.

One last file and polish, and the new repaired and repurposed peg is good to
go.

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Next tooling post will hopefully cover designing and making some steel punches.

See you soon ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

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Welcome to ViJouX UK

Finally got around to creating an into video for ViJouX’s youtube channel. Very excited and looking forward to creating some full lemgth PRO videos.

Have a gander and please let me know what you think.

๐Ÿ™‚ xx

Welcome to ViJouX UK.

Press Release: THAM THEU, the Autumn/Winter 2013-14 Collection from ViJouX

BELOVED Necklace. THAM THEU - AW13

BELOVED Necklace. THAM THEU – AW13

Winter jewellery just landed a touch of the orient in the form of Manchester based ViJouX’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection.
Inspired by the story of an 80 year old Vietnamese rug, Chinese symbols and Eastern architecture, the THAM THEU collection is a beauty to behold. ViJouX designer and founder, Manyi Takor, has managed to turn the concept of designer jewellery on its head, and beautifully so, with a collection that takes the idea of complexity and strips back to beautiful minimalism.

Enamelled copper, steel, silk and crystals provide a refreshing alternative for women who buck the trend and want to stand out. Named for the dreams, hopes and emotions they evoke, the classy etched collection beckons its wearers to connect with the innermost desires of their heart through the interplay of symbolism and colour. The collection also incorporates statement pieces in ViJouX’s break-out style of hand crocheted gold filled wire and these sumptuous and delicate beauties would not be out of place on any red carpet

With each piece customisable with different coloured enamels, silk tassels and swarovski crystals, the possibilities for personalisation are infinite.

Shop the AW13 Collection here.

For more information on ViJouX jewellery, high resolution images or to request pieces for editorial shoots, please contact Manyi Takor on +44 (0) 7960 895306 or email Manyi@vijoux.co.uk

We’re on Poppito.com!!!

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Maybe I don’t love myself enough. Maybe I love myself too much…

This morning, my to-do list included finishing up on the zodiac range and a few midi rings – then I got on twitter.
I happened by a tweet from Poppito, whom I have been following for a little while, and that triggered the memory of a promise to check them out sometime.

Only, with the new collection, new website, dodgy health, stores on Folksy, Etsy (shut now), dealing with all the social media accounts, designing, crafting, sending out orders, being a mom… I’m breathless. Are you yet? Needless to say, it never happened.

Next thing I know, their website’s loaded on my phone, the terms are read, and signed up, ViJouX is! Next, took a few pictures of some things I have been working on and BAM!!

Anyhoo, the whole point of this rambling post, like the title says, is that ViJouX can now be found on Poppito.
Why you should go on there, you ask. Well, because most of the pieces will be one-offs and other designs you will not find on the website ๐Ÿ™‚

Good? Well, head on down and I’ll see you there!!

๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

Visit the ViJouX @ Poppito shop here.

Introducing Style Concepts: How to wear ViJouX Jewellery

One of the downsides of an online only shop is that your customers don’t get to try on your items.

It can be difficult to imagine what a necklace, earrings or a bracelet will look like, even when all the dimensions are provided.

Quite often, I get asked to describe how a piece sits when worn and whether or not they can be worn in different ways. This isn’t always easy to do and I will confess often feeling frustrated when unable to convey an idea.

This is especially true when introducing new styles of jewellery like my break out style of wire crochet.

Unfortunately, getting images of pieces on models is not always possible, cost effective or even realistic.

So, I figured it might be helpful to share some illustrations of what the pieces should look like when worn, and what outfits or styles I have in mind when I create them.

A new category on the blog, Style Concepts, will be dedicated to providing styling ideas for the more unusual pieces of jewellery and I will endeavour to post two articles every month ๐Ÿ™‚

Hopefully, you will all enjoy being able to imagine what the pieces will look like, and choose something you feel best compliments your outfit.

The first post will be up tomorrow morning and I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts.

xx

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Almost there…

Omni medallion - from the AW13 Collection, THAM THEU

Omni medallion – from the AW13 Collection, THAM THEU

Getting the AW13 collection has been my biggest challenge yet – but not for the reasons you would think.
Designing and producing the components, while not a completely problem free exercise, was much easier than I had anticipated.
The only thing (well, person) standing in my way was me, really.

First, I decided that I wanted a new website and logo before the launch. Then I decided that there was no point in having a new site, logo and collection without a hundred more products on offer. Finally, after the hoopla of businesses using my name a couple of weeks ago, I decided to go all out and really grow this baby.
The result, a shift in focus from jewellery to more administrative tasks – bad’ish’ move. Once you’re out of the creative ‘zone’, getting it back is a bitch!
I have been busy, busy, busy as heck but failed to achieve on time, the one thing I really wanted – the early release of the AW13 collection.

But the mark of a winner? Dynamism. The willingness and ability to adapt to changes and still create the best work possible, is something that successful people have in common. Ergo, stop, reassess, strategize and move forward.

And that’s just what I have done.
Not only is the design for the new website ready, the SS14 collection too is on lockdown. Crazy, right? No. It’s always best to plan and hope for the best while expecting the worst. Accounting school taught me that… I think.

Anyway, here we are! It’s the end of summer and the AW13 collection is finally ready. The press release is written, the newsletter all done and the photographs edited. All that remains, is to press ‘SEND’. I feel like a demi-god and it thrills me to bits to let you know that the new collection, THAM THEU, will be launched on the 8th of September, 2013.

Get in!!!