SIGNED VS. UNSIGNED-BUYING VINTAGE JEWELRY, ART Written by by Laura Thykeson - Owner of "Ice Originals II"
There is always a large debate between “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, and reason you are buying in first place. Highly sought after designers, especially in jewelry and art, are both usually very highly over-priced, as well as you often run risk of getting a “knock-off” either at ignorance of seller, or 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 for same identical item, just because it feels more “authentic” if you paid 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 mostly fact that they can tell others what a sacrifice they made to own 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 have opportunity? I have watched this happen repeatedly, especially in 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 least next 5 years, I say-”Go ahead and buy it.” The reasoning behind that is, whether signed or not, you will be buying for exact reason item was created in first place-for your enjoyment! Plus, who knows what will happen in future? The very item or category of items you decided to purchase may just become next “hot item” and suddenly that little pair of earrings you paid $15.00 for are suddenly worth three times that amount in collectible market! In 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”! Remember Beanie Baby craze, Cabbage Patch Kids that people were fighting over, and 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 around house that still get under my skin. Luckily I mostly bought them because my children wanted them, so it wasn’t for possible profit I might make in 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 for “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 partially 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, all usual formats that an Artist goes through to try to achieve elusive label of “listed” someday, are absolutely terrifying to me, and deep down, I feel they are both unnecessary, and ultimately pretentious. Does 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 that Artist/Artisan has chosen to forge their own path for success, rather than taking 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, intense heat from an electric arc is used to melt and fuse metals to form a weld. It is one of 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 because equipment is relatively inexpensive, simple to operate, and can be used for welding many different kinds of metals.
Below, you will find explanations describing shielded metal-arc welding process and how 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.
How 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 from welding machine is used to form an electric arc between tip of electrode and work.
Welding is started by touching end of electrode to base metal, then lifting electrode about ¼ inch. This forms arc, which produces temperatures up to 5550°C. The intense heat at arc area instantly melts base metal and begins to burn covering off electrode and melt core.
The melted core becomes filler metal for weld and decomposition of flux forms a protective gaseous atmosphere around arc area. The gas forms a shield against contamination from oxygen and nitrogen in surrounding air. Additional shielding is provided by electrode flux, which forms a deposit called slag.
The shielding gas is ionized, and conducts electricity and maintains stability of arc.
Welding Voltage and Current
Either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) is used. The arc voltage or working voltage is voltage present in welding circuit while an arc is struck and welding is being done. The arc voltage ranges from 15V to 40V depending on arc length.
The open circuit voltage is voltage generated by welding machine when no welding is being done. Open-circuit voltages are normally set between 50V and 100V, but drops to arc voltage level when an arc is struck and welding begin.
In any electrical circuit, there is a correlation between voltage, current and resistance. The best results are normally obtained with an arc length about diameter of electrode.
When arc length is increased, less current flow occurs because of increased resistance. The result is a cooler arc and a greater tendency to spatter. There will be less penetration of weld, increased exposure to oxidation and contamination, and an erratic, unstable arc.
When arc length is reduced, less resistance more current flows with less voltage and arc becomes hotter. With thin material, heat can melt a hole in welding, porosity, and undercutting of adjacent base metal.
For DC machines, this is important. When electrode is negative and 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 of electrode, weld puddle being broad and penetration into 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.
Most AC power sources contain a transformer that steps down line voltage to level required for welding (normally less than 100V)