06 April 2013

(A Sprinkle Of) Imagination!

Hello!
My posts for April are all going to feature jewellery, thought it might make an interesting change! It also shows a side of me that people may not know, I'm a jewellery designer as well as the messy painty stuff......
I have been writing each month for Beads And Beyond magazine almost as long as I have for Craft Stamper, and I sell my stuff all over the place.
Anyway, you want to see the project! This is 'Imagination'....

Another thing people may not realise is that Vicki has probably the largest selection of Vintaj charms, blanks and jewellery findings in the UK. Trust me, I do a lot of findings shopping and I've yet to find a more comprehensive selection! With this in mind I thought I'd showcase lots of different Vintaj products so people can see what they could do with them!
Vintaj offer a selection of mainly natural brass products, but they do a smattering of copper too. I've used a copper ID bracelet blank to create my bangle.
Here's how.....
I have used metal stamps to create the word on the blank. To work out where to stamp them, I put a mark halfway on the blank.......
I then start with the middle letter and work outwards. I use a regular hammer, and place the blank on a steel block.....
Hopefully, (fingers crossed and if the wind is in the right direction) the word all looks straight-ish and is spelled correctly....
Now the next bit is very technical..... scribble all over the word with a permanent pen.....
I then use steel wool to polish off the excess pen....
(This polishing clearly also gets rid of the 'aged' look the blank had initially. Easy to get some of that back. Either heat the copper to get some nice colours going on, or use a product such as Liver of Sulphur to chemically oxidise the metal)
The flat blank now need to be gently bent into a bangle shape.....
I use a pair of bangle pliers (obviously, they're in the picture!) but this can be done by shaping the metal around a hard object of the right shape...a glass jar type thing!
I oxidised my bangle blank and gave it a little polish before the next step, actually making up the finished piece. I used purple waxed cotton cord, threaded through the holes....
Thread on a couple of beads, then knot the cord to make sure the beads don't move about....
Now we need to think of a way to fasten the bangle. The cord can be tied to a clasp, or simply tied around the wrist in a bow. I've chosen to use a little micro macrame.... square knots to be precise. The knots are tied over all four strands of the cord, keeping them all together. Position the bracelet on a board like this....
And then tie the knots around the strands, until you have a length of knots around 4cm long...
OK...I admit, this looks really complicated! Square knots are one of those things that look very 'eeeeeeeeeek' until you have a go. Once you've got the hang of it its very easy. The REALLY hard thing is trying to describe how to do it! My advice is Youtube....loads of fabulous tuts on there, and is so much easier to learn by watching someone!
Once the knots are done, snip the excess cord to about 1cm in length...
Once you've finished with the other loose ends, these 1cm ends need a dab of expoxy glue (not superglue as its too brittle and will come off when you move the cords!), right at the base. The ends can then be cut flush to the knots without fear of the knots unravelling.
The four cord ends now need a bead on each, and a knot tied to prevent the beads falling off...
The bracelet can then be 'opened' by pulling on the cords at the point just after the purple/copper bead combo, slipped onto the wrist, and then tightened to fit by pulling on the loose ends... gently, of course!
The finished bracelet looks like this from above.....
Hopefully that shows how the whole thing is constructed! This is what it looks like when being worn.....
and here is another arty sideways shot....
I realise jewellery making may be a bit alien to lots of you, so THANK YOU for reading this far!
Something a little different to look at, anyway!
Now......I've decided that rather than just sit in a box of 'stuff'.....I'd like this bracelet to go to a new home! So, if you would like it, just let me know in the comments section below this post. I'll use the random number thing and draw a winner the day before my next post, and announce it in the post the day after (15th April)!!!!
Please don't be put off commenting if you don't want it though....I promise I won't be offended!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For my next project, I'll be showing you how to use the Patinas  along with the metal blanks to create some fab art jewellery!
love Trish xxxxxxx














24 comments:

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Lovely Trish. Lovely natural piece. Tracy x

Disco Queen said...

Wow! Trish I love your bracelet. I used to make jewellery all of the time but no longer have the strength or dexterity in my wrists. I love to messy craft though & pick up lots of hints & tips from you.

Glennis said...

This is lovely Trish, I like the finishing macrame knots too - great idea

kiminkco said...

Love this! Just my style :) where do you get the metal stamps?
Kim
X

Trish Latimer said...

Thanks Kim!
I get mine from Beaducation in the States, they're not cheap but I love them! There are so many different fonts out there though, just having a good old Google will find lots of options for you to look at! xxxx

Paula Whittaker said...

Love this piece Trish (Don't put me in the draw....not that I wouldn't like it, just seems fair as I am on the DT!)

ElizabethR said...

This is fab I love it and you have made me want to play lol. Elizabeth x

Alison said...

Fantastic to see something a bit different Trish, & I'd love a chance to win your fabulous bracelet!
I occasionally make jewellery myself.
Alison xx

Nan G said...

Oh my word this gorgeous! Love the way you've made a slip knotty thing for a clasp. So cool! It's nice to see what else folks do besides their usual stuff. Thank you for sharing!

She King said...

Hi Trish, love your bracelet...Thanks for the chance to win. S x

Caroline said...

Cool!! I do make jewelry but have never used stamps on blanks. I do so want to upgrade (wrong word but too early for brain) my skills (small that they be, lol), can't wait for patinas & everything else you make. Reminds me, I must finish the necklace, earings & bracelet (using the macrame knots as friendship one) & send then all the way to Australia. Thank you Trish for a fresh inspiration!! Take care. Caroline (yes, the mad one...) :))))

Hillie said...

Really beautiful bracelet! Thanks for showing the stap by step photos!

Elaine said...

This is really lovely Trish, I know my OH has some of those metal letter stamps in his shed!!!! (Not for much longer!). Your tutorial is lovely and clear and this has inspired me to have a go myself. Cant wait for the Patinas project. Elaine x

Scrapmate said...

Amazing project, thanks for sharing the step-by-step, you've explained it all so clearly I feel compelled to give it a go. I like the addition of the beads which gives the bracelet a bit of extra styling.

Gill said...

This is fabulous Trish! the beads finish it off perfectly!

Jaine Drake said...

This is a beautiful project and I'm very envious of your talent (and tools). I'd love to own that piece but as Paula says, the draw should exclude DT - darn!

Gez Butterworth said...

Wow! That's SO beautiful Trish, ditto-ing Paula & Jaine ;-))

Lottie said...

Oh Trish - I am absolutely thrilled that you will be making and showcasing jewellery - what a refreshing change. (As wonderful as all the 'paper' design team work it - to see some original jewellery is so inspiring and what you have created today is truly awesome - with lots of ideas and potential 'spin offs' for use in craft work too - tags, nameplates etc etc.

Please may I ask where and what make your metal letter stamps are? They look nice and clear and leave a delicate stamped impression

Many thanks

Lottie said...

Oops - I forgot to add that I would absolutely adore for my name to go into the 'random' hat for a chance to win this stunning bracelet.

Good luck every one

Moira Greig said...

Wow I really like this, very different. I would love the chance to win it. Thanks x

Dawn said...

This is a lovely item Gez Dxx

Kate said...

Great bracelet.

~Kate~

butterfly said...

Great step by step to a wonderful piece of jewellery... Not something I could ever make, but it's wonderful seeing how it's done!
Alison x

Siobhan Brignull said...

as I was reading this i thought what a lovely bracelet, and then its up for grabs, well it would be rude not to comment. LOL, Ps thanks for the comment on my blog.