Jewelry Artisans Community July 2012 Blog Carnival

Each month some of the members of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog on the same topic.  This month’s topic, Movement, came about because while organizing last month’s blog carnival (which I totally failed to participate in), it transpired that several of us were engaged in a moving project of some sort, mostly involving aged parental units.

Including movement in a piece adds interest to it and can help make it seem cohesive.  But I can’t just be normal, so I’m going to show you the process of making a piece that wanted to move against my will.

This is a piece that I dreamed up to donate to an art lottery to support our local community college alumni scholarship fund.  The last piece I donated was well-received, so I felt some pressure to live up to it this time around, but I was completely devoid of ideas for months, largely due to the stress of the aforementioned move.  But at last (like, two weeks before the deadline) I came up with a plan.

From a post on Rena Klingenberg’s site, I had got the idea to purchase a pancake die, which I used to cut out these copper pieces.Image

After texturing, I planned to rivet them together, one on top of the other.  Unfortunately, the holes that I punched were bigger than any of the copper wire I had handy.  Still don’t know how that happened.  16 gauge wire worked before.  Anyhoo, I had to come up with an alternate plan, seeing as how with less than a week to go, I didn’t have time to acquire the proper size wire.  So I decided I would lash the pieces together with the wire I did have.  This required the punching of additional holes, because by now I had decided I would include a gemstone donut.  This is what I had in mind.

Image  The wire in this picture was just to hold it steady while I punched the other holes.  Notice the extra hole in the middle of the top blank – that’s where I punched by mistake because I wasn’t paying attention. No time to redo, as by now I was down to a couple of days to go.

Meanwhile, I whipped up a batch of ball-ended headpins (‘nother story) and made up some dangles to hang from the chain that I hadn’t yet decided on using.  Have I mentioned that because I have an extensive craft background, I have a tendency to believe that I can do any new thing I turn my mind to?  Without ever having attempted it before?  I haven’t?  Well, it’s a fact.  Not one necessarily supported by the evidence, but a fact nonetheless.

So back to the pendant.  Here it is after I had wrapped the copper shapes to the donut.Image

Okay, so this was looking like a plan, except for one thing. Notice how the copper piece is hanging under the donut?  Well, I wanted it to be up much higher, on the side of the donut. But the weight of the copper component made it slide down aroung the donut to the bottom.  See that?  Unwanted movement. How to fix, how to fix?  Well, one option was to redo the wire wrapping.  Clearly it wasn’t tight enough.  On the other hand, the reason it wasn’t tight enough was the difficulty I had getting in between the copper and the donut.  So I didn’t think I was necessarily going to be able to get it any tighter.

Of course, my original plan had me wrapping the wire through the top hole on the copper piece.  Well, I still had the hole.  Then inspiration (born of the desperation of the deadline looming) struck.  I would use that top hole and wrap the copper part directly to the chain, alongside the donut, instead of hanging the whole thing by the donut.


Great!  Now it was hanging the way I intended.  So I proceeded to put the finishing touches on the pendant and added the dangles I had prepared.  To finish, I hammered out a couple of neck bars and a clasp, also out of copper, and called it a day.  Here’s the finished necklace:


I did end up turning it in a week late, but only because other artists whose donations I was collecting, couldn’t get theirs to me until then.  I admit I totally took advantage of the extra time to procrastinate some more so that I finished the piece the day before I took everything in to be juried.

I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to make this work, and I love the end result.  I will be buying a ticket to the lottery, and if no one else chooses it first, I just might select it for myself.  Because even though I could, if not duplicate it exactly, make something very similar, I’m not sure I would.

See what other JAC members have to say at the links below.



7 Responses to Jewelry Artisans Community July 2012 Blog Carnival

  1. Cat says:

    That was very cool to follow! Thanks for the sharing the whole process.


  2. Interesting process, I buy all my copper wire from Ace but they don’t normally have anything bigger than 18, other than electrical wire which I’ll buy and strip when desperate! Lovely piece I hope it does well at the auction!


    • beadsophisticate says:

      Thanks. I tried copper from the hardware store, but found it a bit hard to work with. The copper in this piece is from Thunderbird. It comes dead soft, so it was very easy to manipulate.


  3. Jeanne says:

    Great story! Thanks for taking us on that journey. The copper, blues and greens go so well together. What a great necklace, I love it!!


  4. That turned out great! You had me laughing as I read your post – your approach sounds very familiar!


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