Silver Birthday Roses

I was commissioned to make a full set of silver roses based upon a junk-jewellery rose earring the client bought, loved, and lost part of on holiday. My instructions were to stick to the basic shape of the earring, but add my own flair, add a texture to the silver and make them much much bigger!

This is the original earring:

Inspiration

After a few copper samples…

Samples (1) Samples (5) Samples (8) Samples (13) Samples (16) Samples (17) Samples (21) Samples (23) Samples (26) Samples (28) Samples (31)

… and a leafy moustache…

10924773_851776638223375_6420639395945478519_n

… I got to work on the silver set…

Working (2) Working (1) Working (4) Working (5) Working (17) Working (10) Working (13)Working (21) Working (28)Working (33)

… and this is how it turned out all polished up and pretty:

Roses Necklace (1) Roses Necklace (2) Roses Necklace (3) Roses Necklace (4)Roses Bangle (3)Roses Bangle (1)Roses Bangle (7)Roses Bangle (6)Roses Bangle (2) Roses Earrings (2) Roses Earrings (3) Roses Earrings (4) Roses Earrings (5) Roses Earrings (6) Roses Ring (2) Roses Ring (3) Roses Ring (4) Roses Ring (5) Roses Box (1) Roses Box (2) Roses Box (3) Roses Box (6)

Hopefully, when she’s feeling better I’ll got some cute modelled shots too :)

What do you think?

This commission was a bit of a challenge for me. I’ve never make a structured piece with so many layers before, and I’m pretty proud of how they turned out… I might have to add this sculptural layering way of making into my current project somewhere!

If you’re interested in setting up a commission, please pop on over to my Commissions Page for more details.

Chloe out.

Advertisements

How to turn your unused tins into cute upcycled jewellery… and save the tin!!

I love blogging, and I’m always looking for ways to expand my internet-based ramblings…. so……. tutorials! I’m going to have a go at sharing some of my arts and craftyness with ya’ll! This way, I can share the bits and pieces I create when I’m distracting myself from my own project work…. ie. the times when I just need to cover myself in glitter because otherwise I’d drown inside my own work!!

Can’t wait to conjure up lots of these wee posts!!

Anyway…

How to turn your unused tins into cute upcycled jewellery… and save the tin!!

If, like me, you always keep those beautiful little tins that you get candy and odds and ends in, you’ll probably also have a pile of empty ones collecting dust somewhere!

This is the tutorial for you!!

This tutorial uses a small pink flowery tin and transforms it into a pair of earrings, but you can use any tin you want and you can turn it into any form of jewellery you want! This tutorial goes over the basic steps, but the fun bit is using your own creativity to come up with endless tin jewellery possibilities!

These make perfect gifts as they are present and packaging all in one!!

Beginner level but does require the use of a jeweller’s saw (the scissor alternative won’t save the tin but can be ued) and drill, so not recommended for young children, and with older children there should be full adult supervision when using any sharp/dangerous tools.

STUFF YOU’LL NEED

– A tin!

– Beads (small seed beads work best, but your imagination should know no bounds!)

– Chain, ribbon, findings, etc.

– Wrapping material (an organza bag, tissue paper, ribbon, gift tags, fabric, etc.)

– A jeweller’s saw and 4/0 blade(s!) or scissors (i’ll take about this in more detail later)

– Files and sandpaper

– A drill and 1mm drill bit (for beginners I would recommend the hand archimedian drill)

– Needles and threads

WHAT TO DO

1. Select your tin! This is my tin :) It used to contain yummy French rose candies! and is approx. 8.5X6cm

DSCF0731

2. Cut a template out of cardboard. I’m using two 3cm heart shapes that will become the earrings.

DSCF0682 (640x480)

3. Draw around your templates straight onto the tin using a non-permanent marker. Select areas of the design you like the best, but remember that you’ll be saving the tin so think about the design placement of the cut-out segments.

