It’s Time to Create Metal Components…

•May 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

It’s been some time since I’ve worked with metal.  I’ve been making lots of polymer clay components, but I want to use sterling silver as well in the necklaces and bracelets I plan to create in the coming weeks.  Uniform links in different shapes to connect polymer and beadwoven elements are what I have in mind.  I could form the links by hand but then I thought, “Why not use my NTAJ (Now That’s a Jig) tool to perform this task.”  My NTAJ had been sitting on a shelf collecting dust, but just as one never forgets how to ride a bicycle, working with the jig was just a matter of setting it up on my workbench and using various pegs to create the shapes I had in mind.


Now, lest one think that soldering metal components made on a jig is a piece of cake, it isn’t.    Each shaped wire component needs to be cut precisely with the ends aligned perfectly.  This requires cutting both ends flush and filing off any unevenness as solder will not fill empty spaces. In doing so, the precise shapes I had created on the jig had to be realigned so the ends of the wire would meet exactly.  After performing that task each link was dipped in flux, tiny chips of solder were applied, and I fired up my torch to complete the task.

The links were then placed in a pickling solution to remove the fire scale that forms on sterling silver during the soldering process.  Then came the task of reshaping the links with jeweler’s pliers.  Once reshaped, I opted to add texture to the sterling links with a hammer.

Dipping silver in a solution of liver of sulfur gives the links an antiqued, tarnished finish.

I then used a polishing square to rub the dark patina off the surface, leaving only a hint of darkness in the recessed areas that had been hammer-textured.

The final step was to throw all the links into a jeweler’s tumbler and run it for several hours.  This final step adds strength and extra shine to the silver.  And voila!  I now have some really nice sturdy links to use in my mixed-media work!

Something New!

•April 24, 2019 • Leave a Comment


April showers and spring flowers…these vivid colors make me think of warm summer days and tropical vacations! How fun these flower components will be combined with beads or strung on wire and used to make earrings or a lei-like necklace! Measuring 14mm for the smallest flower to 25mm for the largest, these center-drilled polymer clay flowers are eggshell-thin and so light in weight they can even be used in dramatic shoulder-dusting earring designs! I’ve made far more than I can use so I’ve listed these collections in my Etsy shop.  There is still time left before Mother’s Day to make a pair for her and perhaps a pair for you too! Each collection is composed of six color-coordinated floral-themed components; 2 large, 2 medium, and two small and one pair of sterling silver ear wires.

 

I’d rather be in the studio, but…

•April 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment


Spring has sprung and with it come outdoor chores.  Working in the studio will just have to wait!  Today I’m blowing leaves from the front beds as tiny plants have started to emerge from their long winter nap.  They are tender at this point and raking would cause severe damage.  Underneath these leaves lie tiny bellwort and snowdrop plants and ferns are sporting fiddleheads that will eventually unfurl in leafy glory.  Our woodland path is filled with bluebells…I’d prefer that they had chosen to grow elsewhere than where I walk, but I had virtually no input and I don’t think transplanting them at the stage is viable.  I’ll just have to hop around them for now!


Did I Say SALE?

•April 9, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Yes, indeed!  It’s that time of the year and I need to free up space for new work so I’m having a sale on select items in my Etsy shop.  I have a huge selection of tutorials on sale from 20% – 35% off the original price!  Here are just a few…the “Exotic Blossoms” Bracelet, “Bedazzled Spiral Cuff”, “Six Petal Bloom”, “Cleo’s Serpent Hoops” Drop Earrings”, “Anemone on Coral” Ring, and there are many more…just look for SALE! as the first word of a listing!

How about kits?  Yes, I have a few on sale!  If you’ve been tempted to try your hand at  polymer clay, my “Easy and Elegant Polymer Clay Beads” kit is a great way to get started!  Do you enjoy bead embroidery?  Then check out my “Sea Garden” and “Six Petal Bloom” Bead-Embroidered Brooch kits…each kit contains a one-of-a-kind handmade resin cabochon plus Delicas, seed beads, a beautiful selection of Swarovski flat back rhinestones and freshwater pearls, beading foundation, leather backing, pin back and glue.  These kits include a handy 3” x 5” travel tin!  And I’m offering free shipping on these kits!  There are limited quantities available…get one before they’re gone!

Call Me Happy!

•April 7, 2019 • 2 Comments

This one’s a keeper…I love, Love, LOVE this necklace!  Measuring 5mm, 10mm, and 15mm, each wire-worked bead cluster is separated by 20mm curved links of sterling silver.  A symphony of brilliant and subtle colors in abstract pattern, the necklace almost sings when worn against the backdrop of a black top!  And since my wardrobe is primarily black, I definitely will be wearing this necklace a lot!   And it will pair so well with Painterly Globe Drop Earrings!   I can’t imagine ever wearing mass-produced jewelry.  For me, art jewelry is the only way to go!

On A Roll…

•March 30, 2019 • 2 Comments

During the past two weeks, I’ve been busy creating polymer clay components and have amassed a good-sized collection of beads, several of which I’ve used in drop earrings.  Making beads is such a zen-inducing activity and it’s a good way to once again get a feel for working with polymer clay.  The beads shown in the above neckpiece graduate in size from 16mm to 26mm.  Each bead sports a colorful patchwork motif and is separated by smaller disk-shaped spacer beads.  I can’t wait to start on the next polymer clay project!

Crazy Eyes!

•March 22, 2019 • 2 Comments


I simply could not resist these eyeglass frames!  Besides being a necessity for aging eyes, I consider eyeglasses a fashion accessory and an artsy pair such as these are just so much fun!  The squared half of the glasses has slightly rounded corners while the other lens is distinctly round.  They are certainly a conversation piece causing people to do a double take to make sure they are seeing correctly!  Of course, I had to make a new pair of earrings to wear with them and I couldn’t stop at just one pair!  Having spent several days this week playing with polymer clay, I made a painterly collection of 14mm beads that pair perfectly with the long sterling silver-plated stainless steel ear wires!  Each pair of earrings is one-of-a-kind, very lightweight and comfortable to wear.  Measuring 2″ in length, they swing and sway with wild abandon!  I love them and think you will too!  You can find these “Painterly Globe Drop Earrings” in my Etsy shop!

 
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