Friday, May 6, 2011


I stopped by Sweet Mabel Folk Art this week to drop off a collection of earrings and chatted with Tracy, the wonderfully effervescent owner. As always, I asked what was new in the shop since Tracy works hard at keeping an ever-changing inventory, drawing customers back again and again.
As I admired new work, Tracy asked what was new from my workbench. I happened to be giving a new bracelet a 'test drive', wearing it for a couple of days to make sure that the proportions were comfortable and that the clasp would not come undone. Tracy liked the design, wanting some bracelets for the shop. She also asked where the inspiration came from. As is typical, I said, "I don't just sort of evolved."

That's the way it is with me whether I'm making jewelry, doing a landscape design or making dinner. I start out with some materials, a glimmer of an idea and get to work, finding that I am sometimes surprised with the end result. Oh pity my poor son who will swoon over a particular batch of tomato sauce and ask for it again the next night;'s a one time thing, each and every time.

I had made a batch of bezels months ago as I worked on my soldering skills, thinking that I would use them for future necklaces. They sat in one of my materials containers as I waited for the right inspiration.

I still had pieces of lace rolled metal from my thrift store find that has been on my workbench since November, also waiting for the right inspiration.

I make a lot of earrings and necklaces primarily because those are the items that most people seem to be interested in purchasing. Last week I decided I had to use up some of my bezels, but I was feeling necklace-fatigued. That's how the bracelet idea came to be.
I pulled out some of the lace milled silver nickel, some copper sheet that I had hand-corrugated and a couple of vintage books.

I cut out a partial image of a fish from an old biology textbook and the 'fish' entry from my favorite 1930's dictionary, setting them in the bezel with 2 part epoxy resin. Segments of the textured metals were cut, filed, sanded and drilled. 14 gauge jump rings connect all the segments and I made a clasp using 11 gauge recycled copper wire ( photo).

I didn't know where I was going when I started, but I like where I ended.

And, is comfortable; has not fallen off.

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