Friday, December 13, 2013

A Rolling Mill Success Story

At the end of November I received an e mail from a man writing on behalf for his wife whose mother language is not English.  He shared with me that his wife, Kinga, had read my rolling mill tutorial,  

 which can be found on Scribed or

After reading the tutorial she subsequently purchased the economy rolling mill to take her jewelry creating to the next level.   Kinga was seeking clarification about my instruction with regards to the copper outer sandwich and wanted to know if she could use the rolling mill with only the pattern and the metal to be milled.  My answer to her was affirmative.  This can be done and the embossed look will be just as nice as if the outer copper sandwiches were used.  When I first created the tutorial I included this step to assure that the rollers were protected from hard metals such as stainless steel permanently etching a design directly into the surface of the rollers.  So, I would say that anyone wanting to roller press hard metals should use the protective outer copper sheets, but if the pattern used is not harder than the rollers, feel free to omit those outer copper sheets. 
Upper photo is of a rolling mill sandwich with the protective copper outer plates.  The second photo shows no copper outer plates.  The third photo shows the impression achieved with no outer copper plates. 

The story continues through subsequent e mails with Kinga’s husband on her behalf.  Kinga demonstrates her knowledge of the rolling mill by sharing with me a photo of her first rolling milled copper piece.

When I asked what made this splendid pattern, I was told a split wire reinforced rubber/plasticized hose.  That was not something located anywhere in the body of my tutorial, but look at that splendid design. 

Kinga’s Serendipity Etsy shop, Serendipity Silver Art, boosts her first pair of rolling mill earrings(Textured Copper Earrings) and can be found on her Etsy page at:

Kinga also shared with me a photo of one of her successes working with etching.  When I initially saw the photo I had to inquire as to how she finished the earrings.  I was told she sawed and finished this lovely pair of earrings by hand.   It is apparent that her attention to detail and symmetry are important to her finished design. 

I found myself drawn to Kinga’s style.  We seem to share a similar attraction to the arabesque shape.  You get a feel for that in the above etched earrings and the below pendant.

Anyone wanting to join Kinga in making a connection can do so on her Facebook page where she has been sharing her new discoveries and her one of a kind pieces of jewelry.  Just look for her as Serendipity Silver Art. 

On a side note, I noticed today that over 4,000 people have looked at the Flat to Fab Rolling Mill tutorial on Scribed and over 600 have downloaded the tutorial on Jewelry Lessons.  I guess that we should be seeing a whole lot more patterned metals adorning earrings, pendants and other jewelry.  The reason for writing this tutorial was to share and connect with others, at no cost to them, the process of patterning metals so that they could experience the joy of turning flat metals into patterned wonders.  

Thank you, Kinga, Ivan and all the rolling mill artists who make this jewelry world a more exciting place with your dimensional metals.

With warmth and kindness, Susan

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Three Days of the ChristKindl Fest

When last I wrote I was literally getting ready to go out the door to the Barrington, IL ChristKindl Fest.  This is the village's first annual ChristKindl open air German Fest. 
Mike and Susan in the Wired Lotus booth at the ChristKindl Fest in Barrington, IL (Photo courtesy of Bob Lee)

The Fest began at 3pm on Friday and ended at 5pm on Sunday.  It was a three day event for which Wired Lotus had two weeks to prepare displays and create one of a kind jewelry.  There were singers, dancers, Oompa bands, glog, open air German concession stands, a carousel, sweets, candied pecans, wooden carved nativity booth and even a pair of real reindeer.  And to make everything even more authentic, there was a constant light fluffy snow that gracefully covered the tents, ground and knit hats of children all day on Sunday.
"Tuba Christmas" headed towards the entertainment tent on Sunday

The booths (hauses) in a row. 
Haus' at night

Across from our booth was the Barrington High School students who were participating in the "Merry Meals" project where their goal was to pack 10,000 meals to send to Guatemala City to feed children and families.  They had a goal thermometer outside of their tent that we watched going up each day.  By the end of the day the nice fella who was helping the students stopped by our "hut" to tell us that they exceeded their goal of 10,000 meals for the hungry.  High five!! 
Barrington High School Students Volunteer to pack "Merry Meals."

