Saturday, April 21, 2012

SWAT Earrings

This afternoon, I worked on making these little dangles of faceted garnet beads wire wrapped with balled copper wire.  I love how the beads look like luscious pomegranate seeds, and I love that garnet is the official color of my son's college.
These dangles are going to be used for some jewelry that I'm making for the campus bookstore.
The students refer to themselves as Swatties and will affectionately call the college Swat.  I thought it made sense to combine the garnets and the Swat nickname in a pair of earrings.
If the earrings don't sell on campus, I guess I'm going to have to find a police elite tactical unit with jewelry deprived women. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vintage Tin

During my thrift store searches, I am always keeping an eye out for interesting, vintage tins. One great find several years ago inspired my 'Ghosts of My Past' necklace.
I recently bought this tin, loving the patterns, muted colors and even the scratches.
Using my metal shears hand tool, I cut out a section.
Not wanting to damage the colored surface, I gently tapped the cut section with a plastic mallet to flatten it before cutting a variety of discs.
The edges of the discs were sanded with a foam sanding block, creating a nice, smooth finish, again taking care to minimize any damage to the colored surface.
I thought that the discs would be perfect for earrings, but wanted to pair them with another metal for an interesting contrast as well as for more substance.
I cut some silver nickel discs at a slightly larger size and textured one side with different steel stamps.
Instead of just drilling at the top and bottom to allow for connections, I soldered on copper jump rings which were them hammered flat.
I originally planned to connect the tin discs to the textured side of my soldered bases, but thought it would be a shame to cover up most of the stamped textures, so ...change of plan.
Connecting on the other side meant that I had to deal with the the dimension of the soldered jump rings.
No problem.
I domed the tin discs, but domed them very carefully.
Not wanting to damage the surface, I used my wooden dapping block and created only a slight curve.
The slight dapping not only let me clear the jump rings, it also added enough dimension to make the earrings slightly more interesting once the pieces were riveted together.
Honey jade beads wrapped with balled copper wire hang at the bottom.
Bonus....the textured surface on the back is nicely visible as the wearer walks away from someone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Soldering In My Future

My brand new stash of cabochons from S & S Lapidary:
Here's hoping that these beauties will inspire me to improve my soldering skills.