Thursday, May 24, 2012

Faux Bone Yarn

The beauty of the 2mm Faux Bone strip is that you can make it into a cylindrical rod. I use this shape to make organic, wound beads or to crochet a quick cuff (a future blog entry). While you can simply use the Faux Bone shaping tool to round the edges and then sand it into a round shape, my favorite way is inspired by techniques I learned at Danaca Design.

Several times during a class with Andy Cooperman, he put the piece we were working on in the flexshaft handpiece rather than the bit, bur or brush. I had seen this only once before during a toolmaking class with Bill Dawson, who had us remove our flexshaft handpiece, place our tool steel in it, and shape the steel on the grinder. This allowed the piece to spin freely and perfectly centered. I didn't realize it at the time, but these two classes have dramatically changed the way I work and how I use my flexshaft.

Now, when I want to create a perfectly round piece of Faux Bone (that because of its texture and size reminds me of yarn) I place one end of a 2mm strip in my flexshaft handle and the other side in a cordless drill. I stretch it taut, turn the drill on low, and the strip spins. Then, I run it along my running belt sander to quickly create a cylindrical rod.


I guess you can call it a faux lathe. Hmmm, I own a lathe, I wonder if....

You can see more of Andy Cooperman's flexshaft tips in his series of articles in Art Jewelry magazine and be sure to check out the Summer class schedule at Danaca Design, being released soon. I am absolutely thrilled to be teaching a class with one of the most talented (and absolutely nicest) artists and teachers I know, Nancy Megan Corwin. She will be teaching students how to use Faux Bone with the hydraulic press and I'll be helping students incorporate their Faux Bone dies into their finished pieces of jewelry. Join us!