Monday, March 2, 2009

Experiments with My Tumbler

My Egyptian Necklace really needed some sparkle so today I decided that I would tumble the necklace, and try a new technique. Again used the stainless steel shot, water and a squirt of Dawn, but put the necklace into an organza bag as suggested, and tumbled away for 3 hours. I was disappointed with the results, just didn’t improve the shine like my Springs and Coils Necklace.


So back to square one...


This time I’ll go back to the original technique, stainless steel shot, water, and a squirt of dawn. This necklace will need a lot of tumbling, 14 gauge Gold Parawire, looking to really improve the look of this design. Just had to check to see how the tumbling was going, after two hours really looks great, but have put the necklace back to see if I could see if I could achieve more shine. Just completed another two hours of tumbling, really like the shine…


Rice: Another option...


Another suggestion was to tumble with Uncle Bens Long Grain Converted Rice. So I couldn't wait to try the rice tumbling. If you try this method, do not add water, this is a dry tumbling technique. I decided to tumble two of my Fabula Brooches, one in dry rice, the other in an organza bag.Tumbling for three hours, neither brooch was as shiny as I expected, and


Yet the brooch in the organza bag had even a little less shine. really wasn't happy with the tumbling results, maybe next time I'll tumble longer.

So off to try the popcorn option

Popcorn: Another option


Again another way to tumble your jewelry is with un-popped popcorn, no water, or you’ll have a big mess. I tumbled one of the Fabula Brooches into the tumbler with the popcorn, and deciding this time not to try the organza bag. I again tumbled for a three hours, and compared the rice tumbled brooch with the popcorn tumbled brooch. The brooch tumbled in the popcorn appears to have more shine, but popcorn dust remained on the brooch, so next step was to rinse and dry.


Walnut Shells…


The last tumbling technique will be using ground walnut shells and no water.Two different brooches for this technique, one copper and the other gold Parawire, and again tumbling for three hours. I was pleasantly surprised that the walnut shells created a beautiful shine. I was very impressed with the final results. Yes, I would use this technique again, far superior to the rice and popcorn techniques.



One final tumble…


As I completed my tumbling experience, I decided that I would continue the experiment and tumble four brooches in the stainless steel shot technique. I knew that this technique would improve the appearance of the brooches tumbled in the rice and popcorn, but would it also improve the look of the brooches that were tumbled in the walnut shells. Yes, both dangling drop brooches also improved in.this technique, but the greatest improvement was with the two Fabula brooches. All now have the beautiful shine I desire.


Organza Bag…


The original concept of using the organza bag to tumble your jewelry is to keep your jewelry chains from tangling. My chain was 14 gauge, so I really wouldn’t experience the tangling with this gauge wire as you would with finer gauge wires. I will try this technique again when I have constructed a necklace in a finer gauge wire. But at this point I believe that a chain tumbled in an organza bag would require a longer tumbling time frame.


Final thoughts…


My decision for the future would be not use the organza bag when tumbling with rice, popcorn or walnut shells. Not worth the trouble and time involved. I would use the organza bag for the finer chains with the stainless steel shot, water and squirt of Dawn technique.

I will use the walnut shell tumbling technique in the future to tumble jewelry designs that have more fragile components.


I believe all the different tumbling techniques I’ve tried, have there place in achieving shine and work hardening. But at this point I believe that I’ll stick to stainless steel shot, water and a squirt of Dawn. I like shine….


13 comments:

Lisa said...

Hi Jill! Great information here, I had no idea that people were tumbling jewelry with things like popcorn and walnut shells. Very interesting! It's always nice to hear about actual experiences. Thanks for all the info on abeadaday about chainmaille also, that is great. My husband thinks a trip to harbor freight is in order. Have a great weekend! Lisa C.

A Beaded Affair said...

Tumbling is so much fun. Just throw a few pieces in and out comes bling. My tumbler runs... a lot!
Lois
http://www.abeadedaffair.com

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Tumbling is loads of fun, maybe it's time to get another tumbler

AWESOME ASS ART said...

Hi, Jill! I wanted to let you know that I've "photo tagged" you! You can read the details on my blog and play along, if you'd like! Thanks! LOVE your blog! Sharon

Deb said...

Beautiful pieces, Jill.

gaffergirls.com said...

Jill.. your work is STUNNING..
..
mona & the girls
be back soon

Kat's Kreations said...

I am absolutely IN LOVE with my tumbler! Thanks for the real life trial and error report on the media...good information to have!
Kat

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

This is great Jill! I use the tumbler for polishing polymer clay beads and since it is a relatively soft material I am always looking for new alternative polishing media that will be more efficient yet gentle on the beads.

Thanks so much for sharing your findings! Knew about the rice and steel shot but not the popcorn, walnut shells or organza bags

Currently many of us clayers are using scraps of sandpaper, plastic pellets or unpolished river rock for our beads. Love the new ideas to try!

Anna Lee H. in Toronto said...

Well my dear, now you know just how far behind I am on my reading! This article is very interesting and well done. Continue your reports on tumbling experiments okay? I like walnut shells too but didn't know about the rice or popcorn!
hugs,
~Anna Lee

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Just wanted to let you know your jewelry and those you feature of other artisans are absolutely beautiful!

Thank you also for stopping by my blog and adding mine to those you follow :o)

Rickson Jewellery said...

Hi Jill,

This is wonderful information. May I ask what kind of tumbler you use? I am in the market for one, and can't decide what type is worth paying for.

Thanks again for the thoughtful posting.

Rickson
www.RicksonJewellery.Etsy.com

Michael Johnson said...

Cool Post

Diamonds Louisiana said...

Experiments make man perfect. To try something new varieties and create new ideas to make beautiful jewelry is really great think. Your work is absolutely stunning... Thank you for sharring your tumbling techniques.