Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Textured Metal

As promised in my last post, I'd like to share some of my recent textured metal. First, some copper sheet I cut with metal shears, filed, embossed, and sanded to bring out the designs. The Art Deco pendant has a rolled bail to slip onto deerskin lace. The sand dollar charms will be used in an earring design.

Remember the park shelter verdigris designs in my last post? Here's a reminder.

I had fun embossing and painting these pendants, but I learned an important lesson while doing so. After cutting the green shape out of brass sheet, I pounded it with my rubber hammer to flatten it before running it through my BIGkick to emboss it. Guess it wasn't flat enough, since the very center part of the pendant didn't take the embossing. After painting and reliefing, it looked like crap! What to do to about that blank center area? I finally decided to rivet a brass flower there. Kinda cool-looking, I think. Pretty pleased. I made sure that the pendant on the right, cut from aluminum sheet, was perfectly flat. The embossing, painting, and reliefing worked perfectly. Yep, those metal pieces have to be flat, baby!

Sometimes it is refreshing to just make components rather than finished jewelry. I really have to be in the right creative mood to make jewelry, whereas making components is more like just experimenting and playing.

My next post will hopefully be some finished jewelry.  We'll see if my muse pays a fruitful visit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Inspiration Everywhere!

Yesterday while hiking at Lake Coffeebury in Ft. Steven's State Park, we enjoyed the beauty and solitude, in spite of the bitter, damp cold that numbed our hands and faces. On the trail, we stopped at a picnic shelter, and I noticed that all the posts had these interesting verdigris designs, which I obsessed over capturing with my camera. Turns out these were a result of vandalism that park officials had attempted to remove. The vandalism is a bummer. Nevertheless, the posts were intriguing and inspiring; I like to capture that same texture and design in my metal work. 

Speaking of metal, the Peter Iredale shipwreck (1906) on the ocean beach in the same park sported some lovely rust, texture, and shapes. I loved watching the horses pass in front of the structure. Moments later a jerk in his noisy old beater of a truck peeled out onto the beach and parked right in front of the ship. Sheesh. Some people.  Glad I got these photos before he ruined the whole thing.

Next post . . . some textured metal inspired by these photos.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Beach Walk of 2015

Today's beach walk to the jetty was heaven. My husband Garry is demonstrating our beachcombing technique. :)

The tide was way out, exposing glittering little tidal pools with fascinating sand designs. 

We found 10 perfect sand dollars hiding under the sand and saw a purple starfish. 

The bright sun kept us warm. The jetty was almost fully exposed; quite a contrast to the king tide during the last storm when the water crashed up onto the dune and tossed mammoth logs on top of the jetty. 

Perfect way to start 2015! 

(I even made a pair of earrings in the morning. Previous post.)

We're All Ears :: January Reveal


This month's Earrings Everyday inspiration is all about color, using the Pantone Spring 2015 color palette. As I begin writing this post, it is a rainy, blustery, and dreary January day, far from inspiring a springy mood. I plan to really play a lot with this challenge, so I will write about each piece immediately after creating it.


To really get a feel for this palette, I captured images of all the colors and created a collage in order to play with possibilities and guide my experiments.


Earrings #1: Art Deco

Wanting to focus on the color of the year, marsala, I immediately gravitated toward the gray. This was a pretty safe choice; I have worked in those colors before. To make it a challenge, though, I decided to play with patina in a marsala shade, using some Art Deco embossed discs I had made. Combining garnet and earth Vintaj patinas made a marsala shade. Garnet and muscovite provided the marsala, while labradorite and silver provided the gray. Available here in my shop.

Earrings #2: Spot of Whimsy

Next stop . . . marsala and lucite green. To make lucite green, I combined verdigris, jade, and marine patina and colored some silver chain. I cut, textured, and antiqued some triangles of aluminum sheet metal, and cut, embossed, and marsala-patinated some aluminum discs. The marsala Indonesian glass beads matched perfectly! At the very last minute I added some whimsy - the lucite green dots on the domed charms. Available here in my shop.

Earrings #3: Hoops & Chain

Enough marsala. I wanted to focus on combining the other colors. To my own embossed and patinated brass hoops, I added antiqued brass chain and some vibrant colored beads. The holes in the yellow Indonesian glass beads were too big for my head pins, so I attempted to make knotted headpins, which I learned about from someone in our group in a previous We're All Ears challenge. I wish I could remember who shared this tutorial to give credit, but the video is here: Knotted Headpins. These earrings are available here in my shop

Earrings #4: Groovy Macrame

Next; marsala, aquamarine, and classic blue. I wanted to use fiber and had a spool of blue lagoon C-Lon sitting right in front of me. For these earrings I had to dust off my macrame skills, that's for sure, but I stuck with it. After a few failed attempts, I completed one, but it took me several days (and a couple of glasses of wine) to even attempt the second one. Once I got going, though, I was transported back to the 70's when I macraméd jute plant hangers and friendship bracelets, and, getting into the rhythm, it became a calming, natural process. (Maybe that was the wine talking.) The trade beads were a perfect marsala.  Available here in my shop.

Some Extras:

I really got hooked on this palette, and I couldn't stop with just earrings. There were necklaces and bracelets begging to be part of this collection. 

Marsala Sets - leather & gunmetal

Wrap Bracelet/Necklace

I love versatile jewelry; this bracelet can be worn as a 4x wrap bracelet or a necklace. These Indonesian glass and trade beads worked perfectly!

Once again, Erin, you have inspired some creative play. Thank you! Be sure to stop by Earrings Everyday to see the other earrings created by many talented jewelry artists.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Verdigris Chained

After cutting, filing, texturing, and antiquing these brass triangles, I added the verdigris charms with a brass jump ring. They just needed something more, so I added the brass chain and handmade beaded earwires.