Monday, May 6, 2013

AW Bead Chat 5x5 Mini Blog Hop!

Each month 5 metal workers are selected to work with 5 pieces of metal to see what they can create.   At the end, the work is revealed!   The latest issue of ArtisanWhimsy Bead Chat, released Friday, May 3, shows the most recent group of  5x5 Tester results!   You can find them on pages 21-26 of the Glossi magazine! 

So that you can further enjoy the processes involved in making the "5x5" creations, the participants are hosting a mini-blog hop.   Because the testers often do more than just design with the pieces, but also manipulate them first, it’s an intriguing process to see where our imaginations took each of us.   We hope you will visit each of us and watch our journeys.

These are the 5 metal pieces that each of us received:

The very first thing I did was take everything, except the filigree piece, and run them through the tumbler to clean the metals well.   Sorry I didn't take a photo after that stage;  they came out so beautifully!    These are each pretty heavy gauge metals, and are of good quality, so they took well to any altering I attempted.

#1.  This was my first piece, the brass circle.

This was a very hard, mesh-like, raw brass piece, that arrived in this circular shape with a cut in it.   My first question was whether I should try to straighten it (which seemed like it would be very difficult, and then what would I do with it), or fasten it into a circle (a much more favorable solution.)   I decided to try just a bit of wire to hold the ends together.   It all looked easier than it was, of course, but it worked.   Then I looked through my collection for something to put in the middle...beads, pendents, wire, metal....   What I would do with the metal piece in terms of color, wrapping with wire, ribbon, or waxed linen cord, would depend on the center piece.

I finally decided on this blue-gray button I had recently purchased from Shaterra.  I connected the cut circle with wire, then applied a mix of patinas to turn the brass circle a dark blue-gray color.

Then I wrapped the circle and button with a thin black ribbon.  Black rolo chain seemed the perfect match.     The colors are not exactly "in season"  for Spring, but about the time I was making this, I was watching a Dickens movie in which many of the characters were in mourning, and this piece seemed appropriate for that.  (I did way more than the average amount of taking apart and redoing in this challenge!   I'm still not thrilled with the ribbon;  I will probably take this apart and redo again.)
Button by Sharleen Newland

 #2:  This was the "X" piece.

 I decided immediately I wanted to make a bail out of it, then couldn't figure out what to do with it after that! For a long while, I considered it using with another one of our 5 components. If it was going to be a bail, it needed a pendant to go with it. I had run the piece through the tumbler, and it was a beautiful, shiny brass.

I wrapped it in SS-filled white brass wire.   When I found a pendant from "More Skye Jewels," I realized how the shape of the bail and the pendant were so similar. I added a black ox chain to match the trim of the wood tile, and added dangles. 

When all was done, I just didn't like how that shiny gold-like brass stood out against the black and silver. I tried to dull it with shades of olive and muddy-color patinas, but it didn't look right. I added black. Not right. I covered the entire thing in black. Much better. I only wish I had blackened it before I wire-wrapped it. I could have done a much better, even job of it.

Eiffel Tower Tile Pendant by 

#3:  Copper "Apron"

I may have over-processed this one, or perhaps, I'm not yet finished...  I started with the copper piece, and cut out a larger piece of brass to fit behind it. I stamped one design on the copper, and a strip of another design on the brass.

 Then I made silver dangles for the bottom. It looked pretty good, I thought, but decided the copper needed some color. I dipped in liver of sulfur, but still wanted more color, so applied some color patinas. Then it seemed too dark, even when I buffed much of it off. It also covered most of my stampings. Bummer!

I couldn't decide what chain to use, but had this copper chain with green beads that was forming a a natural patina and thought it enhanced the color on the copper part of the pendant, so I went with that.  (I'm still trying to improve on this necklace and have continued working with it, trying to make have less contrast between the aged and super-shiny parts.)

#4:   This is my favorite!

 When I dipped the piece into liver of sulfur, it turned this brilliant magenta color! I've never had that happen!  

After applying  Rennaisance Wax,  I just wrapped a bit of brass wire around the middle and tried to find something interesting to do with it! (Both brass and copper are repeated throughout the design.)  I found this large, lovely boro lampwork bead by Amanda Cargill-Austin in my stash, used that, a few assorted beads, and some wirework to add color and design.   I antiqued this lovely copper chain too.   I love the colors! Wa-la!

#5:  This was the last piece I worked on.

