Monday, January 24, 2011

My Humble Metalsmithing Journey....

This months Aspiring Metalsmiths group blogroll theme is to show the first piece of jewelry that we made and talk about where we started. Well, I don't think I have a picture of the actual first piece of jewelry that I made, due to my computer crashing last year, but I was able to dig up a photo of some pieces made shortly after, and that were pretty much along the same lines. I have always loved jewelry, and bought a few books with projects that seemed right up my alley, and then started playing....

These collage charm pendants were made a few years ago, using glass, copper foil tape, decorative papers and vintage images. I soldered them closed using silver based soft-solder, flux and a soldering iron....much like working with stained glass.
From there I bought a few more books, and taught myself to do some basic wire wrapping, and started working with gemstone beads, and sterling is one of the first necklaces that I made utilizing those techniques.

After making many charm necklaces, and wire wrapped necklaces and earrings, I felt I was ready to push my skills to the next level, and signed up for a four day intensive beginning silversmithing class at my local lapidary shop. I was hooked! Here is the first completed metalsmithed piece that came out of that class...I hand sawed out the pieces, forged the metal, soldered the bail, oxidized and polished it. I used several different tools and equipment...and learned a lot along the way.
I started putting my new found skills to work by adding simple soldered pieces like this sterling floral bangle to my jewelry portfolio. I have made many of these over the last year, and they helped improve my techniques and finishing skills.
So all of these little steps...working with new materials, trying new techniques, reading and learning...pushing myself to that next step, brings me to where I am today, and where I hope to go. These are two pieces that I have completed in the last two weeks...I think they are good examples of where I am headed on this journey. I hope you'll stay along for the ride. :)

Please take some time to stop by my fellow Aspiring Metalsmither's and read about their humble beginnings by clicking the links below.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy 2011!!!

Happy New Year everyone! I am a bit late with my first post of the new year, but I wanted to wait until I had something interesting to post about. I finally finished my first new piece of the year and listed it in my Etsy shop yesterday. This is a one of a kind champagne quartz heart necklace....Valentine's Day is around the corner, and I wanted to get a jump start on it!

I love how this necklace turned out, and I hope that it will make someone very happy this year.

I entered it into a contest as well....The Handmade Gift Guide is running a Valentine's Day themed contest, and the winner will get a free spot in the showcase. If you'd like to vote for my necklace you can do that here.....mine is at the very bottom...number 32. The contest runs for three more days...thanks in advance for sharing your love! :)

In other news, I am on an early Spring cleaning spree, throwing out the old, and organizing as I go. My studio is in a bit of a shambles after the holiday's so I am starting there, and working my way through the house. I hope to get that finished up in the next week. Having a clean space helps my creativity I think, or at least I don't feel guilty thinking I should be doing something else while I'm working in my studio!

I been amassing a collection of gorgeous new cabochons and beads in the last year, and will be introducing a new line of jewelry soon. I am excited, and can't wait to share it with everyone, but I have to finish a few pieces first to get things rolling! Stay tuned for some sneak peaks....

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!