Wednesday, September 9, 2009

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry

I am terribly late in posting this for the EtsyMetal Blog Carnival. I'm going to cop out and use the excuse that I wasn't near a computer and the internet for long enough to get this up in time. But, better late than never, right? :)

The EtsyMetal group that I'm a part of started this once-monthly blog carnival where a bunch of us would post on the same topic. This month, the topic is "My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry." I'm actually going to put up two pieces, one was my first metalsmithed item (which happened to not be jewelry, even though it was for a jewelry class), and the other is my first metalsmithed jewelry. So... drumroll, please...

My First Metalsmithed Item...

This was my first project in my first metalsmithing class. The task was to take a 4"x4" piece of copper and, by only piercing the sheet, create something 3-dimensional (in other words, no soldering, no riveting, nothing too complicated). The idea was to learn how to be creative in creating a 3-D object and to understand the ways in which metal is brilliant when it isn't flat and to learn to think outside of that typical 2-D mentality.

I chose to create this design with two people intertwined and dancing because I wanted to have fun with the project and create something the felt very kinetic and unusual. And that would also make you stop and have to think about the fact that "stood up" out of the flat sheet. It was a lot of fun to create and is still one of my most favorite pieces. (And in storage while I'm traveling.)

My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry...

This was also a project for my first metalsmithing class. (In fact, it was my final project, after doing a lot of practice and non-jewelry pieces.) The task was to create a hollow-formed ring that was at least 2" in one dimension.

This piece was hard. I had to work through several designs before I finally hit on one that was 3-D enough for my instructor and fun enough for me. And, man, it turned out to be extremely challenging! The ring body is hollow-formed out of sterling. The flowers were roller-printed, pierced and riveted on. Then I attached a piece of piano wire, coiled it and attached the bug. I used the piano wire was at the suggestion of my instructor, who rightly told me that it was have much more spring and I wouldn't have to work-harden it as much as a piece of sterling or copper wire. The only problem with the piano wire is that it's extremely brittle after being heated. So, I snapped several pieces (post-soldering) before I got one that worked. It was a huge exercise in patience (I remember wanting to throw the thing against the wall after the piano wire snapped for the fourth time), and I'm extremely glad that I stuck with it. I had visions of wearing it to gallery openings (which I used to do a lot), but I never have, because I'm slightly terrified that the wire will break again. (At this moment, it is very carefully packed and in storage.)

Read other EtsyMetal member entries (these ones were done on time!):
- Andes Cruz
- Beth Cyr
- Caitlyn Davey
- Clare Stoker
- Cynthia Del Giudice
- Danielle Miller-Gilliam
- Delias Thompson
- DuckduckGoose
- Kerin Rose
- Libby Rosas
- Nina Dinoff
- Nina Gibson
- Quercus Silver
- Sara Westermark
- Tamra Gentry

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