It appears that most of my recent posts have shown products that required some hammering. Not wanting to seem in a rut, I used a needle and fishing line (Fireline) to secure the beads for the pendant I just completed. I enjoy doing bead embroidery, but haven’t found that the cuff bracelets commonly made with this technique sell as quickly as I would like; therefore, I’m using the technique to make more pendants than bracelets. A photo of a cross pendant completed with bead embroidery was in an earlier post. I tried to think Spring in choosing the colors for this pendant. Although it’s difficult to tell in this picture, the light colored beads are yellow which is supposed to be the “hot” color for Spring and Summer. I used cobalt blue seed beads around the turquoise cabs and a white pearl for the center. This piece is backed with green ultra suede and I put a piece of copper sheeting between the pendant layers so it wouldn’t bend. I may use dark blue and yellow in the neck strand before marketing this piece.
I’ve been gathering parts for the pendant shown for several weeks. After receiving a copy of Mary Hettmansperger’s Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet from my son for Christmas, I’ve wanted to try a Dreamcatcher rendition of her woven windows pin. My pendant has significantly less weaving than what she shows, however for a first attempt, I think it’s OK. The darkness of the photo negates some of my “gatherings” for the weaving. The basic loom for the window is made of copper mesh from Hobby Lobby. The turquoise colored yarn was secured in an excursion to the Alpaca farm, Old Oaks Ranch, outside of Wimberley, TX. I also used some 20 gauge copper wire for threading a few black onyx beads and one Swarovski crystal. The pieces are put together with dark brown artistic wire. When I first started this piece disappointment set right in as my initial weaving was a disaster. But, banking on my creativity training, I resisted closure until things improved. As you can see from the pictures of the parts of the pendant, separately, they weren’t very impressive, but I think perseverance paid off as I kept working and hoping for the best.( I’m thinking turquoise for stringing.)
For a couple of months, I’ve been struggling a bit with just how best to attach a fringe of beads to a copper envelope. My first few attempts crashed. After finishing a couple of pieces, I wore them around the house, as is my custom with a new design, and realized that, although the pieces looked great, they were not easy to keep in alignment while wearing. So I went back to the drawing table. Finally, just before the holidays, I was able to develop a double strand as pictured on the right. The two hole rectangular beads worked great for keeping the two strands separate and allowing me to attach the bead fringe to the lower strand. I’ve made a couple of similar pieces using this technique. Yet as I remained open to other possibilities, an “aha” presented itself the other day while working with 20 gauge wire. The technique on the triangular piece holds many options for further design. Before folding this piece, I drilled holes on the fold line where I wanted the bead wire to be placed. Then, I used copper wire to go inside the fold, forming a place to attach the fringe. The wire swirls on the top of the fold provided a spot to attach the beaded necklace.
Now I have two options for pursuing my metal pounding habit. I would like to try to minimize this design for a more feminine piece before moving on to more expensive metal.
I think it was Pasteur who indicated that chance favors the prepared mind. It seems that an “aha” that really works creeps into the mind after hours, days, weeks or even months of working to solve a problem. Thus the mind is prepared to recognize the “aha”. Perhaps prior to the struggle, the mind has not learned enough to be ready for the right idea. I must bear this in mind during the “struggling” period and not grow so impatient waiting for the “chance” to appear.
Although it is well after Christmas, today I was able to give a gift (perhaps it’s Happy Valentine’s Day) to my musical friend. It was good that I had extra time since my wire work took a turn for the worst. As you can see from the finished product, I was making a treble clef sign as a pendant for her. I know to practice first with inexpensive wire and having made one treble clef from craft wire, I thought I was ready for sterling silver. Actually, the sterling silver clef turned out even better that the craft wire until . . . the hammering. The piece seemed to require a bit of flattening and I manage to strike some strategic blows that looked quite nice. Unfortunately, I hammered the piece so well that I weakened the points where the pieces of wire crossed and the bottom of the clef sign fell completely off. Rats! So, the final pendant was made of good strong copper wire, flattened a bit, but not completed smushed. Flat is not always better!
This is my very first blog post and I'm just learning how to operate the software. I'm looking forward to learning quickly and getting on with this venue for communication. I hope you will join me by reading and responding when the mood strikes you. For practice today, I'm inserting a picture of one of the more popular techniques of my designs that sold during the holidays. Although no two of the crosses are alike, the technique was the same for all that I sold. I'm hoping to make more since they have all presently gone to new homes.