Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About Andra

  • Rank
    Apprentice Member
  • Birthday 01/11/1980

Contact Methods

  • AIM
  • Website URL
  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Location
    I'm in a New York state of mind! . . . . and apparently body lol
  • Interests
    D&D - LARP - crafy undertakings - books
  • Occupation
    unwilling retail employee and aspiring graphic designer
  • The year you started making chainmail
    2005ish to 2006ish
  1. Looking for that something special to accent your work with? So was I, and then I started making glass enameled scales. What is a Vitreous Glass Enameled scale? Essentially it is this. I take a copper scale, small or large and I lay out a layer of powdered glass on the surface before firing it between 1,300 and 1,400 Fahrenheit. I then repeat the process on the back, usually with waste enamel as it wastes less of my pretty colors on the back of the piece, though I have done pieces with matching backs, at least so far as the base color goes. At this point I can either leave it as is, or add colors and fun, which is my habit so far, and throw in for another firing. The whole process takes perhaps 2-3 hours per scale. At this point the only exposed copper is along the edges. It turns out a tough layer of black oxidation along those edges, which I can leave as is if it matches the piece, or grind away (mostly) to expose the copper color and provide a clean outline. When incorporated into pieces that allow free movement, they provide a very cheery and unique jingle. The glass is fairly thick, and so is not so fragile as you would expect. That said - I do NOT recommend them for items that will apply notable pressure on the piece. Flex is the enemy. tension leading to a flex will cause damage to the glass layer. I also do not recommend drilling additional holes as this could also damage the glass layer. So no armor pieces guys, sorry! How fragile are they? Well I have dropped them on a plywood floor and not cracked the glass, but I am still learning about the durability. An experienced glass worker has told me they are likely stronger than I give them credit for as the glass fusing to the copper strengthens both materials. Keep that unknown factor in mind as you design with them. I can take custom requests, but only to a point. Which is to say, I cannot predict the pattern, only the colors I use IN the pattern. Choose a base color and the colors for the overlaying fun, but beyond that, the pattern is up to the glass and how it wants to melt and merge. With the exception of my black and clear powdered glass enamel, all of my enamels are leaded glass of a Japanese brand called Kujaku or Shippo Color. These were inherited and are 40 year old vintage enamels in limited supply. I WILL replace colors as I use them up, but they will be replaced with unleaded equivalents. The difference? Leaded enamels tend to have more vibrant color choices and leaded glass is stronger than unleaded. Also - I won't be playing with lead poisoning handling the unleaded powders lol PRICING! I am still getting a handle on pricing for this stuff, so bear with me if it changes (up or down) over the next year as I settle into a good price point. For now I offer three pricing structures: singles hobbyist bulk pricing Wholesale pricing Hobbyist bulk pricing - Buying in multiples of 6 reduces the price by about half. $60 for 6 small scales ($10 ea.) and $65 for 6 large ($10.83 ea.). You can mix and match, but they must be bought in multiples of 6. This is because I have a trivet that allows me to fire up to 6 scales at a time. So rather than taking 2-3 hours for a single scale, I can get 6 scales out of that same time frame. Wholesale Pricing - Got a tax ID that allows you to buy wholesale? Then you get the wholesale pricing! Here we are talking $40 for 6 small ($6.66 ea.) and $45 for 6 large ($7.50 ea.). Individually they price at $20 for a small scale and $22 for a large - high, but not a price point I expect to use here as we are all at least hobbyists wanting to buy more than 1 at a time. The pic is showing the varieties I started out with in the spring, as well as some earrings I made with them as an example. The earrings have long since sold. The scale varieties are still pretty much these, though the black/white/silver with the blue ghost flames turned out to be black/white/silver with green ghost flames the last time I fired up a set. sometimes the copper oxidation can leech into the colors and change the whole ball game! That said, the green is lovely too PM me with orders or post here with questions - I'm happy to field any you may come up with
  2. Andra

    Order discrepancies

    WOOT! I was putting away my order last night and found the clasps. They were WAY smaller than the stainless version I had bought in the past and were sealed into the corner of a bag of copper scales.
  3. Andra

    Order discrepancies

    Hey there! So I got my order (yay!) but there are two discrepancies. 1) I ordered 2 JcMAG-Sterling (sterling silver magnetic ball shaped clasps) and didn't receive any. I emptied the bag and box and turned it all upsidedown, but no sterling clasps to be found. I will be needing the clasps, or maybe a credit? I use the stainless version of these clasps on a popular stock item I sell but those have been out of stock for a while now, so I ordered the sterling and I really can't stress enough how much I need either the sterling version or the stainless steel. 2) I ordered a KIT-AJ-BR (advanced brass jewelry kit) and everything is there, but the 16g 7/32 rings were substituted with yellow brass. These rings don't match the jewelers brass the rest of the kit came in. Is this a normal substitution? In future should I leave a note on my order specifying not to do this? Thanks for your time!
  4. Any ideas on when 12mm Stainless Steel JcMAG-Stainless magnetic clasps will be back in? or failing those, the 5mm Stainless Steel JcMAG-SS magnetic clasps?
  5. Andra

