Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday - Copper Love

First off, as a follow-up to my last post, both my mother and I have each been wearing a pair of these post earrings every day.  We take them on... we put them back on again...we take them off...put them back on....all day long.

In fact, I have repeated this process at least 12 times today, and those posts are still snug as a bug on those earrings!

Anyway, I made a quick pair of earrings today.  I bought a bunch of gemstones a while ago, from Dakota stones, including a strand of Pyrite...love this stuff!  It has a brassy luster, and the stone is sometimes referred to as "Fools Gold".  I paired them with some jasper and a couple of textured copper connectors that have hand set rivets.

Another piece of jewelry that I just cannot get a good picture!  The picture below does highlight that brassy gold luster just a bit better.

Also in my last post, I shared a picture of copper cone bead I made, with the intention of making a necklace with fringe.  

Well, I made the necklace and the fringe...but I did not use the cone!

The necklace features yet another one of the large - exceptionally gorgeous - lamp work focal beads by Sarah Moran of ZBeads. Every time I looked at this bead, I saw a drum! It's not really a round bead - as the top and bottom edges are flat - like a drum. This particular bead is lined with shiny purple foil, encased in clear glass, and has wonderful thick stringers of orange and red.  So pretty!

Still thinking that bead reminded me of a drum, although not a true Clef, like this...

....I made a swirl out of 14 gauge copper and soldered that top hoop closed for security. Added a little texture, and then some bits of silver to serve as the fringe - drumsticks maybe?  I am so NOT musically inclined!

The focal hangs from a copper chain, with a hand wrought hook and clasp.  Simple, but I like it.

I still have to think of some way to use that cone!  

I made a pact with myself to start using the HUGE stash of lampwork beads that I have been collecting.  So, I started to make what began as a very simple bracelet with lovely, earthy beads by Judith Billig.  Once I had the beads wrapped, I decided to make this a multi-strand (well - two strand) bracelet, so I wired up some handmade chain. That morphed into making a focal toggle for the bracelet.

The picture makes the toggle look HUGE  - it is large - about 2" x 1 1/2", but the details on the metal look so cool!  Instead of just punching a hole in the toggle, I decided to solder on a round of wire on the back - hiding the connection of the two chains.

Can you see the large (12 gauge) ring in the picture?  First I flattened one edge of the ring slightly with a file so it would sit flush on the toggle, and raised it a bit before soldering.  I wish I had taken a picture of my solder setup -  there was so much stuff on that charcoal block keeping everything "just so" prior to hitting it with the flame - it was comical!  But hey, it worked!

I had fun shaping the toggle - it's rather organic...on purpose ... and it truly hugs the wrist when worn.

Judith named these beads Sediment Rustica - love that name!

That's about it for now.  I have no idea what my next project will be.  I am NOT a planner when it comes to jewelry design.  Just like the necklace in this post, I create as I sit down (though I actually work standing up at my bench). Sketching - for me - DOES NOT WORK.  I wish it did, as I gets lots of ideas on the fly, usually when I am doing some mundane task like laundry or cleaning.  If I just took the time to do a quick sketch, perhaps those ideas would come into fruition.  But, the rule "old dog/new trick" applies here.

So tell me - do you sketch?  If you do, do your final designs even remotely resemble those sketches?

Thanks so much for stopping by today!! 



  1. Love all these pieces. The metal fringe with the Sarah Moran bead came out great! I do sketch all the time. Whether or not I make any of the pieces, at least the sketch gets them out of my head. If I made them, they do resemble the sketch, but often there are changes.

    1. I really have tried to sketch - but I just cannot do it. I have had issues with hand writing, even, my entire life - illegible at best! I have problems reading my grocery list! :)

  2. Gorgeous things, Patti! I love the bracelet with it's built in ring for the chains!
    I don't ever plan anything out before I sit down to work on it, no matter what medium it is. If I do have a plan it usually changes midway through the project! I have an idea and then what happens is usually the projects idea!

  3. I love all of it! It is a pleasure to read and to see pictures of your beautiful creations.

  4. I love the huge toggle...........and your pictures always look great!

    1. Thanks, Mary! I still struggle with images - probably will forever! It's hard to make the piece look "natural" and true, and still fit inside the frame! :)

  5. Congratulations on getting the post to work. The ring on the back of the clasp is wonderful. I mostly work like you. Just star playing with the beads and a design happens. I do scribble out ideas as they happen though. I am not a good sketcher either, but I want the ideas out of my head. When I do use one of my sketches the idea often morphs into something else.

  6. Thanks, Becky! 4 more days to to to fully test out the integrity of these post earrings! :) I have tried many times to sketch - I have more blank sketch books hanging around - it's almost a crime!

  7. Beautiful three times Patti, I love the earrings and it is wonderful that the post work.
    The necklace is simply a beautiful piece and I agree the bead does look like a drum.
    The bracelet is gorgeous and congratulations on the wonderful soldering job on the ring that was a great idea. I was just thinking the other day how I wish we lived closer to each other I would love to take a few lessons from you.

    1. Oh and I forgot to add I never sketch either I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal.

  8. so many beautiful pieces here Patti! I love those earrings, and the necklace with all that fringe! LOVE it ... but the double loop chain on that bracelet is simply awesomeness ... the color you get in your wire is stunning! like caramel