Make and Take project: Fire Patina copper earringsThese earrings were made by guests in my studio on one of the 3 days of this weekend long event.
Every year our local Arts Council sponsors a Studio Tour. As due paying members of the Arts Council, we can participate for an additional fee. I have participated in this event for many years and way back when-- was helpful in getting it on its feet again after our Arts Council went out of business for a few years. Now it is a flourishing event and has been for some time.
peyote stitch double wrap braceletThe Artists Studio Tour is a time when I sell my handmade jewelry. This year bracelets were the most popular item. Second was earrings
ceramic heart earrings
and after that my peyote stitch necklaces
freeform peyote stitch necklace
And equally popular, my nature inspired pendants
ceramic Marguerite daisy pendant
from a French Garden ceramic pendant
Guiding my guests through the make and take earrings project was my favorite part of the weekend. Here is how we did it: A tutorial
Then I drilled holes in them with my drill press
Then it was time for the making
To decorate the copper discs, we used image stamps (see Beaducation for a free stamping video techniques class)
and Texture Hammers
And when they were happy with how their earrings looked, we colored them in with permanent black Sharpie markers so that the stampings and marks would show up better.
Textured copper disc partially colored in with a Sharpie marker
Then we let the fully inked discs dry for about 10-15 min
And rubbed off the extra ink with 0000 Steel Wool
THE FLAME PATINA
Small Lenk 500 Butane Torch and Quench bowl with metal sheet in background--hold you piece beyond that blue tip of the flame so it doesn't get too hot too fast
and then we did the FLAME PATINA that was the most exciting part for everyone. It is like magic.
Disc being held by pliers during the heat patina process
Disc colored with a Flame patina
One of the secrets to creating a great colored patina is to realize that the color comes after the heat. So it is important to heat, quench and look and then go back for more if the color is not intense enough. If you heat up your piece too long and it goes dark, it is just a matter of going back to the the steel wool and rubbing off the patina and starting over.
Here are some of the beautiful earrings my guests made