Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Check out our shop

Check out the Etsy shop, mainly for the jewellery made by David baggaley designed by myself!


The fine art of saw piercing and how we make our jewellery.

When I say our jewellery I simply design the piece, the real magic starts when David receives the design.  I am, however, jumping the gun.

Silhouettes and pierced designs differ in difficulty and a few important restraints.  Silhouettes by their very nature are a solid shape, the pierced designs have cuts within the design.  I have to ensure the cuts don't overwhelm the strength of the piece and make sure pieces don't drop off!  Once you have mastered this simple idea you really can have some fun.  It takes practise and I want to show they are hand made and each step dependent on the next.

Once the design is made it is printed out the correct size, once the design would be drawn onto the metal however the paper method certainly aids accuracy.

Trial and error is often the only way to find a system that is just perfect and even down to the glue that is used to attach the image.

First the metal is brushed this allows the glue to bond the paper to the metal.  The glue used is solvent and pvc free, too strong and you can't remove the paper, too weak and the design moves or creases.  It is then allowed to dry often on top of the radiator or the polishing motor in summer.

The blade is inserted into the saw frame, teeth facing down and it cuts on a downward stroke.  Beeswax on the blade helps to glide it smoothly and protects the blade to a degree.  The blades of choice are swiss made Vallorbe, named after the village where they are made.  £4 a dozen and  generally use one a week.

David was always taught to work with your tools not against them....be heavy handed and they snap, you can't force the blade to cut.  If it snags, it snaps.  Turn it quickly and it snaps.  You listen to the blade as it cuts, the sound tells you if it could snap, snag or needs more beeswax...like a constant hum any deviation from the sound tells you if it needs help.

I am getting ahead of myself again!

The blade is tensioned in the frame, the bottom edge is righted on the blade and the frame is pushed about a quarter of an inch to get the blade tight in the frame.  A simple trained pluck with one finger, a clear ping sound tells me it is correct fitted.  Too high its too tight, too low its too loose.

The work to be cut out is then placed on the bench peg the one in use is 3"wide and 6" long Davids has a large V cut out of the peg, the smaller the work the further up the V you go, the blade is kept central within the V by hand.

Then the cutting start, using both methods of moving the saw around the work and the work around the saw.

When I pass a design to David I don't add the bail ( the hole made in order to fit the jumping loop in that your chain fits through), it is the work of a master.  He either visualises the weight on each side and finds the centre of balance or you balance the design on the blade to find its natural centre point.  The design has to support itself.

With a pierced design a hole is drilled and the blade treaded through the hole, cutting the bail from the inside.  This is the same for all the internal cuts,  the hole drilled in order to allow the saw access.  Each time sawing from the inside then undone and treaded into the next hole.

Each time you remove the blade from the design you have to remove from the saw frame.

Fingers need to be strategically placed!

Once the design is cut out it is placed in water which allows the paper design to lift off.  Then it is rinsed and cleaned in clean water then dried.

David is a purist and when checking the design and cut out he feels using a file means you have deviated from your plan, good cutting negates the use of a file as a rule.  As an apprentice you are taught to keep your standards high, it sticks with you.  The guys who taught David didn't like mistakes, mistakes were for learning from.

Still with us?

Next is buffing and polishing.

Buffing used to be a job on its own at one time, it was mostly done by woman as men were seen to be inferior to woman as buffers and polishers.  In reality it was a shortage of workers after the wars however David believed their is some truth in it and all the men buffers and polishers that David was trained by were themselves trained by woman.

The piece is placed in one hand and the buffing sand in the other, it is fed onto the design going between the piece and the wheel. The wheel is hard gelt or calico mop.  All surface marks are removed by buffing them out.  Once the work has been buffed it is washed to remove the pumice.

To polish a rouge compound is used, a bar that has one end dipped in meths which turns it into a liquid, once applied to the polishing wheel the pendant is polished on the wheel changing direction before finishing off all in one direction.  The wheel is made of wool or swan's down, the softer the better.  It is polished until all marks are completely removed.  Whilst polishing, the design is checked and checked again until perfect.

The polishing compound now needs to be removed from the jewellery piece using an ultrasonic cleaner.  The metal tank has ultrasonic waves passing through the walls into the water which lifts the compound from the piece.

Once rinsed in clean water it is dried with a smooth clean cloth.

The piece is checked again then polished one last time with a silver cloth to remove finger makes and placed into a sealed bag.