DSCF0683 (640x480)

4. If you are not using the jeweller’s saw, ignore these next few steps and carefully cut out your design using sharp scissors. Unfortunately, doing it this way makes t very hard/impossible to save the tin, but does make it easier to do with older children or those less experienced with jewellery techniques.

If you are using the saw, you’ll need to drill a hole in one area of your shape to thread the blade through. I would suggest using a corner as this makes it easier to clean up.

DSCF0684 (495x640) DSCF0686 (480x640)

5. Thread your blade through the drilled holes. I would suggest using a size 4/0 blade or higher.

DSCF0688 (640x480)

6. Carefully saw-out your shapes. Be careful not to press down on tin when cutting as you don’t want to bend the metal.

DSCF0689 (480x640) DSCF0690 (480x640) DSCF0691 (480x640)

7. Scissor fans you can join us again for the next steps!

Wipe away the marker lines with a littler water (or acetone/nail polish remover if the water won’t budge it, but be cautious not to damage the tin design).

File the edges of your cut out pieces and the cut out segments within the tin lid. You can use sandpaper here as well to smooth the edges further.

DSCF0694 (640x480) DSCF0695 (480x640)

8. Drill 1mm holes all around the edges of your cut out shapes and the cut out holes in the tin lid.

DSCF0696 (481x640) DSCF0701 (480x640) DSCF0702 (481x640)

9. Sand down the drilled edges on the backs of the shapes and the tin lid, until smooth.

DSCF0704 (640x480)

10. This is where you can get creative with threads and beads!

For my tin lid, I stitched over the cut out shapes to create a pink thready web! This way, nothing will fall out of my tin and it gives the piece a kitsch patchwork feel that I quite like!

DSCF0707 (640x480)

I beaded around the edges as well for a little extra bling!

DSCF0708 (640x480) DSCF0709 (640x480)

11. Again this is a creative stitching and beading session!

My cut-out shapes were made into earrings. I stitched around the edges of the hearts in the same direction to give them a visibly stitched feel.

DSCF0710 (640x481)

Then strung them from a dangle of seed beads and a silver ear hook.

DSCF0711 (640x480) DSCF0712 (640x480)

Ta-dah!!!

DSCF0722

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a message below and I’ll get back to you asap!

Looking forward to making more of these in the future :)

DSCF0725 DSCF0727 DSCF0729 DSCF0730 DSCF0731 DSCF0732 DSCF0736 DSCF0739

 

Chloe out.

The making of The Smaug Ring

Happy Birthday to my annoying, smelly little brother :)

For his Birthday, Jamie wanted me to make him a ring.

“something to do with dragons” was the remit…. so this is what I came up with…..

 

Inspiration, naturally, coming from the one and only Smaug.

I wanted to make Smaug’s tail the ring, and have The Arkenstone set into his claw-like tail end. I was also going to cut out a missing scale… even though I know his actual missing scale isn’t on his tale… but shh…. representations and artistic license and all that! I was also going to use brass, and use patinas and heat to create a darkened red colour and etch it to achieve a scaley look. And then pop into a box that would look like molten gold dripping over dragon skin…

And here’s how I did it!!

1 (480x640)

Etching fluid is painted onto clean brass and allowed to dry.

2 (480x640)

The ring design is traced onto the dry blackness.

3 (480x640)4 (480x640)

And a scribe is used to scrape away the black etching ground to reveal the final pattern.

6 (480x640)

The metal is placed into a bath of nitric acid. Brass can take quite a while to etch, compared to silver or copper, so is left for about 30 minutes to produce a medium/deep etch depth. The black ground are removed with white spirits and the metal is cleaned.

7 (640x480)8 (480x640)

The ring is saw-pierced out of the metal sheet.

10 (480x640)11 (480x640)

And the missing scale is removed by drilling a small hole for the blade to slot through, and is then sawn.

