WIP: And still MORE etched metals.

I loved my etched metal pieces from yesterdays Solitude meditation so much that I decided I wanted them in a broader variety of colored stones so I etched more earrings today. I have a show coming up at Blue Morning Gallery in January and I need some new pretties to show so I’m trying to make something every day for the exhibit.

Yesterday I managed two pair of earrings. Not a lot, but not bad in the midst of having the repair man over to install a new water heater. Our hot water heater went out on the 23rd. Yes … you can imagine all the fun of having no hot water over the holidays. One word: Unhappiness!

Today I etched more ‘Solitude’ images for earrings and three pendants to match. I also took pictures along the way to make a freebie tutorial for my readers who have expressed an interest in learning to etch metal. There is a catch if you choose to use my tut … and that is that you have to be a subscriber to my blog to get the password to unlock the tut and you also have to share a picture of your etched metal experiement results with me! It won’t take me too long to put a simple tut together for this process as it is not too involved, but I’m going to be pretty busy over the next week so it will likely be next week before it’s available.

Now to show off todays creations … Introducing matching sets!

In Chrysophase:

Rainbow Moonstone:


Quartz Crystal:


Smoky Quartz:

As much fun as I have had with the etched metal pieces I have a few other nice wire work projects that have been on the back burner waiting for a wire order to come in. It is due to arrive tomorrow and I’m getting excited. I can’t wait to finish up my other projects. There will be more eye candy to share soon, so I’ll be back before you know it! 😉

And >POOF< Delia's gone!


WIP: Etched Metal Process

Today I thought I would share a Work In Progress with you. Back around Thanksgiving I did my first ever metal etching experiments. A lot of inspiration was born of those experiements, but with the holiday season upon me I had to set it aside for a time. Now, with Christmas behind us, it seemed like a good time to continue with the momentum of those Thanksgiving experiments and make some new projects.

I decided to make my theme Solitude to honor the beauty of that mysterious voice that resonates within all of us in quiet, comptemplative moments. These earrings were born from a spontaneous meditation on the beauty of solitude. Solitude is not like lonliness at all … solutide is to lonliness what a Mercedes Benz is to a beat up old volkswagon. Solitude is a glass of full bodied red wine paired with classical music on a warm summer night. It’s standing on the rivers edge listening to the insects buzz, the water flowing and the wind in the canopy of trees above you. It’s watching the sun rise in the middle of the forest. Solitude is beautiful … and it’s usually only in these quiet moments that we can truly get to know ourselves. It’s being able to enjoy your own company. To that end I did a few quick sketches with my resist pens on this piece of copper sheet.

I threw it in a ferric chloride bath for about 40 minutes. The etching process seemed to be much slower this time than it was back in November. I keep my container out in my laundry room when I’m etching and it was pretty cold in that room. The temperature may have had an effect on the time it took to etch. I pulled the copper design plate out, scrubbed off the resist pen with green scrubby pads and then antiqued the metal with LOS and rubbed it out with 0000 grade steel wool to highlight the raised design. This is what the final design plate looked like.

I then cut out, filed and sanded all of the individual pieces on the design plate.

I took the four matching pieces from the plate to make two pair of earrings. I pierced each end of the piece and added handmade ear wires to the top and chrysophase and rainbow moonstone briolettes on the bottom. They are available in my etsy store. I really like the way they turned out.

I still haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with the old man under the wisdom tree, but I will be sure to post to share him when he’s done.

Stay tuned to see the fate of ‘Old Man Under the Wisdom Tree’. 🙂

A Gift for my Dear MIL

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a mother-in-law as great as I have. It’s no secret that many people (men and women alike) often have a fair amount of MIL angst. Toni (whom I affectionately call Meme) is kind, caring, fun and just too darned easy to get along with. In short, she’s a gem. I made her this special necklace for Christmas to ‘show some love’ as they say. It’s oxidized silver with a great piece of fossilized palm root as the focal. It’s on a handmade filigree chain embellished with Colarado Topaz Swarovski and tiny freshwater pearls.

