At the trunk show I did the other night, a gentleman and his daughter wanted me to make something for his other daughter, Kim. Her house was recently broken into and all of her jewelry was stolen so they wanted something special. The only direction I was given was to make them silver with pink in the middle, and feminine. I emailed a picture but I haven't heard back so I don't know if this is what they had in mind or not. When I look at them I keep wishing the bottom element was a tad smaller. What do you think?
I've actually gotten a number of new pieces made in the last couple of weeks but I can't post them yet because they're all Christmas presents. So I'll have to settle for posting a couple of things I'm listing in my Artfire shop. I've been saying that when silver hit $30.00 I was going to go through my jewelry boxes and turn some old stuff in for scrap. Sure enough, silver went over $30.00 the other day so I started rummaging. In addition to coming up with over a pound of old jewelry, I also ended up with lots of sterling beads, clasps and some other fun components. One of the things I ran across was an old ankle bracelet that had sections of the coolest chain. It looks like a tiny foxtail with little sections of coil inside the links. I've never seen anything like it in my internet travels. There was enough to make two simple pairs of earrings. The pendant is a rainbow moonstone from Magpie Gemstones wrapped in a loopy, beaded setting.
I've always liked the way that Sheridan Joslin uses unusual color combinations of gems in her jewelry. So even though my first instinct was to use shades of pink with these rose hydro quartz carved circles, I decided to use green amethyst instead. I also added some beautiful little carved pink tourmaline leaves as well as some champagne keishi pearls. I should get out my color wheel more often.
I took a class from Joyce Thor through the Flint Schools recently on making hollow beads. I successfully completed a couple after discovering that paste solder is the way to go after I tired of chasing little solder chips around. The ones that I made are the copper and brass tube bead in the middle of the bracelet and the little brass lentil on the end. I wanted to make bigger ones, and I might someday, but that will involve sawing-not my favorite thing-because I couldn't get my Harbor Freight disc cutter to cut larger circles from 22 gauge brass sheet, even after annealing. So after lots of pounding, I settled for making three of the little brass lentils. It was fun but I think this will remain one of those things that it's more cost efficient to buy unless you're got a super high end clientele.
Thursday was our last week of metalsmithing class for the year. I try to do things there that I can't do at home due to lack of equipment. One thing I lack is a good vice. Well, it's not like I don't have vices, just not one that will hold metal. :D So I did the folding and hammering on these earrings at class. At home I was able to cut them out and stamp the edges to give them a ripple effect. I really like the way these turned out and I might have to ask Santa Claus for a vice.
Continuing my fascination with old keys, I'm trying to get them smaller and smaller. This new one is about 2". For this one I used an 8mm CZ in a snapset and 22 gauge square wire. I think I'm going to try it again in round wire. M It still needs some work but maybe I can get it to the point where it would make a good tutorial. And next time I'll remember to remove the Sharpie marks before I take the pictures. :D
Here's my latest so-so attempt to get the hang of this swirly whorly stuff. On a good day the wire should look like it's flowing naturally but I miss the mark on that most days. Now that silver is predicted to hit $100.00 an ounce in the next year, I think I'll start practicing this in copper. The stone is a big hydro quartz in a madeira citrine color.
Remember the owl that I was working on a few weeks ago when I carelessly melted part of his wing off with the torch? I got him out to mess around with the other day along with some thin brass wire and a tourmaline carved leaf and this is what resulted. I guess it's growing on me but I'm still not sure if I'm satisfied with it. What do you think? This can at least be easiliy removed and I could still attempt to solder a patch in there.
I've had this tutorial idea knocking around in my head for months but I had some technical details to work out. I finally got a prototype done that I liked and took advantage of some down time between shows to get it done. The key measures 2 3/8" tall by about 7/8" wide. I have it listed in my Artfire shop and my Etsy shop.
I haven't been very motivated to challenge myself lately so I made a couple of fairly simple necklaces. The circles are fine silver wire that has been balled up at the ends with a torch. For one, I wove the circles togther with some smaller wire and oxidized it.
