Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

So, I met this amazing gal. She requested a custom order for her birthday. Oh, what an honor these types of orders are for me to do! She and I have a lot in common except…she challenged me to use colors I had never thought to use. I LIKED this a LOT. Through our back and forth communications on designing for her we have become close friends. She lives in Germany so our communication has been rich via Facebook. How fun! So, when I really wanted to get down to business I sent her over to Design Seeds.com to pick out her colors. She picked me some pretty pinks, blues and greens. The soft cool tones were not my usual palette and I found them so fun to work with!

Sooo….that translated into this…

The original necklace she saw when I listed it and knew it was for her…

Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

Lavender and Crystal Teardrop Necklace

We co-created the earrings and extra necklace wraps using the color palettes mentioned earlier.

 

 Happy Birthday to my dear friend An Ja Lu who is a jewelry designer now too! Check out her shop here http://en.dawanda.com/shop/black-cat.

My sparkly friend Mary inherited some fabulous fibers, metallic threads, silks, and embroidery flosses among other things and she offered to share them with me. How could I refuse? I had to make her something…something “her”. At first it was going to be earrings but that didn’t honor the origination point. See, these fibers were inherited from a special lady (her sister in law) in the family whom had passed. Earrings would not do, not alone. So I decided on a cuff that could incorporate some of the fibers to honor the one whom had owned them, have her presence in the piece as well. Let the creative process begin…

PHOTOS OF THE PROCESS:

 

Here is the letter that came with the bracelet…. The earrings were made similarly by hand cutting copper sheet metal, heating with a torch to soften (annealing) and then hammering, polishing and layering with molded polymer clay that was was hand painted and sealed.

PHOTOS of the FINISH:

Quite some time ago I was looking at some beautiful pendants on Birgitta Lejonklou‘s blog (see the original post here) after participating in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog party. I hadn’t even realized that I was winning anything for commenting. I was so drawn in by her amazing work. It was such an awesome surprise to find out! I ran into the kitchen telling my husband all kinds of stuff about how I love her work, synchronicity, the amazing way the Universe works…. you get it. Soooo, this all sort of happened as I was working on a bunch of custom orders and then the kids got out of school for summer which put me out of my studio for a looong time. Finally I was able to get the first piece finished as a focal and without further procrastination…here’s the original and the final.

 

I LOVE working with your pieces Birgitta! Thank you again for allowing me to enjoy this co-creation with you from around the world! xx Emily There’s a photo of me wearing it today but you can’t see it in the sunlight. Well, that’s what happens when the only photography help is a puppy.

 

I always do this. I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew. My inspiration is bigger than the amount of time I actually have and it often takes more time than I initially imagine. I was going to try out a whole bunch of clasp styles and ran out of time with just doing some polymer. I have gotten so MANY inspiring ideas from the lovely ladies at Love My Art Jewelry over the past month so there’s lots to play with in the future. Well, onward with clasps…

First, I started with some antiqued neutral tones which I’ve been wanting to play with for a bit now. Two of the clasps are little knobby deals that literally screw together (gotta drill a hole through the clay). I tried my hand at an “S” shaped spiral on the bottom, loop through in the middle and regular “S” for the top with two attachments which will probably have a “Y” chain between them. I’ll have a different view at the bottom of this post.

On this big puppy I used a copper fitting and tilted it inward with my dapping block before securing it into the clay. The colors are really washed out but in real life the teardrop is pinks, lavender and bronzes.  The translucent crystal is a toggle with a “Y” chain attached to the two ends of the copper. Ugh, my photos don’t capture this well at all. I was in a rush. Oops.

This little green guy has garnets and teeny sea urchin spines set into the clay for fun. Eyelets give strength to the holes and add a design element. Just a little swirly doodle for the “S” clasp.

I put these together to save space since they are all rather similar. Lots of playing with twisting metal here. The pink one has the metal going all the way through it like a toggle but has clasps on the ends. Not sure what I’m going to do with these yet.

This guy was just weird. I wanted to press metal into the clay and it kind of works but not really. It looks better in person but it’s still just too clunky.

 

This one is up to show you my total mistake. It was supposed to be a magnetic clasp with these great, strong magnets. Number one, I’d have to put them lining up in opposite directions in order to make it work with jump rings going through it. Number two, the magnets (were not baked in the oven) just don’t seem that strong once in the clay. It’s odd. So, oh well, it was a good experiment.

