Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Textured Copper Disc Earrings

A few weeks ago, I was on a texturing kick.
I had cut out a pile of copper discs, annealed them and then assembled a variety of 'good texturing stuff'.
Anything that I could pound with a hammer was put to use- steel stamps, brass texturing plates, fabrics, coins, plastic netting from the produce department, old screening, ribbon and other things that appeared promising. 
Using one of my steel bench blocks as my working base, I placed my annealed discs on the different texturing items and pounded away, imprinting a nice variety of textures onto the copper.
For these earrings, I drilled holes into the center ('centerish'- I rarely measure things) of the discs through which I threaded balled copper wire for my connections.
Dangling at the bottom are sterling wire-wrapped green pearls with hand cut brass bead caps that I textured with steel stamps.
My new, favorite design (for the time being).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If It's Copper...I Will Etch

I had some copper pipe left over from previous plumbing work in my house.
Yup.....I etched it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

San Francisco - The Tribute

When my oldest sister passed away in January, family and friends were and remain shocked that cancer could claim her only weeks after the initial diagnosis.
She had a commanding presence which in turn has meant that a significant void is felt by many.
My siblings and I hosted a February tribute for Robin in the home where we all grew up- a final gathering of family and friends before our family house was sold.
But my sister also has a West Coast family...friends that she had made since moving to California over 3o years ago.
When my sisters, brother and I traveled to San Francisco to be with Robin in January, we were wonderfully overwhelmed and impressed by the constant flow of friends through her room. 
The doctors and nurses at San Francisco General Hospital told us that they had never seen so many people in supportive attendance for any patient.
My sister had built a family of friends who are beautiful, kind, thoughtful and so loving.
They adore Robin, and my siblings and I have come to love these fabulous friends of my oldest sister.
This past weekend we hosted a San Francisco memorial to honor my sister's life, allowing her many friends to gather and share memories just days before her birthday, because she did love her birthday.
Theatre was my sister's passion, and part of her professional career was spent working at Marines' Memorial Theatre where we were generously allowed to host the memorial.
My sister was known for her pearls.
She usually wore pearls.....multiple strands of pearls at varying lengths.
They were her trademark.
My sister was also known to have a wee bit of an opinion on those topics that mattered to her....especially anything concerning theatre and entertainment, politics and sports.
Some of her typical commentary remarks were also trademarks.
In her honor, we provided 'Robin's Pearls of Wisdom'....hundreds of pearl necklaces, each with an attached quote that she was known to deliver with her typical passionate conviction.
Everyone in attendance at the memorial was bedecked with pearls. 
One dear friend of Robin's provided beautiful flowers, her favorite....hydrangea, and compiled a wonderful video of images set to music that she loved.
Tears and laughter filled the theatre as we watched the images that told the story of Robin's life...a life filled with family and friends, smiles and usually a glass of Chardonnay.
To be as loved as my sister was by so many people would be a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Playing With Copper

Working on jewelry projects often generates metal scraps.
All of my sterling scraps, even the teeniest-tiniest bits of wire, are segregated and either melted into little balls and reused in new pieces (like as the center of my copper poppies) or sent off to one of my suppliers who will give me credit toward my next purchase.
The rest of my metal scraps end up in the box that I keep under my workbench.
There are parts of spoons, a section from an old lamp base, lids from Cento anchovy tins, segments from an aluminum tray and various scraps left over from disc cutting among other metallic detritus.
When I want to test out a new technique or a new stamp, I first search in this box for a piece of metal that is expendable.
Sometimes, pieces of scrap end up with a new life and get permanently promoted out of the box.
Old pieces of copper from a previous project had random gobs of solder.  With no real plan in mind, the copper pieces were hammered flat and positioned on another scrap of 18 gauge copper.
With a little bit of flux and some torch heat, everything came together in a mess that I was initially prepared to toss back into the box.
But the more I studied my little 'Frankenstein' mess, the more I liked it.
With a bit of trimming, filing and sanding, I thought it might just become a pendant that only I could love.
With another scrap of copper (left over from foldforming experimenting), I used my looping pliers to make a bail that was riveted into place.
Choker length black leather cord will be used to turn this into a necklace, and I do love it.
Some other copper play this week......foldforming of hand cut discs.