    Guide on Tumbling

    Well - I gotta say, I wish this thread had been up 5 years ago when I was gifted my vibratory tumbler. I couldn't find a lot of info and I couldn't find any of the recomended tumbling medias asside from the steel shot, which wasn't giving me any real difference that I could see in my stainless steel jewelry. . . . So yesterday I wandered into Harbor Freight (they just opened near me - yay!) and found tumbler media! So I looked through and I saw the walnut media, but the ceramic looked sexier. . . . and it SAID polishing. . . . Yeah - all of my steel is matte now :/ I just finished separating it and it is now tumbling with it'self and hot water with Dawn. I will be exchanging for walnut later today lol That warning given - I used to work in a jewelry store and we sold some stainless steel jewelry. Heck, for a bit we even had one of those Ed hardy watches with the euro 4-1 band. The steel was so polished it game me shine envy on every piece. My jewelry is shiney, and I clean it between fairs with hot water and Darn to get rid of road dirt and lotions and oils folks smear all over it - but it ain't THAT shiney. IF I understand correctly, folks in this thread are recommending a steel shot mixed media (as in multiple shapes) that is available from Rio Grande, and then the Sunsheen? feel free to tell me if I'm misunderstanding - I'm suffering from info overload combined with stock destruction shock, and dumb usually follows. . . .lol
  6. Andra

    Scale concerns

    Excelent, thanks a bunch!
  7. Andra

    Scale concerns

    So ok, I just want to make sure I have everything straight in my head, bear with me. The burr we have been seeing is a tool issue that would not have been resolved with deburring there are no plans currently to make small painted black scales I'm still unclear on a few things, sorry to be so high maintenance. When you start using the new anodizing process that has been getting kicked around, will burrs like this still be an issue with small scales? are you open to special orders for small mirror finish gold AA scales or small black painted AA scales? Because the shine is what is key here, the current black is anything but solid black, it's more like a distressed black, and I can't imagine that the polycarbinate scales are very reflective either. as for the split ring issue, here's the thread I chimed in on - http://www.theringlord.org/forum/index.php?/topic/11908-split-rings-for-scalemail/#entry97406 and described my experiences with the split rings as additional feedback to an older complaint. It is still a current issue as I have a jar swiftly filling with rejected split rings. You mentioned 7 colors that still have the burr issue and that you had gone over this with the manufacturing crew, but what I'm unclear on is wether this is going to be an ongoing issue for those of us who work primarily in small scales? Thanks for your attention Bernice!
  8. Andra

    Scale concerns

    Anyone? . . . . . Bueller?
  9. Andra

    Scale concerns

    That is EXACTLY what I have been seeing! And while visually it isn't so much of a problem with scale sheet, adding that thickness when using split rings KILLS the split rings that make it through my quality check. Bad enough I'm tossing a few dozen rings with every project because they are already spread out like springs, but when you make them fit over these lips of excess material, I lose even more. That's why I have started shaving the metal off, and why my hands are killing me lol -
  10. Andra

    Scale concerns

    Hey all! Ok, I work with a lot of scale and over the past year I have noticed several issues that concerned me and decided to finally just become a slightly squeeky wheel and hunt down some answers directly. Just about every color of scale I order these days comes with jagged edges of excess metal around the holes and some with excess around some of the outer edge. I was going to leave it be, because I was sure this was a temporary thing, but the problem has gotten worse with every order. This excess metal causes damage to the split rings I use (and those are another item, but I already weighed in on an earlier post for those) because of how far they have to be bent open to get over the extra width. I just shaved excess metal off of 100 scales for a current project and after a couple of hours of that my hands are absolutely killing me. I have seen some posts about a new process incoming for the anodizing, which I will LOVE I'm sure, I prefered it back in the day when the color was on both sides and the edges, but will this process also debur the scales before anodizing? And is there a solid ETA? Also - I have asked several times in the scale availability thread and not been given an answer, or heck, even an awknowledgement of the question - is there any thought of offering black painted small scales in the future? The white painted are fantastic - but I notice the black painted seems to only be offered for large scales. The same question applies to mirror finished gold AA scales too. I see them in large, would love them in small, haven't gotten a yes, no or maybe on the question yet. I don't intend any of that to sound confrontational, I'm just getting kinda frustrated. I have all kinds of ideas and requests, but I can't do anything until I have stuff to work with ye know? Thank you for your time and attention -
  11. Andra