This one I like in person. Ugh, my photography is just awful here…sorry. Just isn’t capturing the texture correctly today. There’s a tiny little crystal in the top that has nice depth and the crusty looking clasp is actually hammered nicely and has a nice spiraling effect when looked at out of the polymer clasp holder.

All in all I played in ways that I wouldn’t normally do if it weren’t for this blog hop challenge. I learned that I should probably sketch out some designs before I go twisting clasps around. Spontaneous twisting is not my forte. I enjoyed the creative process and I have gained some insight into my strengths and weaknesses as a designer. Next time I have a chunk of time to myself I’m going to just play with metal and see what I come up with.

To see the other blogs and posts go here to Love My Art Jewelry BootCamp.

 

 

 

EDIT:* Before I go on, I just wanted to say how much this Boot camp and other similar blog hops have come to mean to me. The people are amazing, my abilities are always tested and the community aspect is wonderbar. I recently did my second (and probably last) challenge for Vintaj at the same time I was preparing for this one and Bead Soup. Because of the overlap I was really given an opportunity to observe my internal process and compare. The challenge for the big company is great if you win “stuff” but I realized that since I am very good at making something out of nothing, I don’t really NEED more STUFF and when I do I somehow manage to get it. This led me to really appreciate the connection that happens when blog hopping. Every time I comment on a fellow artists blog I share a bit of my heart and every time my eyes are blessed with their creations it stimulates my creativity. As I was posting for these two very different types of challenges it became more clear to me where I want to put my creative energy and time and WHY. So, a big THANK YOU to all the ladies down at Love My Art Jewelry for making this Boot Camp happen because it became so much more than just banging on metal for me.  XOXO Hats off to you!

In my previous post I talked about the tools I made to texture metal with. Here’s where I show what I did with said tools for the Love My Art Jewelry Textured Metal Boot Camp. All month long LMAJ showed us different techniques for texturing metal in unconvential ways and ALL by hand. This opened my mind and has led to some new ideas for my shop. I decided to make some hair slides. Let’s go see what I made…

First, I took out some very heavy gauge copper wire my husband picked up for me eons ago. I cut, torched, and curved it into an “8” shape and flattened it a bit. I then took my handmade carpenter nail texture tools and textured different sizes of dots into the copper. I also cut a bit of copper tube and hammered and textured it into a bead cap using the same technique. So this…

Used these…

Around the inside of the center washer I used my fancy letter stamps turned upside down “A and Q”. They made a nice curly design.

The whole enchilada…

For the second texture challenge I started with a brass sheet and cut it into a winged shape. I used my doming block to make the domed circles on the bottom sides. I used the carpenter nails to make the dots on the upper wings and the lines on the inside of the copper washer.

I used the large green chisel that I ground into a nicer shape for the lines radiating out from the center like wrinkles in the wings. See these…

And for the fluted edges I used my round nose pliers to tweak the metal up and down like a pie tin.

I love these challenges because they cause me to think outside the box. EVERY time I end up creating somethign I NEVER would have created. I will be adding some similar items to the shop. For now, these hold up my heavy mop while I’m working.

So, a while ago I was very hungry for some metal texturing tools. I saw an article in a magazine about the art of Repousse and thought they’d be perfect for raising areas of my metalwork, etc. Not only that, they were just so beautiful. After searching around, even Ebay, I realized this was not going to fit into my budget.

And then…inspiration struck! Harbor Freight Tools! I ran down there and grabbed a couple of cheap sets of chisels and taps. My husband cut some in half for me with his big dude tools and I (put on my dust mask) and got to grinding. First I ground them with the stone grinding wheel and then buffed them out with a scrubby wheel. Totally non-technical names for the wheels I’m sure but you get the idea.

In the photo below you can see the before set in the background (I keep them that way) and the after set in the foreground. Here’s before.

Here’s the tools after I altered them.

I found that I actually use the small ones the most. I don’t really LOVE all of them yet and haven’t taken them back out to the grinder to work on them some more but it’s planned for this summer. I have to replace the scrubby wheel that I wore down to nothin’ first.

My favorite and most used of all of the mock tools are some capenter nails that I ground into different shapes. I do such small scale work most of the time and I haven’t figured out the technique or purpose for some of the larger “shapes” that I made. However, I am inspired by Art Jewelry Boot Camp’s  challenge this month on texturing metal. I finally put to use a couple of my big chisels and some of these altered nails…

Chisels.

Altered Nails

These made some awesome texture on the jewelry I was inspired to make (and will be adding to my shop soon, thanks, AJBC!) Stay tuned, I’ll post the results on Monday!

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