One thing about Pirates, they love hiding places. Hiding places for treasure and also for maps that lead to their hidden treasures.
While making jewelry, I find many hidden compartments, that with just a few tweaks to the design, could become a feature of the piece.
Here are some photos of my latest piece. It's a Secret Treasure Map Ring. I call it No.5, because I've made several others with different designs, but all hiding a map. If you've been following this blog, you'll recognize that this is a variation of the metal pirate beads I've been making.
Looking back at the first week in 2011 on both my work and my blog, I'm pretty pleased. This was a week of adjustment after the long holiday season and being snowbound. So, I didn't expect to do too much.
Bead by Bead
Day by day, bead by bead, I'm starting to see the Pirate Collection taking shape.
More designs started to flow this weekend. This usually happens with me. I start by learning new techniques and creating samples or practice pieces. As I do that, designs begin to flow for the embellishments and alterations that I need for my collections.
Eventually, you will begin to see finished pieces.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
As I begin designing a new jewelry collection, (tentatively called Pirates Collection), I try out different forms for metal beads.
Etched Metal Beads
The metal bead in the center is copper that I etched and then folded. On either side are brass tube beads that I made by first roughing up for an antiqued style. The flow of a shell and a coil of copper inspire me.
I like my hand-made metal beads on the thick silver chain I made. But this is just a beginning for the design. I will most likely change this in the final piece.
Metal Ring Beads
I will continue to make samples of metal beads using different techniques and forms. Here is a ring bead I made with a pirate slogan engraved on it.
I'm getting very excited about the new collection. Hopefully, I'll have it ready in the Spring.
Maybe tomorrow I'll try stringing these metal beads on leather. What do you think? Come back then and we'll see how they look.
I've decided to use mixed metals in my new Pirates Collection. Most of my other collections only use silver.
Here's a bit of information about the metals and their terms that I use in my jewelry creations.
Silver - When I use the term silver, it is Sterling Silver, as in 925. The term Sterling means the metal is composed of 925 out of 1000 parts silver. The remaining 75 parts, or 7.5 percent, is copper. Most people are not allergic to sterling silver. I sometimes add a dark patina to give an antique look to silver.
Copper - My copper pieces are 100% copper. I often add a patina to either warm to an even brown tone or to an almost black color.
Some people can wear copper and have no reaction at all. On others, the copper will react with the skin and leave a dark or green mark. When I design a piece with copper, I try to take this into account. I try to have silver in the place that is in contact with the skin. For example, earring posts are always in sterling.
Brass - Brass is an alloy (a combination) of copper and zinc. There are many recipes for this and each produces different colors and strengths. The type of brass I use has a very high copper content. Brass often looks like gold when polished but can quickly turn dark. I usually use a patina to control the darkening of the brass. If you are allergic to copper, you might not be allergic to brass.
I'm starting this new year with a new blog. Here I'll share with you some of the work that goes on behind the scenes. You'll see the inspirations, the discoveries and the process of creating the jewelery I offer for sale.
This year I plan on filling out some of the existing Collections. I also plan on creating at least 2 new Collections. I invite you to take a few minutes each day and join me on this wonderful journey.
Inspiring Ship sculpture
The inspiration for the above ship coin pendant began with a walk on the beach. The ship on top of the Paramount Theater on the Asbury Park boardwalk made me remember some coins I had. I always meant to use them in jewelry. I've been thinking of creating a Pirate themed Collection. So, on January 1st, I made the simple pendant.
Here's the reverse side of the pendant. The coin behind it is another of the same. I added a dark patina to the pendant. It's all brass and should weather well.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
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