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).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm Still Doing the Coin Dance

Fajitas in Trafalgar Square
This is Coin Bracelet No. 2. These coins were colored mostly with Vintaj opaque patina inks (I got these from Melinda Orr)--I was trying sort of a dry brush technique, like you would use for stenciling. I think the coins themselves are perhaps brass and copper--I sanded the edges a bit and this is what seemed to show through. I don't know what the coins are. The materials in this one are similar to the last--Czech glass, and some copper openwork tube beads treated with traditional verdigris patina from MissFickleMedia (they're sealed with Permalac). This one is heavier on the turquoise/azure/sea green than the last one. The copper charm on this one was textured with a 1967 British six pence coin and a 1947 British halfpenny (the "ship" halfpenny coin). You can't really see it in these pictures but the halfpenny, on the "tails" side, is imprinted with the image of a gorgeous multi-masted sailing ship--I just love it! (I read on Wikipedia this ship is thought to represent Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind ship.) You can see it a little bit in the picture below. (I got most of these coins from Joel Anderson.)

Some of the coins are just lovely, but I didn't think the design on them had enough relief to use with a hammer, so I thought I would use them in a clasp as-is, without patina. I thought these were especially nice:

A couple of these are modern coins--the two larger ones from Costa Rica and Mexico. I'm in love with the Costa Rican one! You can't really see the glimmer very well in this photo, but it's a lovely warm brass. The other two coins fascinate me--the copper one at the top right is a Palestinian coin from 1927 (!), and the smaller brass one at the bottom right is a 1924 German "Rentenpfennig" (the Rentenmark was a currency issued in 1923 to stop the hyperinflation in Germany, and this is a ten cent piece--again with the Art Deco! The other side has some beautiful, stylized wheat stalks on it). Little pieces of history....I will certainly use the two larger, modern coins, but I don't think I'll use the other two. They're too interesting!

These are also quite nice--I assume they're some sort of nickel alloy, probably nickel and copper. I pickled them and then scrubbed them with a brass brush and some dish soap to get the grime off--I hated doing that because of how nicely oxidized they were, but the idea of decades of grubby fingers on them kind of grossed me out. I tried to re-antique them a bit with some nickel oxidizer.

I just love that 1946 15 kopek coin (from the former USSR!), it's so Art Deco looking! And I love the little honey bee on the Norwegian coin at the bottom right! The coin just to the left of that is a Colombian ten cent piece featuring the portrait of Indio Chief Calarca--it's just lovely! The other coins, from the left of that and around clockwise are from Zimbabwe, Portugal, Spain and Indonesia. The older coins have some modest value to collectors ($5 here, $10 there), but I just love them because they're beautiful.

Tomorrow I hope to try some other colors of patina and some bracelets in different color schemes (I'm thinking maybe something in reds, oranges and purples with some brass...)


  1. Very pretty - I love all your patina work!

  2. Another gorgeous piece! I love those coins, and have always been fascinated with coins of any kind. I went to the website you showed and was overwhelmed at the variety. I'll have to visit later when I have more time to poke around.

  3. I love the colors on that bracelet.

  4. Your necklace is fabulous and I love all your coins. I'd want to use them too - they'd just make lovely simple pendants too. Though people from those countries might laugh - the equivalent of someone wearing dime earrings or something, lol. But I agree - those are some pretty lovely coins.

  5. beautiful work! and those coins are sweet

  6. Another beautiful mix of colors, textures, and techniques! Interestingly, the two types of patina seem quite similar. And the coins you highlighted (especially the middle and bottom ones) are unlike any coins I've ever seen! Can't wait to see the next installments.....

  7. This bracelet is fabulous! Love the color choice, the patinas...everything...especially the coins! Love to read how passionate you are about the history of the coins!! Great post!

  8. Ohhh!!! I saw Indonesia penny there =)

  9. Cara Keirsten, ho provato a incidere il rame con le monete come fai tu, ma non è andata bene. Housato una lamina 0,3mm che è sottile e mi piace poco. L'incisione si è formata, ma la moneta si è appiattita. Succede anche a te? Dopo che le usi, le monete si rovinano?
    Grazie per i tuoi consigli sempre preziosi.

  10. Just discovered your blog via Pinterest, and it makes me so happy!! When I like something, I get obsessed with it, so I have a big box of coins from around the world. I've been making them into pendants, but never thought of using them for texture, so your work is very inspiring.

    If interested, you can see a couple of my coin pendants here:

    Also, your use of coin transference reminds me a little of jewelry by artist Douglas Magnus, who uses silver reales (those Spanish shipwreck coins). His is all in silver and keum boo, and has a definite Southwestern or Spanish feel. Here's his site/blog:

    Finally, I love your warm, funny writing style. I don't know you, but your writing makes me feel like you are a a gal pal, the kind you love to have adventures with and laugh til you cry.


  11. This piece is wonderful, I've been following it around Pinterest. Thanks for sharing, Kathy