Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas Burnout and Copper!

It has been a busy year for me and ended (almost) with my most ambitious project yet; to make every member of my family a present for Christmas, this meant three faceted flower pendants for the little girls, four spectrolite pendants for the ladies, a plume agate pendant for an honourary family member, an eagle pin, a Star Wars key-ring, a pierced set of Chinese rabbit cufflinks, an emerald earring and two surfer shell necklets with birthstones..phew! As the run up to the holidays had been busy with preparation for a final show, I had set time aside for these pieces closer to Christmas, unfortunately I hadn't planned for the flu and ended up making all of these over the very short space of time of two days, quite an accomplishment and only four hours sleep, but I did manage it.

As a result I have stayed away from the bench for a few days, but now the time has come to get back into the swing! Before the rush I had just begun to go back to the copper jewellery that started my whole foray into silversmithing. For a few years now, I have been playing quite happily with fusing copper and melting silver to the surface with some very pretty results. I have designed some new pierced pieces to make in this way, which may, also be available in sterling later but for now are staying in copper with silver findings. This is mostly because the cost of silver at the moment makes me blanche a little, but also because the copper is so pretty and deserves to be shown off a little more. So over the next couple of dats I will be extending my new copper birthsign earrings range, pierced pendants with crow and cat designs and some variations of the Twiggies earrings that I am so in love with at the moment. I hope you enjoy, and do not worry, I am still playing with silver and have just ordered (gulp!) some tubing to make hinges with, hopefully I won't be wasting too much of it :)

Friday, 10 December 2010

Can I do something new?

I have been metalsmithing for over a year now, I feel so lucky because of the space I have at home I can create outside of class hours and I belong to an amazing team of metalsmiths through the online selling venue Etsy from whom I have learned a whole plethora of useful tips and new techniques.

All of these things have helped me to move on in leaps and bounds, I am very proud of the work I am produsing now and I am always keen to try new techniques but somehow, the more I learn, the harder it is to make myself try another new technique. It may be that I see all the wonderful things made by my 'teamies' and worry about my skills measuring up, sometimes it is a lack of the right tools or materials.

The technique I really want to learn next is making hinges. I have seen them used so beautifull in jewellery and with all the two piece pendants I have been making, I am sure it is something that will come in very handy. It is a technique I have thought about doing for a long time and one of the ones where seeing it used beautifully elsewhere makes me a little hesitant to try unless I make a mess of it. I also need to get some supplies in. I have never had much silver tube in stock and for hinges I really need to get some quite small tubes in some different sizes to fit the different size pieces I want to make. The other thing which holds me back a little is that I have seen a lot of two piece pendants made with hinges. What I do has to be different from those, in a way I am sure it will be, I see my style showing through, not all the time but with my one of a kind pieces for sure, and hopefully this will be the case when I use hinges too. I am sure I can come up with loads of excuses, give me enough time and I am equally sure I will actually talk myself out of doing it for a while longer, but with luck, a fair wind and some good sales this weekend at the craft fair I am willing to bite the bullet come January.

I can only say watch this space.. let's see if my first hinged piece makes the grade... what do you think?
Have a look at some of the other members of the Aspiring Metalsmiths as they share about techniques they would like to conquer:
Steph- Stargell designs