Monday, June 30, 2014

Banter - #40: the Christopher Moore book earrings

I completed 9 sets of earrings today and usually I would give each a number for the blog. But in this case, I am going to lump all 18 singular earrings into one lump number. The reason for this is due to the lack of difference that I think would merit its own number. This was the one project where I felt like I was on a production assembly line when it came to making each earring.  18 is a lot of earrings to make and doing the same repetitive steps soon started to seem less like I was making something creatively and more like I was mass producing some shiz.

That said, I think these earrings are all cute as hell and I would totally buy a pair if I saw them elsewhere.

The inside of the very back page of most Christopher Moore paperback books features miniature pictures of his other book covers and a note that you should go read those as well (you should).  There are usually six per back cover and for these earrings, I took the back covers off of three books and ended up with 18 miniature book pictures to turn into earring sets.

Once I had those, I measured, cut, and prepared to bake 18 black polymer clay rectangles.  Cooking the books, you might say (ha).

And when they were all cooled and decoupaged with the pictures and the mock up was done, here were the results:

And all will soon be dumped into the store.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Untamed - #39: the Wild Bunch necklace

I have a number of books that I like to use for found clip art. In one of my books was a group shot of the Wild Bunch, also referred to as the Hole in the Wall Gang, named from the Hole in the Wall Pass in Johnson County, Wyoming, where gangs liked to hideout. This picture captivated me and I knew that I would have to incorporate it into something.  So I cut off all their heads.

Originally, it had been for the purpose of a charm bracelet.

As intended, I did first attach various stock paper to some small metal pendants which I had recently oxidized for an aged appearance. Before attaching the paper, I used thread to sew a border around the circle. The process of doing so helped the paper achieve a more worn look and feel, which I wanted.

But it was when the freshly sealed pendants were hanging to dry that I realized it would have to become a necklace, not a bracelet. So I made a new mock up which incorporated beads, head pins, fish hook clasps, purple O-rings, and a toggle clasp on a circular gun metal chain. 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

ETSY shop notice

I have an Etsy shop that is now up and running and has for sale almost all of the items I have written about in this blog.  I am going to continue to document the process and background of pieces here before they go up for sale on Etsy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Accord - #35-38: the cork earrings (4 sets)

One of my recent thrift store finds was a bag of corks from wine bottles. Two things occurred to me when I purchased it: Why haven't I been saving my own corks? And: What the hell am I going to do with all these corks?

Here, for starters, I have sliced up one cork for earring pieces and one cork can make about four sets of earrings. Working with cork was more of a bitch than I had anticipated, but it mainly just takes patience when it comes to inserting needle tools and pins or else the cork will just fall apart.

For this first pair, I used an xacto knife to cut out a tracing of a circle. I then sealed with a matte sealer prior to inserting eye pins and beads.

I wanted something a bit more abstract for the second pair and knew that wire wrapping had to somehow be involved. The pictured thread didn't end up being used and instead the beads were on an eye pin that was inserted into the cork, which had a layer of orange acrylic pain and sealer applied. Purple wire was used for the wrapping and I have since learned that I really need to purchase thinner wire of better quality because the thick and cheap stuff is horrible to work with. 

For the third pair, I wanted to get away from doing bead-drop because it seemed like an easy design crutch to lean on. I used stretchy flexible bead wire (for the first time) to attach a strand of beads to an eye pin inserted into a cork which had a layer of turquoise acrylic paint and a purple stamping.

This last pair was a hodgepodge of buttons, wire, beads, and painted cork. I am currently experimenting with washers and washer oxidation (more on that in future posts) and wanted to use the design of a washer sized frame for the cork, but that wasn't necessarily a washer. Buttons seemed to work and I like the aesthetic of the mixed materials for this set. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moonspell - #34: the shadowbox

For this, a thrift store 12" x 12" shadowbox frame was repainted and sealed. I then layered a craft store picket fence, purple wire, and clip art onto a stock paper background scene.

The art is from Tara McPherson's contribution to the book, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. Her layouts for that story can be found here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Industrial - #30-33: the steampunk commission

Making jewelry can be a pain in the ass. It is not a cakewalk and there is no way around that. Your fingers get calloused, your hands get sore, and sometimes you get so frustrated that you just need to walk away for a while or the whole project will end up in the trash. At least, that's my take on it.

That said, I find that the more I do it, the more I want to do it. I recently read an interview with artist Richard Salley (amazing work) who said, "Imagination always runs ahead of execution, which is to say that an idea does not always come out as planned. I have found that jewelry making involves a good deal of problem solving."
I am finding inspiration all around me and I feel as though by actually creating things, there are now all manner of possibilities ahead and all sorts of things to make and for a variety of reasons.

The idea for this set was proposed to me as a request for some theme-specific pieces and can be considered my first commission. These pictures document how the necklace evolved through the planning and execution stages as well as pictures of the pendant in greater detail

I made the pendant using two items I already had on hand as well as added wire and O-rings.

Final result - a Chicos pendant combined with a Dr Who pocketwatch with the front pried off, a strand of gear bits hooked with O-rings, and a variety of chains and charms.

The earrings also evolved into something that I hadn't initially planned. Due to length and weight concerns, I ended up making two pairs instead of one. They were made using the same material as the necklace: gear bits (glued together), chains, charms, etc.

The bracelet was bought with lobster clasps already installed and I built on it from there using a strip of ombre cloth, a strand of chain, and various charms.

This was such a fun set to make and has given me a lot of ideas for future work.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rural - #29 (& #17 revamped): the thread necklace

This piece was basically an exercise in wire work. No O-rings or pins were used, strictly the copper colored wire as needed with attachment of beads, end pieces, and the main pendant, to the multi-colored thread. 

And then the earring situation...  This is what happened to #17: complete disintegration. 

Since the thread necklace had similar wood and metal elements, I decided to revamp this pair to make it a set that would match well with the necklace. I replaced the darker hooks with copper colored hooks, removed all beads and O-rings, then added thread along with a new eye pin strand of beads of similar theme as the necklace.


Praxis - #26-28: the gifts

These three pieces were all made explicitly as gifts for others.

- the WW decoupage: 

Medium-sized craft store wood used for application of checkered background stock paper and a decoupaged Wonder Woman scene taken from a sci-fi / fantasy art book. Installed small, reclaimed curtain rod hardware on the front and reclaimed metal brackets on the back, which I then used for attaching a strand of wire for hanging. Black acrylic paint on the back and red acrylic on the sides with a shiny sealer over all. 

- the bead frame earrings:

A simple design of a silver bead frame used around a silver swirl patterned bead which was accented by black beads above and below the frame, installed with a black eye pin and finished with silver fish hook clasps.

- the WY box: 

This was a medium-sized wooden gift box thrown together with paint and decoupaged pictures from a guide book. It was filled with items of meaning to the receiver.