The Joys of LOS March 25, 2015
Once again, I am amazed and amused at what LOS can do to a piece of jewelry. I use it mostly on copper, but do love what it can do to sterling silver. Not much experience with brass metal at this point. By the way, I prefer the gel version of the product.
Today I was excited to see how it also changes inexpensive base metal components. I had planned to paint these 50 cent silver-colored filigree diamonds with Ranger alcohol inks (another favorite treatment), but decided to try them in Liver of Sulphur. I had a batch mixed up to darken some copper wire wrapped earrings, so…why not?
Wow! Now, I will admit that since this was an experiment, I probably should have stopped messing with them sooner. And I did not have the presence of mind to take pre-photos. One pair turned a beautiful steel-blue color. The next pair, a gorgeous iridescent rainbow of colors. After a few more dips in the pool, one settled on steel gray and the other a pretty brass color, with very subtle pinks and greens. They started out as a very bright silver, like these..
These are the earring created with them. Sadly you cannot really see those pinks and green in this photo.
Next time, I will try to exercise my impulse control and stop the process sooner! I am also not sure if there is away to control the outcome of the LOS treatment. I do heat up the metal in a hot water bath before the LOS, as it does speed up the process.
If anyone has more advice on it’s use, do please share…love to understand more.
I have learned how to create different shades in copper…total black, steel gray, or that rich antique copper I love.
One last note about LOS is a warning…
If you don’t want your sterling silver rings to do this…
WEAR GLOVES !!
Actually this is just the effect on those cheap silver filigree components I had,
before I went overboard. Darn!
And all you San Diego locals ! If you’re in the Point Loma neighborhood, come see me at Point Loma High School this Saturday, from 9:00-3:00 for the Pointers Arts and Crafts Faire. Lots of Fresh Baked Designs and I’d love to meet you!
We’re All Ears…Macro Magic! March 20, 2015
Yeah! The reveal for the March We’re All Ears challenge from the Earrings Everyday blog is today. They provide such unique and fun inspirations for those of us who love to make earrings. This month’s challenge kind of takes us full circle…with some out-of-this-world macro photos of damselflies by Martin Amm. The very first challenge, a little over a year ago, was also of these gorgeously colored creatures.
Here’s a look back at the first challenge…Love is in the air!
And my wire and seed bead response… where I focused on the shape and colors in the inspiration.
And here is the current inspiration…a series of amazing macro photos by Martin Amm.
This time they are adorned with hundreds of tiny dew drops.
For this challenge I decided to focus on the dew drops and try to get some 3-D effect. I do like how they achieve that, but I am definitely not happy with the photos…hard to get the 3-D aspect and all the subtle facets in these beads, both the pale blue drops and the faceted crystals. Even tried three different backgrounds.
Happily, these will be donated to a local library that runs a fabulous event for local high school girls…A Prom Gown Giveaway.
The library collects new and gently used prom dress and hosts a give away in April. They also collect jewelry to jazz up the girls’ prom dress choices. My library’s jewelry class made 100 pair of fancy earrings again this year for the event. Makeovers are also provided by California Hair Design Academy. Bravo again to our libraries for all they do!
You can go see what others were inspired to create over at Earrings Everyday. Enjoy!
Another One Done ! March 14, 2015
Not doing much in the way of jewelry making these days, but definitely need to pick it up again…another crafty affair on March 28th. Since I live in a very large urban-suburban area, I am trying out a couple of different locations to see who’s buying. This one is about 20 miles away on the coast and will benefit a high school’s athletic program.
We shall see…
The one project I did follow through on was finally finished up today. I knew it would involve some leather. Pretty happy that I didn’t scrap the project, even though I came close a couple of times. It’s all about the learning. And sometimes things just don’t end up how you thought they would, but they are still fine and dandy.
I like the fact that the beading and leather slide strap compliment a rather large (for me) bezel setting. Enough details to keep it interesting, but not a distraction.
And that it is adjustable! Full length is 32 inches, but can be almost any length you wish.
So on to the next one… here’s a peek. It may involve copper or sterling leaves.
Just beginning to play around with those.
UPs and DOWNs March 4, 2015
Yesterday was a day of ups and downs…jewelry-wise. The best UP was receiving a lovely little package in the mail all the way from British Columbia. I shared about my entry in the Earrings Everyday blog challenge in my last post. What I didn’t share was that I won one of the contributor’s give-aways! A pair of earrings made by Nathalie Lesage! Whoop! Of my choice from her pewter collection! Double whoop!!
Okay, enough exclamation marks. Enough to say that I really admire her work in all metals and she is a master at creative wire wrapping. You will definitely want to treat yourself to a peek at her blog. Must add that her packaging is so lovely and professional…a treat to open and reveal the treasure inside.
When looking at all the great choices, I was immediately drawn to this pair of mixed metals and cool embellishments.
Love everything about these long beauties. Thank you, Nathalie!
And now for the DOWNER…I’ve really been struggling in the jewelry class lately. This current project is not going smoothly. It took me five times to sweat solder the sterling silver bezel to an etched copper back plate. Grrr… Then, last night I was soldering a pretty swirly bail to another small bezel and melted it. Really melted it. Unrepairable. Into the scrap bowl. This bezel was to hold a gorgeous little green agate that would hang below the larger pendant. At least in my mind.
So today, I decided to work on the piece at home rather than wait another week, because I was starting not to like it and needed to get on with the work or dump it. The upshot is that I’m encouraged because soldering the two swirly bails onto the back plate went really well. Starting to see the possibilities again with this pendant. Not what I originally had planned, but close perhaps. I need to finish setting the stone, oxidize and polish the piece. Thinking of making a wire wrapped stone and leather neck strap to complete it. Encouraged is a good word, isn’t it?
Trailing Roses February 20, 2015
This month marks the first anniversary of one of the best monthly jewelry challenges around…WE’RE ALL EARS over at the Earrings Everyday blog. I’ve missed out the last few months, but am excited to join in today and help celebrate their first year of earring joy. Love that the sponsors come up with such unique inspirations each month…textiles, photos, paintings, architecture… And for busy people, each monthly challenge has a quick turn around time. The inspiration is posted the first Friday of the month and the blog hop is the third Friday. And who doesn’t l-o-v-e earrings!
This month is no exception. Lim Zhi Wei combines her lovely paintings with real flowers, especially roses, to create something special. View more of her work here.
You could say that people are waiting impatiently for Spring to arrive!
I decided to create a couple of pairs of Trailing Roses earrings using 24 gauge annealed steel wire and tiny glass pearls in pink and white.
The wire, when cleaned with steel wool, was an antique silver-gray that I thought went well with the pearls. It is also stiff enough to add needed structure to the earrings while maintaining a delicate look.
Finished with oxidized sterling ear wires.
When you want to give yourself a little treat, hop over to see what other jewelry artists were inspired to create from this lovely inspiration piece.
At Earrings Everyday. Enjoy!
Done… February 14, 2015
This piece has been in process for many weeks…and today, it is finished. Last step was three hours in the tumbler…after oxidizing and hand polishing. My nails are a total mess, but I’m happy-hearted.
This is by far my most challenging piece of jewelry.
And on to the next project…another pendant necklace. This time I wanted to use an engraved copper back plate. The ocean jasper will first be soldered to a sterling silver back plate. Trimmed to leave a bit of silver edge showing around the stone. I’m going for a layered look. The small green agate will hang below the pendant.
In my mind at least, this is how it will look. We shall see…