Sunday, December 27, 2009

Still "torching..."

I'm experimenting with my torch fired enamels, and I tried some copper wire shapes today.  The copper heated up okay, but the enamel is peeling off after the copper has cooled off.  Picture shows where the copper shines through.  I also have white enamel powder, but it comes out pinkish even after three layers of firing.  Can't figure that one out.  So, the pink bead in the picture is supposed to be opaque white, but hey, I'm not complaining. :)  I like the pink.  I guess you never quite know what the end result is as you fire away.  This is sooo much fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How I used my new torch-fired enamel beads...

I really wanted to use copper chain for this charm bracelet, but since I didn't have any and couldn't get to a store, I took my good ole oxidized chain, some steel wire, some charms, and my blue/green/mauve/lavender enameled beads and created this bracelet:  Mermaid's Gift!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Torch fired enamel...

My first foray into torch-fired enamels. Yeah!  How much fun I had, and how much more fun I will have when I find more types of copper blanks and beads, and more enamel colors!  I especially love the cobalt blue.  It had a tendency to overpower the gentler colors.  I was a bit nervous about using a torch, but I had a clamp that securely attached the cannister to the table, and all I had to do was to turn on the gas and "whoosh" off we went on the enameling adventure. I can think of many ways to use the beads.  The long beads are refrigerator copper tubing that I cut with a pipe cutter and smoothed with a rasp.  I spent an hour and a half at the hardware store and now I know how men feel when they meander around a women's clothing store looking for something in particular, or any other store for that matter--EXCEPT for the hardware store.  They might not have any qualms about lawnmower or gun stores either... 
Anyway, there were lots of cute guys in there... ;) 
Thanks to Barbara Lewis at Jewelry of Distinction I got more than enough instruction to get myself going.  Thanks Barbara!  Check it out, you might get addicted! :-D

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Steampunk, from the dusty forgotten corners of my studio...

Rooted through some stash of the "wild and wonderfully dusty stuff" in the corners of my studio today with the aim of making something different. I went with the grungy look, steampunk, though steampunk isn't necessarily grungy. I have some watch movements lying around in a bead tray (don't ask me about my stash sorting system,) and I dusted some off and applied some E6000 to the back of some and affixed them to others. Interesting sequence of events... I had no idea how the parts would all come together. Grabbed a few charms, some Swarovski crystals, my handy pliers to bend that rough steel wire, some semi-precious stones (have lots of those,) and went at it. In a flurry of inspiration, I made two bracelets, truly OOAK. Posted in my etsy shop, but here are some pictures. If you want to read the story line, please check my etsy entry.

Well, if that's not enough, I went and bought myself a Christmas present. Yes, yes, I know it's early, but hey, there was only one of each of these two items left...
I'm getting into enameling on copper next! I saw an article about Barbara Lewis and her fabulous jewelry in the latest issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry (what a great publication!) and promply visited her blog, and then her etsy shop where all these goodies were avaiable. Torch, work station, lots of friendly advice... I'm fired up!
Check out her blog here.I felt like I'd hit the jackpot in blogland as well. You know those peoople you instantly connect with... Well, my PayPal account is empty but I'm going to haunt the post office box for the wherewithals to fuel my addiction to ART! Yay!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's hard to knit with a cat in your lap...

I spend some time every day in my favorite, super comfortable easy chair (in other words, my super ugly brown recliner) and knit. It's something I learned from my mother and other brave women in the generation before me. I didn't have the best of patience... This time I'm making a wool plus purse. It'll be felted, but the added fancy yarns will look the same since only wool yarn felts. I've made some of these purses in the past and I thought some friend might get this one for Christmas. I love the muted blues and purples.
My cat Bailey loves that chair as much as I do... So, there is this cat with lots of paws and claws and constantly moving yarn. You can imagine the action, or longing for action that goes through this (rather lazy) cat. He knows the word "NO" but that doesn't always work.
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him in my lap crowding out the balls of yarn, but he did let me take a picture on the porch this morning of my knitting efforts. The finished product will be posted at a later day.