Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Studio Tour 2012

                           Make and Take project:  Fire Patina copper earrings 
These 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 bracelet
The 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

Overview of the wooden oak desk that we used for a work table.--a bit low but it worked out

Before the Studio Tour I prepared the materials.

First I cut out the copper circles with my handy disc cutter

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

                                                      Guests working on their earrings

                                                      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

Thanks so much for stopping by and viewing my Studio Tour happenings.


  1. Oh that looks like so much fun - it's great being creative in groups and comparing results. All your jewelry is beautiful but I am rather smitten with those verdigris ceramic hearts - gorgeous!

  2. Wow - I love the varied colors obtained by the flame in those earrings! This is a perfect "make and take" project, sure to "whet the appetite" for aspiring artisans! All of your jewelry is fabulous-your wrapped peyote stitch bracelet - and necklace as well - is stunning! Seed beading boggles this non-seed-beaders mind...one of these days I will pick up the needle (I keep threatening!) I would have loved to have visited your studio in person!

  3. Thank you for sharing this experience with us!! This must have been fun!!

  4. Your work has always been an inspiration... you're so talented.

  5. How great that you did that with people on the tour. Makes everything so much more fun and gets them involved. Sure wish I could have been on that tour! And I second what Lori said!

  6. My heart always races when I see your peyote stich work...it is so beautiful, and then I want to do it again!
    Your class looks amazing, you are incredibly talented!
    Happy New Year!

  7. Oh I love that idea of using a Sharpie to bring out the texture, looking foreward to trying it. Thanks for sharing that! Looks like it was a fun time!

  8. Do you seal them after obtaining the patina you want? If so, what do you use?

    1. I seal them with Renaissance Wax which works well. You might also try a clear shoe polish wax as they seemed to be similar products.

  9. Wonderful post, really inspiring - I've linked to it on my January Jewelled Web post on my blog :)

  10. do you only use black sharpie or do colored sharpies make pretty colors on the copper?

    1. I have never used colored sharpies but I think they would work as the black sharpie hangs in there even after being tumbled. I have tried the Vintaj metal patinas with some success. Here is a YouYube link to see how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB9BiY5jBW8

  11. Wonderful tutorial, I didn't know you could use heat after applying a sharpie. I must try this. Thank you so much for sharing this. All your work is stunning!!

  12. Anonymous21/1/18 10:00

    Hi, Can you tell me, after you patina to the colour you want do you place the copper disc in pickle to clean it up?

  13. Muchas gracias es un metodo sencillo ..pero se aprende...muchas gracias ...


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