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Showing posts from October, 2013

A Splash Of Colour And Some Twirly Studs

I've been playing with my enamel colours again and creating my own "blends". It's fun sitting at the table with my different colours and mixing them up to make new ones. Enamels don't really mix to make new colours but you can achieve some really pretty speckly effects. Using the same colour groups work better than mixing colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. I found this out when I mixed some purple and lavender enamels with a bright green hoping I'd get a nice purple/green mix but it just looked grey when it was fired. If you looked closely you could see the individual colours but the overall effect was dull but luckily the beauty of enamelling is you can fix it with another layer (within reason!) What I have learned with mixing colours is if it looks dull in the pot it will still look dull when it's fired........... :D The hoops above are enamelled in a mix of different greens with some transparent turquoise layered on top on the bott

Using Beads As Cabochons

I finished these etched silver and green pearl earrings recently and took the opportunity yesterday when the sun came out to take a few photos. I used some of the silver I etched recently using nail art stamps and decided to try bezel setting some pearl beads I've had for absolutely years. Yes I did say beads! I bought the beads years ago from "somewhere" (can't remember). They were described as button pearls and they were shaped kind of like cabochons with a slight dome on one side and a flat base on the other and obviously had holes. Some of them were very flat on one side and very domed on the other which is what gave me the idea to use them as cabs. This photo of a few of the beads was taken under a day light bulb so the colours are a bit off but they are all lovely icy pastel shades of pink, green, apricot, pale blue, purple and grey which look great contrasted with oxidized copper and silver. I sorted through them and removed the ones whose holes were

Etched Silver and Copper Wirework Earrings

I managed to catch up with myself last week after a couple of biggish findings orders recently that kept me busy for two whole days and made a few pairs of earrings. I used some copper and silver I'd etched and ventured into wire work territory that I don't do a lot of these days. Just simple bead loops but it was fun getting my beads out again and choosing colours and the quickness of making them was a nice change! I bought these czech glass beads a while ago from Lima Beads  and I love the colours. They have a large selection of czech beads but I couldn't see the kiwi green colour anymore sadly. I also used some of the sterling silver sheet I'd etched using nail art stamps . The etched designs are small so I was a bit restricted and kept it pretty simple..... The shape of this pair with the garnet cabochons reminds me of little handbags (kind of). It's the first pair I've made with garnets and I love the colour combination with the oxid

Handmade Bangles - A Version In Sterling Silver

I love making bangles and have so far just made them using copper wire. These, much to my surprise, have proved really popular and I must now be the copper bangle making expert of old Eastbourne town! I had a recent commission for a cuff bangle which was to be a Father of the bride present. The theme of the wedding was amethyst so the customer wanted two small amethyst cabs set at each end of the copper cuff. I used 1.5mm gauge copper sheet for the cuff which I textured with a hammer, shaped then set the 4mm amethyst cabs. Making the bezels was fiddly as the cabs are so small and I did keep my fingers crossed slightly when soldering the bezels to the bangle but it worked out fine and my customer was pleased. I now have plans to use more of the 1.5mm sheet to make more bangles. So of course my mind eventually started wandering and thinking about using sterling silver. I have various gauges of silver wire and did think of using 1.6mm but when I tried it with copper the ban