Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Project #3 - Pierced Piece

Project #3 from Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop

This was such a fun piece to make. Lexi provided some designs or we could come up with our own. I have such a weakness for Aspen leaves that I came up with this design.

First we make a template of the actual design and glued that to our piece of copper. Then we started to saw around the template to create the desired shape. In this case, I allowed for a bail that was folded down for a chain to pass through. Now the fun really started once the outline was cut. We had to punch a staring hole at a point in the piece to pass our saw blade through, reattach the blade to the saw and begin cutting the inner shape....which became the cut out design. This process is known as piercing and you can do all sorts of fun things with these outlines, such as solder them onto another background piece of the same or different metal....depending on your skill.

Once the shape was right, all the edges needed to be smoothed with a file. That took a while and I'm sure I will get better with that part of the process with practice. Rule #1 is jewelry shouldn't hurt the wearer, so no sharp points or edges.

Next I was introduced to the rolling mill. What a cool tool! I selected a decorative plate and placed that with my copper piece, running it between the rollers to stamp the design on the copper. Sort of like those machines at the state fair or amusement parks where you can put in a copper penny and roll the lever so the design of the event is now pressed into the penny. Of course the penny gets flattened and elongated in the process. And that flattening and elongation happens here too, but you can control how much you want.

One of the last steps was the liver of silver treatment again to darken the surface. Using some brushes the high points of the piece had some of the dark color removed so you can see little highlights in the piece.

It was so much fun. I keep thinking about all the possibilities this brings to my future work.


Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter said...

ooh Kathleen this is so graceful! How exciting to have this new world opened up to you. Your imagination must be going a mile a minute!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Deborah. You are right about my imagination. Lexi told us we would start seeing design possibilities everywhere around us and that is happening for me. If only I could keep up ... I need to keep my artist's journal with me at all times to capture things.

-Don said...

What a great design. I was immediately drawn to the flow of the shape. Had you not described it as such, I would never have known this was a "beginners" piece. Beautiful. -Don

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Don, you are very kind. :)