Friday, June 12, 2015

It's finally Friday!

I had a couple of hours to spend in my studio this week.  I spent of an hour or so fiddling with my still-new-to-me rolling mill and it is getting easier to create an impression on the metal!  One of these days, I am going to find some bravery and slip some sterling through this thing...that day has not yet arrived!  However, the copper is working!

I made a couple of nice long sheets of patterned metal.  So, I cut some small tabs, added a hand cut and set tube rivet, and then added a slight curve to the tab.  They look wonderful with these gorgeous Lapis Lazuli rounds, don't they?

I can actually "feel" the texture on the copper - which makes this girl very happy!

After these were complete, I was itching to go back "to my basics" of wire wrapping.  So, I pulled out this incredible strand of lampwork beads by Judith Billig.

Judith named these beads Batik Sherbert - isn't that name perfect?  My mother, the quilter, uses lots of batik fabric, and this title reminds me of that beautiful textile.  I did not want a complicated design, as I want the eye to follow the beads.  After vacillating between using copper or sterling, I chose copper - to complement the pale orange of the beads.  Instead of just plain-old wire wrapping, I took a bunch of copper wire and twisted it first, prior to wrapping.

Note - twisted wire becomes quite fidgety when wrapping!  Definitely not a quick project, but I am so glad I went this route!  The texture created from the twisted wire is what I was after. The focal is wrapped with square wire - twisted - while the beads are wrapped with double strands of round wire. I found a perfectly shaped ornate copper bead and paired it with one of the larger lentils to create a small pendant.

I also used two strands of wire - twisted - for the clasp - and fused the ends for a smooth finish (don't want that to unravel)!

I just love how this necklace turned out!  If you are reading this Judith, thank you for your art!!! (This necklace has sold - thank you!)

I am headed out the door shortly - taking my mom to get her first contact lens!  I used to be a contact lens wearer, until I was around 35 years old and my eyes decided to never create tears again.  I sure hope she can get that sucker in and out of her eye without my help, as I may prove useless!

A scorcher weather-wise - cannot wait to get back home to my basement where it is so cold I need to wear a sweatshirt to keep warm!!  Thank you so much for stopping by - have a fabulous day!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Slowly getting back into the swing of things...

It has been a busy two months around here!  My niece and her family have settled into our house and will be moved into their home at the end of June.  I am not a Mom (well, dog mom counts, right?), but it has been such a pleasure to have this little guy hanging around the house.

Yesterday Gavin and his folks were out and about and I headed to the studio.  I was attempting to make a Spinner Bangle.  I say attempt, because the first two copper bangles split at the solder seam ON THE VERY LAST BANG OF THE HAMMER.  Frustration!  Well, when I was forming the bangle the third and last time, I remembered why it split!  I had used copper solder on the first two bangles.  Now, copper solder is great - it's a good color match to the copper and holds just as well as silver solder...unless I have to further shape the bangle and apply pressure with a hammer!  I learned this the hard way a few months ago, but I had not made a bangle in a few months and simply forgot.  Well, once I switch to tried-and-true hard silver solder, it worked!

Of course, other metalsmith's may not encounter this problem...but I do each and every time.  Same for spinner rings - I always use hard silver solder.

While the first spinner bangle was in the tumbler, I wanted to see if I could make anticlastic cuff. This is 18 gauge copper - it's thick. The edges looked fine "folded", but I wanted a cleaner look. So, I melted a bunch of scrap sterling silver into balls, and soldered them onto the ends of the cuff.

The hardest part was creating a perfect flat spot on the ends, where the balls are soldered.

I really like this cuff, as it is adjustable and can fit just about any wrist size.  It goes on similar to a bangle - over the hand - and then lightly squeeze it to conform to the wrist.

I recently acquired a beautiful strand of turquoise. I love this gemstone, and the blues and greens in these barrels are exquisite. I paired the turquoise with some tiny hand cut copper tabs. I textured the copper with my rolling mill, and added tube rivets.

It was a good day!

It is gorgeous outside today - I am going to attempt to get out there to enjoy a bit of the sunshine! My allergies, which I apparently now have at the ripe young age of 54 (go Allegra!), may say otherwise and force me back inside!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!!