12 (480x640)

The edges are filed and sanded until smooth and all imperfections removed.

13 (640x480)

The final shape is annealed, to soften the metal for forming.

14 (640x480)

The ring is roughly formed. I didn’t use a ring mandrel because I wanted the coil to resemble a naturally curled up dragon tail. So, the band is a circle capable of comfortably fitting around the finger, but is not perfectly round. The ring is bound with binding wire, ready for soldering.

15 (640x480)

The ring is soldered together, pickled and cleaned.

17 (640x480)

To achieve this colour I painted flux on the brass and heated. This was repeated 7/9 times (I lost count!) and the metal was given a gentle clean and the patina was fixed with a little plastic coat.

19 (640x480)

 

The ends of the claw-like, almost fleur-de-lis style tail are then wrapped perfectly around the labradorite faceted teardrop cabochan using a bezel pusher.

I picked labradorite to represent The Arkenstone because visually the colours match up beautifully, and I think the properties of labradorite fit in quite nicely with The Hobbit story.

Labradorite = “a stone of magic. wearing the stone allows one’s innate magical powers to surface.”

 

Ring finished. I moved onto my molten gold dripping dragon box.

Box (1) (640x480) Box (4) (480x640)

I striped out the insides of a found wooden box.

Box (6) (640x480) Box (8) (480x640)

Using a pendant drill, I scraped away little indents into the box.

Box (10) (640x480)

Which, using copious amounts of glue, were set into with off-cuts of faux chagreen.

Box (17) (480x640)

This material was also used to line the inside.

Box (20) (640x481)

And the book cover.

Box (18) (640x480) Box (19) (517x640)

Glue was built up around the scaled parts, which looks awful for now, but when leafed will appear like melting gold.

Box (22) (640x480)Box (15) (640x480) Box (23) (640x480) Box (24) (640x480) Box (26) (480x640)

The whole box is then painted with acrylics to match Smaug’s skin. Why? Well, the inside will be left as is, and I hope to have a few small cracks in the gold, so the red scales appear through.

Box (27) (480x640)

The surfaces are then painted with the leafing glue.

Box (29) (640x480)

And the leaf is applied.

Box (30) (640x480)

 

And smoothed over the surface.

 

Stay tuned for the next post…. sexy dragon makeup and the final piece will appear!!

 

Chloe out.

 

Mossycoat: The Making Of – Part 2

You might remember a good wee while ago I made Mossycoat.

You probably also remember that I wasn’t quite happy with what I made?

Well I made her again!

And she is awesome!

So, I thought I’d share with ya’ll how I made her (if you need to refresh your memory of part 1, visit this blog post).

 

Draw the pendant piece circles, which are a little larger than last time, and slightly thicker. The pendant needs to be a little heavier because the weight of the beads made the other one not sit quite right.

DSCF8368

Saw out circles (I’ve kept the insides in because I used this opportunity to etch a sample for a Faery Wings piece).

DSCF8369

Paint on etching fluid.

DSCF8372

DSCF8478

Scrape away etching fluid into awesome mossy pattern!

DSCF8500

IMG_4934

Etch!

DSCF8501

DSCF8502

With the nitric acid way of etching, you need to constantly keep watch over it, and carefully wipe away air bubbles with a brush every minute or so to achieve an even etch.

This etch was quite deep, so was left in for about 20minutes.

DSCF8503

Saw out inner circle.

DSCF8504

DSCF8508

DSCF8509

Drill holes all the way around the outside and inside circles and clean up.

DSCF8582

The discs where then sealed up in a bag and put to the side while I made the mossy pebbles (which will replace the little etched pieces of brass in the beaded chain).

Cut out nine rough pebble-like shapes.

DSCF9231

DSCF9236

Anneal.

DSCF9237

And pickle.

DSCF9240

DSCF9241

Now the soft metal can be formed.