I felt pretty secure when I started this piece because I work with filigree quite a bit. I have tools to bend it, which came in handy.  I also already had a larger but similar silver-plated brass piece on hand that I could place beneath the brass piece we were given, and they lined up so well! I had such a good start, I saved this until the end to finish.

But, well, talk about your "cold connections." (It's embarrassing to say, but I don't have a torch yet.) Wire wasn't working for me; I couldn't seem to draw the two pieces up close together. Glue?   I've never tried it on metal and didn't know how effective it would be. So I used hand-dyed silk ribbon, which I have used before, and tied it very tightly.It's very smooth on the wrist too, one nice advantage. I did use wire to attach the Mother of Pearl bead in the center and tucked the wire under the ribbon. Then attached chain and wire-wrapped pearlized glass beads on jump rings to make the length of the chain adjustable.

I often mix metal colors.  In this bracelet you see antiqued silver, antiqued brass, bright brass, and a bright silver clasp.   I found myself mixing metals even more than usual in this challenge.    It was fun working with types of pieces I might never have chosen for myself, and really trying to think of something different to do with them!    

I worried I wouldn't be creative enough.... then I worried I may have gone too far when some pieces started to be unrecognizable!  All my fears were eased in that regard when I saw the wonderfully delightful, wonderfully unique pieces, from the wonderfully talented other 4 participants.

I'll link you to them now:

Charlene Bausinger Jacka     “Clay Space”   
Lesley Freedom    “SweetFreedom Designs”   

Heidi Mansfield Kingman     “Heidi Kingman Jewelry   

Joan Williams   lilruby jewelry

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson     “Sharyl’s Jewelry”    

A special note of gratitude to Heather Kelly Martson, who donated the metal pieces for this month!
     CSW Design Blog       hehebeads etsy store   

Additional thanks to Alicia Marinache for coordinating the project and Melinda Orr for creating it, and for all she does to create this wondrous world of Artisan Whimsy!


   I'll be giving away one piece from my 5x5 collection!  Please leave a comment on this page by Wed, May 8, at 11:55pm Central time, and make sure I have a way to contact you for a chance to win!


baymoondesign said...

Well done and very creative. I am really fond of 2. The shape and color work together so well. I would love to win a piece from this collection.

Unknown said...

Oh heavens girl, where to start? I love your creativity, and hearing your thought process on each piece. I actually liked the X in both finishes, the shiny and dark. Love the magenta finish on the cut circle. I think I like the filigree piece for it's soft, vintage feel, which is funny, cause that's not my normal style. I do like the black ribbon on the first piece, but I can see how you might want more of the surface to show. You really did an outstanding job with the challenge, my friend!

AntiquityTravelers said...

you really did some amazing work with these pieces! I absolutely love how you slightly bent the last one into a bracelet cuff! would not have thought of that, but what a spectacular idea! And the Eiffel Tower - wowza! I have a similar pendant from Skye Jewels ... and now you have me thinking!

Tanya said...

Those are beautiful, Sharyl. I love what you did with #4. That was probably one of the most challenging.

I love the button in #1. Would wire work if you are not sure of the ribbon?

The bracelet is just stunning. I love the filigree and ribbon.

Heather said...

love it love it love it!
Your work is amazing and so creative. I can't believe what you did with the each piece. Wonderful!

Sweet Freedom said...

Nice work with all the pieces! It was great to get to know you during the challenge!

Natalie -- NKP Designs said...

Oh wow, Sharyl, you blow me away with your creativity! I love seeing where you started and where you ended up. Brilliant! :)

Sharyl said...

Thank you, all! You know how much I love hearing from you! This was an especially fun, especially challenging event for me.

And it was fun for me to read how all the other participants struggled just the same! We each had our pieces we found easier than the others, and we each had pieces we were stumped on. The funny thing is that they were different pieces! Hope you'll visit the other participants' blogs too!

Shel said...

Oh, these are all very cool. I especially love the last necklace (the colors are fabulous) and the Eiffel Tower one, too - wow!

Mary said...

I love what you did with all of the pieces. I loved how you made the brass X in to a bail and colored it, it really looks great with the pendant.

Carol D. said...

Almost missed this post and the giveaway. Getting a little behind reading blog posts. But I am here now and hoping my luck is good.

Sharyl said...

Glad you got in, Carol D! Same to all the rest of you! I appreciate your participation.

This will be the end of the drawing. I'll announce the winner a bit later.

Please feel free to continue leaving any comments you have!


Pine Ridge Treasures said...

All I can say, Sharyl is Wow!Every component looks great. I think I I had to pick a favorite, it would be the filigree piece.