Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's been on my workbench ...

With my first show of the season less than a week away, these are the projects I've been working on.  Above, photos of the charms I made for the 2010 Etsy MetalClay Team charm swap.  I created frames of fine silver with individually-applied hand-cut rectangles, then drilled holes at either end and fired.  Once the charms had been fired, oxidized and polished, I glued tiny squares of textured colored paper within the frames and randomly placed tiny watch gears inside each frame.  Over these I applied resin which cures under a UV lamp. I attached jump rings at both ends and dangled tiny round chrysocolla beads from the bottoms.  Here's a photo of the finished charms, two of which will become part of bracelets that will be donated to charities:

This was a really enjoyable project for me, especially since each charm is unique and slightly different.  And the charms I received in turn were incredibly beautiful and made for a delightful and unique charm bracelet that I love to wear!  Go, Etsy MetalClay Team!  It's a pleasure to work with such an amazingly gifted group of women, and I salute them!

Next, I began creating some fresh pieces for the upcoming show season:

There's no question that the charms I made for the swap influenced strongly my next project.  I so enjoyed working with resin and so love the steampunk look that I had to create a focal utilizing the same features.  I then suspended a Caribbean blue faceted chalcedony drop from the focal piece and fashioned a necklace of borosilicate beads, textured sterling silver chain, a sterling lobster claw clasp, and hand-hammered and forged links to craft a necklace worthy of the focal.

One thing seems to lead to another for me, so coordinating earrings were the next logical step.  I turned the same links into drop earrings by dangling tiny semi-precious gemstone beads (in this case, chrysocolla), adding hand-forged sterling spirals and hammered sterling earwires to create my new Tango earrings -- a somewhat fun and whimsical departure for me.


Finally, I returned to the heart of my work, Washed Ashore II:  A new version of my borosilicate focal-based pendant with a sea theme, featuring my own original molded fine silver seashells and hand-fabricated links and tube beads:


After my show next weekend, I'll post an update!

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