I am sure that my post title took you buy surprise until you read that recently it was a New Year for me to re start my silversmithing classes. The course resumed 2 weeks ago and this will be my 10th year. Last years' course finished in June and the break until late September always seems like such a long time but this year, with the wedding, Olympics and everything else, I was actually quite glad to have the break. I was raring to go back and start creating some new pieces. I have not shown you some of the projects I worked during the summer term of last year's course so although a little overdue, here is one of them. This project was a design challenge set by our tutor Liz. We had to create a design using 4 out of the 9 items on the list with the optional brief of "A Bug's life".
Now when I first saw the list my first thoughts were hmmmm, not sure about this..... I am not usually a girl who goes for mixing metals but I decided that any challenge is always good for creativity so I bit the bullet and chose from the list; sterling silver 4 X 4cm sheet, copper sheet, beads (freshwater pearls) and 0.8mm silver wire.
I thought long and hard about what to make and after some sketching, researching and twiddling I decided to make a pair of dangly earrings with a flower/organic theme.
The first thing to consider was how they would attach to my ears. I thought that I could make copper "studs" in the shape of a flower and then I could drill into this to attach the other components.
I used a small punch to cut out 2 circles from the copper sheet. I then hand drew a flower shape which I cut out using a saw.
Yes this really is fiddly work. I then had to file the shapes smooth.
Here they are all filed into shape. I also soldered tiny silver circles to the centres of these (these can be seen in a later photo).
For the next part of the "dangle" I cut 2 slightly bigger circles and using the silver wire rolled up as a pattern soldered them on to the circles on the front and the backs (I hate it when pretty earrings spin round and they are plain on one side). I also hammered them flatter.
I drilled holes into the tops of these for attaching the components together, which I did using tiny silver jump rings.
I also wire wrapped some pearls with copper spacers and soldered posts onto the back of the flower "studs". So here are all the components using the 4 items for the challenge ready to assemble. Would you like to see the finished earrings.....? As ever it is so hard to photograph jewellery but with the help of my trust garlic bulb as a prop here were are.
I really like wearing these and now that autumn is here they look extra good,
So as I made you all jump with my new year declaration today's challenge card has to be a Christmas one. I have been busy making them as I have been selling lots in my Etsy shop. I have just listed some new designs including a Magnolia stamp and of course my beloved Lili of the Valley. If you don't have any Etsy account just email me. The one below is up for sale too here
My image is hand coloured with Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils.
I even did some embossing on my card..if you look closely I stamped a Santa and his reindeer on the backing card and then heat embossed it with clear embossing power and my trusty heat gun. I used some gorgeous silver snowflake die cuts and hand punched and embossed some holly leaves. I also used my fun photo corner punch. I used red pearls to look like holly berries. The cute tags are also Lili of the Valley .The blue ribbon also has silver snowy swirls in it.
I would like to enter my card into the following card challenges;
Lili's Little Fairies Classic Christmas
Whimsy cards All things sparkly #52
Simon Says Stamp Dies and/or punches
Bearly Mine Challenges Pearls and swirls #56
Sir Stampalot Punch away
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Snowflakes
The weather has turned really chilly now but the sun is out and the leaves are turning spectacular colours. I hope to take some photos over the weekend. My first job though in my garden is to take down my beans, empty some of my pots and get some more bulbs in. I am sure my Billy will be joining me out in the garden. Enjoy your weekend too, whatever you have planned. Thanks for visiting me,
Bye for now,