Friday, September 23, 2011

Fallen Leaves – Inspiration for a Fall Necklace

Who isn’t drawn to fall leaves?  Colors changing, shapes drying, and there is a certain fragrance in the air.  As a kid, I remember jumping into a huge pile of leaves enjoying that crunching sound they made.  So when I walked along our sidewalk and looked right at a group of dried leaves hanging on the tree, I had to pick them.  They were perfectly grouped and hung together gracefully.  What a lovely necklace they would make!
The stages of a leaf
Studying the leaves, I noticed the variation in sizes and the variation in twists and turns.  I noticed the way they were attached to the center stem.  They sat on my desk for a couple of weeks and I would pick them up and look carefully at them trying to decide the best way to create them in copper.  Finally I made patterns of 3 sizes of leaves.  I cut them out of a copper sheet. Then I experimented with annealing (running the copper through a torch flame until the metal was cherry red and cooling them in water) and I loved the resulting color. 
I filed, sanded and drilled the hole for attachment.  But how was I going to get the center crease and side lines?  One day I was reading a post on www.ganoskin.com  a site about jewelry manufacturing and techniques and realized I could use the ‘fold forming’ method.  The article was very helpful and I managed to get the look I wanted. 



The leaves were finished and after looking again at how nature’s leaves were attached to the stem, I formed a center wire ‘tree’ with loops.  I attached each copper leaf to its own loop leaving the larger leaves at the top of the tree. 



Then I made the wire wrapped bail and put the group on a copper chain.  They dangle and make a tinkling sound when I move.  It is so much fun to wear and have people stop, look and listen!







Friday, September 23, 2011

Fallen Leaves – Inspiration for a Fall Necklace

Who isn’t drawn to fall leaves?  Colors changing, shapes drying, and there is a certain fragrance in the air.  As a kid, I remember jumping into a huge pile of leaves enjoying that crunching sound they made.  So when I walked along our sidewalk and looked right at a group of dried leaves hanging on the tree, I had to pick them.  They were perfectly grouped and hung together gracefully.  What a lovely necklace they would make!
The stages of a leaf
Studying the leaves, I noticed the variation in sizes and the variation in twists and turns.  I noticed the way they were attached to the center stem.  They sat on my desk for a couple of weeks and I would pick them up and look carefully at them trying to decide the best way to create them in copper.  Finally I made patterns of 3 sizes of leaves.  I cut them out of a copper sheet. Then I experimented with annealing (running the copper through a torch flame until the metal was cherry red and cooling them in water) and I loved the resulting color. 
I filed, sanded and drilled the hole for attachment.  But how was I going to get the center crease and side lines?  One day I was reading a post on www.ganoskin.com  a site about jewelry manufacturing and techniques and realized I could use the ‘fold forming’ method.  The article was very helpful and I managed to get the look I wanted. 



The leaves were finished and after looking again at how nature’s leaves were attached to the stem, I formed a center wire ‘tree’ with loops.  I attached each copper leaf to its own loop leaving the larger leaves at the top of the tree. 



Then I made the wire wrapped bail and put the group on a copper chain.  They dangle and make a tinkling sound when I move.  It is so much fun to wear and have people stop, look and listen!