Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Hands On Classes
All the classes I took were inspirational and I got many good ideas from them. This pendant (and one other, I'll show the necklace later) was created in Linda and Opie O'Brien's class called "Set in Stone" - they have a great book on working with metal and they are full of good ideas and solutions.
The lovely asian metal tin cup was part of the packet of handouts for the class, and it was meant to be attached and filled, to turn it into a bezel. When I saw the asian writing on it and the coloring, I loved it and didn't want to cover it over.
I asked Linda and Opie if I could turn it over, and use it face up, instead. She gave me the answer - "It's your party, it's your jewelry, you should make what you want" and willingly helped me in my renegade course, going a different direction with their handout and class plan. Some teachers might have been concerned about taking such a different tack with their class plans, but Linda and Opie were totally supportive and worked with me to make my idea come to life.
If it had been the only bezel available I would not have done something so different and missed the chance to learn about filling the bezel, but they had provided another bezel for a second project, so I pulled ahead with my idea.
The other students in the class were so helpful. I needed a vise to create a rivet to hold the hollow cup down, and someone had thoughtfully brought one. Linda asked if anyone had a round wooden bingo piece that I could use, and someone else graciously loaned it to me. (If the lady with the vise and the lady with the bingo chip will comment on the blog, I would be forever grateful!) ...
Linda had the little washers that were needed to use with my handmade rivet. I textured the brass strip (it was to use as the bail, as you see it, but I put mine on the front of the copper rather than on the back, I liked the shiny brass against the lovely patina of the copper) and cut the strip to the length needed to create the bail.
The extra piece of brass, and the piece of copper that Opie drilled to judge the size of the hole needed for the rivet to be snug, I added to the bottom of the piece, to keep it from being so vertical with the lines in the design.
Also because I'm part magpie, I think, and just love shiny and faceted things!
I had the beads and metal pieces for the dangles in my kit that I brought, and I used one of my fused glass alphabet letters because it had compatible colors with the copper and had an industrial look. I had never listed it on Etsy because the back of it had some debris floating in the glass because of an experiment I tried with inclusions, but it was perfect for this piece because the debris made it fit right in with the other rough surfaces.
I wanted the piece to look like it had come from some old shipping container or wall of a scrap iron building, sort of mechanical with the cup almost looking like a dial for a machine, or a knob for a tool.
I'm very happy with the results, I love how it turned out. I started wearing it on a black ball chain right away, and got many comments about it at dinner. Linda and Opie were so lovely and helpful, if you ever get a chance to take a class with them jump at the opportunity! You will learn a lot, laugh a lot and have a fantastic time.
I think the pendant has the aged, industrial found object look I was hoping for ... what do you think?