Welcome! I'm happy you stopped by. I create hand-made copper jewelry. Join me as I indulge my whims and fancies, chronicling the successes and misadventures of a budding metalsmith.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Experimenting with Fold-Forming

Fold-forming copper is fun, and it is exactly what it sounds like, using folds to create form and shape from a flat piece of metal.  The technique complements  my style, it's perfect for creating natural forms like feathers and leaves.  The technique was developed by Charles Lewton Brain, and is brilliant in it's simplicity.  I like it because it is just down and dirty, heat and hammer, metalsmithing.  Using just a single straight fold, I finished a feather cuff bracelet and a few variations of leaf earrings.

The cuff bracelet is a project pulled  from the scrap bin.  A few weeks ago, I tried to etch a feather. The etching was awful, so it ended up in the scrap bucket.  I pulled it out, carved and filed the feathery detail, folded it down the center to create the rib, and bent it into a cuff bracelet.  I think it was a decent save.  The shadowy remains of the botched etching give it  greater depth.

Earrings are always a challenge for me because, well, you need two of them, and they need to be a matching pair.  I made a few more leaves than  I needed, in hopes of having some matches. I  wound up with 4 pairs, and a handful of orphans that are waiting for a home.

 Ruffled Leaf Hoops.  About 1" across. 

                         Long Leaf Earrings hang 3" long from hand made ear wires.

Pin Oak Earrings. 1" long on hand made hooks.

                                   Small Ruffled Leaf on soldered french earwire.

 Thanks for stopping by.

Hippie Sister

Friday, January 21, 2011

Started the Week with a Bang!

I started this week at the bench on a roll.  I finished 4 pendants by Monday afternoon, and was really pleased with myself for being so productive.  I've been exploring variations of  a dimensional design depicting an etched garden with a tiny etched dragonfly hovering near.  I made two this week, "Emma's Garden", seen here and a flat oval one with a matching etched bail.  I really liked that oval one, but it sold right off the bench before I could snap a pic.

"Emma's Garden"
I can't seem to get enough of garden themes these days.  We are so firmly entrenched in winter that I think it is just my way of praying for an early spring.  This necklace continues the style of the Climbing Vine necklace I posted earlier.  Someone on my favorite jewelry forum said that it reminded them of apple blossoms, so I chose an apple green glass bead to accent the flower centerpiece.  It's still on the bench, because I'm just not sure it's done.  When I cut the components for Climbing Vine, I cut several more than I needed, just 'cause I love to use the saw, so you'll be seeing more in this line.

"First Bloom"
Green seems to be a continuing theme too.  I made this quickie pendant  "Earth Amulet" while the others tumbled.  Washers are so much fun to play with. Beat 'em with a hammer, and they become so much more.  Lightly oxidized patina and glass beads complete the pendant.  Leather cord was a natural for this one.

"Earth Amulet"

 Tuesday morning, I went to the bench ready to work on a project that required tiny discs.  I've never used a disc cutter before, but I figured, it can't be that hard.  Put the metal in the slot, hold the punch steady, and hit it like you mean it.  Wrong!  Put the metal in the slot, hold the METAL steady, and .... The tip of my left index finger turned to mush.  OMG that hurt!  It was so swollen I couldn't work for a couple of days. It is feeling better , so today I've been working on a feather cuff that I'll show you later. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Year of Jewelry 2011-Week 2

 A loosely related, tongue-in-cheek, take on the "Eclipse" theme.  The hopeless romantic in me believes the Moon is whispering a secret to the Sun. Etching is one of my favorite techniques, but I wanted to do something new this time, so I tried a bench-made tube bail.  I'm pleased with the finer detail in the etching, but I'll be consulting "The Complete Metalsmith" before I attempt another tube.  This one is tear-drop shaped. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Climbing Vine Pendant

This year I'm challenged to create at least one piece of jewelry each week that pushes me try something new, or practice a technique that I am struggling with.  The necklace I created for Week 1, "Climbing Vine"  was conceived so that I could use the new tools that Santa brought and practice soldering posts.  I also wanted to design something outside my usual style.

Since I use recycled materials wherever possible, my designs always start by pulling open all the supply drawers, to see what's on hand today. In the scrap box I found a few 1" copper squares, and the bead drawer offered up beautiful Czech crystal beads.  I don't usually do floral designs, but I knew that's what I wanted to do with the treasures I found that day.  Blossoms and leaves were sawn from 20ga sheet copper. I engraved the detail using a flex shaft and engraving bit, dapped the centers, and shaped them with pliers.  Pieces are connected using soldered posts and holes, a very simple and effective connection.  Cleaner than jump rings, these connections are hidden, and they allow each piece to move independently.  They form a pretty curve when worn.  I like this design a lot, and will be developing a Spring line around it.