Friday, August 8, 2014

I have the tubular bug...and a Giveaway!

Copper tubing, that is.  It's no secret that great jewelry can be made from hardware store finds.  Washers, when textured by a hammer and given a bath of liver of sulfur, make wonderful toggle clasps, or even connector beads.  But this time, I am talking about copper tubing.  Mine actually came from Rio Grande, but I have seen it at the local Ace Hardware/Pitkins.

A couple of posts ago, I showed pictures of some bracelets I made from tubing.  Well, Interweave has a wonderful video by Tracy Stanley entitled "Make Metal Jewelry with Tubing".  I needed a creative kick start on Monday, so I ordered and downloaded the video from Interweave on Tuesday.  What a joy!  I obviously watch these videos with the intent of learning a specific project.  But, I usually pick up a tip or two that tends to serve me well.  This was one of those videos!

First up is this cuff style bracelet - adorned with sterling silver rivets, hand stamping, and three sections of wire wrapped beads.  I was excited and impressed with the numerous tips I picked up on riveting.

The bracelet features hand stamped words on either side of the cuff.

It's also a great way to showcase some orphan beads in those wire wrappings.

Next up was making beads with the tubing.  This was so much fun!  I made these earrings, first.

These are small sections of copper tubing - about an inch in length.  Let me tell you - the smaller the section of tubing, the harder it is to form!  But I love a challenge and these are so much fun to make! I wire wrapped these beautiful beads by Jody of Inspire Glass Studio  to the bottom (love her beads SO.MUCH.)!

I was on a roll, so I made various sizes of the beads from the tubing.  I actually wrapped them into one bracelet, but it was a bit on the plain side, for me.  So, I took one of the beads and soldered on a tiny sterling silver ball, and it gave me the little pop of interest that I was looking for.

Instead of connecting all the tube beads into one bracelet, I wrapped some more of Jody's beads  - which totally remind me of a flower garden in full bloom -  and added one smaller copper tube bead near the clasp.  My mother immediately labeled these beads "pillow beads" - which I can totally see.  But actually, they remind of a piece of wrapped candy for some strange reason (food...duh!).  Nonetheless, I just love them and see many possibilities in the future!

GIVEAWAY've lasted this long.  Remember when I showed you a picture of these lovely pendants made from what seems likes miles and miles of copper wire? (Okay, feet plus feet of copper wire).

Well, I have made no less than six of these lovelies (I have LOTS of scraps!)  While lots of time was spent creating these, it is somehow therapeutic!  Anyway, I messaged the lovely designer of these beauties (Mary-Anne Harvey of Rug N'Annie) to tell her how inspiring she is!  I asked her if I could sell these as long as I gave her credit for the design.  She is a kind soul and said "no problem".  I have not listed one yet, BUT, I do have one reserved as a Giveaway!

I have it strung on a simple, black 20" leather neck chain.  (This would also look awesome on a very long chain...just saying!)


If you'd like to be entered to win this pendant, here's how!

1)  Enter a comment on this blog (counts as one entry).
2) Post a link to this blog post on Face Book (counts as one entry - you must come back and leave a separate comment on this blog post for this entry to count)!
3) Pin an item from my Etsy shop to your Pinterest Board (counts as one entry - you must come back and leave a separate comment on this blog post for this entry to count).

I will choose a winner in a few days!

Thanks so much for stopping by today - enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Something old...and something new...

A couple of years ago (shame on me!), my sister-in-law handed me these two purple stripe sea shells that she picked up on her beach vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  The shells are striking - purple and white stripes (my school colors!).  Rhonda has always had an obsession with the color purple!  They are not large - the largest is about an inch or so in length.

Anyway, she gave them to me and said, "maybe you can think of something to do with these".  I knew back then exactly what I wanted to do.  But I also knew I lacked ALL skills to do it.  So, I put them in my special ceramic bowl inspiration bowl of gorgeous beads...waiting for the day I finally felt confidant enough to try to make a keepsake.

