Tuesday, March 30, 2010

RAD Week #12

This was week 12. The most popular one was the safety pin, which I photoshopped onto my finger. It's a bit revolting. The last little ring "WRING" was a little something I put together after talking with another participant about neck wringing. :) Rings, rings, rings. I've got quite a pile of them now. Send me encouraging thoughts so I can keep going.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge 7.7: Four Elements

Earth Water Fire or Air. Well I chose fire and made these earrings. I like how the dirty, sooty heat patina came out on the copper. The silver accent at the base of the flame gives the earrings depth. There were only three participants in the element challenge!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge 7.6: Adult & Children's Look

Oops! I just realized I forgot to blog about this challenge. This was from March 5! The assignment was to make a piece for a child (or pet) and a complimentary one for an adult. I have two boys. They don't have much use for jewelry at the moment, but they are always collecting rocks. I find them in their pockets while doing laundry, and throughout the house. Sometimes they bring me tiny stones they've found on their various activities. I decided a tiny box to put their tiny rocks into would be appropriate for a boy, and I wanted a ring to put a rock from each of them for the Adult look. Copper, fine silver, stone, silver tubing & wire hinge. Here is what others came up with!

I skipped the next challenge, Hardware Store. I didin't have time to go to the hardware store to shop and was uninspired by what I have lying around the house, so I gave myself some time off. A few years ago, EtsyMetal had a monthly theme of "from the hardware store" and I made a copper pipe bangle. This bangle was heavy and clunky, but cool looking and I listed it for sale. I was a little surprised when it sold!
Please check out the EM blog to see what other participants created!

Friday, March 19, 2010

RAD Week #11

Week eleven. Four days of paper and three days of metal. I have a love/hate relationship with paper. I love it. I go to shops like Paper Source and other craft stores, spend hours looking at pretty paper, and I could easily spend lots of money on things like paper flower kits and stationary. There's something really nice about a pristine piece of paper. I hate paper too. I have loads of it. It comes in the mail, it comes home from my kids' school, it comes as packaging and I don't know where else. It is stacked up on tables and desks. It seems like I put tons if it in the recycle bin on a daily basis. My efforts to go green and paperless seem futile. I keep trying everyday to eliminate the excess of paper; online bills, email subscriptions - everywhere I can go paperless, I do. And yet, my paper problem remains. I re-use it and recycle it, and dream of a day when it's not stacked on surfaces in my house; when the only paper I have is for creative endeavors.

As an art medium, there's something wonderful about paper. Regular old paper isn't meant to withstand time. Unlike metal, it breaks down quickly, rots easily, tears and disintegrates. But seal it and layer it together, and it's great to manipulate. I like paper mache, made from newspaper. I love paper sculpture, and paper crafts. The four paper rings I made this week won't withstand any test of time, but I do like to explore the medium of paper for jewelry. It's lightweight and pliable and fun. It's also fast and easy and gives me a break from making metal rings when I can't get to the bench!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

RAD Week #10

Here are the Ring A Day offerings from last week. Toward the end of the week, with I focused mainly on using scrap. I have a tray full of sterling silver bits that are pieces that didn't work out or leftovers from other projects. I am reluctant to send my scrap in to trade for credit to buy fresh metal. I love melting it down into balls and blobs and hammering it into disks. It has when I do this, it creates this fantastic, rustic surface that looks organic and old. Pitted, slightly rough, cracked, and imperfect, recycled silver has a depth that machine milled silver does not. The last few rings are dapped recycled silver just simply attached to a square wire band. I love how the edges are ruffled like old flower petals. It's a little bit time consuming to melt down, hammer, anneal, put through the rolling mill, anneal, mill, anneal, mill... until I get a disk of silver that is a nice shape and thickness - but quite satisfying.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

RAD Week #9

Okay, I admit it. I'm getting a little weary of rings. Each time I get excited about a ring, the excitement can't be sustained for long because the next morning comes along and I have to do it all over again. I don't want to skip a day because I'm afraid if I do, I'll lose my momentum. I have to find things to get excited about, that will amuse me for a few moments - hence the cookie holder ring. I am always excited to get a couple of boxes of thin mints from my friend's daughter every year. The twisty wire one was boring - I was in a rush. I always have to have a few like that each week that aren't terribly interesting, but get it done for the day.
The shoes amused me. I dress up nice a few times a year and have cute but torturous shoes for the occasion, which end up kicked off under the table or to the side of the dance floor. My husband thinks its nice. He's nice.
I cleaned my youngest son's room last week and found all sorts of strange toy items, including the plastic bone - which slipped on my finger nicely. I guess the bone is to make your cowboy play more authentic. but I thought it was weird.
Here's some cool rings from other participants:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge 7.5 Design for your Star!

Beautiful. Dirty. Rich.
We had the week off from Project Runway this time - Thanks, Olympics! So I have an extra week on the last assignment and a little time to catch up on blogging. This assignment was to design a piece with a celebrity in mind. The PR crew had to design something for Heidi Klum for a magazine cover. I'm really pleased with how my Lady GaGa Earrings turned out. I wanted to choose someone who was not just a celebrity, but one who's fashion is outrageous. When I remembered Lady GaGa in her bubble costume, I also remembered my hollow glass beads. The silver element is recycled scrap, melted down into blobs, hammered, annealed, and rolled out into disks and then domed. I love the uneven, ruffled edges the recycled silver ends up with. I never get around to sending my silver scrap in for cash because I love to melt it down myself. It comes out irregular and pitted and a little uneven. When its sanded to a matte finish, it's just about perfect. Anyway, I love these earrings, and I think my green display head even looks a little like Lady Gaga! Thanks for the inspiriation, Lady G!

Monday, March 1, 2010

RAD Week #8

This is Week 8's group of rings! I am pleased with how the photography is coming out. Doing a ring every day also means taking a photo every day and cropping, and other little edits. Sometimes the photography takes longer than the ring! Even when I take a photo on a black background with a shadow behind, I still need to make adjustments to the exposure in photoshop to get the black right, which often makes the ring darker as well, but I'm getting better at it. I have used the saturation effect on my hand several times as well - as in the post-it note 'ring' above. It's an actual hand in the photo, but it makes it look like a black and white photo with something color on top of it, which I find interesting, and makes what is colorful stand out. I always want my hand to be secondary if it's in the photo as I am not the best hand model and I often have to fix cuts, bruises and other weirdnesses that are on my hand in photoshop - Thank goodness for photoshop!