Monday, April 27, 2015

Totally new for me!

I have a new blog post up today over at the Love My Art Jewelry blog. We are in the middle of a Boot Camp and the subject is using fiber in our designs. Not exactly up my alley, but I am always willing to at least try!  I had a batch of this lovely hand-dyed silk from Marsha Neal to practice.

My first thoughts drew me to necklaces. But, what would I use as a focal? As a bail? I wanted to make my own bail and finally decided on copper sheet. Well, if there is one thing that I CANNOT do... it is drawing or sketching. I truly believe it has to do with how I hold my pen/pencil.  I blame the nuns in school- they never corrected me and to this day, I cannot read my own handwriting. So, I turned to the computer to help me draw. In my previous work-life, I wrote proposals for architects and general contractors - graphic design was critical in this work.  One of the various computer programs I used was Power Point.  It is a very user-friendly program - important, as I have not used Power Point in 5 years!

So, I just drew some basic geometric shapes in Power Point and estimated a completed length for the bails between 2 and 3 inches.  Remember - the bail has a curve in the center.  Anyway, these are the templates I created.

I cut out the templates and attached them to my copper sheet (24 gauge) using Rubber Cement.

I then cut out the templates, sanded the edges, and textured the heck out of them.  I then tried a new-to-me technique of adding tube rivets.  I have used commercially made rivets, but I cut my own from copper tubing.  Then I stared at them for a while and wondered how in the world I would set the rivet! I used a combination of dapping punches, the ball end of my Goldsmith Hammer and Embossing Hammers and was so happy that it worked!  The picture below is before patina.

And, after patina!  I used my Wubbers Bail Making Pliers to fold the copper in its center - but even a Sharpie would have worked.  The silk fits beautifully through the center.

My personal favorite, this awesome focal bead by Susan Kennedy. The silk matches perfectly! I added two of my copper beads with the precious metal clay - these are the beads in which I left off the tops/bottoms - they are more or less a large hole bead.

The second necklace features another beautiful lampwork bead by Donna Millard. I swear, the flower on this bead looks like it is just floating on water!

I have so enjoyed stepping outside of my comfort zone in using fiber. Both necklaces are lighter than air - perfect to wear on a hot Summer Day! Personally, I love how the silk softens the look of the metal. 

On another note, STILL NO KILN and it has been over 30 days.  I wrote an email last week inquiring a status and they responded quickly saying I stating the kiln should have been shipped out last week. wasn't.  I sent another email - this time, they have not yet replied.  

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Have a wonderful week!!



  1. Were the comments about your handwriting in the LMA post, Patti? If so I totally missed them :) Hilarious. Usually nuns got blamed for over-correcting (often with a ruler to the knuckles LOL). Nice to see your background planning along with your beautiful designs :)

  2. Well, I'm glad fiber isn't your thing because you did a fantastic job with it!!! I love the bails you made and that lampwork bead is gorgeous! Seriously, these are both so beautiful! I'm sorry about your kiln. I hope you hear from them soon or it's delivered to your door soon.
    Lovely weather. We had a First Communion to go to yesterday and it was lovely for all the children and their parents taking pictures outside.

  3. these bails are fantastic Patti! and you mixed in those sweet new beads of your's!! LOVE, LOVE your fiber work :)

  4. Absolutely Fabulous. Your bails are wonderful and your copper beads are the perfect touch. You really rocked the fiber Patti.

  5. I really love both of these necklaces! My favorite is the first one with the turquoise colored fiber. It is stunning! I am amazed at your versatility and talent! I like to read and understand how you go about planning and creating your findings. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing!

  6. These are incredible! I am going to have to get some of these ribbons. I have sari silk but the rough edges drive me nuts.

  7. Beautiful work Patty! Your copper bails are awesome. I have done a little bit of cold connection work and those open rivets are not my favorite ones to do, they are a lot hard then they look. I love the one with Susan's bead, but the other is just as beautiful.