Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sterling + Resin = Stunning Necklace!

Here is the second design I created last week:

The pendant has its origin in my foray into turning scrapbooking components into jewelry.

My friend Sonya had been watching videos and reading articles & books about Ice Resin, and wanted to try it. So we scheduled a day to meet and just play with bezels, found objects, glitter (!), scrapbooking stuff, and Ice Resin.

And before our play date arrived, I wanted to experiment with making a bezel, so I cut two 12-inch pieces of 14g sterling silver wire and hammered (and hammered and hammered) each piece until they were about 8mm wide. I wanted them to look hammered, so I made sure I only hammered the pieces on one side, and the result was 2 curved, unbelievably hard pieces of sterling. There was going to be NO opportunity to bend these pieces at all unless I annealed them, and I didn't want to deal with firescale, pickling, etc. I wanted to get my bezel done.

Fortunately, the 2 pieces of sterling wire were curved almost identically at their ends, yet curved in opposite directions in the middles. I decided to use this to my advantage, and I wire-wrapped both ends, which was a bit of a struggle, but I finally got them secured. The hardest part was muscling one of the wires into a big loop for the bail, and getting it to stay with the other wires while I did the top wrap. The bail wasn't turned the way I wanted it to be, but I knew that could be overcome somehow when it came time to design the necklace.  Then all that was left to do was turn the wire ends a little to complement the middles - I used my round nose pliers, and every bit of upper body strength I could muster. The wire was really work-hardened! But I had a nice, oval bezel to play with.

Play date! Sonya and I spent a lot of time just perusing all the different things we had to work with, and deciding what bezels were going to receive what goodies - this was fun!

Sonya had brought in a beautiful selection of scrapbooking papers, and I chose a piece with teal and pink garden scenes to create the backing for my bezel. I cut it to fit, and glued it around the edges to the back of my bezel. My bezel was not exactly flat - another fault of the work hardened wire, but the Ice Resin is self-leveling, so I knew if I could get the bezel to lie flat when we did the resin pour, then the resin would level out and everything would be perfect.

I poured a little bit of resin into the bezel, and then placed a bouquet of white paper flowers on top of this resin, and then "filled" the bezel with resin. I levelled the bezel (I thought) with a scaffolding of paper shims, cardboard shims, and toothpicks. Looked level to me. Ha!

This was our first time working with resin, and we had overpoured. Big time. Then I discovered that my bezel wasn't really level, despite my levelling efforts, so it was full at the top, bottom, and on one side, but had a huge, scooped-out looking defect on the other side. This is no big deal - I just had to re-level the bezel, and repour some resin. And I overpoured again, but once it cured and I did the clean up, the bezel was full, so I was happy. I polished the bezel with my Dremel, and set it aside to think about how to design around it.

I chose a lovely sterling silver chain with large, open links that have been hammered and textured. Since my bail was turned 90 degrees in the wrong direction, I couldn't just run the chain through the bail, and had to figure out how to attach the chain to the pendant. Once I figured this out, I wanted to add some embellishment to fill the space between the chain and the pendant, I had some tourmaline nuggets that matched the teal in the pendant perfectly, and dangled these on sterling chain in a cluster around the bail.

The larger links on the chain were the perfect size for a toggle bar, so I decided to do something I have never done before: A front closure. I have done plenty of side closures, but never a front closure. I selected a long, textured toggle bar and attached it to one end of the chain, and looped it through the large link on the other end of the chain. Closure!

I loved the way the tourmaline dangles pulled the teal out of the pendant, so I decided to add a few to the links in the chain. Voila!

And it's available in my Etsy Shop!

Sonya and I learned a lot about Ice Resin - it is fun, it is very forgiving, it is messy, it is self-leveling, and you can turn just about anything into a nice piece of jewelry with it. If you'd like to learn how to use Ice Resin, Sonya is going to be teaching an Ice Resin class at Yaya Beads later this month - give it a try!

Have a great day!


My Life Under the Bus said...

That my dear is super cool!!! I have been using Magic Glos and have my bottle of Ice Resin and have to pull it out! *BEAUTY*

dreaminofbeads said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did with this pendant! It is so elegant and pretty.

dreaminofbeads said...

I love love love what you did with this pendant! It is so elegant and pretty!

Sweet Freedom said...

Thanks Patty - you will love the results!

And Thanks, Sonya - would never have gone down resin road without you!