Sunday, October 9, 2011

Edit - of sorts!

While I loved the way the Copper/Red Enamel/Rhodochrisite necklace came out, I was not entirely happy with the balance of the piece - especially where the size of the heart was concerned.  The other day, while making a "strong copper 'S' hook" for my sister, inspiration struck.  I twisted and smoothed and, VOILA, a heart.  I soldered it together, wrapped an enameled head pin around the center and added it to the necklace.  All in all a very successful re-work!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Pieces

Maybe the title should be 'Wordless Wednesday' - although by saying that I have definitely made it NOT a wordless day...........some of my new pieces for the show:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Full Speed Ahead

I'm trying to get ready for a show that is set to take place at the beginning of next month.......I have been working furiously making bracelets, necklaces, enameling pennies, making headpins........whew..........

Here's a little of what I've been up to:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leather and Copper

I've been having a lot of fun in the studio using my torch and some copper wire.  I made some double balled headpins (quenched in water in between torching to retain the nice hot red patina on the end) and then tried to figure out what to do with them.  I had a length of braided leather that I decided to wrap them around - and here is the result - a tribal looking bracelet that can be for a man or a woman.

While I love the red patina on the end, I wanted some that were plain copper:

and then some with purple enamel on the ends:

And a couple more pennies............white with a layer of purple on the top:

..........gray with a purple layer:

...........and midnight blue with a spattering of red:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Autumn Colors (and some blues)

I was in the studio the other day with my nephew - we were fitting a necklace I had made for him - and he expressed an interest in trying his hand at torch firing some enamel on pennies.  After a short instruction period, he picked out a color (opaque orange - my personal nemesis for some reason), cleaned the pennies and proceeded to torch fire.  It was a resounding success.
His very first penny - very first attempt at torch firing enamel, and he's a natural!!!

The color got me to thinking about autumn and how quickly it's sneaking up on us - so I wanted to do some pennies that would look good in a "fall" jewelry piece. I have been wanting to layer colors in a staggered way - not the way I have been but in such a way that the layered colors will show on their own - and this is what I came up with:

And then because I loved how the pennies were turning out, I had to try a couple different colors..........

Friday, September 9, 2011

Turquoise Bracelet

Last week I made a few of these penny/turquoise drops using a domed, drilled penny (pre 1982), a turquoise disc bead and a handtorched copper headpin.........yesterday I made a bracelet using one of them and a couple other handcrafted pieces.

Like a few enameled pennies (turquoise colored, of course):
Some copper wrapped turquoise disc beads (using the torch fired copper/enameled headpins - red ones):

A lovely handforged copper clasp:

And then patinaed the whole thing (with Gun-Blu) to add to the "rustic" feel of the bracelet:
and the back of the pennies - the patina really adds depth, don't you think?

All the components on this bracelet were handcrafted - from the chain to the clasp, to the headpins and the enameled pennies.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pennies - Again!

I am always thinking of ways to use pennies - especially since I have been able to quickly drill holes in my 2 quart jar full of pennies - thanks to my fabulous BIL and his machine shop (DMI).  I had been drilling them by hand - marking each penny with a pilot hole, then drilling and filing each one - which took a few minutes for each penny.  He suggested one day that I come into his shop (after picking my brain about the hole size and orientation) and use one of his "manual" machines - and being the tool junkie that I am, I immediately accepted. One of his machine gurus set up the machine for me - with a place for a single penny to be drilled, and after a quick consultation on where I wanted the hole, I was up and running.  To say the machine made the work easier is such an understatement - (as is to say that I would "like" to work in the machine shop - no seriously, I would LOVE to work in the machine shop)........I was able to drill the jar of pennies in mere hours rather than the days it would have taken if I were to do them one by one.

After a day or two of drilling just the one hole I decided I wanted two holes in each penny ( for links or whatever) and with a quick flip of the penny was able to do just that.  Then with a single adjustment, I drilled some center holes........and came up with this idea:
I drilled a center hole in each penny, then a hole at the top to hang; domed each penny so the date shows on the back side of the drop; wired (using one of my hand torched copper head pins) a turquoise disc to the penny and added a jump ring.  I am thinking of adding a patina to them so they have a more "worn" look. 

I also enameled a bunch of pennies:

I used some new color combinations - like the gold base with the red over top and the white base with the gold over top:

For the light green ones I mixed some white enamel and some deep green enamel together, sifted it on to the pennies and fired:

Some are domed and some are flat:

And some are colored perfectly for an autumn piece: