Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Domed Discs

Here are a few sets of copper and stone earrings based on a beautiful design by Wendy Emerson in the August 2011 issue of Bead Trends Magazine. I'd like to try them with smaller discs, mixed metals and little faceted drops-- a great reason to by a disc cutter.

I etched and textured copper sheet, cut the 1" discs with a die-cutter, and domed the discs. Punched holes, made the ear wires and wrapped the stones.

Etched copper and jasper earrings with handmade earring wires.

Hammered copper and howlite earrings.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scrap Metal

Earrings with etched copper, dyed howlite, and green aventurine.

Cleaning up the lab I found some scraps of textured copper leftover from other projects. I previously  hammered and patina-ed some of the copper, and acid-etched and darkened other pieces. Since I can't throw anything away, I've usually got a stash of bits and pieces ready to be put to use.

Using small French shears, I cut them up into a variety of sizes, with the smallest being 6-7mm square (about1/4"). I hammered them flat with a bench block, smoothed the edges and rounded the corners with a file.

Next, punched some holes into the pieces, threw a few into liver of sulfer again, and buffed with wax. With some stones, wire and jump rings gathered, they are ready to become dangle-y, earthy, sexy earrings.

Etched copper with turquoise-dyed howlite cubes.

Hammered and patina-ed copper, faceted phrenite briolettes.
Etched copper with turquoise-dyed howlite heishi.

Etched and patina-ed copper, faceted green aventurine rondelles and briolettes.

Etched and patina-ed copper, faceted green quartz drops.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blue sky and sunshine.

Smoky topaz, citrine, collage bead, lapis, carved bone.
I'll admit it: I'm ready for a day at the beach. Watching that sunny-sparkly shimmer on the water, hearing the rushing breeze in my ear, and the warm crunching sand beneath me. With a chunk of sunny citrine, drops of smoky topaz, and the painted denim collage beads, I'm there.  
The one-of-a-kind painted collage beads were created by Elaine Wells, a very talented artist, my #1 creative partner, and my wonderful mother.

Antique brass wrapped citrine, pressed blue glass.
Collage bead by Elaine Wells. Denim, acrylic, stitching.

Recently I was in her studio admiring bits of castoff material from a beautiful wearable art project she was working on. I realized that that the little bits of material would make a stunning focal piece in a pendant or bracelet, just as 

worthy of that prime real estate as glass or porcelain would be. I sketched out some ideas, put my order in, crossed my fingers, and hoped I might be the lucky recipient of tiny one-of-a-kind abstract paintings or collages to use in an assemblage piece. In just a few days, I had a little box full of focal collage beads and extra bits I could showcase in necklaces, bracelets and other wearable art. So, so good! Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Response to the January sky.

January in Michigan usually means I see more color with my eyes closed than with them open. But we've had some sunshine lately, and it's helping me summon up these color-saturated glass landscapes. They make me smile at the slush. I think I'll do another kiln-full this weekend.