Friday, May 31, 2013

Domed Floral Copper Pendant

I love this little piece - it was an experiment/teaching piece during the Cold Connections Workshop weekend, and it turned out really well:

Domed floral copper pendant

I cut the copper circle out with the disc cutter, then cut 3 very small "flower" shapes out of the sheet copper. My intention was to color the flowers, somehow, and attach them to the domed copper circle.

The circle itself is less than an inch in diameter, so these little flowers are really small. I puzzled over the patination and the flower attachment. I had several options for getting colored flowers: alcohol ink (quick), Gilder's paste (unreliable and messy), perfect pearls (often gives me the best result), and colored pencils over gesso (takes longer than I intended to wait!).

My issues were:
  • I feared the attachment process (I intended to rivet the flowers onto the copper) would destroy any patination I apply before riveting
  • But if I waited and tried to color the flowers after the riveting, I knew in my heart that no matter which method I chose (except, maybe, the colored pencils) - I wouldn't have enough control, and the color would go everywhere: onto the other flowers, onto the copper disc.

So, what's a girl to do? I sat and pondered, and worked on other stuff.

I finally decided to suck it up and proceed. 

I alcohol inked the flowers, and got beautiful, vibrant colors (I surprised myself). I sealed them with 2 coats of Krylon. (lots of time here, waiting for the Krylon to dry - I forgot about that part in my estimation of how much time each patination method would take.)

I inserted copper rivets (one at a time) into the center of each flower, turned the piece upside down, and placed it on top of a stack of about 10 paper towels on top of the bench block. One by one, I riveted them, and no color came off. (I surprised myself, again.)

I put a sock inside my metal dapping block's cups, and domed the disc, flower side down. The disc domed almost perfectly - no flower damage at all (surprise, again!). At the bottom of the pendant, one of the flowers caused a slight dent in the copper dome (under the purple flower). No biggie. Hardly shows.

I used chain nose pliers to slightly bend out each petal of each flower.

I drilled a hole in the top for hanging.

 Multicolored floral copper pendant

Inside of the pendant, showing the rivets

I decided not to push my luck by tumbling the pendant: what if THAT was what finally removed the color? So the inside of the disc is splotchy looking, but I polished the front, and that's what shows!

It's available on Etsy!

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