Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What I have been working on

Just an update to fill you all in on what I've been working on

I have been working on getting tatting Book Number 3 ready to publish.  Of course it is SPLIT RING TATTING.  The title/topic is:  Block Alphabets in Split Ring Tatting.  It will feature 2 different alphabets with matching numbers as well as 'frames'  and ideas as to how to use the letters you create for decoration.  Right now I am sewing on letters and a frame I tatted to fabric base.  I will eventually frame it so that it mimics those filet crochet nameplates.  Hopefully soon I will have a photo of it to show/share.

The other things that I am working on/towards is to create some new and unique tatting shuttles.
This includes:
  • The ShuttleSmith Tatting Shuttle Endeavor Number 1 is Leather Tatting Shuttles
I've already debutted one form of my leather shuttles--those that are double layered.  This features bonding a colorful, decorative leather to a base layer of leather that is sturdy.  I have  several colors already made, plus I purchased a whole bunch more leather scrap pieces in some great colors to make more. 
Leather Tatting Shuttles as of 6/10/14

  • The ShuttleSmith Tatting Shuttle Endeavor Number 2 is Stone Tatting Shuttles
I have been apprenticing with a master lapidarist who has been teaching me about rocks and mineral specimens---it has been a fascinating journey thus far.  I had actually taken two separate lapidary classes in the past and know a little bit about the process and had actually even made a prototype stone tatting shuttle (though I can't find it today).  Bruce has been collecting mineral specimens and cutting/polishing rocks into jewelry pieces since he was a kid (check out his website: http://www.thefinestthings.com/).  The problem with learning from Bruce is that he has the best tools available....so I was apprehensive about his kind offer to learn on his tools, knowing that I would be not able to afford such wonderful machines.  Recently he 'hooked me up' with a local guy who was selling off some lapidary machine.  I went down and bought it but haven't had time to play with it.  It needs to be hooked up to a water source which is a bit difficult.  Plus, Bruce & I are busy with other aspects of our lives (eg. lawns, landscaping, home repairs, motorcycling--me) this time of year and haven't had alot of time to explore this hobby.
  • The ShuttleSmith Tatting Shuttle Endeavor number 3 is Copper Enameled Shuttles
This is what I am actively working on.  I took an introductory class and discovered how much fun it was.  We made jewelry but my thought was 'How can I make tatting shuttles!'.  I have had success with creating jewelry peices but as yet haven't finished a tatting shuttle YET.  By the end of the week, I should have a prototype.  I am actively checking my mail for a new torch that will be hot enough to heat the larger piece of copper that forms the shuttle.  BTW, 'enameling' is the process of fusing glass onto a base, in this case copper.  I have alot of color options to play with.  Hopefully I will soon have something to show you......


  1. Ooh, these sound interesting. Looking forward to seeing the results.

    1. Right now I am too am interested in seeing results. I have several copper shuttles cut out and prepped. I am anxiously awaiting arrival of my new torch to be able to get it hot enough to melt the enamel in the larger size that the shuttle is. Last night I did create a unique shuttle from plain copper in which I applied a heat patination process to put a colorful surface on it. Pictures soon!

  2. Kind of makes my head spin to read about all these unusual artistic endeavors! I can't imagine your 'workshop' where you have all kinds of tools. A lapidary machine is certainly unusual! And a torch for heating copper! I actually had a very small portable kiln as a kid in which I heated up enamel powder designs on pre-cut copper pieces. I have no idea how even I got 'into' that particular hobby, except possibly through a school summer program, which inspired me to ask my parents to buy the kiln. I still have the items I made; otherwise, I'd never have remembered that I even did that! I have no idea what happened to the kiln or my supplies! I then gravitated more to the fiber arts! We're also into the outdoor yard work now - although I can't say I enjoy it! I'm amazed you ride a motorcycle! DH gave his up a few years ago, but we did enjoy some nice rides on the country roads.

    1. Kathy, in researching enameling, I came across an old (not saying you are!) kit that included a kiln...it was probably what you had. I shall have to go back to ebay and see if I still have it marked. Right now I'm eagerly checking the mail everyday for my new torch. My old torch doesn't get hot enough to melt my shuttle metal size.

    2. Is this what you had???

    3. Bingo! That's it exactly! I remember that box, too! Thanks so much for finding this! Of all the things I've researched from my childhood on the Web, I never investigated the kiln! As I was checking the URL, DH said "It had a glass dome, right?' HIs statement amazed me because although we were dating back in 1960 (ages 16 and 17), I didn't realize he had actually seen the kiln. I was about 13-14 in 1957- 58 when I was working with it but wasn't making anything by 1960 (very involved with band (clarinet) and majorette activities!) But I did show him the things I made with it, so I must have shown him the kiln, too!

      I feel sad that it got discarded somehow - maybe it stopped working? Those were pretty high temps! I don't recall blowing any fuses, though! My wonderful parents were always supportive of my many hobbies, so I guess they didn't mind buying it, although I have no recollection where. Not exactly a 'toy'! There are several images of it if you search ' fire bright kiln images'! Now I can put photos of it with my jewelry! Thanks so much again - happy memories for me! I hope your new torch does the job!

    4. If you are in the Omaha, NE area, stop by and play with me in my enameling studio!!!