Saturday, May 4, 2013

5x5 Metal Component Challenge Reveal, Chapter 3 (The copper disc with the strange cutouts)

Welcome to Chapter 3 of my 5x5 Metal Component Design Challenge Reveal
(Chapter 1, the filigree ring, is here;
Chapter 2, the copper square and the "X", is here)

Here is the copper disc component:

  • It is BIG - 38 mm in diameter
  • It is domed
  • It is shiny and polished on the convex side, but dirty-looking and dull on the reverse
  • It has a large, pre-drilled square hole in the center
  • It has bizarro, offset triangular cutouts on the side

My initial plan for this piece, before I received it, and realized how big it was, was to use it as a beadcap.

Then it arrived.

True confession time: I hated those cutouts, and could NOT see past them - all I could think about was getting rid of them, or hiding them. They were THE ENEMY.

I tried wrapping stuff around the disc, using the notches as guides. I tried wire, wire with beads, sari ribbon, and probably other stuff (it is all a blur........) Nothing really worked for me.

I made a paper mock-up of the disc, and started playing - I cut out more triangular wedges. And more - soon, I was left with a funny-looking flower: the copper center with the predrilled hole, and skinny petals (all that remained after I cut the final wedge out of this piece). I didn't care for the looks of this weird flower at all.

Back to square one.

Pulling from my design inspiration for the filigree ring, I started strolling around the bead shop, trying to see what could fit inside the disc (and cover up those dang cutouts!). I found a gorgeous handmade blue lampwork button - it wasn't quite large enough to hide the cutouts, but it was close!

The button was mostly blue, but also had some seafoam green, and flashes of reddish-purple (the center of the button contains dichroic glass!) - it is a gorgeous work of art.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the best way to attach the button to the disc. The disc had the pre-drilled hole in the center, but nothing on the back to attach wire to. I didn't want to carry wire around those cutouts just to attach the button. Think...think....

And check my secret stash again .... and there it was: a copper Susan Lenart Kazmer pendant I had purchased (impulse buy!) at Michael's years ago. At the time, I knew I could make a similar copper pendant, and probably should save my pennies ... but then I rationalized: she already did the hard work; why should I? (When I take on projects like this, they always take WAY more time than I thought they would, so I figured this was a great investment, time-wise!) And after I bought it? I squirreled it away for a special occasion, and soon forgot about it. Sounds familiar, right?

the disc, the pendant, & the button

The disc is the perfect size to attach to the U-shaped middle portion of this pendant! This pic shows the dingy, dull appearance of the concave side of the disc; I used my Dremel and radial disc to polish this up to a gorgeous shine before I started wiring.

In looking at the pendant, I felt like I wanted to" soften" the overall appearance of hard glass on hard copper disc on hard copper pendant. The pendant had that nice curly "tunnel" across the top, and I had some pretty blue sari ribbon, so I decided to see if I could incorporate a little sari ribbon into the design. (I am all but clueless when it comes to sari ribbon artistry!)
sari ribbon in the tunnel - I like it!

To attach the button and the disc to the pendant, I decided to use the same blue wire I used on the filigree ring necklace, because I wanted it to show as little as possible on the front of the button, and it wouldn't show at all on the back - so color didn't matter there. When wiring the button to the disc (and the pendant, since it was all done in one step) I added a 4 mm Czech firepolish bead in the center of the button (in a deep indigo color that matches the blue around the edge of the button) - I wanted as little of the wire to show on the front as possible.

the copper disc and button wired to the pendant

Y'all know I couldn't stand those triangular cutouts - I decided to stick a small piece of sari ribbon behind the button - and just like that: no cutouts! Victory! Aren't these colors and textures fantastic?

Since there was only a single hole drilled through the copper disc, it took a lot of wiring to get the disc and button securely and stably attached to the pendant.

Detail of the wire attachment:

And now - I'm in the home stretch on this one. I wanted to make a simple necklace for the pendant, because the pendant has a whole lot going on. I envisioned a simple copper chain, with some dangles for movement, color, and interest.

It's a little hard to tell, but the dangles include more of the beautiful tourmaline from yesterday's necklace, plus some kyanite, peacock freshwater pearls, tanzanite-colored Czech glass, and a few of the deep indigo Czech firepolish beads I used on the button. I clustered all the dangles at the front of the necklace, and saved one kyanite dangle for the back.

The necklace closes with an S-hook, and I left a generous length of chain so that the length is widely adjustable.

I absolutely love this necklace, but nevertheless, I'm letting it go: it's available in my Etsy shop!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Chapter 4: the filigree "diamond".

Looking for Chapter 1 (the filigreed ring)? Here it is.
Looking for Chapter 2 (the copper square and the "X")? It's right here.

And don't forget to check out our feature (pages 21-26) in the May Issue of Bead Chat Magazine:

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