So, here is my very first prong setting...crude, though I actually prefer to use the term "organic".  

I could not decide which of the shells to use - each had their own special beauty.  So, I used them both.

The bail is a commercial, sterling silver bail that would be great for leather, cording, or even some silk.  But, I do not use fibers in my work, and thought this bail  with its hammered finish brought presence to the top of pendant.  So, I soldered it to the top of the piece.

There are 18 separate solder joins - and no "re-do's".  Here is a picture of the back.

It hangs very nicely on this 18th sterling chain, too.

It is so not perfect...but, maybe I can perfect his technique in time! 

Thanks for stopping by today!



Monday, August 4, 2014

My adventures with metal continue....

I received my copy of ART JEWELRY magazine late last week, and there is a tutorial from Eva Sherman on how to create her stunning textured copper cuffs.  While reading the article, I had my own ideas.

So, I have in my stash several pieces of copper tubing.  I cut a 6" length and hammered it flat.  The advantage to using tubing over sheet metal is 1) no cutting required - except to length; and, 2) the sides of the tubing create such a smooth edge when hammered flat- because of reason #1 - no cutting!  

While the bracelet blank in and of itself was pretty, it was begging for some adornment.  So, I cut a few lengths of 16 gauge wire, balled the ends together, and made a loose braid with the wire.  I cut the braid to the desired length, and balled the ends.  Then, I simply flattened the ends with my hammer.  After forming both the bracelet blank and the braid on my bracelet mandrel, I soldered the braid to the blank and came up with this bracelet.

Please excuse the lint on the copper- LOL!  That is the one thing about macro shots on the camera - one sees EVERYTHING that really was not there! :)

I wanted to see how this would look with a thinner sized braid, so I used 18 gauge for my second bracelet.  The braid is not nearly as "stiff" as the 16 gauge, so I also soldered just a touch in the center of the bracelet.

The solder "seam" really show up in my macro shot, not as easy with the naked eye.  But, side by side, I prefer the 16 gauge wire - it just has more presence.

A friend of mine saw these and immediately claimed the top bracelet - the one with the thicker braid.  She then asked, can you make this with a wider base?  Well, not with the tubing I have on hand, but I do have tons of sheet.  So, I cut a piece of 20 gauge sheet to 1 1/4", added texture, and a 16 gauge braid.

Since my motto is not "the glass is not half empty, it is bone dry", I have concerns that the braids will not hold with solder alone.  So, I riveted the braid onto the this last bracelet.

I am going to wear the skinny bracelets all week long, just to ensure that solder join holds!

I had quite a few scraps of 16 and 18 gauge wire left over from the braids.  What to do with scraps?  Well, first off, I have to thank fellow artist Linda Sinish - she wrote a blog post about wire artist Mary-Anne Harvey, whose tag line is Rug N Annie.  This woman is not your standard wire wrapper - her work is simply fabulous (follow her on Facebook here:  Rug N Annie).  Mary-Anne does not have a blog (yet!), so FB is the way to see her amazing work. 

Last week, Mary-Anne posted a picture tutorial of what she does with her scraps - she forms them into the most fantastic pendants (a ball shape) by simply shaping them with a rubber mallet.  Here is my attempt:

Let me tell you, that little gnarled ball of wire has almost 8 feet of 16, 18, and 20 gauge wire (combined)!  Her picture tutorial, complete with brief instructions states "hammer, hammer, hammer"...and she is not kidding!  It took quite a bit of time to make this dense ball of wire!  But, I am addicted, and have another one almost done on my bench.  If you try this yourself, be prepared for sore fingers - one slight mishap of that hammer (and I had more than one) and you have a little owie on your fingers!

I think this pendant looks simply beautiful on this copper chain! Again - Linda, if you are reading this, thanks for the link to Mary-Anne's page!

Thanks for stopping by today - have a great week!