Written by by Laura Thykeson - Owner of "Ice Originals II"

There is always a large debate betweenrepparttar “real” collectors, and your basic lover of beautiful items...should you buy items that are signed by well known and highly sought after designers and artists, or should you just buy what you love and what appeals to you, whether signed or not?

The answer usually lies in how fat your wallet is, andrepparttar 116111 reason you are buying inrepparttar 116112 first place. Highly sought after designers, especially in jewelry and art, are both usually very highly over-priced, as well as you often runrepparttar 116113 risk of getting a “knock-off” either atrepparttar 116114 ignorance ofrepparttar 116115 seller, orrepparttar 116116 actual attempt to lead you astray of your hard-earned money. While I am on this subject, it amazes me that people will pass up a signed piece, if priced reasonably or even a real steal, to go on and pay a higher price forrepparttar 116117 same identical item, just because it feels more “authentic” if you paidrepparttar 116118 higher price! Either these people know something that I don’t, (which is entirely possible, I don’t claim to be an expert) or they have much more money to throw around than I do! I have a suspicion that it is mostlyrepparttar 116119 fact that they can tell others what a sacrifice they made to ownrepparttar 116120 item. In my books, why not save $30.00 or $40.00 on an identical item, if it is truly identical and authentic, if you haverepparttar 116121 opportunity? I have watched this happen repeatedly, especially inrepparttar 116122 jewelry department, and it still amazes me!

If you are buying an item because it appeals to you, whether signed or not, and is something that you feel you will enjoy looking at, wearing, or even admit owning, for at leastrepparttar 116123 next 5 years, I say-”Go ahead and buy it.” The reasoning behind that is, whether signed or not, you will be buying forrepparttar 116124 exact reasonrepparttar 116125 item was created inrepparttar 116126 first place-for your enjoyment! Plus, who knows what will happen inrepparttar 116127 future? The very item or category of items you decided to purchase may just becomerepparttar 116128 next “hot item” and suddenly that little pair of earrings you paid $15.00 for are suddenly worth three times that amount inrepparttar 116129 collectible market! Inrepparttar 116130 event that doesn’t happen, you will still have an item that you don’t feel you paid too much for, you still enjoy it, and it appeals to your aesthetic senses. Also, beware of “fad collectibles”! Rememberrepparttar 116131 Beanie Baby craze,repparttar 116132 Cabbage Patch Kids that people were fighting over, andrepparttar 116133 myriad of other “collectibles” that have come and gone? If you got caught up in one of those, and now you can’t even give those items away, much less get what you paid for them, don’t you feel a little silly? I know that I do, I have a few “Beanies” laying aroundrepparttar 116134 house that still get under my skin. Luckily I mostly bought them because my children wanted them, so it wasn’t forrepparttar 116135 possible profit I might make inrepparttar 116136 future, and I wasn’t an avid collector, ready to pay several hundred dollars for a stuffed animal that was mass produced!

Now, when it comes to Art, I am a very vocal advocate forrepparttar 116137 “unknown artist”. You are probably thinking, “Well, I’m sure she is! She is trying to promote her own and her husband’s art, as well as other Artisans and Artist out there that no one has heard of, so she can make some money!” Actually that is partiallyrepparttar 116138 reason, and I will admit to it. I would be a fool to not try to promote someone who truly shows great talent, wants a more personal working relationship and outlet for their work than a gallery, and will realize more “clear money” from their efforts than they would get from most mainstream alternatives. The idea of trying to get an agent, approaching a gallery, entering juried shows, allrepparttar 116139 usual formats that an Artist goes through to try to achieverepparttar 116140 elusive label of “listed” someday, are absolutely terrifying to me, and deep down, I feel they are both unnecessary, and ultimately pretentious. Doesrepparttar 116141 fact that one Artist or Artisan is well known and listed make their art any more desirable to look at? Does it mean they are more talented than and unknown? Of course not! It just means thatrepparttar 116142 Artist/Artisan has chosen to forge their own path for success, rather than takingrepparttar 116143 mainstream approach. It also means that you will probably take longer to become successful, because in

What You Should Know about SMAW!

