Category Archives: charms

Waving

How do you wave at folks? Do you just raise one little pointer finger to acknowledge them are are you an all-out-use-your-whole-arm waver? The latter is the kind I see outside a certain San Marcos business. He’s waving with his entire body as he dances to the music emitted into his earphones. He’s been waving there for so long that they’ve even made a billboard about him. Did I mention he’s really skinny too? All that waving seems to pay off in one way or another.

I’ve been waving with my wire jewelry for years. I started with a simple wire wave bracelet and continued by making wave necklaces. Originally, these were made from recycled copper wire, but now I use new 14 gauge for the pieces. They've also gotten a bit shorter recently. You can see the bracelet contrast in the photo below. Obviously the shorter piece is not yet completed. If you want to make these yourself, I have a free tutorial for the bracelet published on the Magpie Gemstones’ (www.magpiegemstones.com) site: http://www.magpiegemstones.com/wave_bracelet.html

short wave

I’ve also tried waving with different shapes.

wave tri

Here are a couple of versions of the newer wave necklaces. The first features riveted copper charms (faith, hope and love).

wave necklace2

The second is embellished with amethyst stones and the wave is a bit more full.

wave3

I guess I’ll keep coming back to this standard in my jewelry line and continue to perfect my wave. How about you? What kind of waver are you?

Coloring and the Lines

 

enamel necklace

Do you color within the lines? My first reaction to this question would be “absolutely not;” yet on second thought . . . the idea of coloring within the lines might be situational.  When someone poses this query, they usually don’t actually want to know about color, but rather about whether you follow the rules or parameters set for a task. While most highly creative individuals intentionally stray from the rules others try to impose on their art form, they may follow the rules in other instances. For example, this might be to pay the bills on time, get the car registration sticker to avoid a ticket, etc. Rules and parameters can be important.

This is the case with some jewelry techniques. For example, on Sunday I did some etching on copper which requires mixing an acid solution. I read the directions three times before ever opening the bottle of acid. The rules were important to keep me from burning myself. I’ve also found some of the suggested “rules” for torch enameling are quite helpful for this technique.

If I use counter enamel on the back of a metal piece, it has less of a tendency to curve under when I apply several enamel coats on the top. Also, I’ve found that it’s helpful to use the suggested liquid that helps hold the enamel powder on the surface of the metal. Go ahead. Ask me how many tiny bits of colored enamel threads rolled off my pieces and fell on the floor of the work room before I discovered this agent.

A past post showed a few examples of torch enameled pieces of jewelry, but I wanted to share some of the newer work. The necklace at the top shows a variety of techniques with which I’ve experimented. Below are a few of the earrings sets I’ve made.

enamel1

enamel

The Gingerbread family below was tricky to make and I’m not sure why Gingerbread Pop has more sugar on him than the others . . . ?

gingerbread family

It’s rather obvious that I didn’t color between the lines on these pieces but rather I often just let the enamel stay where it landed. I’ll follow the rules/lines on something else that I’m doing, but not in my art form. How about you?

Making Cold Connections

Thinking of the word cold could lead us to a conversation about weather or about personalities. Have you ever heard someone say that a person is cold? Of course that usually means that the person isn’t very friendly. In that case, aloof might be another term to describe the person. Most of us prefer friends and acquaintances who are warm! By the way, I also prefer weather that is WARM!

I’ve been making cold connections for the past couple of weeks. No, I haven’t been meeting cold people and the weather here has been quite warm. Instead, I’ve been making cold connections with metal. When we join things to metal in a way that doesn’t require heat, usually through soldering, we say we’ve used a cold connection. This week my cold connections have been through riveting.

It was my turn to lead and share a technique at our monthly Faux meet up. Yesterday, we had about 20 in attendance and I think most of us got a little better at riveting in the time we spent together. I was determined to have some new projects that my fellow designers could try and thus the reason for the past weeks of making those cold connections. I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of the pieces I designed.

The first is the easier of the two and is just a simple variation of the wave necklaces that I’ve made. This one features a riveted charm in the center. This charm utilizes both a copper disc and a nickel silver disc with the center cut out. I riveted these two together and also riveted a pewter finding in the middle. I used a headpin that I balled with the torch for the center rivet. The other rivets were purchased from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply. I wired the charm onto the wave necklace armature.

wave rivet

The second necklace is a bit modern looking, but it’s definitely different. I used alcohol ink to color some copper discs and then riveted them together with nickel silver discs. Again, I used balled headpins for the rivets. I also riveted some big hole rose quartz beads that I got from Magpie Gemstones (www.magpiegemstones.com) onto a couple of the discs. Although you only see two rose quartz beads on this necklace, it took four to make it if you count the two I broke while trying to rivet them. You really have to be careful when riveting a gemstone.

rose rivetedI demonstrated how to make a few other riveted charms, but haven’t yet used all of these in a particular design.

Riveted Charms and LinksI really enjoyed working with my friends yesterday and helping them initiate or hone their riveting skills.  Although they were making cold connections, thankfully none of them were cold!

Here’s hoping all your personal connections are warm and that if you end up with cold connections, you’re riveting!