Sunday, November 25, 2007

Week 47 - Earth/Love your Planet

A simple submission this week - I had some beautiful green and blue/green lampwork beads that I thought would go wonderfully with this theme. I staggered the more solid green among the blue and blue/green beads to echo the seas and continents on the planet. In between, I handwrapped some brass wire and added a brass handcrafted spiral clasp.

mrs beadsley

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 46 - NOT on theme

What a truly frustrating week it has been. As you can see by the heading, this piece is not on theme for week 46 (themes to choose from were Mines of Moria, Stones Abides, or Bare Trees - all of which are excellent jewelry themes). I started out planning a project on the Bare Trees theme - I pictured a Viking Knit necklace out of copper with some brass and wood accents. Wow - great idea, huh? Well, the Viking Knit just did not want to be made. I struggled with it for days before admitting defeat (after having snarled up miles and miles of copper wire)and moving onto Mines of Moria. For those that don't know, Mines of Moria is a fictional place created by JRR Tolkien (yes of the Lord of the Rings fame). OOhhh, lots of good ideas from that!! I decided to try copper etching (for the first time) and wanted to use the door to the mines as my central image. OK, so I finally have an idea and a direction so I cut down the piece of copper sheet I had to create a cuff (easier said than done as I don't have a jewelers saw! - luckily copper is soft enough to cut with shears - but, please, wear gloves - a lesson I learned the hard way!). Once I had the cuff the width and length I wanted (1.50"wide and 7" long) I set out to draw a rendition of the "magical" door to the mines. In the etching method I chose to use, Sharpie marker is used as the resist. Well, somewhere between then (then being the time I used to paint) and now, I seem to have lost my ability to draw. I kid you not - I can't tell you how many times I attempted to draw the scene in my head only to have it look like some "stick figure" drawing from a 4 year old. So, at this point, I've drawn on the cuff (and scrubbed off the cuff)about 10 different renderings - none of them any good at all. I didn't have the glossy paper necessary to transfer (by heat - see tutorial here) a printed picture, so I had to draw it myself. (see above (-:) After the tenth time, I decided to do a very simple drawing of clouds over the moon with an owl flying by. See what I mean? I really had to make it simple!!! But it etched beautifully (see tutorial here) and for my first attempt, I was relatively happy with it. From there I wanted to add some depth to it, so I decided to patina it. I have no LOS (liver of sulphur) so I decided to use heat to add the color. That turned out to be the most fun I had on this whole project! Using a torch, I heated the strip of copper until I was happy with the colors I got. (and a special thanks goes to my dear SO who patiently walked me through the heating process) I then formed the cuff around a coffee mug and there you have it.

you can see more of my work on my web site

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 45 - Inter-Connection

Using some (of my MOST favorite) black steel and some 8mm vintage (glass) pearls, I created single swirled components out of the 19gauge steel using a hand-concocted jig (simply a 3/8" metal rod in a piece of pre-drilled teflon) and my needle nosed pliers. That satisfied my desire for symmetry in each unit and made it much easier to form each swirl.
Before I added the loop at the end, I slipped on an 8mm vintage pearl and then connected them so the necklace resembles a sort of vine curling around itself and up and around the neck, and the pearls seem to float on the vine.
I added a hand formed "S" clasp and an extender chain (for added length), but once it was on it seemed too plain, so I added three lengths of curved, hammered steel, staggered in length, each with a pearl, to the center unit. When on, the necklace sits on the collarbone and the center dangle rests just at breast level.

you can see more of my jewelry on my web site.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week 44 - Moonlight Sonata

Lyrical words evoking images of soft summer evenings, full glowing moon and music softly playing. I wanted to capture the feel of music - the movement of notes through a piece - the feel of the highs and lows throughout. Using black steel wire I fashioned U shaped links which each hold one single crystal dichroic seed bead (the flash on these is AMAZING and something I am simply unable to capture with the camera) - my nod to the midnight mood - with a Swarovski crystal focal centered between two faceted crystal quartz rounds - to represent the moonlight. The necklace is 17" long (with an extender chain at the handwrought 'S 'clasp) and sits nicely at the neck. While this piece did not come out at all like I first imagined it (how many times has that happened!!!?)and in spite of the fact that I didn't (unfortunately) have a moonstone briolette the right size to serve as a focal, I am happy with it.