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, February 14, 2010

Not What I Had Originally Planned

Well, this wasn't at all what I had started out to make. I was determined to use my bronze Summers Studio pendant, but it just didn't work out. So I will continue to hoard that one until I can devise the PERFECT setting. I was so looking forward to using that, I almost gave up halfway on this one. I hate having to start over with a design idea. And I wasn't thrilled with this disc of chrysocolla, it was just so plain. In the process of creating a bail for it I got carried away adding gewgaws to it (there was epoxy), and I like it a little more. (For more info, CLICK HERE).

I had started out with bronze-colored chain (I left my brass chain in the ammonia fumes for a LONG time, until it turned sable brown), so I decided to stick with that. Used some of my hand-forged beadcaps that I had also bronzed in the ammonia fumes, and then spent ALL day trying to figure out what else to do with it. Finally settled on these great wood wheels from Beads and Pieces (fabulous wood bead selection). And of course, being me, I had to add just one more thing. So I dangled some little turquoise glass roundels partway along the chain to keep it from being too naked. I did have some brass spirals on there too, but then there were just too many curlicues everywhere and I took them off.

Didn't have time for the new torch yesterday. Frankly, I'm a little nervous. Making fire with something that's delivered in a truck is a little daunting. My cigar lighter torch is much less threatening. Bic is harmless. You light them at concerts. Unfortunately the thing I just made (above) was not on my to do list, so I can't cross it off. So the list is the same length. Long. I guess I should add it on there and THEN cross it off. But my list would still be the same length. Damn.


  1. Beautiful piece...as always! I really like the coloring from the ammonia. I have never tried that, I use liver of sulfate. How long does it take...I am a bit inpatient.

  2. Hi Judy,
    The ammonia fumes produce a totally different color from LOS on brass--more of a chocolate brown than the greenish-brown you get with LOS, and it'll go really dark in there. To get it that sable color takes a few hours, at least, sometimes more. I soak some blank newsprint (I use the stuff that my beads come packed in) or paper towel in household ammonia, put it in the bottom of a tupperware container, put my brass items in a smaller, open plastic container and put that on top of the soaked paper (taking care that the ammonia liquid itself doesn't touch the items), seal it up, go away, come back later and check it. It does take a long time.

  3. Woow, wonderful piece Keirsten, love the wonderful colour of chrysocolla, and all your wire work. Love too the idea of turquoises dangling on the chain.
    Thank you to share your process with ammonia, but is it what we call ammoniaque in french ? Because fumes are very dangerous no ?
    Don't be nervous with your torch, you are a warrior !

  4. I like the whole design of the necklace, from the wire wrapping between beads, the bead caps and the chunky wood beads. But my favorite is the curliques of the wire around the Summers Studio focal. Awesome colors!

  5. It may not have been what you were planning, but it sure is pretty! I absolutely love (as in drool) the colors!

  6. thanks everybody! actually the focal is just a disc of chrysocolla (from Walmart!)--I've re-hoarded the summers studio focal (a little bronze disc with a sunflower on it). Veronique, I think it's the same ammonia you're talking about. It's sold here as a common household cleaner in grocery stores and stuff, and it is fairly safe, but it can irritate the skin and it can be very unpleasant if you get a snootful of the fumes. It's probably about as dangerous as chlorine bleach.