Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romantic at Heart

 Lately I've been playing around with steel and making my own links and clasps.  I have a long way to go but I  sure am having fun learning. (If anyone knows of a workshop available in the Ontario area for working with steel let me know.  I'm up for the challenge)
There is something truly rewarding about taking a dirty piece of steel and forcing it into new shapes and then pounding on each and every link with a hammer on a steel bench block! (actually though I could do without the noise !)

I wanted to see what I could come up with using the A-I-O Heart mold. (I'll do a quick video soon to show you that part of the process.)
I also made all of the charms from scrap clay and then included some of the glass dangles from a old broken chandelier. (I'm so glad that I kept all of the interesting bits when the light fixture broke (probably 5 years ago!)  I've gotten used to the odd looks from my family when i stash things. I know YOU can relate right? 

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Monday, April 16, 2012

My final Collar- style neck piece!

Here is my final collar-style neck piece. This type of neck piece is really popular on the runway these days and that puts me in the mood to create a new one! (We'll see if time actually allows this. Sigh)

How I did it

  • The grommets used for this piece are gun metal (although they do appear almost black in the photo)
  • I used some vintage clip-on style earrings.I liked the rounded triangle shape of the clip-ons and because they were metal, it meant that i could bake them without any worries.
  •  After baking the "Get to the point!" bezel, i made an eye pin from wire and placed on the back before adding another layer of clay and re-baking.  Always make sure that you bend the wire so that it can't pull out!
  • Click on the link to see how i made the texture sheet for use in the cabochons and also for the beads.  It's part of my contribution to the on-line resource at Art Jewelry Magazine. You may have to join first but it's painless and free to join.  There is a wealth of info on the Art Jewelry  site. Free projects, forums, resources and more!
  • The collage above shows the tools used to create the "negative" texture sheet.
  • I used an awl, a pen, a few different screwdrivers and some of the grommets too. (remove the grommets before baking)
          I love the lines that the large pliers make when you squeeze the clay between them.
  • After baking the "negative", you then create a "positive" texture sheet and this is what is used to create the texture in the tube beads and the cabochons.
  • To make the cabochons press the the "positive" texture deeply into your sheeted clay. (use water as a release). Then use the cabezel mold.  You don`t need to press to hard to create the cabochons and in this instance, pressing too much will cause you to lose the texture.
  • After the cabs are cut out,  baked and cooled, add your acrylic paint.  Make sure you get it into all of the crevices.  Wipe the surface of the cab to remove excess paint before it dries.  OR, your other option is to let the paint dry and then sand the surface but who the heck wants to sand anything?!?!

    That's it! I hope that you found this helpful.
    Email me here with questions or comments!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More about my faux "metal core" beads

Yeah!!! I received my complimentary copies of Art Jewelry magazine a few days ago so I finally got to see what did and didn't make it onto the pages of the magazine.
This eggplant and pumpkin colored necklace had originally made an appearance but because of space restraints was cut.  No worries.  I'll still share some of the details of how it was put together here with YOU!! 
  •  I mentioned in my last post that "Frame It" was used for the focal piece on the necklace. Once it was baked i just placed it on top of some clay (eggplant color) that had a gold leaf crackled effect. Then i placed 2 metal clips on each side before adding another layer of clay to the back.  This made a nice little "sandwich" to keep the clips in place. After baking it i then backed it with a thin piece of black clay and my signature stamp to finish it off nicely.
  •  The clipsTheses clips are often referred to as Japanese paper clips.  I bought mine ages ago at Dollarama so I'm not sure if you'll be able to find them there but Michael's should still be carrying them . (Look in the scrap booking section)
  • I used the "Frame It" CaBezel mold for the earrings as well but I only needed the "cabochon" side of the mold.
  • The base clay for the earrings and the focal bead on the necklace is whatever was left over after i had created all of the "metal core" beads so there is some of both colors. Once the cabs were baked i painted on a thin layer of liquid clay and sprinkled some fine glitter on top, re-baked  for a few minutes and once cooled i added 1 more layer of liquid clay to hold the glitter in place.  (Bake briefly and then use a heat gun to create a nice crystal clear finish) 
  • A metal clip was used at the top of the earrings as well.
    The grommets used to mimic the look of "metal core" beads in this necklace are copper colored and can be purchased here.
I hope this answers all of your questions as to how this set was constructed.   If not, you can always email me here with questions or comments.

When i get a chance, I'll blog about how I created the texture in the cabochons below!

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Greeting cards

 These beautiful cards were made by "Rosemarie" using my texture stamps "Gingko Collage" and "Honeycomb"
I often wish that I had some talent for creating greeting cards!!! (especially around Christmas time)
Thanks Rosemarie!
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