I love second-hand shopping… UsedVictoria.com is one of my favourite websites, and once again, it did not fail me.
Several of the jewellers/artisans that I admire use recycled sterling silver (or mixed metals) for their jewellery – old spoons, platters, etc. I decided to take a look on UsedVictoria.com to see if there was anything available at a reasonable price. Most of the items listed were collectibles, and they had VERY collectible prices. Tucked in amongst those was this dear salt and pepper set.
Salt and pepper set
The set has very pleasing and intricate cut outs on top, and are dented enough that I don’t feel guilty chopping them up. I was concerned that they might not be sterling, but they were very inexpensive, so I thought I’d take a chance. The woman I purchased them from said that they were marked sterling, and sure enough, they are.
Now I will be going through my stone collection – I’m picturing a translucent stone, with the silver over the top of the stone, but we’ll see how it goes… plans have a habit of shifting as I work. 😀
It’s good to be home, and it’s good to be back in the studio! While I was on vacation I did a fair amount of jewellery designing, and that has continued since I’ve been home.
One of the jewellery ideas I had was around mixed metals. I’ve always loved combining metals, but due to different melting points, I’ve been very tentative about trying to mix them in the studio – prior to learning any silversmithing I would work with brass and copper, but there was no heat involved – I was hammering it for texture and making wire or wire/sheet jewellery.
I did some reading on soldering copper to sterling silver. I have lots of scrap copper wire, so I figured I should use it, not just store it. I thought a bracelet would be a good item to start on – only small areas of soldering, so less worry about making a mess. I think it worked! I haven’t finished it yet – I’m going to try wearing it for a day before painting a patina on it, just in case it needs some changes – sometimes the fit can be a little wonky.
Here is how it is looking now… It was a little dim outside when I took the picture, so the colours don’t come through too clearly, but you’ll get the idea.
Copper and Sterling Silver Forged Bracelet
How do you feel about mixed metals? Do you wear them?
Wow… it has been a long time since my last post, but I’m back in creative-land. I spent some time in the studio this weekend, and enjoyed it muchly. A lot of time was spent touching up some older pieces of jewellery – resizing, adding a new patina, that sort of thing. The majority of time was spent turning a pendant into a bracelet. Here is the pendant:
I’ve always liked it, but haven’t worn it in ages. The inspiration for the design was from a picture in one of Lemony Snickett ‘s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books. There was a picture of a grappling hook that made me want to make jewellery. My design turned out more like a flower than a mechanical object.
I decided this was a perfect item to set a stone on. I found a lovely little fluorite cabochon, and after a few missteps, I added on a bezel setting (I am SO out of practice!). I then hunted through my larger scrap bits for silver for the links. I heated/melted the metal using a process called reticulation… the end result can look like a landscape, and it is totally unpredictable. Here’s how it turned out:
Flourite and sterling silver bracelet
I tend to make a new piece of jewellery prior to trips… this will be my Via Rail bracelet as the trip I won is coming up soon… yay!
Holidays are wonderful things. Getting something done that you’ve been putting off for ages… well that’s just excellent! With help (and some of her photos – thanks!!) from Bo, I have posted some new photos of jewellery that are in my personal collection. There are still more pieces to be photographed, but it’s a good start.
Me photographing jewellery
Hidden jewellery waiting for its turn
I did learn an important fact – no matter how interesting the location, sometimes it is too busy looking for photos. Can you spot the earrings?
Can you spot the earrings?
… so this may be a rather rambling post. I’m coming to the end of a very relaxing week of vacation, and I’m feeling well-rested and content.
I’ve spent some time this week looking through books on jewellery making and getting excited about going back to the basics – I’ve gotten quite lazy with aspects of jewellery making – I don’t remember the last time I set a stone, and I have some gorgeous stones waiting to become part of a piece of jewellery. A few ideas have already been sketched out… Yay! We also took some photos of my jewellery on the beach and other locales. Once the pictures get edited (gack!) I’ll be posting them.
We spent some time at Qualicum Beach and visited a wonderful shop called Let’s Knit! I found some fabulous roving there – hand-dyed and a very different texture from what I already own.
Happy new roving
Although I had brought a healthy selection of roving to work with, I thought I should start with the local stuff. This is the beginning of an experiment…
I’m working on silk chiffon and plan to wet felt it (Nuno felting), but rather than place loose bits of roving on the chiffon and wet felt it right away (hoping desperately for a non-windy day or the roving tends to fly), I needle felted it first, and have let the needles ruche the fabric. When I get home I will wet felt it and then start working into it properly. I look forward to seeing what it becomes, texture and image-wise! I consider this just the primer… many more layers to follow!