Friday, April 30, 2010

Talking Bangles

I have been holding onto this heavy gauge copper stock for quite a while as I waited to be properly inspired/motivated. Well...last night was the night. I'm not so sure that it was a moment of wonderful inspiration, but it was certainly a moment of telling myself to just do something already with certain supplies.
I did some experimenting and made these bangles with the following stamped messages:
'what i am looking for is not out there, it is in me.' (Helen Keller)
'WELL BEHAVED WOMEN RARELY MAKE HISTORY' (A bumper sticker I recently saw. My Google search revealed that this quote is attributed to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich)
Measured lengths of the copper were cut, all edges filed and sanded, words and textures stamped. Each length was then soldered to create the circular shape which was reinforced with my bracelet mandrel. I then oxidized the bracelets with liver of sulfur and buffed the outer surface with fine sandpaper. The inner surface retains the dark patina from the liver of sulfur.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Platter Possibilities Again

I recently found this metal platter at a local thrift store and bought it for the curious price of $2.92.
I was attracted to the border design which, although very tarnished and dirty, showed great promise.

I used my favorite metal polish to clean up a portion of the rim design and was very happy with the delicate and intricate pattern that I could now fully appreciate.

I used my trusty hand saw to begin cutting apart the rim.

I let the pattern dictate my cuts and ended up with these 'Chiclet' pieces of metal. (I'm guessing that Chiclet reference might be lost on anyone below a particular age).

All edges of each piece were filed and sanded. The surface was also buffed with a fine sand paper to highlight the patterning. Each piece was drilled with my flex shaft.

I have a number of ideas for my metal 'Chiclets', but I started out making a series of earrings like this pair with wire wrapped fresh water pearls.
This pair includes wire wrapped, faceted garnet rondelles.
I luckily have a lot more rim of this platter for future projects.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beaded Necklaces

With so many talented people making and selling jewelry, I admit to finding it somewhat of a struggle to create and maintain a unique voice. One reason that I go thrift store hunting is knowing that nobody else will be working with the same materials that I find. Oh, but then I'll go to one of the big bead shows telling myself that I'm only going to buy metal supplies, and it's inevitable. Some of the beads will start calling my name, and I find that I just can't resist. They are simply too luscious and I always end up buying some. When I use the beads in necklaces, I work hard to make combinations and patterns that are uniquely me. I was drawn to these lapis tear-shaped beads which I paired with faceted amazonite discs and sterling wire wrapped pearls. I love this combination of various white pearls with red coral and crystals.

I think of these two as summertime captured in a necklace. The faceted briolettes are chalcedony, and they pair beautifully with pearls

I splurged at a recent bead show and bought a strand of faceted amethyst briolettes. The purple was was so rich and beautiful that I didn't even pretend to resist. I combined the amethyst with sterling, pearls, and peridot.

Even though anyone else could have bought these same beads, I like to think that I am the only one who came up with this particular combination (I hope!).