Friday, December 20, 2013

Hold Your Fire Cold Connections Boot Camp Blog Hop LMAJ

Close up of  HOPE  Toggle Clasp constructed with cold connections by Mary Harding

Love My Art Jewelry has been doing  a series of Jewelry Boot Camps. The idea is to promote and teach skills for making handmade jewelry with handmade components:  an idea I fully support.  The current Boot Camp  is called  Hold Your Fire which  is about learning how to put metal together without using a torch.  Instead of soldering two pieces of metal together, we learned alternatives that do not require a torch, such  as screw rivets, tube rivets, metal eyelets, escutcheon pins, and nail head rivets. For my project, I used 1/16 inch short and medium brass eyelets that I purchased from Objects and Elements.  They are a bit tricky to use without splitting them, so it is a good idea to used the rounded side on the front of your piece.  I used my center punch and a very light tap with my chasing hammer on the punch and then used the ball  head of my hammer to gently tap around the edges until they curved and formed a tight bond with the metal.  

The toggle bar is also designed with brass eyelets and one of them has a balled head end pin threaded through it and wired wrapped into a loop on the underside.  I like this way of making the loop since it doesn't allow any escape route for the stringing material.

Close up of wrapped wire loop made through the tube of the brass eyelet.  You can also see what an eyelet should not look like when it gets split by heavy hammering,.

You can see what others made by following this LINK and scrolling down to the inlinkz list of participants.  I look forward to the next Boot Camp on Love My Art Jewelry. Thank you to all of you who work so hard to provide us with your wonderful ideas and techniques.

Monday, December 02, 2013

4th Annual Challenge of Color Hosted by Erin from Treasures Found

This is the 4th Annual Challenge of Color hosted by the gracious, very talented and generous Erin Prais-Hinz on her blog TreasuresFound; my second yearof participating and a wonderful feast for the eyes blog hop. This year we were asked to pick a palette from ColourLovers. We could also play a word game with the palette to give it a name.  I chose to pick an already created palette.
Here is the palette I chose from the ColourLovers web site.  It is called  Southwestern Sunrise.
seems my color brain still gravitates to the land of my childhood:  the southwest
This marvelous palette was created by Sunmeadow
You can view it in its full glory on ColourLovers here

With this bright and varied palette I made what I call a free form herringbone stitch double wrap bracelet.  I say free form since there is no specific color pattern to my piece.  I randomly stitched the bracelet with my Southwestern Sunset palette of  seed beads and twin beads strewn on my beading tray.  Some years ago I found little lazy susans that had a cloth surface that is perfect for containing seed beads and for picking them up with a beading needle.
Unfortunately I have not been able to find any like them since, but I have quite a few since I  bought up a bunch for beading classes I teach.

Although peyote stitch is my favorite off loom beading stitch, I really enjoy the challenge and symmetry of herring bone stitch.  It is always worked in pairs which means you can do some fun things when you think in pairs.  For example it was fun using some of the new twin beads on this bracelet since one twin is equal to 1 pair of seed beads. 

Twin Beads I used in my bracelet

I also enjoyed the challenge of making the clasp an integral part of the bracelet since making the external button hole always puts me in a stitching tizzy and usually ends up too tight!! The pair structure of the herring bone made it easy to use this as a way of creating a negative space for the button.
integrated button hole and my handmade copper button

Overall the bracelet also reminds me of a Persian carpet and rich colors of exotic lands.  
Here is a picture of it all finished up with one of my handmade buttons.
finished double wrap bracelet

Thanks so much Erin for organizing this fun event.  Please visit the other participant by heading over HERE,

Raku Bead Video Part III