There are many different types of jewellery made around the world, many by casting often using craftsmen for each process, more frequently by machines and mass produced.

There are two people involved in our jewellery production.

David the master Gold and Silversmith and myself.  I am a small part of an amazing process.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

It could only happen to me

You mock

It's very true.

It started sadly and innocently enough.  A pigeon hit by car lying dead in the road with a crow taking full advantage of the unexpected meal falling from the sky.  Hating to see it lying in the road I picked up the pigeon and realised it had been a racing pigeon so took the leg ring details to send to the racing pigeon association.

Deceased pigeon was gently popped onto the verge, long grass hiding it from view and I carried on with the lads and the golden gang taking in all the smells and the disgruntled crow cursing me from the wall.  With the old boy ( Buzz) in tow I only toddled along to the end of the lane before heading back toward home.  Unusually Tips decided to find the pigeon and promptly stopped dead and ran to me, running back to the pigeon and back again.  Being of the slower variety I laughed at him 'finding' the pigeon he had seen me place in the long grass telling him he was a cheat he already knew it was there.  Then Flute shocked me by running to where pigeon was and barking at me.  Flute doesn't bark at stuff like that so I hurried up and realised the poor pigeon had been knocked out and was now alive and suffering badly.  Sadly due to the car collision and then the crow it was never going to survive so I had to dispatch it.

Once home feeling less than cheery I registered the pigeon with the appropriate association.  Though I wasn't particularly happy giving my address these days people take great care to protect your information so in order to fill the form and send it I filled it in.  Note to self: If your gut is doing the fandango take note.

Soon I received a prompt reply and I was a little taken aback that the reply had the owner of the pigeons full name, full address and telephone number.  Being nosey I noticed he was in hospital!  All thoughts of things ran through my head and I thought of this poor pigeon and owner .  The curse of the  internet means you can look up stuff instantly so of course I did.

Wow pigeon travelled from middle of Scotland!

Then I learnt what kind of hospital it was.

A secure mental health hospital for 'Patients are admitted to the Hospital under The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) **************** and other related legislation because of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities.'

So now I was starting to worry....what if he got my full name address and telephone number?  Had I just killed with my own hands his favourite pigeon and he, at the first opportunity, was going to hunt me down( wouldn't take much hunting) to reek revenge?

Calming myself down I emailed the association and reassured myself I was being silly.


He had indeed been send everything direct baring my inside leg ( or would it be neck) measurement and they were sure he would be delighted to hear.

Oh goody.  What was I going to tell Mr Gumps it is after all his house....

With a poorly elderly cat to nurse through the night I pushed all psychotic thoughts out of my mind and waited for the reply to my last email asking, a little desperately, if they knew that they had send the information to a person who may have been dangerous, violent or have criminal propensities?!

I both chuckled and bristled at the cheery reply Pigeon fanciers are quite used to losing birds for a variety of reasons; it's a commonplace event unfortunately. It's not clear that the owner is a patient at the hospital - he is a paid up and active member of a couple of clubs.'  
Oh that is ok then cos if he is a paid up active member of the club he couldn't possibly be any of the above!

Well as I said earlier I am a little slow, nevertheless I soon worked out I had a number to ring so ring I did......I rang the hospital and was relieved to hear the owner was a staff nurse and I could actually even speak to him.  How funny....can you imagine the laugh they had over it?  It certainly made me laugh albeit a little manically.

So next time I find a pigeon in the road......

I shall tell the crow to get stuck in and move on very quickly.

Monday, 4 May 2015

PetNanny Muzzled for DDA Watch

PetNanny Caroline will spend the day muzzled up in order to raise awareness of the dangers of using breed as template for temperament, encourage Deed Not Breed legislation and why muzzles are a responsible persons badge of honour.  
There are many reasons dogs wear muzzles do you know why they might?
Please sponsor me not only to wear a muzzle all day including eating, driving and THEN YOU CAN NOMINATE AND PAY ME TO DO THINGS WHILST IN MY MUZZLE AS LONG AS I CAN SAFELY DO IT IN MY DAY TO DAY WORK AND WITHIN A CERTAIN RADIUS. Autumn Cordell and Samantha Nicholson will be working as normal so the dogs will be walked and seen to as per usual and yes I will be walking dogs in a muzzle.

