Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rolling On

I've been using the rolling mill lately. I rolled some leaves with sheets of annealed copper and then hand cut the shapes with metal shears.

The leaf at the top in the above image is how the leaves looked immediately after being cut- dark from the annealing and rough around the edges. I first used a metal file on all edges and finished with a sanding block to ensure that all surfaces were smooth to the touch.

I then riveted the leaves onto a brass base that was saw cut due to a thicker gauge that I used. The two layers were riveted together and attached to a long sterling chain with a sterling jump ring. The leaves were a hit a recent show. I used pieces of the same lace to mill with a variety of metals.
From left to right: copper, bronze, brass, silver nickel

This is the lace that I used for the milling. I found this at a thrift store and it was only 12" long. I like that fact that once I use up those 12", there will be no more metal with this particular texture which keeps my pieces of jewelry unique.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I spent part of last evening etching.

I used a metal guillotine to cut pieces of silver nickel and copper and etched text onto the pieces using ferric chloride. When the etching was complete, the ferric chloride was neutralized with baking soda and the metal was scrubbed with a brass brush. I used an acetylene torch to heat the metal hoping that I would get an interesting, oxidized finish and was so pleased when I saw beautiful flashes of color form on the silver nickel. This metal will be cut and used for pendants, pins and earrings.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recent Necklaces

I've been keeping busy making cuff links, money clips, earrings, bracelets, pins and earrings and necklaces. Inventory is being distributed later this week to some of the shops that carry my work. A large piece of jasper with sterling wire wrapped pearl and crystal dangles was used in the pendant of this necklace. The sterling chain is interrupted with wire wrapped crystal and pearls. Small wire wrapped pearls dangle form the chain. I had intended for this necklace to go to one of the shops, but it sold before it could leave my house.
This necklace incorporates a lovely sterling charm that was found at a thrift store. The charm hangs on sterling wire that is wrapped with faceted amazonite rondelles and sterling spacers. The sterling chain is highlighted with wire wrapped amazonite briolettes and freshwater pearls.
This necklace will fly out of the house tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veteran's Day

Local parades warm my heart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chandelier Necklace

This is the dining room that I saw the day our house went on to the market back in 2003. We had been searching for a house for 2 1/2 years, a long process because of the specific requirements that had to be met to suit our family. In spite of some shortcomings, I recognized that this house could work and an offer was made within hours of my visit. One of the things that I never liked about this room was the ceiling-mounted light fixture which is barely visible in this photo. It lacked character and cast an unappealing pattern of light. Of course, this fixture stayed in our dining room for almost 5 years- one just learns to live with certain things.

When I search for jewelry-making materials in thrift shops, I sometimes find other interesting items. Such was the case a few years ago when I saw something tucked under a table at the local church 'White Elephant' shop. I was thrilled to find a wonderful wrought iron and brass chandelier with all the necessary components and very reasonably priced at $30.00. The sweet ladies who run the shop could not believe that I would consider installing this old 'monstrosity' in my home.

I think it looks wonderful!

The pattern of light that shines through the intricately scrolled brass globes is lovely.

In order to transition from the old fixture to my new-old chandelier, I called the local, friendly electrician who has done other work in our house. To establish a proper height for the chandelier, some of the links had to be removed from the chain. When the work was completed, the electrician had kindly put all of the garbage in a box and set it outside with the rest of my trash. I saw the links set out as garbage and realized they needed to be salvaged, thinking that they could be cleaned up and eventually be used in a project.

It took a few years, but I finally cleaned one of the links with fine sandpaper, revealing a beautiful pattern. The link became the pendant for a new necklace. Because of the rustic look of the link, I used annealed steel for my wire wrapping.

A Sacred Heart medal, also a thrift store find, hangs from the bottom of the link.

Segments of chain are wire wrapped with pearls, citrine, amethyst, serpentine and crystal.

The clasp is made with a disc that I cut from an etched platter and a connector also made with the annealed steel.
Want to know how to make a clasp like this?
I'll show how in my upcoming wire wrapping class at the Community Arts Center!

Monday, November 1, 2010

In Honor of Election Eve

I will be so happy when the mid-term elections are over. The constant bombardment of ads, telephone calls and commercials, most of them negative, has left me election fatigued and disheartened by the level of acrimony. I teach my son that when talking with someone who has a different opinion regarding important issues, always remember that they are equally passionate about their viewpoint. Take time to respectfully consider another perspective.

I made this bangle to capture my attitude about the recent discourse.

My favorite thing that I have recently heard in this season of political frenzy:

"I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler."