Wow, last day!!! The time has flown by.
I'm really charged about today's piece because I thought of something new last night, and it worked out. This is a 10 gauge copper wire that is hand-sawed down the middle lengthwise on both ends. That allowed a double curl at the bottom and a bale (rounded, fit together, then soldered) at the top.
It really has never occurred to me to do that with a wire. It opens up some interesting design possibilities.
Anyway, this pendant is copper with garnet wrapped in sterling silver. I hope you like it!
March 2012 has been exactly what I'd hoped. I've made new friends and renewed connections. I've received some great feedback from you guys. And I've learned SO much...
This month I began to use corrugation and combined it with foldforming, improved my soldering, stone setting, and sawing skills, created a new variation of my Tree of Life, sawed wire lengthwise ;-) and created a month's worth of new designs.
This is a quick video recap -- just 2 minutes long. If you enjoyed the One-a-day challenge, I hope you will "like" and share the video with your friends and like my facebook page. Every little bit helps :-)
Last call for the giveaway!
If you haven't entered the drawing yet, you still have until midnight U.S. ET. In fact to make it easy, I'll count any entries that come in before I wake up tomorrow morning. No sense having to calculate time zones on my first day off. And I will post a drawing winner sometime tomorrow, April 1, no fooling.
It was fun to design a pendant for such a pretty piece of turquoise. It's made of recycled, hand stamped sterling silver with a foldform copper bale.
Yesterday I promised a story...
Harry Reminick, memories and inspiration
My Uncle Harry lived in San Diego, CA while I was growing up in Cleveland, OH. He would fly back to Ohio every couple of years to visit family. It wasn’t nearly often enough, but when he did, it was a big event.
Uncle Harry was everyone’s favorite relative. He was fun and funny, outdoorsy and creative. He was a kind, gentle peacemaker; the type to carry a spider safely out of the house. In fact I remember him rescuing a few from me. He was an artist – sculpture, painting, a bit of jewelry – and worked for the San Diego Art Museum. The profession seemed surreal to me and unbelievably cool. I enjoyed his penchant for sharing art and culture with the family. He helped shape the way I see the world today.
I was recently delighted to find a poster by my uncle that’s out of copyright and currently available for sale at various poster supply houses. I didn't know he had made it into pop culture! As part of the Works Project Administration's Federal Art Project (FAP), he was commissioned to create a poster for the theatre production of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
"The WPA's Federal Art Project ... brought the avant-garde into small-town America, and started an aesthetic revolution ... FAP employed 5,000 artists across the country... They created murals, sculptures and paintings, taught community art classes to millions, and produced 2 million posters from 35,000 designs..." (Civilization Magazine, Apr/May 1997)
A Library of Congress (LC) write-up features 16 of those posters, one of which is his. The LC record for it is here. The piece is dated Sep 7, 1937, so he was just 24 years old at the time.
These beautiful pieces of jewelry were created by Harry Reminick over the years too, and are my keepsakes to remember him by:
I love owning these few pieces of his jewelry and I often wonder what he might say about mine. I have a long way to go, but I think he would be pleased to see me working at it.
Although he is long gone, I still feel close to him as I enjoy things he shared with me. Listening to the Nutcracker Suite. Reading Desiderata (attached for your enjoyment.) Watching birds at my backyard feeder. Last winter I was able to visit the San Diego Art Museum and stand inside the place he worked for so long. It was a nice little connection across the years.
1913 - 1981
On day 9 I made my first pendant of this style and mentioned wanting to come up with a design twist for a similar pendant and earrings set. This is a second version of the basic pattern. It's a combination of foldforming and corrugation.
Either tomorrow or Saturday I'll post a little story about an important person in my life who taught me to appreciate art. I'll include some photos, too, of some *real* artwork. I hope you'll stop by for that.
Back to an organic look today. It's a copper foldform chased-on-air pendant with sterling silver accents made from my silver scrap. It's a big piece, just over 1.5 wide x 2.5" long.
I think it looks like something one might find on an archaeological dig :-)
Way back on Day 5, Larry posted, "...show us your tool set... Tools are cool." I finally got around to snapping some photos around the studio, for the most part carefully avoiding the mess I've been making lately. So here are some of the more well-used tools, starting with the microfold brake (corrugator) I've been in a tizzy about... There are so many more tools on my wish list!
I learned the basic design for this bracelet from a class, but with a single wire. I've been wanting to try a double version. Here it is -- a sterling silver double loop wire bracelet for a little extra kick.
How about some wire wrapping for a change of pace? This is a Tree of Life made from turquoise, peridot, and sterling silver on a fine silver hoop. The hoop design is new and the color palate is my personal favorite blues / greens.
These trees were one of my learning projects during the 2011 One-a-day challenge. I made six during the month and it's fun to look back on how the design progressed. When I'm willing to make them (which isn't all that often) they sell quickly :-) They often go to mother of the bride or groom, new mothers, and Mother's Day gifts.
About the blues & greens and how awesome they are, this is from my very first blog post:
What is your favorite color?
I don't have a single favorite color. It's the mix that really takes my breath away.
Blue with green; sky, trees, ocean.
Individually they are pretty, but together, they are invincible.
I think that's a good metaphor for life.
It wasn't a poem but when you add centering & line feeds, almost anything can be a poem :-)
These are heavy gauge copper wire earrings with a little sterling silver and Chinese turquoise. Hammer marks create the texture; and they're about 1.75" long. They coordinate with the bangle bracelet from day 23 .
** These earrings are a giveaway choice**
Check my March 1 post for details about the giveaway, and how you can enter.
So far, the giveaway choices are days 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17, 21, and 25, possibly with more to come.
Gotta run! My car needs a trip to the shop :-( wish me luck.
This is a good day to do a little tribute to foldforming. First, the piece. This is a pair of copper foldform hoop earrings. They are big and bold; about 1 5/8" across.
Last summer I was very fortunate to learn foldforming from its inventor Charles Lewton-Brain, educator and world-renowned master goldsmith. Charles is truly a wonderful and inspiring man... I would describe him as part MacGyver, part Mythbusters, and part Leonardo da Vinci.
So what is foldforming? Here is a quote from brainpress.com:
Fold forming is a new system of metal forming developed between 1980 and the present which is the concrete result of a conceptual approach to metalsmithing that emphasizes forming using the metals characteristics. The British Museum Research Lab and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, among others have certified that Fold-forming is new, and has not been done before in the history of metal working.The technique was invented in the 1980's by Charles Lewton-Brain.
People have been working metal for thousands of years. Think what it means to have recently invented something new to metal working!
Charles received the 2012 Saidye Bronfman Award in February 2012 at the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts. The award is Canada's highest honor for the arts. They made a great video showing his work and passion. It also shows the exact technique I used to create today's earrings.
If you are a metalsmith (jewelry or otherwise) and would like to be part of a diverse group centered around foldforming, please join us at the official foldforming facebook page at www.facebook.com/foldforming. It was established at Charles' request and he does visit occasionally. There, you can post photos of your work and practice, post your advice and questions... all skill levels welcome. I'm the admin of the site and hope to see you there.
This bangle bracelet is made from 7-ish gauge round copper wire purchased from a hardware store. I LOVE taking a common material meant for something else entirely, and turning it into something completely different. The bangle is hammer textured on three sides with a smooth satin finish inside. It's a little over 4mm thick, which makes for a heavy but not bulky piece, and the opening is 2.5" wide.
I'm especially happy with this piece because in the past my failure rate soldering this heavy gauge copper was 100%. It would seem to solder but the joint always fell apart. Because of my recent practice, I actually began today's project very confident that it would work this time. And it was no problem at all! Yay.
One issue that I had previously was fitting the two ends together. Solder does not fill gaps, so the fit must be tight. I could never get them filed so that they perfectly matched with no gaps. Recently I learned to squeeze the two ends together and cut through the spot where they meet, to remove bumps and imperfections on each side (thank you Kristi Kloss / Cultural Arts Center, you are awesome.)
This pendant is a foldformed copper T-fold with Australian jasper beads and sterling silver. The copper developed a very pretty peachy-pink color in the flame, so I left it as it was rather than tumbling or adding a patina. The hammer marks are a little more subtle this way.
This really needs a handmade chain but it's not happening today. Truth be told, I made this twice. The first design didn't quite work as planned. So now after version two, I'm ready to be done with it! Chain can be another day's project.
Sue Lacy Wired
This began as a hobbyist's blog.
Over time it became a quest to support & connect metalsmiths around the globe who use foldforming techniques in their work.
See how it all