Saturday, 20 February 2016

Hinges and joins in wirework

I like puzzling out how to join elements together. A moving join can help to add flexibility and movement to a collar style piece of jewellery. In this case I decided to create two different kinds of hinge. Wirework is a wonderful technique for increasing your mental agility. You have to think in several directions at once and, a bit like a snooker player, several moves ahead. It may be that the central dumortierite stone helped to play a part, as it is said to aid in problem solving by allowing you to visualise all sides of the problem and come to a solution. It is known as 'The Patience Stone' so is a perfect stone for anybody involved with crafts!

The antique patina has added depth and softened the colour of the copper wire. I like using liver of sulphur, feeling a bit like an alchemist watching the piece change magically beneath the water. When you first do it it's a bit daunting, as the piece looks black when you take it out. I always put the piece straight into my barrel tumbler, and tumble it for 30 minutes with fine steel shot and a teaspoon of barrelbrite. The piece gets polished and work hardened and comes out with lovely highlights. Tumbling just leaves me with the minimum amount of final hand finishing to do - and it also imposes it's own quality control, as I know if I can tumble it with steel shot for half an hour it will stand the rigours of everyday wear.

I've been thinking of getting one of these jewellery neck stands for a while, but I didn't like the ones in plastic. Then I came across this one covered in natural linen and knew it would look right with my wire wrapped pieces. I think it can help to give a sense of scale to include a picture of the jewellery hanging as it would on the wearer. This piece has a buyer already, which I am thrilled about. After a quick tidy up of my workspace it will be out with the beads and sketchbook again.

We've been out in the garden this week clearing dead leaves and revealing new pale green shoots and flowers of the year - tiny grape hyacinths, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils. I'm thinking of something in the colour of crocuses. Purples and yellows are lovely together and I have a wonderful little greenish yellow slab of polished serpentine waiting to be wrought into something beautiful, elfin and meaningful.

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