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.
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