Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bookmarks, continued

And a few days later.....I have some of the upcycled bookmarks completed.
New life for an old platter.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Upcycled Bookmarks in the Making

Part of last night was spent preparing a new batch of bookmarks for the Swarthmore College Bookstore.  
Concern for social and environmental issues is refreshingly present on campus, evident by the abundance of clubs and activities that focus on making contributions to the community.
These activities include Think Climate, a campus radio program/club founded by my son and one of his upperclassman friends.
The Bookstore Manager and I agreed that some of the students might appreciate the fact that many of my pieces feature materials that are recycled/upcycled.  My previous bookmarks were made with sheet metal that I textured with various hammers and stamps.  This new batch is made with metal from some of my thrift store platters. 
The platters that I search for during my thrift store hunts are those that have lovely etched patterns or interesting embossed/pierced borders.  When I'm lucky, I find both in one platter as I did with the one above.
Segments of the rim were cut with my jeweler's saw in order to access the flat, etched area where I had outlined the bookmark shapes. 
All corners and edges need to be filed and sanded.
As with the previous bookmarks, I'm going to stamp quotes on small pieces of brass which will then be riveted in place transforming the above into great graduation gifts.....hopefully.
And I already have new project plans for these rim sections.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Soldered Pendant

While organizing my metals recently, I rediscovered some textured pieces that had been ignored for too long. 
A piece of brass that had been etched was paired with a piece of copper that I had milled with a loosely woven fabric.  Both pieces were filed and sanded before being soldered together. 
I liked the simplicity of the metals and dismissed the idea of drilling into the copper to provide for connecting to a chain.
I instead chose to cut a segment of brass tubing for my bail.
Both ends were filed and sanded before soldering the tube to the back of the copper.
I had also filed the length of the tube to create a flat plane, ensuring that the tube would sit nicely in place while I did my soldering.
Wouldn't you know.....things somehow went a little wonky while the solder flowed, and the left side of the tube shifted ever so slightly downward. 
I haven't put this on its chain yet to determine if it sits crooked, but I may have to heat this again to nudge the bail into proper placement.
And so yet again, soldering reminds me that I am rarely in control.