Written by Thomas Yoon

In shielded metal-arc welding,repparttar intense heat from an electric arc is used to melt and fuse metals to form a weld. It is one of repparttar 116110 oldest and most widely used welding processes. Although used chiefly for joining iron and mild steels, shielded metal-arc welding is well suited to maintenance tasks becauserepparttar 116111 equipment is relatively inexpensive, simple to operate, and can be used for welding many different kinds of metals.

Below, you will find explanations describingrepparttar 116112 shielded metal-arc welding process and howrepparttar 116113 welding machines and accessories are set up and used. You will also find information on selecting an electrode. The personal safety equipment and precautions are also described.

Howrepparttar 116114 Process Works

A typical SMAW outfit consists of an electric welding machine, two welding cables, a ground clamp, an electrode holder, and a covered metal electrode. Electric current fromrepparttar 116115 welding machine is used to form an electric arc betweenrepparttar 116116 tip ofrepparttar 116117 electrode andrepparttar 116118 work.

Welding is started by touchingrepparttar 116119 end ofrepparttar 116120 electrode torepparttar 116121 base metal, then liftingrepparttar 116122 electrode about ¼ inch. This forms repparttar 116123 arc, which produces temperatures up to 5550°C. The intense heat atrepparttar 116124 arc area instantly meltsrepparttar 116125 base metal and begins to burnrepparttar 116126 covering offrepparttar 116127 electrode and meltrepparttar 116128 core.

The melted core becomes filler metal forrepparttar 116129 weld andrepparttar 116130 decomposition ofrepparttar 116131 flux forms a protective gaseous atmosphere aroundrepparttar 116132 arc area. The gas forms a shield against contamination from oxygen and nitrogen inrepparttar 116133 surrounding air. Additional shielding is provided byrepparttar 116134 electrode flux, which forms a deposit called slag.

The shielding gas is ionized, and conducts electricity and maintainsrepparttar 116135 stability ofrepparttar 116136 arc.

Welding Voltage and Current

Either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) is used. The arc voltage or working voltage isrepparttar 116137 voltage present inrepparttar 116138 welding circuit while an arc is struck and welding is being done. The arc voltage ranges from 15V to 40V depending onrepparttar 116139 arc length.

The open circuit voltage isrepparttar 116140 voltage generated byrepparttar 116141 welding machine when no welding is being done. Open-circuit voltages are normally set between 50V and 100V, but drops torepparttar 116142 arc voltage level when an arc is struck and welding begin.

Arc Length

In any electrical circuit, there is a correlation betweenrepparttar 116143 voltage, current andrepparttar 116144 resistance. The best results are normally obtained with an arc length aboutrepparttar 116145 diameter ofrepparttar 116146 electrode. 

Whenrepparttar 116147 arc length is increased, less current flow occurs because ofrepparttar 116148 increased resistance. The result is a cooler arc and a greater tendency to spatter. There will be less penetration ofrepparttar 116149 weld, increased exposure to oxidation and contamination, and an erratic, unstable arc.

Whenrepparttar 116150 arc length is reduced, less resistance more current flows with less voltage andrepparttar 116151 arc becomes hotter. With thin material,repparttar 116152 heat can melt a hole inrepparttar 116153 welding, porosity, and undercutting ofrepparttar 116154 adjacent base metal. 


For DC machines, this is important. Whenrepparttar 116155 electrode is negative andrepparttar 116156 work piece is positive, this is called Straight Polarity. The opposite of this is Reverse Polarity.

DCSP or direct current straight polarity is characterized by faster melting ofrepparttar 116157 electrode,repparttar 116158 weld puddle being broad and penetration intorepparttar 116159 base metal is relatively shallow. This is used when fast welding speeds and high deposition rates are required.

DCRP or direct current reversed polarity results in a hotter arc, making deeper, narrower weld puddle. This is used for structural welding, multi pass welds, and applications requiring deep penetrations.

Most electrodes are designed to be used with only one polarity.

Power Sources

Most AC power sources contain a transformer that steps down line voltage torepparttar 116160 level required for welding (normally less than 100V)

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