Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What a nice way to start the New Year!

My friend Dawn (from Art Girl Designs) and I played with some metalsmithing on New Year's Day and we each finished one pendant.  What a fun time to be able to relax, visit, experiment and learn from one another as we worked on this new medium.  We'd both been collecting tools, sheets of metal and all the other bits and bobs needed.  We'd each invested in a good DVD to get us started and took our time watching and reviewing before getting started.  I'll let Dawn show you her beautiful pendant on her blog.
The sort of oval pendant in the photo here, that has the vintage picture, was my first piece.  I learned some things I wanted to try:  making rivets with a piece of copper wire, texturing the metal, and cutting a frame using the jeweler's saw.  The most valuable lesson though was the one hardest earned - if you want to add a chemical patina, that should probably be done before you start to rivet the layers together!  Duh!  It makes it tough to do once a photograph is in place, but I did manage to add a bit of liver of sulfer using a Q-tip.  

The second, more rectangular necklace is one I did a day later, on my own, but still using some of the same techniques.  On Dawn's advice I bought some hardware cloth - the one used was the 1/8" grid - and by pounding, was able to create a nice gridded texture on the copper.  I played with the metal letter stamps I've had for years and never used once (adhering nicely to my New Year's resolution to begin using stuff I already own!) to create the word "LIVE" on the little brass piece.  Then held the copper and brass layers together with copper wire rivets.  I decided I wanted to add some more brass, so drilled holes and inserted the tiny little brass hardware I had bought from Volcano Arts some time ago.  I can't wait to play some more!