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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More simple earrings and fun stuff

Earrings are fun to design and I enjoy trying to use some eclectic items to create slightly odd combinations. This one will work with any bead and really any color wire. I had copper hooks and so chose 16 gauge (1mm) square copper wire for the hoop. Two approaches came to mind..one to solder the join in the loop and the other was to hide it in the bead and use a little E-6000 to fix the position of the bead. This bead is a little tight on the wire so I chose the glue.

With the bead to one side of the join, I put a drop of E-600 on the wire next to the bead, then closed the gap like one would with a jump ring, swinging the wire close and bending slightly to tighten the gap. Then push the bead into place and let it sit. The hoops were formed by wrapping a foot of the wire around a wood dowel. Then cutting with the flat side of the clippers to the facing segments. You can make a whole pile of circles at once with this method.

The loops are about 1 inch across.

Add a natural background and they are ready to sell.

This project is another 5 minute ring. I started with a foot of 8 gauge sterling silver and wrapped it around a ring mandrel and hammered it around the out side with a smooth planishing hammer. This gives a faceted look to the silver and hardens the ring. Next I filed the ends of the wire to smooth and shape them. and punched a hole 1/16 in in one end. I riveted a 6 prong silver snaptite mount 10mm diameter in place and polished the ring to a smooth texture

The ring is adjustable over a 4-5 size range and the head is filled with a man made ruby.

Here are the components of an art doll that I created from an antique German body and a plastic dinosaur head. Each piece was cast in plaster then liquid clay was poured into the molds and when it was set up a little the head and body were removed and joined with more liquid clay. The result is on the left. That was fired to about 1860 degrees and allowed to cool then glazed and fired again.

This dapper little fellow is the result. I have made three and will continue to make more...4 will become the knights in a fantasy chess set I am creating.

This is the next combination I will make; a duck headed doll. Coming up will be the restoration and reproduction of an 1840s cherub and an 1830s boy doll wearing his dads clothes. I have acquired over 500 new dolls and parts in the last week. All dug up in Germany 

This is a shot from the location where the dolls are being recovered by Cornelius Peschel. The picture is from his Ebay listings. His seller id is cocona36 check out his offerings.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Simple dangle earrings in silver and stone.

The components for this design are a pair of french hooks with fine chain,a jeweled head pin and two different sized beads. I chose to use silver for the metals and agate and tiger eye beads from http://www.magpiegemstones.com/catalog/item/5238556/8841592.htm

First step is to place the beads on the headpins.

Next bend the wire at a sharp right angle.

Then grasp with round nose pliers or bail making pliers and wrap around the tip tightly forming a hook shape.

Leave enough room to slide the end of the chain onto the wire...

And form the wrap making a tight 2 layer wrap

Then snip off close to the bead.

The result are a pair of attractive dangles.

With the jeweled headpin adding just a touch of class at the bottom. This pair was just listed at www.oscarcrow.etsy.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Further wrapping with wire and a pair of winter earrings.

I had a bit of wire left over from the last project so I decided to make a wire wrapped stick pendant with it and a raku bead I made last week. The technique is not my invention..its been around a long time. My adaptation plays the copper wire color on the bead and wire off the silver wire for great contrast. Take about 12-15 inches of 24 gauge wire..I used dead soft sterling round wire. and a piece of the twisted copper. Fit a bead that is just loose enough on the big wire to allow the smaller wire to be inserted into the bead. On the copper wire I flattened the end and drilled a hole through.

A little sanding to remove any burrs and you have a place to run a jump ring or very fine chain through.

Place the bead on the wire and tuck in the small wire..in this case I pushed 1/2 inch of the wire into the bead.

Next wrap the small wire once around the big wire tight against the bead.

Bring the wire tightly around the bead and wrap in the same direction, then pulling tightly on the fine wire go around the bead again as many times as you wish..I went 8 times. Then finish off by wrapping the end around the wire to tie it off. I see my wrap is a little loose and will have to be redone.

This is the back side of the finished piece ready for a jump ring and a chain.

These are some simple silver earrings made from commercial branch forms and sterling hooks.