 James, our exchange student son, came to help us out on Saturday morning.  He did a great job helping me to merchandise the jewelry on tables in front of the haus.  He talked with the people of the community and offered great support. 
James helps Susan set up tables on Saturday morning

There were two booths that were selling hand made jewelry.  One was our booth, Wired Lotus and the other was N Style Designs, whose booth was across and diagonal from our booth.  Nancy owns this booth and we made a connection talking about the rigors and excitement of preparing for such a professional event as the ChristKindl Fest. 
Nancy's N Style Designs Handmade Jewelry
As chilly as it was there wasn't much of a whiff of the lavender that filled my marquise shaped bowl that propped up our business cards.  Still, I wanted to share this new idea I had to display the cards, in case it can be of help to others seeking a similar business card solution.

So, what was the hot item at our booth?  It was the silver wraps with botanicals captured in resin, especially the spheres. Pendants were especially hot.  This necklace was one of the few remaining resin botanicals. It is now at home in Studio V at Harper College.   

In the midst of the events of the weekend, our son, Jonathan turned 18 years old.  Before going to the Fest we fussed a little bit to make his day special.  He was a very good sport about giving up his day so mom and dad could open up shop. 
Our son, Jonathan turns 18 years old on December 7

Daisy, our bichon frise was a naughty dog the first two days of the show as she had to stay at home alone for many hours.  We had wanted to bring her with us, but we were afraid that she would get cold.  On the third day of the show, we bundled her up and put a reindeer hat on her and she was very happy to be our haus mascot. 
Daisy sitting pretty for a customer

To end this post, I would like to humble myself by sharing with you the aftermath of the frenzy of preparing for the Fest.  For those of you who have that creative or artistic gene, you will understand this phenomenon I call "creative tornado."  It is as if a disaster is left in the wake of all that wire twisting and soldering.  Looking back at this photo I wonder where I had any space to actually work!!
Susan's Workshop (or should I say, disaster)
I know that this is a long post, but I want to end by giving thanks to several people who made this weekend very special:
*My husband, Mike, who worked all week, then stayed in the booth with me all weekend and held down the fort making meals and cleaning house.  He fully supported everything about this weekend.

*Jonathan, who gave his support with this event on the weekend of his special birthday.

*Artie, my stepfather in Ohio, who spent many hours in a cold garage sawing and engineering my displays and sending me the finished displays to stain.  Artie, you are a creative wonder. 

*My mother, Julie, who supported my stepfather's absenteeism while he worked for days on the displays.  

*Studio Vs, Thomas Tucker and Cheryl Turnauer for the opportunity to be introduced and chosen to represent the college and Studio V.

*Maria Coons and David Loop for orchestrating and securing the haus for Studio V.

*Andrea Russell for taking the time to prepare my jewelry for the Fest and for logging all of my jewelry back into Studio V.

*James, our exchange student son, for helping out at the haus on Saturday morning and showing great enthusiasm. 

*Bob Lee who rode his bike 6,500 miles across the nation to raise awareness and funds for this three causes: ALS, cancer and hospice. Mr. Lee took the professional photo at the beginning of this post and sent it to us that night.  Thanks for connecting with us, Mr. Lee

*The Barrington Rotary Club and the Barrington Village Association for all of your hard work volunteering to make ChristKindl Fest a wonderful Barrington event.  We especially thank the Rotary ladies who brought us hot apple cider in the evenings.  

*Thank you to all the kind people of Barrington and the surrounding communities who "connected" with us and offered us stimulating and thoughtful conversation. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Off to the ChristKindl Fest in Barrington, Illinois

What an exciting event planned for our Northwest suburbs of the Chicago area!!  Similar to the ChristKindl Fest in Chicago, at the Daley Center, we are celebrating the holiday in full force.  Check out the website for the event at

Studio V graciously asked that I plan on attending the Fest with my jewelry in one of the huts.  It has been a busy two weeks since I have been given this honor.  Now, in about a half hour, I will be taking my jewelry to the festive event to share with the community.  This is wildly exciting. 

Last night we were given keys to the huts and here you can see me, in the light of night, in front of the hut that will house my jewelry and shivering legs.  It is forecast to be 8-25 degrees this weekend.  The event is three days.

Stay tuned to learned all the lovely details.