Last week, I ended with a little tease about a quirky, but interesting challenge in my metal’s class this session. During the first class of a new session, the teacher will give us some odd material and let us go. We have about six sessions to figure it out…cut it, smash it, twist it, bead it, wire it…whatever we can think of. Just turn it into a piece of jewelry. Tomorrow night is the show-off.
It feels like Iron Chef, when they lower down the secret ingredient. This session, Pam brought us a bag of brass bullet casings. Really?? Not too excited about this one.
Have to say it’s been an education. I had no idea that there are people out there who make jewelry out of these. If you haven’t seen what can be created with these, do an internet search sometime. Amazing!
Won’t bore you with the details, but at first I was just going to glue a filigree butterfly to the outside and call it a pendant. But as people started talking about what they were struggling with for this project, I started to take it more seriously. Luckily, my son-in-law, Ron, and grandson, Zach, had bucketfuls of casings in the garage and a willing spirit to give me a hand…helping drill out the tops and making some cuts for experimental workings.
As etching is a focus technique we’re working on, I decided to try it using ferric chloride. Always wanted to try this method using StazOn ink and a stamp pad. Need to pay attention to some serious guidelines for this, but easy to do.
LOVE the results, although there was a little misstep on my first one. I drew a simple design with a sharpie pen, but left it in the acid way too long. Pretty sad-looking.
The next one was rolled on an inked stamp and left in the acid bath for 20 minutes. Success!
So this is the casing I decided to use and discarded my butterfly pendant idea. This etched design was just too pretty to cover up. The idea of some kind of pin popped into my head last week and I did some reading on a brooch style called a fibula. Originating in the ancient Roman world, it’s based on a coil-spring hinged pin, used as a decorative clasp for clothing, shawls, and cloaks. When you have time, do a Google image search for some awesome examples…however, search for ‘fibula jewelry’ or you’ll get tons of info about your leg bones!
Since I was using antiqued brass material, I thought this might be an interesting way to go. Never tried a pin before, so why not!
After some wire bending, hammering. and fiddling, here’s the final piece. And you can see I did keep some semblance of an insect in the design…
This design used brass wire, a quartzite crystal shard, and some picasso finish Czech glass beads. Will I use more bullet casings in my jewelry designs…Hmmm, don’t know. Will I do more etching…Absolutely!! Will I make more fibulas…You bet!!
Hi, My name is Lynda.
Exploring the wide world of jewelry making in my retirement from teaching. I'm grateful to be a part of this worldwide community of jewelry bloggers, where I receive encouragement, inspiration, and sometimes...a kick in the pants to take a risk!
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