Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rookie Mistake

A few weeks ago, I came up with a new necklace design.
This is not one of those designs that began with a clear vision;
 it evolved as I went along.
I cut out a large circle from a sheet of 24 gauge brass and textured the surface with one of my old, flea market chisels.
Sitting on my workbench were parts that I had made for portal charms, intending to use them for more bracelets.
Bringing a portal charm and the large brass disc together seemed like a good idea.
After doming the brass disc and soldering a bail on the back, 
the portal charm was riveted in place with segments of sterling wire.

I had an appointment to deliver new inventory to Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia 
and planned to bring the necklace.
It seemed like a good idea to have some companion pieces for the necklace,
but that meant I had to work fast to develop that idea and then make something.


I cut out smaller brass discs, 
textured them with the same chisel, 
domed them and soldered sterling bezels in the center.
The bangle portion was cut from 14 gauge brass wire and shaped on my circular bracelet mandrel.
What a rookie mistake!
Once the wire bangles were shaped and work hardened,
I soldered them to the formed discs.
Cabochons were set in the bezels
and the metal was cleaned.
I was so pleased that I finished the bracelets in time for my appointment
but then realized what an error I had made in using the circular mandrel.
The weight of the disc makes the bracelet slip down,
completely hiding the featured texture and bezeled cabochon.

I should have used my oval bracelet mandrel,
creating a form that would have sit comfortably on the wrist without freely slipping around.
These lovely looking bracelets are still on my workbench,
waiting for me to revise the design to make them functional and marketable.

My other rookie mistake of the week...
leaving a mixed metal piece in the pickle pot for a few too many days.
I forgot it was there.

The word of the week...


  1. I know the feeling... we all have to continue to do rookie things as we create just to keep us on our toes. Those bracelets will be an inspiration for a future piece that you never would have made without first making them!

  2. I know, Barbara....just when you feel like you're in the groove of accomplished knowledge, you make a doofus move. Keeping it humble.