We can raise money aka cash, via a paypal button. They also have a wish list on Amazon if you would prefer to buy a product and donate direct.....this is an ongoing, planning as we go kind of event and as it only really involves me you can sit back and enjoy( laugh, cringe and/ or shake your head) but please don't forget to donate....now I need to practise eating cake through the muzzle.....how hot can a straw take I wonder I do after all need my cappuccinos?!

So far my challenges have certainly been varied ( and pretty cruel I have broad shoulder hehe)

I have my first Challenge and donation

£10 to kiss my partner in my muzzle.....of course I will take photo as proof! Kim Leighton
£15 and the spaghetti bolognese : Cáit Thorpe I'll give you £15 if you will go and have spaghetti at an Italian Restaurant in the evening x

 Michelle McMenam donated £10 just for being me 

Sherleen and David Cuthbert £10 just cos!

Thanks so much for your donation from the wish list Cheryl Waddell

£10 from Lesley Robson

Elsie wilkie has challenged me for £1 not to tell her off for be a gobby bint on the day of the challenge just as well I will be muzzled hehe

Winifred Wilkie has challenged me to take her to her weigh in at Westway Vets in my muzzle. £1

That teaches me to keep my mouth shut. When I take Winnie to get weighed in I have to climb on scales first on all fours looking like a muppet....hang on I am DEFINITELY gonna look like a muppet all day...

 Ive donated a Kong  hope you raise lots Caroline. Deb Orah

Thank you so much for your donation from the wish list Helen Crosby

 I'll give £10 for a pic of mutts and cat xx

'I challenge you whilst wearing your muzzle to also wear a yellow t-shirt that reads 'I need space' and a harness.
If you do this I will donate £30'

 Eileen Locatelli donation of £10 thanks ever so much

I'll be donating via the Amazon wishlist on behalf of Mind Over Muzzle UK - and we'll run a competition via our page for our members to win DDA Wristbands (that we'll buy/donate for) IF you can drink a cup-a-soup through the muzzle!, Willow Gardner-Hall

I'll get something from the wish list. I challenge you to eat an ice cream flake and monkey's blood optional, Lucy V Elizabeth Johns

 WOW £50 donated for me to walk Jason Atherton's dogs at the Westway veterinary group surgery dogs ( hounds how lucky am I) whilst wearing my muzzle of course

May be we could get photo with you and Aston ( Westways again)

New challenge, designing a secret logo while wearing he muzzle and post photos haha lucky person getting THOSE designs! £10 Mini Pony Hire

£1 from Stan wilkie for a photo of him, me and a man in uniform....
Roly & Poppy have been plotting their challenge - they think Nanny should go in the van cage for her coffee break - if she is up for the challenge they will pay her 2 gravybones and a tenner

So are you happy to donate off the wish list or support me by donating 
Or heaven forbid....set me a challenge?


Got me thinking it did

Do you remember the border collie who knew hundreds of words and the name of all her toys?

Well it got me thinking just how special our dogs are.

So I jotted down the words and things I say that my Pods recognise.

Some are just Flute's and some are both Tips and Flute.  Obviously some are names of people that they would recognise and some are things we teach on purpose and many are ones we have taught by accident!

In no order at all:

titty bumbum
whoop ( recall which actually means heehaw cracking food awaits you oh super pod)
go to bed
hup ride ( jump on Ella for a ride, or for Tips all four feet on Pod egg)
wanna ride
not yet ( slightly different to wait it means hold off just a second I am not ready)
get in
not be long
want a drink
want to go out
feet up
all four
gonna getchya
walk on
find the yabbas
get over
watching ( are you watching?  I think something very interesting is around keep watching! also a pose request for photo)
I see ( I see a rabbit or fox or mouse, not necessarily a release...also a photo graph pose )
not be long
oh poor baby ( magic cuddle that fixes all ills)
feet floor
ahha ( my version of NO)
leave it
out the kitchen
back up
that one
go ( release signal for most things)
psssss ( go catch meeeces/ yabbas)
too far
find it
keep going/ trying
Whoopsie ( again keep trying but that wasn't quite right)
get it
thank you ( my drop it command)
hot ( similar to careful but temperature linked haha)
other side/ way ( mostly lead getting caught round tree or similar)
get over
go to mat
go through
watch out ( near death experience)
let me look ( are you hurt? let me look)
be quiet

Shut up ( in that order)

So I recon that is just short of a hundred how many do you think your dog knows and why not try increase his knowledge.

Then you have all the hand signals, cues and body language.

Never underestimate your pet dog, they've picked up an awful lot despite all!

I can just tell I will be adding to this list as I remember....