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, December 16, 2012

A Little New Work

I've been looking forward to using this trapezoid cylinder by Duane Collins. It took me awhile to come up with a design. I ended up sticking to largely the same materials and color palette as with the raku button necklace. The plummy glaze on this cylinder and the button seems so perfect with peacock pearls and garnets. Here I added some hand-dyed silk strings by Color Kissed Singles in "hickory"--I LOVE the variegated colors, it really does remind me of hickory sticks, with a little bit of charcoal color here and there as if they were snatched out of the fire just in time. I fashioned a kind of yoke for it, and created a bail to hang from that from copper sheet.

The raku is really iridescent--the orange flash you see in the pictures was only visible as I was photographing it with my bright white fluorescent bulbs at an angle. In plain daylight this is a really subtle effect, and it has more of a glassy, plum glow. I added little copper accents  here and there to the silk.

I was also eager to use this white porcelain focal bead I got at a local shop

The pattern in the glaze somehow reminds me of something Asian, so I stuck with that theme. I added a fabulous, carved stone bead from Nepal, hand-carved by men and women at the Swayambhunath Temple, near Kathmandu courtesy of Happy Mango Beads. (I LOVE this bead, I must have more...) Little drilled beach stone by Stone Studios Too.

This one came about almost by accident. I had cut out and textured a bunch of these copper flowers in a fit of floral obsession several months ago. These were lying on the table next to some textured copper washers I had wired some garnets onto for another project that didn't work out, and I thought, "Well, there it is." I made a focal section out of the three flowers, and attached them to the garnet rings.

I used a fifty-cent piece from Hong Kong, an old British halfpenny, an old half crown coin, a Danish 10 ore coin, and a little heart-shaped metal stamp to texture the flowers. I love these flat oval garnets, they're perfect for this kind of application. This is choker length.

This one came about solely because of a stubborn determination to use this chubby little ceramic focal. I had gotten it years ago at a bead show and had squirreled it away with the rest of my stash. The top-drilled holes were a challenge. I didn't want to just string it on some leather or something, I wanted to create a special frame for it. I was turning it over and over in my mind in my car as I sat at the park on my lunch hour one day, and sketched this out.
South China Sea
I created the curved pieces of copper when I got home. As I was trying to wrap them together I realized they really needed to be soldered together to keep them from moving. Sigh. My soldering results had been really mixed. So I gave it a try. It worked! It wasn't pretty, but I was going to cover the solder with a wrap anyway. The little dangling sea green donut is a recycled glass bead from Happy Mango Beads; the two little turquoise discs hanging from the clasp are lampwork spacers by Meital. The silk string is "fern green mist" hand-dyed and hand-sewn from Jamn Glass.

Lastly, this is a custom piece for my European friend (see my last post), designed around some fluorite we found at AAA Gems. The shape and color of the stones made me think immediately of leaves, and we both agreed copper would really bring out the greens the best. This was the second set of leaves I did (I didn't like the first set). They feature British coin textures and tube rivets at the ends. They are double sided (I tube-riveted two textured leaves together for each element--copper tube rivets, or eyelet rivets, from B'Sue Boutiques. Super easy to use!). My friend suggested combining the fluorite with green turquoise and I think it was a brilliant idea!

These little turquoise heishi discs are from Fire Mountain Gems. The ladder chain is from Chain Gallery.

I just love how this turned out. Sometimes you get lucky with some really nice colors on your copper after the liver of sulfur bath. I find I get the most colorful results when I use a weak, very hot solution, just dipping quickly in and out, between the hot solution and cold water, dipping, dipping, dipping until I like the color. Then neutralize and get it in the tumbler before it gets any darker.

I'm currently working on a project for my European friend using sterling silver sheet for the first time (oy! I have to pretend it's worthless or I choke.) I think it's going to be very cool.