I use the traditional way because the metal takes up a rough shape and it gets dented and marked with the little imperfections in the hammer and the texture of the sandbag which is perfect for a natural look….. and hammering metal into shape is intensely satisfying!

DSCF9242

DSCF9243

Clean up and smooth the edges.

DSCF9277

DSCF9278

DSCF9279

Punch holes all the way around the edges.

DSCF9282

DSCF9284

Drill holes!

DSCF9286

And clean up.

DSCF9289

Paint with etching fluid on both sides.

DSCF9302

Etch! They are supposed to look like pebbles with moss growing over them.

DSCF9314

Fire clean up pebbles to get rid of any excess etching fluid and give the brass an oxidised colour.

DSCF9321

DSCF9343

Rub back with sandpaper and steel wool to achieve a rough patina… like a pebble!

DSCF9352

Seal pebbles in a bag and place to the side.

Now comes another disc shape (this one is replacing the jagged crown).

Fire metal with a variety of patinas, as well as a little silver solder, to create a mossy colour and texture.

DSCF9300

DSCF9298

Like so!

DSCF9305

Draw circle shapes.

DSCF9307

Saw out circles.

DSCF9308

DSCF9309

DSCF9310

Drill holes around both edges and clean up back.

DSCF9317

DSCF9320

With all the metal elements complete it’s time to move onto the stitching!

First, melt little segments of the silk organza to create a torn texture.

DSCF9346

DSCF9349

Collect, clean and dry out moss.

DSCF9325

Sew moss into pebbles with golden thread.

DSCF9353

DSCF9362

Sew moss between two slivers of heat-altered organza and sandwich between the brass discs with golden thread.

DSCF9357

Stitch golden thread around mossy disc, covering the back with golden thread.

DSCF9359

DSCF9360

Lay out design. Cut out old metal elements, until only the beading remains.

DSCF9361

Beading time!

DSCF9601

Re-stitch various new elements into existing beading.

DSCF9602

DSCF9603

 

And……… you’ll just have to wait for the next post to see how it turned out :)

Chloe out.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Making Of

Last time I showed you some hunger bird sketches, and from those I came up with my final idea…. so, here is the making of!

DSCF9168

 

To texture my little copper hunger birds, I had a wander around Dundee and picked up some fallen feathers.

DSCF9171DSCF9173 DSCF9172

 

Which I stuck to both sides of a copper sheet with double sided strips.

DSCF9174 DSCF9175

The copper was run through the rolling mill a few times to imprint the feather texture into the copper.

DSCF9176 DSCF9179

The feathers got quite stuck to the metal, so, I used a torch to burn away the tape and feather excess.

DSCF9180

And then cleaned away the fire stain in the pickle.

DSCF9183 DSCF9185

After selecting my hunger bird shapes, I used little paper templates to transfer them onto the copper.

DSCF8744DSCF9186

DSCF9187 DSCF9197

 

And cut them out! and filed down the edges until smooth.

DSCF9194 DSCF9195

Next came the soldering…. this took ages! I had to solder each bird onto a huge length of wire, and each time clean it in the pickle…. it was hard work! and a little dangerous! Working with such a long length of wire, especially one that’s getting hotter and hotter as I moved further along was a little hazourdous… but I stretched myself across 3 benches and worked out a system of bowls of water and safety gloves so I wouldn’t burn myself… or anyone else! or set fire to anything!!

DSCF9218

It was worth it in the end, as they turned out just I wanted!

The copper was put into an oxidising bath to blacken into hellish birds.

DSCF9222

And then cleaned a little.

IMG_5266 IMG_5269

And finally the finishing touches were added! Dyed black, thick, gloopy latex with coils of wire strung with onyx and smokey quartz beads. The wire acts as a flight pattern, the beads give a glint of sparkling eyes and sharp talons and the black latex just enhances the leathery black skin of these unbird birds.

 

Stay tuned for the next post where I show you the finished piece!

 

Chloe out.