    Ren fair etiquette? (Re: exclusives)

    Wel! LOTS of developments over the course of the fair season this year! Given that I am sharing a tent run by a wonderful lady, I decided not to make waves and just rolled with the punches. I kept my class, showed off my scale work, and consequently, the next fair we had that was run by these folks, they not only approved us outright for scale (which they had blocked right along with the chain in the past) but actively encouraged us to have a lot! I did a 5 weekend fall fair in the tent like this and netted more than I have sold in the last 2 years of fairs! I was also approved to have my own scale and chain tent at thier next fall fair, and invited to do the same at thier spring fair. I JUMPED on the fall fair, but I need more cash flow in the money chest before I commit to the spring fair too lol So it all seems to be working out. They may want to give thier friend a leg up, but they can't resist my scale work and want it whenever they can get it! I anticipate a fantastic fair season for 2014
  12. Andra

    Split Rings for Scalemail

    I'll throw some feedback in here since I found the thread I use entirely small scales and small split rings and while I don't think I'm rejecting duds on a 1-1 rate, I HAVE noticed a big increase in duds. They also seem to come in two types. One type I have been calling split springs. They aren't tight and more often than not I am unable to tweak them to tighten them up. The other type seems to malform far too easily as it us worked into the sheet. It's like the temper is off or something. These rings I have noticed have a different, duller color tone to them. I didn't really want to be a squeaky wheel, so I was waiting to see if things improved before I said anything, but since it's already been brought up. . .
  13. Hey! So I started using the mirror finish aluminum scales and LOVE them. Ordered up the white painted scales and couldn't be happier. Really WANT the black painted and the gold mirror finish AA. . . but they only seem to be available in large. I miss the deep black the black AA scales used to be, and those black painted scales look like they are JUST what I'm looking for. Will they be showing up in small sizes eventually?
  14. Andra

    Ren fair etiquette? (Re: exclusives)

    We do the Hebron fair every year, but I'm fairly certain it's one that we got barred from selling mail at, yet again *sigh* I think the last sales oportunity I have in the area this season for sure is the Enfield fair, we are considering doing the CTRF fall fair, but again, it's one we are certain we won't be allowed to sell mail at. I MAY be able to squeak my scale by, but even that has been barred at other CTRF fairs this year for this exact mailer/reason. I just wish the guy would let us alone. We don't make enough sales to be a true competitor, and as I was told by FAIR STAFF at the fair I started this thread about, my mail is 100% different than his. True, my co-mailer, the guy I taught, does a lot more of the anodized aluminum stuff, but again, he tends towards 3D mail projects and a completely different style of decorative coif than this guy does. The only thing he does do that's similar is that he makes bras and armor pieces, 'cause frankly, I don't have that kind of patience lol. There is no rational reason to bar us. It's all fear of competition and/or elitism because we don't have our own booth yet. We do other CTRF fairs that he doesn't do, and we are ALWAYS allowed to sell all of our chain and scale merchandise. Correction: I just remembered, we've been skipping Hebron because the lady who runs our booth was a teacher and a fall fair was not feasible. That said, we USED to do it, and we are seriously considering it this year as it has moved practically into our back yard in Norwich
  15. Andra

    Ren fair etiquette? (Re: exclusives)

    Unfortunately, I have since discovered that it is less communison or capitalism, and more nepotism. He's good friends with the folks running the fair :/ The "reason" we have been given for backing his complaint is that since he is exclusively a chainmail vendor, and we are technically a clothing vendor who also has chainmail and bead work, he wins. That said, I'm pretty sure that the reasoning they gave screwed up his plans, because there is a jewelry vendor who is selling chainmail in fine metals and I don't think they have a leg to stand on to stop them lol Also, when they moved the entrance on opening day, they put it right next to our booth, and his booth, which is where the entrance WAS, is now effectively in the back of beyond. So since I can still sell scale, AND I'm situated next to the only entrance/exit and in front of the main stage, I'm pretty sure that I still win lol Especially given that I got my first invite to a fair all by my onsies because my scale is so obvious when it's not surrounded by chain I'm just bummed that the other mailers in my booth are S.O.L. at yet another fair because this guy made friends in high places *sigh* He just doesn't get it. We don't have our own booth because we can't yet swing the fees on our own. if he'd leave us the fook alone, we might be able to have a chain booth rather than piggy backing on our extremely generous friend's clothing booth. She actually said last Sunday that with the trouble she's having keeping stock in the tent because of all the custom orders she has, the tent looks more like a jewelry tent that also sells clothing more than a clothing tent that has jewelry lol