I don’t really do modern pieces. I’d like to – but each time, it either goes wrong somehow or turns into a more fairytale piece without me even trying. I just don’t think I’m made that way myself, so it’s not surprising that I find that style difficult.
Today I’ve been playing around with circles and lines. All the pieces were either scrap or abandoned/left over from other projects.
I started with a circle which had been made from two circles of square wire soldered one on top of the other. I found some short pieces of 0.8mm round wire and laid them on top – all the ends together at one edge and fanned out at the opposite edge. The ends of the wire reached out over the edge of the circle and, as I was happy with this arrangement, I soldered them together with hard solder.
After filing and smoothing the soldered areas, I noticed the wire ends looked a little lost in the design. I reached for my trusty pot of sterling silver balls and added one to the end of each wire. (It would have been nice to have the balls totally spherical but it was easier to solder those I have with flat bases – so I used those.)
I took a step back from the design – firstly to make a cup of tea, but more importantly to look at the design with fresh eyes. An old trick I learned at Art College (long, long ago in a county far, far away … from Cheshire, that is), is to hold up your design page/test piece/actual jewellery to a mirror as if you are wearing it (so you are looking at the image in the mirror). The image will be backwards but your brain will see it as new and you can look at it objectively. It’s a great way to see your designs as if for the first time – from a customer’s perspective if you like.
Anyway, back to the design. After looking at it in the mirror, I decided where I would put the loop for the bail and that I would add another loop on the inside, immediately beneath that one. Because the main circle was two wires high, I used some iron binding wire to lift up the jump-rings so I could solder them to the middle and not just have them soldered to the bottom wire (or top wire if I had turned the piece over when soldering). I attached a bail to the top loop which was made from 0.8mm wire coiled around my jump-ring mandrel twice. (I soldered the coil of loops together with easy solder to make them more durable.) A quick dip in the pickle to get rid of any fire-scale and I also made sure any firestain was polished out and any imperfections smoothed away before the final polish to a high shine.
I attached a lovely little textured heart (made from PMC), which was originally for a pair of earrings, to the inner loop and the piece was done.
I’ve got to attach the photo tomorrow – my technical difficulties continue today (although it’s really my own fault this time), because my camera ran out of battery and it’s only just gone on charge. Sorry! I’m blaming it all on my head-cold, as I’m sure I used to have a brain before 🙂
Oh, by the way – just in case you were wondering … Frodo came home tonight, happier and healthier, with a shaved leg (from the IV) and a big appetite. Remind me to post a photo of him at my bench, keeping an eye on things – he has a cat tree just behind me as I work and sometimes just can’t help but come over and see what I’m up to! (Oh, just to say, never when I’m working with heat or chemicals though!)