Friday, July 17, 2009

Lamp Base Earrings

While there is a fair amount of variety to the type of jewelry that I make, I have the most fun when making pieces that incorporate recycled and/or found objects. My family is committed to recycling and I find it very satisfying when my jewelry reflects that commitment. I search the local thrift stores and flea markets for interesting metal and old costume jewelry that I can take apart, cut up or otherwise manipulate to create something new. I like to think of it as continuing a storyline that someone else began.

I found the above piece at a thrift store. This was the lone survivor part of an old lamp, and I was drawn to it because of the lovely pattern on the sides. The base was so filthy that I couldn't identify what type of metal it was, but I was hopeful that cleaning would reveal something that I could use.

Some light sanding of the surface brought out the detailing of the patterning and the color of the metal suggested that it was possibly nickle.

I began to cut apart the base and decided that I wanted some small bits that could be used for earrings. The small bit at the bottom of the photo has been filed and sanded.

My metal shears and my determination let me cut out sections of the base.

Some of my lamp base small bits were soldered onto brass that I had previoulsy etched. This picture captures the problem that I sometimes have when soldering. At the point when the solder flows, part of my piece unfortunately flows as well and goes wacky out of kilter. ARGHH!

These lamp base bits were soldered onto pieces of copper that I had cut using my metal guillotine. The copper was filed, sanded, polished and then drilled for the connector jump rings. Swarovski crystals were wire wrapped with balled sterling wire.

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