Monday, February 15, 2010

anticipating spring…

I don’t know about you guys, but when I am learning a new skill, I get so absorbed in practicing the new skill that I forget (temporarily) to make entire pieces of jewelry.  Case in point, torch fired enameling is my obsession of the day, and I am making these little morsels of jewelry, a pendant here, a pair of very simple earrings there, but not anything substantive.  This weekend I made an effort to change that. 


Last week I made this cute little flower.  I cut, filed, domed and then enameled it.  Getting enamel on a concave rather than flat piece of work is quite a challenge, given that you need to enamel the front and back, and I don’t actually have the proper equipment to hold the piece while making it 1000 degrees.  Anyway, I got it done, and it is cute, and I wore it on a copper ball chain for a week as a pendant.  But I like my jewelry to be a little more involved than just hanging something off of a chain.  So I gathered my wits about me, and made this…


I made links of 16 & 14 gauge copper wire that I balled the ends of, and then enameled.  The beads are lizardite rounds on 18 gauge copper.  Looking at it objectively, I think I will make the diameter of the larger links smaller.  As it is now, those links are too big in relation to the focal.  I will just slip them over a smaller mandrel than I used previously, and tighten them up.  I’ll have to add a couple additional links as this will shorten the overall length, but I think it will improve the proportions of the piece.


a detail of the links.

This is my jumping off piece for a show I will be participating in at the ECCOTA gallery this spring, Spring Things. “•Springs Things Exhibit- runs April 30-May 31, 2010 in the ECCOTA Gallery.  A multi media exhibit featuring those things that start emerging with spring.  Two deadlines-  March 2- confirm your participation and April 23 delivery of your work. Contact Abbi Peters 814-772-7051, for more information and confirm your participation.”   I have ordered additional colors of enamel, but I think this will be the focal piece of my display.

While on the subject of new skill sets, I have a question to throw out there.  I find that I am learning new techniques, and then I compartmentalize my skills, and have a hard time utilizing more than one technique in a piece of jewelry.  I love to wire wrap, and I adore my Shrinky Dinks, and I can etch just about anything onto a piece of copper, but I have a hard time integrating more than one of these subsets into one piece of jewelry.  Is this just a “me” thing, or do others of you find that you pigeonhole your skills?

I would also like to share a new fun place on the interwebs to find more out about torch-fired enameling.   Painting with Fire is a new group put together by Barbara Lewis, whose article in Belle Armoire magazine started this whole enameling insanity for me.  Please stop by.  The people are friendly, and you could learn something new, or see pretty pictures of what other people are doing with enamel.

I think that is it for now.

Thanks for checking in….



  1. I love the colours & tones you achieved on your flower - she is gorgeous!
    LOL - I have the other side of the problem. I wish I could just concentrate on one or two techniques for a piece of jewellery. I always end up throwing everything at it and then wish I hadn't as it ends up too complicated.

  2. Thanks for the compliment!
    Ahhh, Ginga, I feel I am too restrained and you go at it with the kitchen sink! The grass is always greener, isn't it? Maybe there is some way for us to do the opposite for each other? I edit you and you get me to shake things up a bit? That could be very fun and interesting...