Another shot with a plain background. These parts were ordered from Hong Kong on Ebay last year and after using some in other projects I decided to make dangles from these. They are of course headed to my Etsy shop.  www.oscarcrow.etsy.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A simple twist on earrings

The raw material for this pair of earrings is 1 foot of 10 gauge square dead soft wire. I use this source http://www.wire-sculpture.com/square-copper-wire/10_Gauge_Square_Dead_Soft_Copper_Wire_10ft-5953-899.html

Using a battery powered drill and a vise..Insert the wire into the drill chuck and tighten it then clamp the free end into the vise and slowly spin the wire with the drill. A few seconds will result in this nicely twisted stock. Since twisting will harden the wire you may want to anneal it with your torch and this will change the color of the copper as well. I cut two equal length pieces and smoothed the ends with a grinding wheel. One safety note. Copper transfers heat instantly. I have a burn on my index finger from the metal friction heating while it was being ground. Its best to wear gloves or use a pair of pliers.

Simply rotating the wire against the spinning grinding wheel gives a rounded end that can be further smoothed with a file or sandpaper.

After annealing ( heating to dull red in a flame) the wires have softened enough to easily pound a flat on one end I used a riveting tool to punch a hole in the flat. Copper never stays bright even under lacquer it will quickly change to its dark brown state. I prefer to help it along with a 20 minute bath in concentrated liver of sulfur. Put 4 drops of http://www.bsueboutiques.com/item/Patina-Gel-Liver-of-Sulfur-5768 into 1/4 cup hot water and let the copper sit in that for 20 minutes. The result is a beautiful deep purplish brown.

Here the wires are propped on a piece of  untw isted wire after annealing but before the patina. I sanded the edges of the ridges with 600 grit paper to put a lighter element in the color and then sprayed with lacquer.

Adding a pair of copper hooks and oval jump rings from bsueboutiques completes this simple project. The twisted wires could be colored with alcohol inks or any of the other patina methods to give you a color that you enjoy. Feel free to copy,  adapt, reproduce, and share any of the techniques you see here. This is a free share zone.Enjoy and be creative.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Earrings from copper wire in fall pantone colors.

The raw materials for a pair of hammered earrings. A list would have these tools hammer and block or anvil,torch,dremel or flex shaft tool with sanding and buffing wheels, drill or punch and rivets. I choose to use Snap set heads from www.wire-sculpture.com

These heads can be drilled or punched to take a 1/16 inch rivet Holes were punched in the ends of the 10 gauge copper wire after hammering a flat paddle shape on the end.

Further texture was added to the wires with a variety of hammers. Then after sanding off rough edges, Guilders Paste was applied to give some detail in the bottom of the textures. I used patina which is a blue/green color then rubbed it into the textures and buffed it off the higher parts. The Hooks were connected directly to the wires and the heads were riveted on. I looked at several colors of CZ and after reading an article on the fashion designers pantone color for fall as told in this article  http://www.wire-sculpture.com/jewelry-making-blog/

I decided on these bright yellow similar to the bamboo shade and the patina matched one of the other colors. I like the combination.

As you can see the Pantone  fall colors are really natural like this fallen leaf.

Another view showing the wires.

These look very secure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A pendant made using a dapping block with copper disks

The tools needed to make domed circles in copper are a dapping block and punches and a hammer. I anneal the metal before dapping to soften it.In this case you can see a disk and a washer on the block, an eyeball,a dapped and decorated disk , an open back bezel,and a brass ox decorative ring. My first thought was to create a mount for the eyeball. I chose some copper disks from www.bsueboutiques.com and using a torch heated the copper to a dull red color the allowed it to cool completely. The disk is placed in a depression in the steel block and the punch set in the middle.

Next it is hit with the hammer a few times to fully round the disk into a dome.

I did the same with the copper washer and adjusted the size by using a different hole in the block to create the size cup that was desired. You can actually cup the disk from a flat slight curve to a complete hemisphere just by moving the disk to smaller and smaller depressions in the block and using the corresponding smaller punch. The disk may need to be re-annealed  as the curve deepens and the metal work hardens.

This pair of domed pieces look like a mount for a gem to me...a 10 mm head with a cz could be mounted in the opening and a bail connected to form a pendant. I will do all soldering and finishing before I mount a stone in this.

I decided  that the backing disk for the eyeball looked better than the eye. I placed it in this 35mm open back bezel in rusty black finish and inserted the brass ring also from www.bsueboutiques.com. A hole for a wire was drilled through at the break in the ring. The coloring on this copper comes from heating the metal from underneath and allowing it to cool and watching for the color to develop. When it reached the current set of colors I allowed it to cool and sprayed lacquer over to seal it. I will finish it with a large jump ring and a chain.

These are some raku ceramic beads I made. The colors from the glaze and reduction firing remind me of the copper in the metal.

This is a bead that gives me an idea to create a focal to go into the copper disk and washer..Similar coloring framed in the copper would look nice.