Saturday, 22 August 2015

Soldering a bezel for polymer clay

I have finished soldering and I now have my sterling silver bezel done. Just needs to be whizzed round in my barrel tumbler to remove any last bits of firescale that the picklean didn't get off. Then a final once over with the flexshaft to polish it and it will be ready to be filled with my faux ivory inlays. The central hole involved some fiddly sawing, but I'm pleased with the neat and tidy finish I got. In the end I decided to go for a solid backplate to make the pendant really substantial. I've just weighed the piece and it's 12.5 grams of silver so far. Exactly 2 inches high, so just the chunky look I wanted to achieve. Having the barrel polisher is just brilliant. I can chop garlic and herbs and prepare crispy roasties to go with the lovely piece of lamb we've got for tea whilst it swishes round and gets magically cleaned. Might have a glass or two of something after all the hard work!


This afternoon I'll be looking on the internet at ancient artifacts to get some ideas of the sort of surfaces I want to include in the 3 sections on the pendant. I'll print some pictures out and add them to my sketchbook to refer to as I roll out my clay.  I'll decide what colour of leather to put it on later, brown might look good, and I may want to make some discs from the clay, with large holes in, to string on the cord and link it in with the pendant surface. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Finding your 'Flow'

Anybody who paints, sews, throws pots, makes jewellery - or does anything creative will know what 'flow' feels like. It's that happy state when time is irrelevant, you are happily immersed in what you are doing and you are feeling challenged and yet in control. It's a lovely feeling and a total escape from the stresses and strains of life. Wirework always does it for me. Weaving with several strands at once and concentrating on the twists and turns of each one, trying to achieve a balance in colour and form and just the satisfaction of turning a pile of raw materials into an object from your own imagination is the best way to spend a few hours. The time just races by!

I like having more than one piece of jewellery on the go at a time. So this neckpiece is being made in between sessions of work on my faux ivory piece. It's based around a big chunk of chrysoprase, one of my favourite stones at the moment.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Faux Ivory Experiments

It's amazing what you can fit into a Monday if you really 'go for it'. After an early breakfast of bread hot from the oven and some boiled eggs we headed out to do battle with unruly hedges and a patio studded with dandelions. A few hours later and it looked tidy enough to sit outside eating lunch and feeling rather smug. Weeding is, I find a perfect time for daydreaming about new designs for jewellery. A tiny striped snail got me thinking about something cream and black with different patterns in silver and polymer clay, so as soon as we got in and cleaned ourselves up a bit I got the sketchbook out.

The first stage is cutting the sections from the silver sheet, this will make the container for the clay. I'll need to decide what to do with the back. As these pieces are over 8grams already I may not go for a totally silver backplate. I'll mull it over. Now to the soldering torch to get the shapes joined up. Busy busy busy!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Persephone's alter ego

I've had this necklace brewing in my mind's eye for a while. Some time ago I made a beadwork neckpiece inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone. The story goes that Persephone was abducted by Hades and taken to live in the underworld. Later, Persephone was allowed to return to the upper realms, but because she had eaten some pomegranate seeds, she had to return to live in the underworld for some of the year, so it is said, we have our summer and winter seasons.

My original piece was covered in flowers and foliage in summery shades. At the time I wondered if perhaps Persephone ever tired of skipping around in flowers and drifty dresses and was actually pleased to have a change! I imagined her reunited with her darker wardrobe. I imagined too, what a piece of jewellery might look like - all twisty root shapes and quite gothic. This is the result of my musings, it has taken me a while to get round to creating it, but sometimes ideas take root and grow in the dark, then emerge when we are least expecting them.

I used a large piece of natural rhodonite which I wrapped and curled round with copper wire. Then I created a double strand chain with more coiled elements and lots of beaded links. Finally, I dipped the whole thing in liver of sulphur to give it a dark patina, and then polished it to reveal some shinier areas.