Friday, June 26, 2015

Finished Pieces

Today I want to share some pictures of finished jewelry from last week's butterfly cane. I decided to use the scrap part (the beginning and end of the cane) and see what kind of designs I could create.  ( I have yet to cut into the 'good' butterfly canes.)


Earrings

   

  

Pendants
  


Bracelets

 

Beads

 



Buttons






Most of these are in my etsy shop  www.etsy.com/shop/lindabrittdesign
























Friday, June 19, 2015

Monarch Butterflies and More



Inspiration comes from many sources – in this case a stylized butterfly on a pottery vase in a magazine. I knew it was time to play with my polymer clay.  Finding a photo of a favorite butterfly - the Monarch- and corresponding clay colors (some mixed and some straight from the package) got me started.  I'm including some pictures of the various stages in making the cane.  Maybe it will help non-clayers understand the process a little better.

Ready for the white dots and then to reduce this cane.

Adding the last bands of white dots to the cane.  There is a layer of black clay, rows of white snakes, another layer of black and another layer of white snakes.  This is added to the outside of the cane.
It seems that every time I make a cane (clay in rods with color or pattern) it comes out much larger than necessary.  It takes more clay (I ran out of black and had to buy more).  The larger cane is more difficult to reduce. That’s just the way of it! 


This cane ended up to be about 6” in diameter and 3” tall in a somewhat triangular shape.   Starting in the middle of the cane and squeezing and pulling as evenly as possible leaves convoluted ends that will not be usable for the intended pattern.  That means there will be quite a bit of waste and I’m just not good at wadding the waste in a ball for later use. 

The cane gets smaller in diameter and taller as the cane is reduced.  The pattern stays the same throughout.  The size changes.
Reduce the cane by squeezing and pulling evenly 
After the cane is reduced to the largest size I want for the butterfly, I cut it in half and save half.  Then I reduce it more and cut that in half and save half.  I continue this until I have the smallest size I think I need.  As this reduction happens, the ends get concave and then are sliced straight.  

That leaves a lot of clay without a complete pattern.  I want to see what I can do with the ends before I start using the real canes.  This might not be the best way to continue.  Maybe I should put the waste away and be creative with the butterflies.  I can’t seem to do that.  For a few days, I play with the ‘waste’ to see what I can make.  Beads, earrings, pendants, buttons!  I love the way the patterns change depending on the size and selections.


This is a picture of interesting usable pattern slices from the ends of the cane.

A few of the beads, earrings. pendants and buttons from the scrap butterfly cane.

Yes, there will be plenty of butterflies for everyone!  It’s summer after all!

Butterflies in lots of sizes ready to slice and use in jewelry.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Variety of Chains



Chains and links fascinate me.  Every once in a while I stop and learn to make some.  Keith Lo Bue’s class using steel wire was such fun that I made a couple of long chains.  I also tried some in copper. 

Steel Wire with hollow silver beads
Copper Wire Chain
While looking through a file of pages ripped from jewelry magazines, I came across Jude Carmona’s tutorial on silver chain.  (from www.WireworkMag.com  fall of 2013) and decided it was time to try her techniques.  I ordered 14 gauge half round silver wire.  While I was waiting for it to arrive, I made the first chain with 14 gauge bronze wire.  I cut the 25 pieces of 7” bronze wire for the links as well as all the pieces for the figure-8’s, jump rings and hook and eye clasp.  I balled the ends of the wires as directed and, of course, the balls turned a lovely pink while the wire between stayed shiny bronze.  But this was a practice piece and I continued on! 

After all the links were made, I started assembling.  It is time consuming to coil the thick wire around a dowel for 25 links!  Hands get tired and taking breaks is recommended!  Also letting a bit of ‘zen’ attitude into the process makes a difference!

Bronze Wire Links - Note color change from torch
Once the piece was assembled, it went into the tumbler and came out beautiful!  The pink balls lend a touch of the exotic.  Very happy!  I used ProtectAClear as a sealer.


The silver wire arrived and what a difference in handling it compared to the bronze.  The weight difference is the first thing I noticed – after all I’m working with half round instead of round so there is not as much material.  The silver was so easy to bend!  Also having a flat side to coil on the dowel meant quicker coils!   I’ll use the half round again for chain! 
I used liver of sulphur for the patina on the silver and then tumbled it.  Gorgeous! 

Silver Half Round Wire
Finished Silver Necklace
Thank you Wirework and Jude Carmona for getting me started in learning about different wire and how they differ.  The tutorial was well written and easy to follow.













