Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sweating it and a sweet mango drink

So the summers have basically been here for a good three months now and will still be here for atleast 20 days more. Not exactly the most productive time of the year for me as the whole thought of spending a few minutes in front of the soldering block and my faithful soldering torch is enough to make me sweat a puddle! But what with the new studio furniture I was dying to do some work on it :D
Did I mention 'Patina' :)
So the next best alternative chainmaille and patina jewellry that does not require too much soldering. For now though I am concentrating on catching up with blog posts( kind of admitting to being absent here :P) working on the mockup of my brand new wordpress website ( yup kind of letting the cat out of the bag here)  and trying to cool down with sweet mango drinks

Here is my recipe for a very refreshing Mango drink called " Panha" that is an all time favourite with all of us at home :

1Kg Raw Mango ( mostly the large ones , if you live in Mumbai just ask the vendor for " Panhachya Kairya" ( translation: "Raw mangoes meant for making Panha" in marathi )
1/2 Kg Sugar
2 tbsps Cardamom powder
1 tsp Saffron (optional)

Method: Wash & boil whole raw mangoes for a good 2 hours or until they turn a dull yellow colour and let them cool overnight. The next day peel off the skin using just your fingers don't worry the skin will be super soft and will easily come off. You can scrape the pulp with a spoon or a fork or well just your fingers. Put all the pulp minus the stone in a large bowl, stir in sugar, cardamom powder and saffron, add enough water to make a thick paste. I usually give it a whirl with a hand blender at this stage. That's it your drink is ready just pour two to three tablespoons of this into a tall glass top with water, ice cubes and stir. This drink truly helps cool me down :) Remember to store your drink concentrate in the refrigerator its lasts longer that ways.

Do drop a line if you try this out at home :) 
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Second life for a bunch of enamelled arrowheads.

Fresh out of the studio are these bunch of pendants. These enamelled pendants started out life as arrow heads for a sculpture I was working on. Over the years though that project kind of died and I had these beautiful arrowheads on hand and figured I had to do something to make them wearable. Here they are as pendants with a copper accent designed for each one :) I already sold the one shaped like a pipal leaf and the one with the copper half moon ! Still have a couple left and will be posting those soon .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to give your studio a makeover in the existing space

Losing a studio or a workspace can be extremely devastating to any artist ( trust me I know) so when I lost my studio last year in August I thought I was doomed :( For months I tried to work out of my room with barely any space to move around. Every time I turned around I either scraped my elbow on my bench vise or bumped my knee on my bench. Eventually I lost the will to work on my jewelry. I figured what was the point every tool either dropped and broke ( my soldering torch) or fell on my foot almost breaking it ( my forming block) . My mind kept going over ways to find cheap rental places or day dreaming about if only I was rich ( I know sounds terrible ) . Soon I too realized that it was time to get practical and accept facts that my old room was the only space I had and I was unwilling to take over the living room since I still wanted to keep my home looking normal. So one fine day I had this epiphany what if I  only had this space but empty minus all of my bulky studio furniture ( See half of my studio furniture were hand me down tables that I had modified and the rest haphazardly bought ) It struck me that if I completely redesigned my tables to my exact specifications I could actually be saving a lot of space so after a week of measuring,  drawing and redrawing I came up with a sketch and called my carpenter over for a quote. He of course had to make quite a few modifications and this is what I finally had made

I do not have the 'before' shots unfortunately but as you can see there is quite a bit of open space in the foreground even with a chair kept in front of my bench on the right. The multi drawered table on the right actually holds all of my tools, metal, scrap and wires. 
Its not all done yet as you can see my tool board isn't up yet and will be going above my bench and hold all my precious hammers and mallets. Plus I only just figured out a great way to neatly store all my wire roles. Most copper and brass wires are sold by the running length and not rolled onto a spool but merely twisted into a roll, that stays neat for a grand total of about 3 projects by which time finding a free end is a nightmare. So here is what I did I bought cheap pvc pipes and cut them up into 5 inch pieces cut notches with my trusty saw on either ends, then simply stuck in one end of the wire into a notch rolled the wire onto the pipe and stuck the other end into the opposite notch and voila mess free wire roles.

So now that the tables are here guess its time to get back to work :P