Monday, 12 March 2012

Can I ... ?

I often look at some of the more intricate lampwork beads, and wish I could have a go at making them.  There's no guarantee that I wouldn't just produce poo on a stick - and, in fact, I expect that's what would happen, as what's in your head doesn't necessarily translate successfully into what you're capable of making.  My beloved wire does have its limitations - I absolutely adore 'underwater' beads as I'm a great lover of water in all its aspects, but wire does not necessarily lend itself well to representing liquid, although I have tried more than once!  And yet ... I found myself making yet another doodle of an underwater pendant, and thinking ... can I?
I ignored the urge to attempt my underwater pendant, and spent last Friday evening trying to make something simpler, and saleable.  What an utter waste of time.  I achieved precisely nothing, unless you count sore thumbs and the usual squint you could park a bike in.  So I decided to cut my losses and just go for it, even though I knew I would spend a lot of time twisting and weaving wire for a project that may still come to nothing.  But I've come to the conclusion that it's good for me to challenge myself with something I find inspiring.  No, it doesn't always work - but the research I put into things like finding different seaweeds and corals and working out ways to represent them using wire, is probably good for me.

So after several hours work, this is what I produced.  And yes, it's a bit busy and it's certainly multi-coloured, but it actually turned out just how I hoped it would.  Obviously, the water is represented by the spaces that aren't filled with wire, but hopefully that works.  Once I'd sorted out what I was going to include, the hardest parts were making sure all the components were securely anchored (it's amazing how a piece of seemingly secure wrapped wire can work itself loose all by itself) and that all of the many wire ends were neatly tucked in.  After all, it's meant to be a wearable piece, so it needs to be fit for purpose.  And the conclusion to all this rambling is that, after all, it appears I can.  :)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Spoilt For Choice

Because that's how I feel at the moment, and it's a great feeling.  I've recently treated myself to a tumbler - and quite frankly, I can't believe I waited this long!  The pleasure of listening to it churning gently away and knowing it will open to reveal super-shiny treasures is worth all the pain and nail-destruction of hours of bending, cutting and filing.  It doesn't really matter that it's just washers, toggles and earwires that are coming out of it, the novelty hasn't worn off yet!

But the reason I'm spoilt for choice, of course, is that while the tumbler is a wonderful finishing tool for my copper, silver and bronze wire, it's not a friend to my favourite medium of all - coloured wire.  Since discovering jewellery-making a few years back, I've completely fallen in love with colour.  I'm as big a fan of shiny - or oxidised - metal as the next person, and I know all too well that coloured wire is far less forgiving when it comes to tool marks, and often regarded as the province of beginners before they progress to precious metals.  But without my rainbow of beads and wires, I think my world would be a lot more dull. ;)

So after a week of preparing metal for the tumbler, I had to go the other way and play with some colour this weekend.  (The pendant is actually much brighter than the picture - I'm struggling with the light as usual!)  And I had a rather incredulous laugh at myself when I realized I'd constructed a whole woven flower - and weaving is not my forté - just so I would have something to add one of my new ladybird beads to.  Well, it needed a flower.  And it's no bad thing to challenge myself with something outside my comfort zone, is it?  (Oh, and did I mention I'm also addicted to beads?)

Hubby's remark was 'it's a bit bright, isn't it?'.  Well, yes, but that's the point!  Give me a week of filing copper and I react by going into colour overload.  And the great thing is, I have a tray chock-full of wire in all colours of the rainbow.  AND plenty of copper, bronze and even brass for when the coloured wire gives me a migraine.  Lucky me! :D