Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cold Connections/Hot Connections/Fold Forming

Fold Forming Nightmare: not really that big. Only about 1.5"X2" not counting the dangles.
My goal was to use the folded copper you saw here
and turn it into a pendant. 

Little did I know that cold connections would 
seem much harder to me than hot ones.

Mind you, I rather like using flame. And so far, it has
served me well.

Sketch: It seemed like something needed to hang off the bottom.
Eventually the mojo danced in and led me
to the little pieces that I'd snipped off the original piece.
I trimmed them a little; punched holes & added them
and that gorgeous, smooth briolette to the mix.
I wish I could remember what stone that is, because I like it a lot.

I just included this pic because I like to see the funkiness Hipstamatic (iPhone Camera) turns out.
I did solder that piece of copper tubing to the top.
Mind you, there was one piece of solder that flat refused to melt.

It's a wonder that piece of copper didn't melt into a big ole heap - as many times
as it was heated. So I cold connected it to another piece of copper
with rivets. Ugh. I just need to practice those about a bazillion times.
The back of the pendant was so ugly that I stamped & etched it just for
a little diversion from the rivets. 

Nothing says "hand made" like wonky hand forged rivets!

Somewhere in there I smeared some alcohol inks around on it...
oh yeah, and some (patina for all metals) by Ranger/Vintaj too.
After stringing a super soft deer skin suede cord through
the copper tube, and adding a couple of
African trade beads to the ends, I called it quits.

Back. Uhhuh.
carpe diem!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelets

Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet

Lesson learned: When cutting a shape for a cuff focal,
use the saw....regardless of how tempting it is to use 
tin snips. When I see this bracelet in
macro version, I see the need to work on the
areas between petals.
HOWEVER, as I always told my
art students, "You don't want it to look like you bought it at Wal-Mart."
So there. Maybe I'll leave it as is.

Sterling Silver cuff with Mod Copper Twist
This thing needs something else. I think I'll just start
soldering random things to it. 

One thing in this post I *know* I like: the rocks.
Thank you, Colorado.

carpe diem!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Folding Metal: A New Addiction

Bronze Leaf; Rusty Washer; Folded & Forged Copper

Yet another new technique for may have noticed
that I tend to jump all over the place regarding
experiments. There are just so many possibilities with so many
materials - I may have give up sleeping. 

This is the first time I've played with fold forming. I have to say...
that's fun big time! The leaf is from a thin bronze sheet I picked up
at Hobby Lobby. Here's how I started.

Leaf Rubbing
I had forgotten how much fun it is to do rubbings. This leaf is from
our Weeping Cherry Tree. Instead of free handing the leaf,  
I cut the rubbing out and used it for a pattern.

Bronze Leaf on my new, old non=anvil.
I had no idea what I was I just folded it in the vise, hammered it
flat...whacked it a few times with a chisel, annealing between each set of hammering.
It was fun, but I'm looking forward to trying other shapes, etc.

And pretty much the same process with the copper square.

It started out as a rectangle...I folded it in the vise, hammered it flat, added some
texture, annealed, unfolded, repeat, repeat, repeat, etc.

Then when I got the folded square back to my work table, 
one of my new rusty washers jumped right onto it! Don't ya think?

I have no idea my new/old/rusty washer got that fantastic gold patina. I did the
following: brushed it with a brass brush; filed sharp edges, washed
it off a little, dried it, smeared some JAX green on it a few times.
Nothing seemed to be happening, so I washed it and let it dry.
Magic! I love that yellow/gold. I'm gonna seal it.
And I think I'll try punching some holes in the square and
wiring the washer to the square copper. Then probably use some
rivets to fasten the whole thing to another piece of copper...or bronze..or something.

Can you solder copper to copper with fine silver wire solder? Anyone know?
I'd like to solder a copper tube to the top but I may have to wire it.
Also, I can see dangle thingies coming off the bottom.
We'll see. Stay tuned. 

The UPS guy brought me some new silver today...I want to make
cuff bracelets. Can't wait to try it! 

This used to be a bird house. 
Carpe Diem!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rusty Bits, Bones, Teeth & New Work

While visiting Colorado (I wish I lived there.) I got to
poke around at the site of a long gone lumber mill.
I'm not sure yet what to do with the wonderful rusty pieces.
I'm thinking of scrubbing them with a wire brush to remove the loose bits... 
and then trying patina...or what about firing some enamel 
on them? Will that work? Who knows? Do you have any
input on that?  I'd love to try it.
The rusty photos were taken with Hipstmatic on
my iPhone. I love the grungy look.
These are some of my favorite pieces.

And another new addition to my work bench is this great
piece of steel rail that belonged to my Dad. It doesn't have the curved
end of an anvil, but I'm still very happy to have it as I
think it will allow for some great
remove frustration if nothing else. 

Oh I think I forgot to mention that we also found some bones
in Colorado. I'm wondering if they can be sliced and
made into beads of sort. Anyone know? 
Wouldn't it be fun to get them sliced up into disks
and soaked in something to add patina...etc....

And finally, here's some new work with some of my new stash. 

Chunky Red Bamboo Coral Beads

These bamboo coral beads have been dyed red. They are large and chunky, but very smooth.
And between each chunky bead is a disk bead of the same material. Added for interest
and contrast is a huge, chunky, turquoise bead.

Altered Clasp
I'm trying to use up all my pre-made clasps, ear wires, etc. so I can begin using only hand made ones.
Here, I've used a planishing hammer on the clasp, sanded both the clasp & sterling beads to add
a brushed finish and then added patina with LOS.

Finally, the Water Buffalo Teeth!
The teeth have been strung with (what I believe to be) black coconut heishi beads. I've had them
for years & am not 100% certain about them. Also thrown into the mix is a very old brass bicone bead
...and I can't recall what that orangy, rusty colored one is. So there you have it! 

I've also pounded, sanded and added patina to the clasp on this one.

You used Animal Teeth on a necklace??!??

Yes I did.
Carpe Diem!

Friday, August 17, 2012

I won 2X over.

It's not often I can say that. 
But I feel so lucky that I won this gorgeous necklace
from Michelle over at MiShel Designs.

I love it!
Her work is gorgeous. Please do hop over to
  her blog and Etsy Shop to see some wonderful jewelry.
Michelle also has an Etsy shop where she sells
beautiful hand made findings. 
You can check it out here.

In addition, we just returned home from being gone for two weeks in
beautiful, cool, Colorado. We managed two days at the 
Rock and Mineral show in Creede. 
I feel like I won there too. It was so much fun.

Here are a few of the things I'm so excited about.

Turquoise. It's all about choices, you know. And
this is some of the turquoise I came home with. :)

From the top: A geode slice from Ocho, Mexico; 2 Anasazi artifacts; a piece of Mammoth Ivory

Turquoise, Cultured Pearls and Lapis

Water Buffalo Teeth from India - Really?? Yes!!  So Bizarre & yet organic & cool!


Magnasite; Turquoise and Quartz

Top: Belemnites/American Squid from the Jurassic Age (Delaware)
and two Crinoid Stems (from OK and Penn)

Top: Opalite
Bottom: Saphire

Lapis: I love it!
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise - Isn't it a gorgeous blue?!

There you have a sampling of the treasures I brought home.
There are more. :)
And now I have to declare a moratorium on bead/stone buying. 
But it's so great to have choices!

Plus, I got to spend at least an hour picking up rusty bits
at the site of an old lumber mill on top of a mountain.
I think I'll save that photo for later. ;)

Have a great weekend!
Carpe diem.