Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Sawing - Birdie Necklace

Here is a necklace I have created after seeing an episode of Portlandia called "Put a Bird on it!" I guess all the hype about birds on bags/ pillows/ jewellery .... is because a birdie is non-offensive! The case of dogs and cats could be always up for a debate - if you're a "cat person", a doggie ring might not make you happy and vice versa, however a birdie is just fine. Haha. That was just a thought.
And totally by chance, the second design I tried with saw was a bird too (see it here)!

The bird is copper, chains are antiqued brass and the beads are small faceted peridots.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sawing - Number Four Technique

I still remember the day when I spent $20 on metal shears in our local hardware shop... I was so excited that I would be able to cut ANY metal into ANY shape! But that didn't quite happen. While it was easy to cut very thin sheet metal and it was good mainly for straight lines, more complicated shapes were nearly impossible. And I knew that if I wanted to continue exploring metal, I shall learn to SAW!

And I did, again in a class in Fusion Beads. This class was tought by sweet Samantha Slater. Such a versatile and absolutely indispensable technique! My first attempt was a butterfly - I like the fact, that I can use the cut shape AND the shadow both. I would never be able to get the same result with the shears and I couldn't possibly get both shapes uniterrupted.

My second attempt, still in the class, was this birdie. I have put a nice rivet where the hole is and voila!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Turquoise Set - Viking Knit Technique

Another bracelet I made with the Viking knit - I just bought these adorable turquoise beads (it's actually dyed magnesite of a brilliant colour!) - hexagon rondelles - and I want to use them in a thousand of designs!

The bracelet looks really nice on the wrist.

...and it comes with earrings!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My First Viking Bracelet

Here is my first finished design with the viking knit technique, a bracelet I made in the class with Tracy Stanley.
Copper wire and copper findings (handmade clasp:) and keshi pearls with handmade headpins.
Thanks Tracy! Such a great lesson! I can do it all by myself now! More coming...

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Technique Number Three - Etching

Another technique I was longing to learn was etching. It is one thing you should learn if you are planning to use lots of metal in your designs as it adds so many possibilities to jewellery. And it's especially nice to use it in designs that are supposed to have antique look. 

It seemed to be easy enough for me to try on my own. I read a step by step tutorial in an issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry - one of my favourite sources of desings - and bought a bottle of PCB Etchant in Radio Shack... easy it wasn't. I still don't know what went wrong with my first etching experiment, but this is what it looked like:

But as they say, don't give up! I didn't and tried it again. I swear it did everything exactly the same way as the first time and the result was just as I wished - beautiful deep etch of a butterfly!!! Yay!!!

And I kept trying with different scrapbooking stamps and it all worked well. I'm so glad I only ruined one piece of copper:) Now I need to think of a nice piece to use the etched metal in.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Second New Technique - Viking Knit

Fusion Beads have some great jewellery making classes and it took me WAAAAYYY too long to discover it. I always thought I will have to go to one of the big bead festivals to ne able to get a class, but then I realized that some of the most talented jewellery makers live right here in the Pacific Northwest. And what more - the same classes they teach at the festivals are available here in Fusion Beads for much less money and right in the neighbourhood!!!
So the first class I took was Basic Riveting, which rocked (it is documented here in the blog too) and the next class was Viking Knit with Tracy Stanley. Aaaaaawesome! I actually learned how to make a Viking Knit (you may say "That was the aim of the class", but with many classes you might be able to walk away with one finished piece, but not be able to recreate it at home).

See photos below:
Start of a new chain (I like the fact that even if the chain here looks irregular, it WILL be 'perfect' once finished):

And two finished chains - both are made with copper wire, one is oxidized, one is not oxidized yet. The oxidized one is also thicker and the shiny one is thinner - see, I can already experiment with different finishes!

I will soon post some finished products!