Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mary Hettmansperger Challenge

Deryn Mentock is hosting a challenge on her lovely blog, Something Sublime, where she challenges us to create projects with Marry Hettmansperger's lovely book, Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet. I created the first project a while back, but have definately been neglectful and fallen behind on my blog here. Today I finished my second project from the book, and wanted to get this up before i fall further behind. At the rate i was going, the contest would be over before I put my projects up!

This i call my 'Tree of all Seasons', based on the first project in the book 'Stacked Spinner Necklace'. It took me a bit to get started on this necklace, as i was unsure of how i wanted to procede. The idea of creating the stacked necklace is so open... there were so many different directions i could go! However, i eventually made a stac starting with a flat tree pendant, followed by etched copper, then a leaf form, ending with a textured rectangular piece of copper. My kindergarten students looked at it and told me it was my seasons necklace. The bare tree was spring, the flowered copper for winter, the falling leaf for fall and the blank sheet for winter. Sometimes the words of children are the ones that mean the most.


This second piece I call 'Blue Folds', loosely based on her 'folded earings' project number two. I liked the idea of working with copper, but i don't yet have a blowtorch so i was unable to do the project quite as she discussed. Instead of focusing on my torching skills, i focused more on riveting skills that' i've been learning from my Kazmer book. I liked the way the metal was wrapped around the beads, but i went a different direction after the initial inspiration. As opposed to drawing a bead on the wire, i riveted the end of the wire. I then strung the beads on, and then created the loop on top of the brass. I am quite pleased with how these turned out.

My only dilema now is what to do with these. I love jewelry, but i don't have pierced ears! I can't wear these myself, as i do with all the necklaces and bracelets i make. Maybe i'll have a giveaway later? Maybe these will help celebrate 4000 views to my blog later on? Or maybe i'll use it for a birthday present later? I am still deciding on this one. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabric and Lace

My jury is still out on this piece, but i thought i'd post it anyways. This necklace i called 'fabric and lace'... for rather obvious reasons i think lol. I was inspired, as usual, by the lovely work of Nina Bagley, as seen in this post. I just loved the homespum feel created here by the lovely buttons. What a wonderful way to attach fabric to chain! I createda similar type of thing, but then went in a bit of a different direction with my piece here.

I feel that this necklace has the most rustic feel of all my pieces. It has fraying edges, chunky knots and visible hand stitching on the fabric everywehre. I think i am still getting used to it?

GPP Street Team's theme this month for their monthly challenge is 'make it your own'. In their discussions of how to do this, they talk about taking manufactured (and also non-manufactured) materials and infusing them with your artistic signature through methods such as sanding, painting, etc. In this it reminded me a LOT of what i'm reading inn Suzan Lennart Kazmer's book. Also, they talk about using the inspiration of others, yet 'making it your own'. I could enter this into this, but as i find pretty much all my pieces start inspired by others, i think i'll enter one i like a bit better... I feel like i just missed the mark a little on this one. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bussan Beauty

Last month, I finally had a chance to go on a weekend trip and get out of Seoul for a short time. A couple other teachers organized a trip to the lovely costal city of Bussan. I spent the entire weekend laying on the beach, frolicking on the edge of the frigid water, hiking around the rocks and beachcombing. The results of this beachcombing was a variety of little pieces of sea glass and a couple handfulls of fascinating little shells. I loaded up my little treasures into my pockets, and brought them home. (If you want to see more pictures of my vacation to Bussan, check out my other blog

To this point, one month later, i have created one piece with any of these things. The first piece I tried was drilling a hole in a shell with my drill, but that ended disasterously when the beautiful shell just cracked in half and broke. Does anyone know how to make holes in shells? Any technique to this, or special tool i need?

My second piece went far better. It already had a perfectly placed natural hole at the top of the shell. It was rather small, but it was an easy thing to simply sand the hole bigger. Once the hole is started i am fine, but i am unsure how to create new holes without destroying the shell. Again, any help would be great on this one.
I kept the design of this piece rather simple. I started with beaded chain, which matched the hues of the shell nicely. It was easy enough to simply create my own jump ring to attach it to the chain. After that came the harder part. I fanangled another piece of chain to loop back and forth a couple times underneath the shell, but still look smooth from the front part. In the end, i got that too. (The problem there was that the chain was too thin to fit jump rings of any wire i have through the hole... it's quite fine). After tying them all together with wire in the back, it worked out okay. I had two nice dangling bits of chain, and one middle loop holding a jump ringed blue flatback bead.
I do so love using natural elements in my pieces. I am trying to work on doing this more often, but the sparkles of pretty pretty beads are often very distracting haha. What a happy conundrum.