Friday, June 26, 2015

Finished Pieces

Today I want to share some pictures of finished jewelry from last week's butterfly cane. I decided to use the scrap part (the beginning and end of the cane) and see what kind of designs I could create.  ( I have yet to cut into the 'good' butterfly canes.)


Earrings

   

  

Pendants
  


Bracelets

 

Beads

 



Buttons






Most of these are in my etsy shop  www.etsy.com/shop/lindabrittdesign
























Friday, June 19, 2015

Monarch Butterflies and More



Inspiration comes from many sources – in this case a stylized butterfly on a pottery vase in a magazine. I knew it was time to play with my polymer clay.  Finding a photo of a favorite butterfly - the Monarch- and corresponding clay colors (some mixed and some straight from the package) got me started.  I'm including some pictures of the various stages in making the cane.  Maybe it will help non-clayers understand the process a little better.

Ready for the white dots and then to reduce this cane.

Adding the last bands of white dots to the cane.  There is a layer of black clay, rows of white snakes, another layer of black and another layer of white snakes.  This is added to the outside of the cane.
It seems that every time I make a cane (clay in rods with color or pattern) it comes out much larger than necessary.  It takes more clay (I ran out of black and had to buy more).  The larger cane is more difficult to reduce. That’s just the way of it! 


This cane ended up to be about 6” in diameter and 3” tall in a somewhat triangular shape.   Starting in the middle of the cane and squeezing and pulling as evenly as possible leaves convoluted ends that will not be usable for the intended pattern.  That means there will be quite a bit of waste and I’m just not good at wadding the waste in a ball for later use. 

The cane gets smaller in diameter and taller as the cane is reduced.  The pattern stays the same throughout.  The size changes.
Reduce the cane by squeezing and pulling evenly 
After the cane is reduced to the largest size I want for the butterfly, I cut it in half and save half.  Then I reduce it more and cut that in half and save half.  I continue this until I have the smallest size I think I need.  As this reduction happens, the ends get concave and then are sliced straight.  

That leaves a lot of clay without a complete pattern.  I want to see what I can do with the ends before I start using the real canes.  This might not be the best way to continue.  Maybe I should put the waste away and be creative with the butterflies.  I can’t seem to do that.  For a few days, I play with the ‘waste’ to see what I can make.  Beads, earrings, pendants, buttons!  I love the way the patterns change depending on the size and selections.


This is a picture of interesting usable pattern slices from the ends of the cane.

A few of the beads, earrings. pendants and buttons from the scrap butterfly cane.

Yes, there will be plenty of butterflies for everyone!  It’s summer after all!

Butterflies in lots of sizes ready to slice and use in jewelry.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A Variety of Chains



Chains and links fascinate me.  Every once in a while I stop and learn to make some.  Keith Lo Bue’s class using steel wire was such fun that I made a couple of long chains.  I also tried some in copper. 

Steel Wire with hollow silver beads
Copper Wire Chain
While looking through a file of pages ripped from jewelry magazines, I came across Jude Carmona’s tutorial on silver chain.  (from www.WireworkMag.com  fall of 2013) and decided it was time to try her techniques.  I ordered 14 gauge half round silver wire.  While I was waiting for it to arrive, I made the first chain with 14 gauge bronze wire.  I cut the 25 pieces of 7” bronze wire for the links as well as all the pieces for the figure-8’s, jump rings and hook and eye clasp.  I balled the ends of the wires as directed and, of course, the balls turned a lovely pink while the wire between stayed shiny bronze.  But this was a practice piece and I continued on! 

After all the links were made, I started assembling.  It is time consuming to coil the thick wire around a dowel for 25 links!  Hands get tired and taking breaks is recommended!  Also letting a bit of ‘zen’ attitude into the process makes a difference!

Bronze Wire Links - Note color change from torch
Once the piece was assembled, it went into the tumbler and came out beautiful!  The pink balls lend a touch of the exotic.  Very happy!  I used ProtectAClear as a sealer.


The silver wire arrived and what a difference in handling it compared to the bronze.  The weight difference is the first thing I noticed – after all I’m working with half round instead of round so there is not as much material.  The silver was so easy to bend!  Also having a flat side to coil on the dowel meant quicker coils!   I’ll use the half round again for chain! 
I used liver of sulphur for the patina on the silver and then tumbled it.  Gorgeous! 

Silver Half Round Wire
Finished Silver Necklace
Thank you Wirework and Jude Carmona for getting me started in learning about different wire and how they differ.  The tutorial was well written and easy to follow.