Saturday, August 11, 2012

Green Swiss Cheese you know why I rarely name my pieces - I'm just not very gifted in the "clever name" department!

Here's how this pendant developed:

19g annealed steel from the hardware store 

I wrapped some annealed steel wire around my fingers to form a roughly oval shape, using the ends to secure the oval and created a bail for the pendant (the bail is at the top, but it is somewhat hidden in this pic):

annealed steel ready for firing

The torch has to be really hot, and because the piece is so large only a small segment of it gets hot enough for enameling, so the piece has to be immersed in small sections in order to get good enamel coverage. Multiple coats were applied - but don't ask how many! I lost count as I slowly rotated the piece round and round to get it covered.

after firing

Don't ask me what colors I used - sorry! I had 3 different colors on the table, and would dip into one, then switch to another, and now I have no idea what 3 I used - and this actually comes back to haunt me!

I really liked the shiny blue-green pendant, but the large open space in the middle was calling to me - can you hear it? "Fill me!" "Embellish me!" "Don't leave me naked like this!!"

So, after a week or so, in which I experimented with wire, wire and crystals, and other ideas to embellish the pendant, I hit on the idea of suspending something in the middle.

I cut a smaller oval from sheet copper, and then drilled it to achieve an open, perforated look:
perforated copper disc

And while this would have looked interesting on its own, suspended in the middle of the pendant, I decided to color it to go with the beautiful blue greens on the enameled oval.

Except that I couldn't remember what colors I had used. Arrrgh! So I had to spend some time experimenting with different colors to try to get something close - and I didn't hit the nail on the head, but I got close enough! (And then forgot to photograph the disc after it was enameled - sorry!)

Then it was time to attach it to the pendant, and this called for more experimentation. I got really lucky here, in that I had some 26 gauge artistic wire that was almost a perfect match for the pendant (and since I only had 6 colors of 26g artistic wire in my stash, you can see what I mean by lucky). But I wasted a BUNCH of wire trying to get an attachment method that suited me!

And here is the result again:

I absolutely love this piece! But now Barbara Lewis has challenged me to try to make it all in one fell swoop - shape the annealed steel into the form, attach the perforated copper with copper or steel wire, and then enamel it all as an assembled piece! I'm saving that challenge for a long, rainy day!

So here is a challenge for you - please, please give me a better name for this piece - then I can list it on Etsy with a clever moniker!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Very cool! I didn't know wire could be enameled. What do I know? To me it looks like an ocean treasure of some sort. My name that bead/pendant/whatever is faulty at the moment.