China, China, and More China

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In my business, I use china. All of the china I craft with comes from Historic Downtown Charleston, SC. The picture above is but a sample of what I have at my disposal.  I would guess its 1% of my total stockpile. Now when I say it comes from Charleston, I mean thats where I find it.  More specifically, I dig it out of the ground. I go under houses and in their yards to find my pieces of history.

In the times before curbside pickup, people really only had one option for their household garbage and debris. That option? The Yard.  They would have pits where they would dump their trash.  A nice word for the area of dumping is called a “Midden.” This is where I find the china. What are some other things I have found in various middens? I have found bottles, buttons, coins, doll parts, animal bones, oyster shells, tools, silverware, and even once a Megalodon tooth! It is amazing what is just under the surface. The other thing that blows my mind is the immense variety of patterned china that surfaces.  So many seemingly unique styles.

China is my prize.  Almost all of it is 19th Century. I have even found some from the 18th Century: All just in the dirt.

The reason I have all the china out in the first picture is because it is about time to ramp up production again.  I go through periods where I need to replenish finished products and now is that time.  I will be making necklaces, bracelets, rings, cufflinks, hairpins etc. all over the next week or two.  I can’t wait to show you all the completed projects.  Thanks for reading!

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Mid 1700’s Piece with Mark of King George
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My New Toy: The Taurus 3 Ring Saw

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This, my friends, is my new toy. The Taurus 3 Ring Saw from the Gemini Saw Company.  Let me tell you, this is a beast.  Up to this point, to shape any broken pieces of porcelain, I would use clippers that risked cracking things in half.  Now, I can cut out any shape I want! It changes everything. I am going from circles and triangles, to dogs and whales!

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Look at my little whale!

I am so excited! Now, I make stencils and trace them out directly on the china with a paint pen. For those of you who don’t know what the ring saw is-it’s a diamond saw blade that can cut in any direction because of its round design. It is also a wet saw which keeps everything cool.  These types of saws are made for the stained glass world, but it is quite useful for porcelain.  I feel much better cutting things now, and I waste less material by cutting out instead of destroying all the bits around it. This allows me to use the leftover bits of china for jewelry projects like bracelet charms.

I decided to see if I could cut out the shape of a Brittany Spaniel…

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It could be my Hank or Sadie!

I give this machine a big thumbs up. It revolutionizes my production abilities. I am going to create a rating system to use now and in the future. Five Hammers =Perfect. One Hammer= Don’t Bother.

So The Taurus 3 Ring Saw is awarded…..(drumroll)…..

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Five Hammers out of Five! It is amazing!

Thanks for reading and remember tomorrow is Wednesday. That means it is the first edition of “Wifey Wednesdays.”  Alli will be taking the helm and posting tomorrow!

 

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Framed Up!