Friday, July 29, 2011

The Ocean and Its Jewels

I love the ocean…any ocean.  I love to watch the waves roll in and out bringing seashells and ocean creatures.  The patterns of the sand can hold my attention for hours.  I love the wind on my face even when it is cold although I prefer a warm breeze.  I love old driftwood and birds at the water’s edge.
I love watching whales blowing water and dolphins playing and sea otters floating on their backs.

The variety of color and shapes of seashells amaze me.  Yes, I have collected many and right now they are in a pile on the guest bath counter waiting for glass shelves.  I have several small pieces of coral in various colors that were given to me by my father who also loved them.  We lived in Missouri so ocean things were always a novelty.  I keep them in a box and once in a while take them out and think about the ocean and its treasures. 

The other evening I wanted to make something unusual and thought about the lovely piece of branch coral in my stash.  I also have coral beads and I found a piece of copper.  I started to play.  The coral would need to be protected and I thought of the shapes of seashells.   One thing led to another and I could see that piece of copper become the protector of the fragile branch.  I wanted the shiny copper to be darker and to have some volume. 
A couple of weeks ago I bought map gas and a torch for another project.  I wondered if I could bend the copper more easily if I annealed it.  I heated the copper sheet to a cherry red with the torch and quenched it quickly in water to cool it.  Annealing makes metal softer and I had never tried it with sheet metal.  It worked!  And as an added benefit, the copper turned a rich dark cinnamon color.
I drilled two tiny holes in the copper and attached the coral with a thin wire that holds it securely in place. Next I wire wrapped the copper and coral and attached it to another piece of coral and strung coral beads with copper chain.  The copper clasp is also handmade. 
 This is the finished product!  Reminds me of the ocean and all the things I love about it.
 






Friday, July 29, 2011

The Ocean and Its Jewels

I love the ocean…any ocean.  I love to watch the waves roll in and out bringing seashells and ocean creatures.  The patterns of the sand can hold my attention for hours.  I love the wind on my face even when it is cold although I prefer a warm breeze.  I love old driftwood and birds at the water’s edge.
I love watching whales blowing water and dolphins playing and sea otters floating on their backs.

The variety of color and shapes of seashells amaze me.  Yes, I have collected many and right now they are in a pile on the guest bath counter waiting for glass shelves.  I have several small pieces of coral in various colors that were given to me by my father who also loved them.  We lived in Missouri so ocean things were always a novelty.  I keep them in a box and once in a while take them out and think about the ocean and its treasures. 

The other evening I wanted to make something unusual and thought about the lovely piece of branch coral in my stash.  I also have coral beads and I found a piece of copper.  I started to play.  The coral would need to be protected and I thought of the shapes of seashells.   One thing led to another and I could see that piece of copper become the protector of the fragile branch.  I wanted the shiny copper to be darker and to have some volume. 
A couple of weeks ago I bought map gas and a torch for another project.  I wondered if I could bend the copper more easily if I annealed it.  I heated the copper sheet to a cherry red with the torch and quenched it quickly in water to cool it.  Annealing makes metal softer and I had never tried it with sheet metal.  It worked!  And as an added benefit, the copper turned a rich dark cinnamon color.
I drilled two tiny holes in the copper and attached the coral with a thin wire that holds it securely in place. Next I wire wrapped the copper and coral and attached it to another piece of coral and strung coral beads with copper chain.  The copper clasp is also handmade. 
 This is the finished product!  Reminds me of the ocean and all the things I love about it.