Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 43 - Harvest Time

This is my submission for week 43 of the 'Year of Jewelry' - Harvest Time. I have wanted to try Viking Knit for a while and decided this would be the time to try it. After reading all I could find on 'how to', and after having found an online tutorial complete with pictures (, I sat down one morning and tried it. After using yards and yards of copper wire (in this case 24 gauge, although I see 24, 26 and 28 are the most recommended wire to use)the weaving part was done. From there, the piece has to be pulled through a drawplate (which I didn't have, of course - and a SPECIAL thanks to my dear SO who - after laughing at my attempt to create one from a piece of pine - made one for me out of teflon) of successively smaller holes which compacts the weave and lengthens the necklace. This was the most difficult part for me. Through trial and error, I found that the pulling has to be consistent so that bumps and bulges do not occur. Once the necklace was finished I sat down to try to create a grape leaf out of copper. I sketched a grape leaf and then traced around the sketch with 18gauge copper wire to create the armature. I then used 26 gauge copper to weave the wire and sew on the garnets (which represent grapes......not nearly enough of them I see - ah hindsight!) - and once the leaf was done, I sewed it onto the necklace, again using the 26 gauge copper wire. I didn't want the leaf to be a free moving pendant, so I positioned it to the left of center so that it sits asymmetrically, which I think makes it look like it's still on the vine and ready to be picked.

Monday, October 22, 2007

YOJ week 42 - Breast Cancer Awareness

This weeks theme is 'think pink - breast cancer awareness'. I wanted to somehow communicate the courage and determination I have seen time and time again in people I know that are battling this disease. I used some gorgeous soft pink peruvian opals - 8mm rounds and a beautiful focal - and paired them with some black annealed steel - the wire of strength. The opals are linked by "spring" components - each wound and formed by hand - they represent the tough yet flexible spirit of each person battling the disease. The clasp is also hand formed - the pink opal wrapped in steel and the S hook of steel - the look of delicacy with the strength of steel. Once I had the necklace finished, I realized I had used my sister in law as inspiration for this piece. Here's to you, Pat!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

YOJ Week 41 - Copper Peapod

Week 41's theme was seeds and germination. Can I tell you I had no clue what I would be doing? I started working with some copper wire - tried to fashion a leaf (I now know SO many ways not to make a leaf)but halfway through that 'exercise in agony', I decided I was going to try some wire weaving. I have seen it on a few pieces I really loved and wanted to try to re-create it. After a bucketload of tries, I finally fashioned a small curve of woven wire - and from there I knew what I wanted to do. I used 16gauge copper to form a neckpiece - I then wrapped the neckpiece with fine gauge (26) copper wire and some really pretty amber and light green rounds (with AB finish) from one end to the other - so the beads spiral around the collar. The copper curve had magically become a pod - and in the middle of the pod I strung some light green rounds on a head pin and once I put those in the pod, they became the seeds. I finished it all with a small 'leaf' for the clasp.

YOJ week 40

*Sigh* - I've been so bad at keeping up with this blog..........I had hoped that when I signed up for the Year in Jewelry (over on the Creative Wire Jewelry Forum) that I would be spurred on to posting my work here - and the intentions have been good, but lack of time and my infernal surfing when I get on the computer have both wreaked havoc with that idea. So, here are the first three weeks all in one day - along with my fervent hope that this will not be a common occurence.

The theme for the first week (or week 40 to those that are keeping track) was Falling Leaves. I had some beautiful black steel wire I used to create about a million jump rings to which I added some 6/0 seed beads - kind of soft earth colors. Connected them all into a necklace (about 21 inches long) and added some beautiful glass AB leaves in varying hues of pink, green and very light aqua. Not your typical fall leaves! I created a "s" clasp for cosure. The brown tones in the seed beads keep it from looking like a spring creation.