Abandoned Projects Found Again

Walking into my studio space is like a tour of a mad scientists labratory. It’s easy to see with just a glance around the room that I enjoy experimenting. I have little unfinished ‘experiments’ all over the place. I recently ran across two that were great fun in the moment and that both showed potential but that still lie in wait for me to turn my attentions to them once again.

The little face was going to be my Picasso pin. I used an old cab that I didn’t care much for as support for the weaving. I had lips sewn in place but decided that I didn’t care too much for them and wanted to redo them so I pulled them out and put the remake on my to do list. Haven’t touched him since, except to photograph him for this entry. Maybe I’ll get around to that sometime soon.

The bracelet … now that’s a different story. I ran out of the bars…. didn’t make enough at the time. I wanted to make a full cuff bracelet but I ran out of propane for my torch. I have since made more bar pins and I need to take this one apart and redo it all together. I do like the general idea that I was working with here but I think my remake will be a bit neater as this was just a mad experiment on the fly. 🙂

This is only two, of what amounts to at least 50 or more experiments that lie about waiting to be remembered.

Envioius Eudialyte

     I recently had the honor of creating a special necklace for a friend and fellow artisan in Germany by the name of Cat.  Cat is a very talented wire artist herself.   She selected a very fine piece of Eudialyte, a deep magenta glassy stone that I have fallen head over hills for.   It was a pleasure creating this beautiful necklace for Cat and I thank her for honoring me with this comission.

      The handmade filigree chain was embellished with tiny faceted rubies and freshwater pearls.  The finished piece was then antiqued and hand polished to bring out the detail in the wire work.  I was very proud of this creation and hated to see it fly away so quickly but glad to know it is going to a home where it will be loved and appreicated. 🙂

Be sure to click on the images for the detailed view:


    Back on Thanksgiving I shared my discovery of spiked apple cider with all of you.   I enjoyed the warm an fuzzy feeling that it brought to me, especially the evening of black Friday, after some hectic Christmas shopping.  I wound down in the studio by experimenting with some new techniques at the bench while Jay, my other half, sat at the other end researching and reading aloud about all manner of Christmas traditions and spirits from around the world.  It was fun stuff, much of it surprising.  For instance, have you ever heard of Krampus?  A mean and nasty goat man who travels with Santa to punish the naughty children.  And how about the three witches who ride brooms over Italy dispensing presents.  Does that amount to contract labor? 

     Lucky for all of you Jay has written two fun and informative articles to share his research with!  You can find them on his blog God Drink’s Beer, or by clicking the links below.

Eight Christmas Characters Most Americans Don’t Know

And in tribute to a wonderful cup of warm spiked cider and the traditions associated to Christmas Carols and Wassailing, see below:

Here We Come A-Wassailing; The Roots of a Christmas Tradition

     ” It’s not Christmas without Christmas carols.  Many of our most traditional carols are filled with lyrics and lines that leave the modern caroler bewildered.  One of my favorite holiday tunes is “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” also commonly known as “Here We Come A-Caroling.”  Just what is wassailing?  Is it just an archaic word for Christmas caroling? … To read more, go here: Here We Come A-Wassailing; The Roots of a Christmas Tradition

Recent Comission … Show and Tell

Here are a few recent comissions for some lucky ladies comissioned by thier wise and loving husbands!

First, a simple pair of earrings to Match my Mermaids Tale Necklace.  Husband number one bought the necklace and custom ordered the earrings.

Husband number two custom ordered the following set.  He picked out the stones for this piece and practically designed it himself.  He knows his lady and knows what she likes. What a lucky girl!

And finally, husband number three hunted me down over the internet to make this order.  His wife bought a pair of earrings from me a year or more ago.  He said that they were her favorite pair and that they looked so lovely against her pale skin.  Obviously a man who is head over heels for his love! 🙂  He said she had lost one and was very disappointed … so he reordered her earrings and ordered a necklace to match them.  I failed to photograph the finished earrings, (but if you’re interested you can see the picture of my Mosaic Eye Earrings tutorial) but I got a few good pictures of the necklace.