Thursday, November 05, 2009

Move over, Metalheads

KJ is conquering her fear of metal…oh, yes she is. With the help of my new friend, Lorelei, I am exploring more metal techniques than ever before. She and I are both blogging about our latest metal experiences and having lots of fun trading stories in the background, too.

And without further ado (because we all hate the excessive ado, no?), here’s my latest experiment:

This project is based on an article by Cindy Wimmer in the most recent issue of “Easy Wire Jewelry.”

It features copper wire spiral links hammered to create a bit of texture and then joined with lampwork beaded links and a copper wire spiral clasp. Of course, her spirals were freakin' PERFECT (how the heck does she DO that, anyway) and mine are...well...not. But I am going with the idea that the lack of perfection actually ADDS to the pure artistry of my creation.

Yeah, that's it.

The original project in the magazine used some nice, earthy lampwork beads in shades of olive and purple, but I decided to go Wham! Bam! Glam! With these really bright and glittery dichroic glass beads.

They actually looked awesome with just the bright copper, but I really wanted to follow the project all the way through and use my Liver of Sulfur again.

Unlike my previous experiment with LOS where the copper wire took FOREVER to achieve just a reddish-purple color, this time, everything went immediately black, black, black. I’m not really sure what the difference was…preparation and cleaning were the same, water temp the same and I actually used less LOS this time than the previous time.


I ended up polishing quite a bit of the black back off again, but I think the metal is now toned just right for the beads. Somewhat aged looking, but not too dark.

Oh, and also, those "genuine copper" daisy spacers that I used...turns out...not so genuine. I don't know what they are actually made of, but it ain't copper. They didn't take the patina AT ALL and stayed just as bright and well, BRIGHT as they were before I used the LOS.

Now, of course, it would have been awesome if I’d remembered to take pictures during each stage of the process so that this post would actually be informative.

I didn’t do that. You will have to deal with the resulting lack of awesomeness.

Which means I’ll probably kill off another follower or two

Go, me.

But hey, Bead Porn tomorrow!

C’mon…you know you want it!


P.S. Lorelei is up next and will post something "metal-related" some time in the next week or so. Stay tuned.


lunedreams said...

haha! yeah, I bought Sharilyn Miller's Ethnic jewelry DVD and my spirals were the Special Olympics version of hers. I think of them as "organic." Some brass and copper beads (most of them probably) won't take the LOS because they're varnished to inhibit tarnish. And many beads--like the spacers--are copper plated only. Have to look for solid copper. Much of the copper and brass craft wire is "tarnish-resistant" too--have to get the "raw" copper/brass (I get it from Rio Grande or Whimsie Studio). You can remove the varnish with citrus furniture stripper. I've also tried boiling it in salt water. Eh. Sort of changed the color of the metal.

SueBeads said...

I think they are great! Perfect isn't always the way to go! I haven't played with metal yet like this, but I think you are doing a great job!

kelleysbeads said...

I think the spirals turned out great! Who wants perfectly twisted spirals? We want handmade & we want it to be, well, umm, I don't know where I was going with that. Other than we don't need no stinkin perfect spirals!

Love that you hammered only parts of the copper wire, but left some parts round and unbeaten. Great combo of colors between the copper & lampwork blues, too

Kristen said...

really pretty, you're doing a great job! I'm practicing doing more with that as well, so thanks for the tips! I love the colors in this. :)

Cindy said...

Your bracelet turned out GREAT! :-) And look at that spiral hook clasp!! You don't give yourself enough credit...seems as though you've been working with wire for a long time!
It is a bummer when I use copper that doesn't take to the I've learned and look for solid or pure copper wire - just as Keirsten said. Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes in creating this bracelet.

Marie Cramp said...

I LOVE it!! You did great, and your spirals are better than you think. I ordered som LOS gel so I hope to get to try something out soon. Bracelet is fantastic!


Lorelei said...

Yippee! This turned out awesome. I love the color combination too - the blue pops against the copper wire.
Nice job...and I agree with Kelley. I don't think perfect spirals are necessary! I think yours look awesome!
Hmmm. wonder what I'll blog about next. Gotta try to find a project.

TesoriTrovati said...

I call that the "happy accident" syndrome... your spirals are beautiful just like you. Wonderful work! What fun to play with friends and metal. Add some wine next time and it might come out even better (or at least you will believe it is!). Enjoy the day KJ!