A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More Fun Than a Bag Full of Hammers

And that's saying something, because hammers are F.U.N.! You know what I'm talking about. I would pay money for a chance to win a bag of hammers.

I used this hammer

with these brass texture sheets

to make these floral-patterned rings. (Shh, they're copper washers from Harbor Freight).
Peridot and Copper
These below I did with my metal stamps from SparklingShamrock (with glass tile beads in sort of a gray-violet):
Periwinkle and Copper

The key is a BIG ASS hammer (the handle on this is like three feet long--I can barely see what I'm hammering it's so far away). And some reverse engineering! I've seen umpteen photos on Flickr and Etsy of these wrapped beads, like little bird's nests. I've been intending to try something similar, and yesterday I was in the mood to try to figure it out. Took a few stabs at it, with some false starts, but I think I approximated it enough to make it work. (I'm sure there's a "right" way to do it, and that's probably not what I'm doing...but they seem to stay put.) I have piles of small gemstone beads like this that I've never really found a way to use, but these small oval shapes seem to work well for this. I get really excited when I use up part of my stash! It was such a lovely day I repaired to my Auxiliary Driveway Studio and made these outside. I love summer! I photographed them at 9:00 p.m. on the porch and there was still plenty of light.

I also made this:
Speckled Stone Lampwork with Brass
I had wanted the brass to be even mellower than this--it looked almost silvery when I took it out of the patina bath (some toxic stuff by Midas), but then when it came out of the tumbler it had regained some of its golden color. Ah well. I have four of these beads left! Going to use copper next time. From Bebesglassbeads. I bought some gun black way back that is supposed to turn copper and brass silvery, but it didn't work. Probably operator error.


  1. I was wondering yesterday how you got the texture on those washers - thank you for revealing the secret! The earrings are superb!

  2. Gorgeous earrings, I especially love the peridot ones.
    Deb x

  3. Love them! Especially the Periwinkle earrings. Such a great design. Inspiring!

  4. I like using a plain old ugly hammer too! No fancy hammers for me! One of my favorites I found in the barn in NC and the head is all pitted and marred. It makes some rad texture.

  5. Gorgeous Keirsten!! BTW, your link to sparkling shamrock doesn't work but I still found it!

    How do you get the texture from the sheet to the washers? Maybe it's a secret!! I love both sets of earrings and you know I love the bracelets you've been making!

  6. Love it! I also use copper washers from Harbor Freight. They are great! I do want to start now with texture. There's so much to learn!

  7. You sure know how to beat the crap out of something and make it look danged pretty! ;-)
    I love your inventiveness and F.U.N.
    Enjoy the day!

  8. Ha ha - so that's the culprit - you're right it a big assed old thing - gotta get me one too! This is obviously one job you don't do on your japanese style glass topped work table....:0)


  10. Hammers are really fun and hammering is therapeutic! Your brass texture sheets are great, I am looking for something like that, and I particularly love the nest yuo made to wrap the periwinkle bead. It's very well done.

    Enjoy your hammers!


  11. Your work is stunning. it seems you do what you want with copper!! i remember, long time ago you use to say "i don't like make earrings..make 2 twins etc..; " look what you do now!!perfect!!