Well it’s been a while since I’ve last shared with my blog readers so this morning I am taking a quick moment to pop in and post some eye candy for you. Since I have become obsessed with cloisonné I’ve decided I want to revisit my metal-smithing days and create some complimentary settings to take my new work to the next level. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve soldered more than a jump ring, lemme tell ya. So I started out with simple designs for my settings. Here is my very first setting for a domed cloisonné beach scene.
It isn’t amazing or anything, but I liked it. It showed promise for some cute and creative settings to come. While circles are easy enough squares seemed a bit more challenging, so for my next piece I wanted to frame one of my mermaid jewels. I really liked the way she turned out as well. This time I combined silver and copper because I love the way the copper ring plays off of the beautiful blues of the water.
Oh boy, was I getting excited. I was loving the new direction and I decided it was finally time for me to make my first ring. I decided to make a dragonfly. He’s so tiny and so cute. The dragonfly is a single wire in this cloisonné – it’s rare that I can get away with something like this. Most cloisonnes are multiple pieces of wire that are cut, shaped and then assembled like a puzzle. Before I show you the dragonfly ring I’ll show you a few pics of me building a more complicated cloisonné so that you can understand how happy I was to successfully make my dragonfly with a single wire. Here are process pics of my Green Woman piece and my Peacock piece. You can see in the Green Woman pic how the puzzle pieces are built and how they are assembled on the jewel.
In the peacock picture there are 31 individual pieces to the puzzle, as it were. That’s a lot of SMALL pieces to create individually … so a one wire dragonfly is pure bliss! Of course there were a few blades of grass, but tall grass is super easy (until you’re painting/wet packing it).
Next I played with a bracelet style I haven’t visited in some time. It’s a simple and attractive way to make a bracelet for a focal that doesn’t take away from the main jewel. More mermaids and jellyfish. Are you detecting a new obsession?
Next I wanted to refresh my bezel rolling skills, so I moved on to make a few pendants and some rings. My first ring was this little Crab. I call him ‘Crabby’. I was quickly reminded of the importance of having a nice smooth perimeter to get a perfect bezel and my little red crabs legs were still a little raised on the edges rather than being ground to smooth perfection – but I was not put off by the imprefections that this created. In fact, to the contrary, I found that I loved the additional character this seemed to add to Crabby.
Despite Crabby’s imperfections I considered him a raving success and so off I went on creating more pieces in this style of setting. Naturally there are more jellyfish involved … and mermaids yet to come. This time I took the time to refine my jellyfish jewel before setting him and I was rewarded with a beautiful smooth rolled bezel. As lovely as the bezel turned out, I still loved my imperfect Crabby more.
Now I was ready to do a couple of pendants. More jellyfish and this time a sand dollar too! The sand dollar turned out so cute. While the pic of the sand dollar didn’t come out great he sold so fast that I wasn’t able to get a better shot. That’s okay, a sand dollar ring (and hopefully earrings) is planned for the future, so you will eventually get a better view of a sand dollar jewel.
And finally my last jewel to date, another Mermaid. Yes, I’m crazy about them now.
All of these under water themed jewels are for my new Under the Sea line. There are starfish, fish, and other underwater creatures yet to come so stay tuned! That’s all for now folks. I hope you enjoyed my latest eye candy. Thanks for watching. Comments are welcomed and encouraged.