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1  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to buy 100% cotton hoodies in white for tie dying? on: July 22, 2009 08:30:41 PM
Does sweatshop-free/fair-trade clothing matter to you? You could consider something like American Apparel.
2  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Tutorial: Felt beads on: July 18, 2009 01:23:40 AM
...Also, now that I've read the thread, I've found it difficult to dye the balls once I've made them, as they float, and I have to spend some time rotating them, or weighing them down. It's more annoying with natural dyeing. Indigo didn't work at all. I now dye the wool, then roll the balls. I wrap the coloured wool around an undyed core. As the wool I dye comes out rather felted, I quickly hand card the wool. Maybe that's a little bit time consuming but it's also time consuming to carefully mordant and dye and rinse in a way that doesn't felt.

I find I'm needing to develop some muscles in order to roll quickly and efficiently. Still a bit too slow - 10 balls an hour - want to go faster.

I use the finest merino I can get my hands on - cuts down on fuzz and allergenic reactions.
3  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Is it possible to use failed spun wool for felting? on: July 18, 2009 12:50:42 AM
If you've got a carder, you could easily reclaim the spun wool into fluff.
4  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Tutorial: Felt beads on: July 18, 2009 12:13:15 AM
Maybe the ball could be patterned with needle felting? Maybe a combination of wet felting and needle felting...
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Chain Maille- I'm extremely confused. on: July 12, 2009 11:26:18 PM
Chainmaille... drool.... I've got a parcel coming from theringlord.com that will take a month or two to arrive if it ever arrives at all (friend of friend was a pilot and has seen containers fall into the sea) but it was the cheapest international option. Til now I've wound my own rings with a drill and screwdriver or knitting needles, using copper, galvy, and aluminium, some of which I've gotten from scrap-metal merchants. I love all the info that's around now on the net that wasn't when I started!

Take care of your hands... I had to stop for a few years from RSI because I thought it was smart to try to use spring washers, and ignored the pain. Take rests, and make sure your hands aren't too cold when working with hard metals. Most maillers have to be pretty careful with their hands if they do a lot of it.

If you really get into making your own rings, consider purchasing a tumbler to de-burr, harden, and polish the rings.
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Question about how to close a choker on: July 12, 2009 11:18:47 PM
Also, you can use those cute little hand-sew-on press-studs from a sewing shop. The leatherworking/denim type which are attached by hammering are probably too coarse for a fine project like yours.
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Is there a way to know if something is sterling if it is not marked? on: July 12, 2009 11:16:25 PM
If they're the same shade of shiny white metal, then presumably they are both silver. But then one would be plated. One way to check if something's plated is to tarnish a little bit of it. The plating will wear off quick, leaving a different shade of metal underneath. You can do this with sulfurous chemicals, such as Liver of Sulfur, or a boiled egg left sealed overnight with a bit of the chain from each. Unfortunately, sometimes silver things are coated with rhodium or other things to stop tarnishing, so it isn't a surefire guarantee, but silver plating tends to be on cheap stuff and probably doesn't go so far as to plate the plating. If the chain is real silver then tarnishing it won't do much, you can just clean it again with stuff like potato water, or baking soda + salt + aluminium foil (do a search).

I don't have any other suggestions, sorry! I presume the chain is fine enough that you can't get a gander at a cross-section of a link for a different coloured metal underneath.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Getting and using bones from animals on: July 10, 2009 09:22:15 PM
Cheers for the responses. Since bats here can carry a really bad virus for humans, I should think pretty carefully about how I'd approach using it, if at all. Ditto for lizards.

I've worked with caustic soda before, that's a good idea. I'll experiment. I need to make up a strong batch of it to mercerise some cotton anyway. Plus I imagine it would kill viruses pretty effectively as well as being faster and less smelly than the rotting method.

Not interested in all in fake bones - it's the opposite of what I'm trying to do - create human things from wild things rather than wild things from human things - but I hope others gain inspiration.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Getting and using bones from animals on: July 07, 2009 08:51:00 PM
Thanks mate for your suggestions. Funny that it would be a touchy subject... most people in the world eat animals, but I guess many in the West wouldn't want to think about where that flesh comes from. I myself eat only a little meat, and then, I try to eat fairly sustainably... such as kangaroo. I'm all for using roadkill and other found dead animals in decoration... more ethical than using gemstones or silver or anything made in a factory that jewellers tend to use (even if it's vegan, lol). I tend to use seeds and shells and found fibres and stuff like that, and scavenged and recycled metals that otherwise would be sent to landfill or overseas to be smelted.

Interesting idea about taxidermy. I wonder if anyone in my home town does that? Problem is though that it's usually a male domain, and it's notoriously hard for a woman to access any knowledge in those domains unless she exchanges sex or the allure of, and I am neither single or het. My friend who belongs to a bowhunting club has that problem. I suppose I could ask her to ask others about bones from the pigs and deer they hunt, but that's a long shot given that she doesn't have any favours owed by them. However, when I finally get a car, I'll find much more roadkill I'm sure.

I'm not particulary looking for a barbaric ethnic-appropriation approach, just a sustainable one that reflects the uneasy urbanisation in the middle of the vast tropical wilderness I live in.

Bone will disintegrate like any other organic product... but polished up and kept moisture-free it will last for a very long time, much longer than wood Smiley
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Getting and using bones from animals on: July 06, 2009 09:26:56 PM
Hey all,

I want to use bones in my jewellery. I have a large dessicated dead fruitbat here and I'm not sure about the best way to get the bones and skull - will boiling make the bones brittle? I'm told from zoologists that you can bury the animal to let the flesh get stripped off but I'm not sure if that will rot the bone, or take a long time, or both.

Anyone got any experience with getting and/or using bones off animals, especially smaller ones? Any tips on procuring bones from farmed carcasses? (I don't eat much meat and I'd rather use waste.) Thanks!

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