Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jewelry Box

I picked up a jewelry box for my cousin;  and a nice purchase turned into a months long effort....

For a few years now I've been buying my cousin little boxes for Christmas.   Just little things I might find at antique stores or flea markets.   But I want them to be unusual - something you might never see anywhere else.   Usually older items that contain craftsmanship not used any more.  Previous ones were a small box of solid marble. A wooden box with mother-of-pearl flower inlays.  A hand-made stained glass box with a shell embedded into the top as part of the glasswork.

So I saw this brass jewelry box in October.   I liked the decorations on the lid, and the unique two-compartment opening, so I picked it up.  


It didn't really look bad.  A nice patina on it.   Could have been a nice gift as is.   Except.   In the upper right there was some dirt.   I didn't think it would be hard to remove.   but when I did remove it - underneath was shiny.  The dirt has protected the finish.  Now I had a nice shiny bright spot.    There was no choice but to clean the whole thing.


So some Brasso and elbow grease, I started.   (At least I had a few months to work on it).  You can see above the bright shiny spot in the upper right.   The front (bottom of the photo) shows me beginning work.

So lots of on-and-off working on the box for the next 2 months.  The top was easiest.   Q-tips and toothpicks helped clean the two feathers.     The box edges were a challenge working round the hinges.   And of course trying to polish the piece but not damage the delicate feet.    There were some places that I couldn't get clean.  A friend recommend using some thinner - turns out they still had their protective coating on those spots, so thinner cleared most of those spots off.

Also a thanks to the folks at North Bennett.  I took the box to their open house and got some helpful recommendations.   They steered me to NevrDull to give it a second round of polish after the Brasso.   They also recommended Renaissance Wax as a sealer.   Just handling the box was turning into a problem, as just my fingerprint oils would leave tarnish marks after a few days.   My friend Sarah gave me some medical gloves that I used for now on so I wouldn't un-do my polishing efforts.  


Once polishing done, several coats of Wax and we were good to go.

Of course, the best part of hard work is giving it away.   She absolutely loved it!  Made all the hard work worth it.


Some more photos can be found on my Flickr album

Tools used:   Brasso, NevrDull, Renaissance Wax,  soft cloths, Qu-tips, toothpicks, medical gloves.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Flickr groups

I've found that Groups on Flickr can be lots of fun.   There's a group for everything.    They're a way to meet other photographers based on a theme.   Railroads.  Boston.  Snow.     They're a way to get your photos out there and get some visibility.  They're a way to get feedback and critique on your photos.    They're also just fun.

One of the more interesting group was Fenced Friday.   Yep.  On Friday, people post photos of Fences.    OK, maybe not the most glorious of subjects.  But it makes you think as a photographer.   When I'm out and about taking photos of anything, I always keep an eye out for a fence.    When I find a fence, can I take an interesting photo?   Can I make a "dull" scene look interesting.   Can I take a photo that will make the group say "Wow, that's cool".

Today's Fenced Friday entry from me was the railing on a pedestrian bridge in Boston.


OK, it's a thin line between fence and handrail.  It's still an interesting photo.  :)  Other fence photos of mine have been more fence-like.

The point being Flickr groups offer you an opportunity to become more engaged with others.   Share your photos, and interact and engage with others.    Go to the Flickr search bar and search on your favourite topic.  I bet there's a group for you out there somewhere.

And definitely check out all the Fence group Photos.   Some really great and creative shots there!!

Some previous FF posts by me:



Berry good


I love taking photos.  

Whenever I see something interesting my firs thought is to take a photo of it.  To capture the moment.  To show you something in a way you may not have seen it before.

 I've been sharing some of my work on Flickr for years.   While I love Flickr and the investment Yahoo has made into it - they really don't offer a way to gather photos together and talk about them.    I'll try to do so here.

So look for photos and insights in the coming blog posts.   And, of course, visit my Flickr page to see everything I'm sharing.