Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From the Fields of Illinois

We have family who own farmland in central Illinois.
The landscape in that part of the country is beautiful and so wonderfully different from that of the Northeast, where I have spent most of my life.
When we are able to travel out to the Illinois farm, I always like to have my camera with me just in case the lighting is as perfect as the scenery.
Some of my favorite photos are ones that I took years ago, before I owned my first digital camera.
I almost always shot with black & white film.
I would wake up early to take advantage of the morning's first light and start walking.
After dinner, I would grab my camera again and try to take advantage of that magical lighting that you can only find with the setting sun.
I would often walk for miles before finding the picture that I needed to take.
It's been a while since I've been able to visit the farm, but I was lucky to have a piece of the farm delivered to me.
It's not surprising that the local wildlife love the corn that is grown on some of the acreage, and spotting deer, many deer, in the fields is a common occurrence.
Finding old antlers on the farm will happen only occasionally, and I was lucky to get a particularly beautiful antler recently.
All right...it was actually a few years ago, but I have to think about these things.
I knew that I wanted to make a necklace and began cutting off the points of the antler, planning to use one for the pendant.
I wanted the necklace to be rich in texture, so I made my own bead caps.
Discs were hand cut from copper and brass, textured with different steel stamps and then domed to fit various beads.
I made a clasp out of the same annealed steel wire that I used for wrapping the beads.
The clasp hooks on to links of soldered copper wire.
The finished necklace is kind of chunky, kind of loud and, in my opinion, kind of just right for this deer antler from Illinois.


  1. I've been thinking on this a lot lately, and now you have made me know for sure...that I really have to start making and using more bead caps. I love the dimension they add to any piece.

    This piece turned out really nice...love the color combo and, of course, always love the mixing of metals.

  2. Lela- I think that bead caps are a nice addition, especially if you're working with large beads like I used in this necklace. The blue beads (made with recycled glass) had really large holes, and I needed bead caps to have the wire 'sit' properly. If you have a disc cutter, it's definitely worth the effort.