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).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Experiments in Copper

Some things have been on my mind recently. Some copper things.

I've been admiring Kristi Bowman-Gruel's copper cone ends, and thinking I really needed to devise a cone end to use with ribbons. I was also intermittently remembering a tutorial I bought a long time ago on making a lily shaped earring from metal sheet, and thinking I should try that sometime. And then it was like chocolate and peanut butter coming together---KAPOW!!! And there was fusion. Why not make a lily-shaped cone end? So I made a bunch. Some are for earrings (the ones that have the little pointy thing on the end), the big one will be for a pendant, and the other small ones will be for finishing off multistrand necklaces, or necklaces with ribbon. I like hiding the nasty business end of things. Which is why I wear pants.

I recently ordered a whole bunch of sari silk ribbon, which I have never used before. The "deconstructed" look of it has been appealing to me lately. Mudhound Studio on Etsy had, in my opinion, the right prices and the color selection I was looking for so I went hog wild.

(This is just a small selection from my haul--I loved the subtle, vintage-y colors, like they had been washed a million times and hung in the sun...Or stolen from a beggar. So picturesque, in a Dickensian, City of Joy kind of way.)

Contemplating the arrival of these ribbons, and thinking of what I might do with them, made me realize I needed to start thinking about bails. I wanted to use my large lily above with the ribbons, and there just had to be a fabulous bail to go with it. So I put on my thinking cap. I thought and thought. Finally this morning it all congealed so I whipped out my cardboard scraps from the remains of my Mary's Gone Crackers box and made some patterns with my circle template. I was just thinking some ovals. With rivets. And rosettes. And funky foreign coin patterns.

I made three big ones, and three little ones. It's just a folded over oval, tacked shut at the bottom with a rivet and some rosettes. The rivet also holds the loop for a pendant. I think they would be especially nice with a mess of ribbons. (The ribbons above are hand-dyed rayon in "rhubarb" from JodyPoesy on Etsy.) You could also use these with heavy gauge wire through it with wrapped loops on the ends, and attach it to the rest of your necklace that way.

Here's the back:

And the side view--you can see it's basically a tube bail:

I also finished up a couple double-sided charms, one of which features the heart with the rosettes from a previous post:

I am thinking I will do a piece that will include a bail, the large lily, a pair of cones, maybe some cocoon beads, and maybe even a charm too! It will be loaded with handcrafted copper stuff.

And as a postscript, as I was looking for a link to Kristi's cone ends, I saw she has a foldover bail in her shop too! Great minds think alike.


  1. Great minds indeed, beautiful Keirsten. I just ordered some similar sari ribbon from them too lol!! Too funny!!! Here's a link to my cones.

  2. Very nice work, Keirsten! The silk from Mudhound Studio is a favorite of mine as well - doesn't get any better than those colours. Your cones are great, but your bails are even more so.

  3. I really like those double sided hearts. Cones are always a staple and your creations add a nice flair.

  4. I am having a difficult time picking out my favorite element here....everything is so pretty! Love the textures, the rosettes, the rivets...you have gone got something great going on here!

  5. I love everything you've shown us today, but the bails are my favorite. If you hold them the other way, they look like little handbags!

  6. why you wear pants... stolen from a beggar... you have me dying over her Miss Keirsten! I love how inventive you get with your materials. Those bails look like little purses to me! And what if you left a little bit of a loop from the rosette... you could then dangle little bits from it for more movement and interest! Off to check out that silk... as if I don't already have a boatload of it! Enjoy the day!

  7. Beautiful! Did you etch the patterns into the metal?