Thursday, September 27, 2012

Secret Admirer

A few years ago, I filled a special order for Valentine's Day gifts that were being distributed anonymously. 
I made necklaces, and to keep the budget where it needed to be, I cut copper discs and used plated chain.
For some reason, I chose to make an extra disc, but made it out of sterling.
I've had that disc in my box of sterling supplies for these past several years and finally put it to use a few days ago.
The sterling chain is wrapped with aquamarine, amazonite and pearls.
One side of the sterling disc was finished with a light hammering with my ball peen hammer, and hanging from the bottom are sterling wire wrapped pearls and aquamarine.
Like the previous copper discs, the other side of the sterling disc is textured and stamped with 'SECRET ADMIRER'.
The order that had been placed was for 17 necklaces, and I heard back that they were well received.
They also created quite a buzz.
As far as I know, the 'Secret Admirer' is still a secret.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fine Arts & Crafts Festival

This Saturday, September 22, I'll be a part of the Fine Arts & Crafts Festival in Media, Pennsylvania.
The show is organized by Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA, and they do a wonderful job of creating an entertaining day filled with a good variety of art and live music as well as fun activities for the little folk.
Bonus....the festival is in the middle of State Street which is home to a great collection of shops and restaurants.
If you're in the area, stop by and visit me at Booth #7!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Promise of Autumn

Evenings have recently had a lovely coolness, the promise of autumn.
After the multiple heat waves of this summer, the seasonal changes of autumn will be welcomed.
Seeing early hints of fall color in roadside sumac helped to inspire this necklace, just completed this afternoon.
The pendant is made from a milled, copper leaf which I riveted to a brass base.
The edges of the brass base were textured with my favorite, old chisel and the rivets were made with balled copper wire.
Sterling chain and wire were combined with gemstones....carnelian, labradorite and yellow jasper, along with different freshwater pearls, that made me think of autumnal colors.

If you've taken one of my workshops, you know that I always encourage design consideration for the 'back side' of pieces, even if the wearer is the only one to know of such details.
The brass base was hand cut from a larger piece of brass that I had previously etched.
The etched texture and the rivets make the back worthy of sometimes becoming the front.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Brand New Necklaces

Fresh from my workbench...
long necklaces made with spent bullet casings that were etched before being wire wrapped with a variety of beads. 
Materials include amazonite, crystals, ceramic beads, balled copper wire and annealed steel wire.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fold Formed Leaves

Just completed last night...a new fold formed leaf necklace.
I made a necklace similar to this earlier in the year, and when it made its debut at a show, it quickly sold. 
The couple who bought it didn't even look at the price tag.
This design has a bold and striking presence, and that initial necklace spoke to this couple.
The previous necklace was made with brass discs and labradorite dangles.
This time, I chose to use hand cut copper discs.
The discs were annealed, folded in half, textured with one of my Fretz hammers, annealed again and then carefully opened to reveal the leaves.
All edges were sanded with a foam sanding block.
Instead of labradorite, I decided to lighten up this necklace with dangles of aquamarine and freshwater pearls.
I have a preference of locating the clasp on the 'right side' of any necklace so that my dominant, right hand will be responsible for the sometimes tricky maneuver of fastening the clasp.
Without giving it much thought, I decided that the front was as shown above.
But, wait a minute....this 'back side' is pretty nice too.
Again using a foam sanding block, I had lightly sanded the spine of each leaf that had been created by the folding.
I like the contrast between the brightness of the cleaned spine and the surrounding rich, darkness, a result of the annealing.
I've decided this necklace actually has two fronts.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Return to Chanticleer

When I recently had a small window of time available, I was able to fit in a quick visit to Chanticleer.
Walking through this garden, even briefly, leaves me rejuvenated and inspired.

After my brief tour of selected parts of the garden, I was back in my car, getting ready to pull out through the entry gate when I paused to appreciate the view across the road.
Chanticleer is located less than 2 miles from the busy and congested Route 30 of the Main Line, but it is easy to feel as if you have magically found yourself transported to a distant, rural landscape.
I have been told that the Rosengartens, who called the Chanticleer site home before converting it into today's garden, purchased the land across the road in order to protect the integrity of their view.
The view is so lovely, I thought it should be a painting.
I backed up my car, returned to the parking lot and walked across the road to take some photos.
My attempt at capturing the beauty of that view.....session one,
......and session two.