Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Art Jewelry Elements Blog Hop--Metals

"Everyone Starts Somewhere" Blog Hop -- Entry #11

Jennifer Cameron from the Art Jewelry Elements group blog asked that we consider a jewelry-related skill and show how far we've come over a period of time.    I was immediately reminded of the photography comparison I did last fall compared to photos I had taken the year before.   Oh my, my cheeks are still red from embarrassment.   (Do you remember?  If not, good!   I won't link them up to remind anyone!  ha!)    

And yet, I'm here now doing something similar all over again!    Last year, I decided I wanted to learn to make at least one type of jewelry component myself.   I thought it would be nice to say I had actually made some piece of my jewelry, and perhaps eventually be able to share what I would make with others.

I set as one of my goals for the year to explore various types of beads and components there are, see what might be a good fit for me, then give it a try.   I wasn't even very hard on myself.  When I first started making my own earring pieces I was suddenly prouder of my jewelry.   Just a little thing, but I had made that part myself.   I kept reading and exploring...

One day Melinda Orr started talking about working with metals.   I started listening to every word.  And before you know it, I was watching videos and buying tools and copper and brass and embossing equipment, patinas, and more.  I'm loving it!  

I'm still new to metal work, and want to learn so much more, but I've learned a few things since I started!    For example, this was an early piece I posted in the Spring asking for help...

Do you see what is wrong here?  I knew I had a problem, but was totally appalled when I saw the photo enlarged on the screen in Facebook.  Never mind that the metals aren't evenly bent.

Look at those Razor-sharp edges!  I did have the notion I should round off the pointed corners, but wasn't filing the edges properly.  I had designed jewelry that could be used as weapons!    

The usual helpful, in-the-know folks on the Creative Bead Chat Facebook group set me straight right away.  Thank you!  There have been other times like this, but enough with the stories, and on with the photos!

Early lessons: I learned to properly file the edges, and to use a grinder/buffer on larger pieces.


 An etched, hammered and shaped piece for a pendant--
far from perfect, but an improvement.

I began doing more embossing and using various color techniques with the metals: 

Brass earring dangles I embossed and colored with patinas.

And more playing with patinas:

Earring Dangles

Bracelet cuff

Efforts to shape metals:

Bails that won't stay closed...

Bails that do stay closed...They even look better this way!

Lesson from today... Liver of Sulphur.  

A new bail.
(Never dreamed it would get this dark this quickly! 
It was only in the solution a moment!)
I haven't wire-wrapped this one yet, obviously.

More examples from the "dip" today:
 Needs more practice.
I made them dark, I made them lighter again.
These can be on the next "when I was new" list!

Now, to see more before/after skills, 
we'll return to the "Everyone Starts Somewhere" edition of the....

Thanks for visiting!

Sharyl ~  Sharyl's Jewelry
...Or click to see more 

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Jennifer Cameron said...

Oh my gosh Sharyl! What a dramatic show and tell. Thank you for sharing. I love seeing what you've accomplished since setting your mind to it.

aneri_masi said...

The military can hire you, Sharyl...for producing weapons :P

I loved to see how you have progressed. The pieces are so stylish. Love the one tied up with wire.

AntiquityTravelers said...

What beautiful work you do! And thank goodness you figured out how to file those 'weapon' earrings :D

Unknown said...

Oh my, metal work intimidates me. You have had a great journey. Almost makes me feel like I can try it. Perhaps someday. Thanks.

Rachel said...

You made me laugh--art as a weapon! :) But thank you for sharing your work; it's so great to see that everyone started someplace!

Islandgirl said...

Some of those later metal pieces are lovely... and yes fresh LOS is instant black.. It does seem to fade a bit with time though (2 3 years of wearing regularly)

Great story... don't you hate it when you think you have a lovely piece and then you photograph it... some days I really hate these wonderful new cameras!

Sharyl said...

Islandgirl-- My bracelet cuff looks like stained glass to my eye! But didn't look nearly that good in the photo. I agree entirely!
Thanks for the scoop on LOS too!

To all--I appreciate your comments and support! I feel like a "rookie" writing about how far I've come, but I embrace improvement even in baby steps! Thanks for your help! :-)

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Sharyl, it was enlightening to read about all the steps you have taken on your "metal journey" (that sounds like a rock band LOL). Metal fascinates me: I could totally get into the hammering part, and the chemical experiments sound cool. My list of must-trys is getting longer by the minute. Checked out your Artfire and those components are gorgeous!

Jenni said...

You have really moved on with those metal working skills.
I love the cuff and the bails..both something I want to try myself one day. It's always a little scary how those close up photos show everything..but they can also be an inexpensive teacher! Great post.

Alice said...

Well I don't think your early pieces are bad at all. But one can definately see new skills in design and technique with the newer pieces, (which are fabulous, by the way).

Thanks for sharing!

glassbead, isinglass design said...

Lovely work! And you really showed your progress nicely. You're getting me excited about the idea of trying something like this myself...

Tanya said...

I have been loving the embossed and patinaed components in your shop. The patina colors are awesome. The liver of sulpher pieces made my jaw drop. I love the los on the embossed flower. I can't wait to see more. :)

Tammy said...

Your metal pieces are works of art and I can definitely see the evolution of your work. I would love to be able to make creative pieces like these.