DCA Bookbinding (Part 6/6)

Was rather sad when the final session came around :( It was such a nice wee course, with lovely people. Thanks for a lovely six weeks lovely people :) and thank you Emma for putting up with us all :)

Well. Last session. Last book.

This time, Japanese Atlas Structure. A fun and pretty simple little book that we whipped up in a couple of hours.

Commonly this book is used to contain atlases into a small book… but i’ve gone for pages from an old book! I think a wee book like this would make a wonderful travel companian, each little segment of book could contain a different piece of your trip; stick in notes, tickets, photos, etc. So that’s kind of what i’m going for in mine… i’m going to make it into a memento of my 21st birthday (which i still need to post about!).

Anyway, step 1: gather your paper. Four sheets for the inner pages, and then something to cover the boards with.

Japanese Atlas Structure (1)

Here are a few shots of the folding procedures for the inner sections…

Japanese Atlas Structure (4)

Japanese Atlas Structure (3)

Japanese Atlas Structure (2)

Did that make sense? So, your folding it long ways in on itself in half, with a little gap left in the middle. Then you’re doing the same the other way and leaving a slightly bigger gap in the middle.

Do this with all four sections. Use the first one as a guide, as this will ensure they are all the same size.

Japanese Atlas Structure (5)

Flatten the folded edges using a bone folder.

Japanese Atlas Structure (6)

Mark out and cut your board. It needs to fit one edge (ie. the bound edge) exactly, but can be a little bigger on the other three edges.

Japanese Atlas Structure (7)

Cover your boards. We made cushioned boards, ie. only the inside edges you see here are glued, the front is not, therefore giving it a cushioned effect. But… i’m always one for encouraging creativity, so go wild with your cover!!

Japanese Atlas Structure (8)

 

This strip of paper is the binding. Cut it to fit the side of your board, and fold as shown (ensuring you have enough valleys for your sections).

Japanese Atlas Structure (9)

 

Glue the two edges to your two cover boards. Hold tightly shut while the glue dries.

Japanese Atlas Structure (10)

 

Then glue in each section. Sections are glued to each other, not the binding. So the first section is glued to the cover, the next section is glued to that first section, and so on until you have a finished book… oh and top tip with this is to hold it tightly shut for about an hour or so until it is completely dry to avoid any movements in the binding and…..

ta-dah!

Japanese Atlas Structure (11)Japanese Atlas Structure (12)Japanese Atlas Structure (13)Japanese Atlas Structure (14)Japanese Atlas Structure (15)Japanese Atlas Structure (16)

 

Well this wee course has filled me with a love for a handmade book and i can say i don’t think i’ll ever buy a sketchbook again (unless it is truly superly awesome)!

Now all i’ve got to do is whip up five artist’s books for each of my Lexicon collections…….. no bother!!!….

See you on the other side…

Chloe out.

DCA Bookbinding (Part 5/6)

Last session we were stitching up our copticly bound hard-cover books…. this session we finished them!!

Coptic Binding (24)Coptic Binding (25)Coptic Binding (26)Coptic Binding (28)Coptic Binding (29)

Awesome , huh?

We made another book this session too! And it only took 30 minutes!

Japanese Stab Binding (3)Japanese Stab Binding (4)Japanese Stab Binding (5)

I didn’t take any photos of the making process for this wee book because we zoomed through it so quickly! but if you google Japanese Stab Binding you will find lots of instructions on how to whip up this quick little book, and lots of different patterns for stitching (as shown below).

I think this technique is great for using up scrap paper. I’m never going to throw any paper away ever and i’m never going to buy a sketchbook again! You could save all your junk mail envelops and stitch them up, or go on a shopping spree and bind all your receipts, or save all your train tickets for the year or or or or or the list goes on… awesome sketchbook ideas floating around now!!

Here’s a few examples of this binding that i love (check out my Pinterest board for more):

See you next time.

Chloe out.