You know I really want to be Iza Malczyk when I grow up even though I'm already old enough to be her mother. :D So this is my latest attempt. The big stone is a 25mm lapis. The small rondelles are blue iolite and I added a pyrite because the lapis has pyrite inclusions. I had a really hard time getting both sides the same, and I had wanted two wires to meet at the bottom but I obviously got them too short. I tried a couple of different ways of attaching the chain and I'm still not satisfied with that part of it but that can be changed if anyone has a better idea.
I started this little owl guy last Thurusday at metalsmithing class. He was turning out so cute but he had one solder joint that didn't take. So I went back to the torch to resolder it and....oops. I melted part of his wing off. The moral of the story is don't solder if you're tired, in a hurry, or not too familiar with acetylene torches. LOL So now I need to figure out what I should do with him. I could try to solder another piece of wire in there. Or I could make a smaller branch out of brass wire and cover that part up with a leaf. Or I have some little carved tourmaline leaves that I could use. Opinions?
My favorite stone, labradorite. This one is set in a netted bezel and attached to two 18 gauge wires woven together and then intertwined. What a PITA. I stuggled to get both sides even and I'm still not sure they are.
I did some copper etching last week. The earrings were inspired by Cindy Wimmer's necklace in the last Step By Step Wire. They're not for the faint of heart measuring about 2 7/8" long. The skyline bangle is 1 1/2" wide and was done with a stamp and Staz-on ink which I then went over with a Sharpie. The waves bangle is 1" wide and also used a stamp for the design.
This pendant was inspired by Lynne Merchant, an artist who has probably been an inspiration for most of the wire jewelry makers of today. I've always admired her beautiful tassels and challenged myself to try something similar. I did solder the largest outside ring that the loops and dangles hang from. The top part is a spiral which I thought I would do in a manner similar to Iza's bead cap. But I was trying to do it from memory having only done it once years ago and just couldn't wrap my head around the weave. Plus I don't think I really had enough spirals to do it effectively. So all I can say is it's held together. :D Now if I just had Mary Tucker's stick-to-itiveness, I would work on this until it's perfect. But making one wore me out. LOL
I promised someone I would do a tutorial for this pendant and, being the procrastinator that I am, it only took me a year to get it done. I designed it as a way to showcase some lovely lampwork focal beads that I had. Every one will be unique depending on your choice of materials. I included two pages of instructions on coiling with a drill, including how to make your own mandrel, as well as some other tips and timesaving techniques. I have it listed in my both my Etsy and Artfire shops.
I made some of these rings a few years ago and I've been wearing the last one almost daily for about three years until someone bought it off my finger in Brighton. I missed it and had to make myself a replacement as well as some to sell. The basis of this ring is a tutorial from Kingfisher Designs. I used three 18 gauge round wires instead of the two 20 gauge square wires in the tutorial, as well as using a bigger stone. I also changed the weaving to the pattern used in Iza Malczyk's cross tutorial. I love these rings because they're big and bold but also comfortable to wear. But now I can't decide whether to oxidize them all or not. Opinions?
At the age of 10 1/2 my little Wizard has decided he likes tomatoes. Every time I go out to water the patio garden, he has to pick himself a tomato. I can't just give him one. He checks out the plants, decides which one he wants, and picks it of the vine. It has to be ripe and it has to be bigger than he can eat.
This blingy titanium druzy is from Magpie Gemstones. The first loopy row and base of this setting is a cool technique I picked up from www.riqzmiecreation.com. She does offer a free tutorial for it if you email her for a password but I was able to create a version of it by looking at the pictures.
I found a source for some really nice labradorite-my favorite stone-at the G&LW Show last month. I set this one in a Viking knit bezel accented with some coils of tiny wire. I had it for two days. I made it on Thursday and it sold on Saturday. :D
I started my jewelry making journey in 2006 and it quickly took over my spare room and spread out into the living room. I was able to retire from my civil service job in August 2008 and I'm now able to focus on it full time.