Last night was the last class on enameling. So time to wrap up with a few pieces and thoughts to share.
Let’s get the failures and learnings out of the way… First, I am grateful for a class to play and learn in with a group of wonderful students who are so open to sharing with they learn too. And can’t forget our excellent teacher Pam. Also, copper is a cheap material to experiment with. Don’t think I’d be so free if I was working in sterling or fine silver. In these two pieces I was trying to learn how to enamel on bits of millefiori glass rods. When fired properly, they melt down flat into the enamel and turn into gorgeous flower blooms. Just couldn’t get it done. Mine just rolled up into balls and stayed that way. Felt like I had fired it for ten minutes. You can see that one got close, but with the amount of time I spent torching (or torturing) those poor little things, the enamel colors look scorched and burnt. Nothing like the colors I laid down on the copper. On the plus side, I did see the beautiful color possible on just putting flux on bare copper…a lovely orange-pink golden color is the best I can describe it. I actually like the piece on the bottom and would have used it to make something, but one of the glass ‘balls’ popped off. You can see that it left a tiny ghost flower design behind.
And on to the more successful ones… I wanted to show some finished jewelry, because I was a bit puzzled on how to use these components in creating pieces to wear.
Love the colors of this next pair…reminds me of the red earth of Utah or Kauai. I think my husband still has his red dirt shirt from the island. These are like Zion, upside-down. Blue sky below, red earth above. Pam showed me how to create the bottom pieces using the dye cutter…easy, peasy trick. Love them! But the camera’s ‘third’ eye is showing me some crazing on the left one. Not sure what caused that. Did I drop in the water too soon after firing? Anyone out there know?
So a brand new Tuesday Morning store opened up in my neighborhood recently. If you aren’t familiar with this franchise, it’s a bit like a Ross or Marshall’s but more focused on home, bedding, and kitchen goods…but with some occasional great deals on jewelry makings, like beads, findings, chain, tools, etc…
On my second visit, I was checking out the craft section for any little fun finds when I spied a rack of embossing folders used for paper crafts. 99 cents each! Now, I have neither an embossing machine nor do paper crafting, but I wondered if these could work with copper sheet metal and a rolling mill?? I bought two at that price to take to class last night and try them out. Bees and Flower designs.
They worked beautifully! Nice deep two sided impressions. In fact, for the one I probably used too much pressure and the plastic embossing folder curled a bit. I’m pretty sure it can be used again…the raised designs were also not smashed or flattened any in the rolling mill. A very good sign that these can be used multiple times.
You can see that the one on the left is curled. I’m wondering if I can ‘uncurl’ it by running it through the rolling mill again upside down (reverse side first)? We’ll see.
Any of you have success or something to share about your experiences with these embossing folders in non-traditional ways?? Love to hear from you!
After embossing the metal, I die cut large rounds from the flowered sheet. Filed/smoothed the edges, drilled holes, oxidized in LOS, scrubbed with wet/dry sandpaper, domed, polished, and sealed. Ready to use in earrings!
You can see the three pairs from the embossed copper. Also one with small rectangles that I heat patinated with a torch. Such lovely deep impressions! They would probably be awesome with some alcohol inks or patina paints. Hmmm…
These will be offered for sale in October at a church mission fair. All sales donated to the mission fund. Also for sale…eight of my favorite bracelets with leather, metal buttons, and Krobo recycled glass beads I bring home from Ghana. Bracelet love.
Yesterday morning was spent making a very nice stash of new copper etched components. I’ve had several people request a tutorial for this process. However, I do not feel nearly competent to a) explain it thoroughly enough or b) do an equal or better job that many already out there on the internet. I searched many jewelry sites, like Rio Grande, for tutorials on the method I wanted to try. And did a search with “etching with ferric chloride tutorial”. You’ll get some for computer uses, but keep digging. And watch as many as you can before trying this…it does use a hazardous waste material…and one needs to be savvy about precautions. That said, it is addictive…No, not to the chemical, silly…the gorgeous things it does to copper.
I thought today I would give you a quick run down of the steps in the process. So you’ll know why my hands and nails are trashed, mostly from all the sanding and filing. Plus, I’ll admit I don’t usually use gloves for the LOS. I’m too embarrassed to even go get a manicure. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?? I’m not even going to show you a picture of my hands.
So how do I get from this…
Copper sheet metal I buy by the pound at an industrial metal supply. This is about half of what I purchased. It’s maybe 12×12 inches.
Punch out circles or hand cut shapes.
File, file, file, sand.
Punch and file holes for ear wires or attaching dangles.
Apply stamped design with StazOn ink.
Etch…this is where you might view/read tutorials.
After neutralizing in baking soda solution, clean off ink.
Sand lightly with 0000 steel wool.
Clean and buff with wet/dry sand paper and steel wool.
Use dapping block to create nice curves.
Tumble for two hours.
Apply two coats of Renaissance Wax.
Then, here is what you get…
I also threw in a couple of pairs of hammered pendants.
Here’s a peek at a few earrings I made with some components
last week for the new shop in Hillcrest.
So, that’s how I get from this to that.
If you haven’t already given etching metal a try,
I hope you are encouraged to at least add it to your jewelry bucket list!
This weekend is one of my favorite holiday markets. Even better that it is at our church and helps support several non profits. Friendly, festive, fabulous “church lady made” baked goods, and fantastic artisan wares…including my dessert pedestals and jewelry.
Yesterday, I decided I needed a few more etched pieces…
hand cut from copper sheet metal.
Some with recycled glass.
And one hit with a texture hammer.
(oops…my camera caught some dents in these…
I need to put these back on the dapping block
and give them a few whacks with the rubber mallet again.
Gotta love that ‘third eye’.)
And just because I’m in love with these glass drops…
I’m in awe that there are 330 subscribers to this blog…and very grateful.
Not sure where you all live, but if anyone is near downtown San Diego
on Friday or Saturday, it would be a real pleasure to meet you.
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.
Here’s a look…
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.
I’m still getting components and finished jewelry ready for the February 7th event…
With over 60 crafters, really feeling like I really need to bring my A game.
Just finished up this butterfly necklace with some lovely pearls.
Next are just a few earrings…
I hope that what sets my jewelry apart is that most all the components,
ear wires and headpins are hand made with lots of love and care.
And finally, a little progress report on my bezel setting work with this lapis agate. I used a the sweat soldering technique to attach the ball details and bail. Which means melting tiny pieces of solder on the back of each piece first. Then hitting the setting from underneath with the flame to ‘remelt’ the solder to attach these pieces to the backing. Last steps were to set the stone and then a good polish and tumble. My plan is to make a wire wrapped beaded chain with these beautiful little lapis lazuli stones I purchased at Lost Cities.
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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