I spent Saturday taking some lessons on sculptured wire, which is something I reeeeeeeally want to learn. When it's done right I absolutely love Love LOVE the smooth, flowing lines. It's something that has been intimidating me since the beginning. After last weeks attempt at a sculpted cab wrap, I thought I'd give it another whirl.
These were a bit different than that one was. Same idea, ish, but different technique. The first one is a copper wrapped Serpentine cabochon. Instead of making a 'cage' like the last one, this one is secured by swirls and a cross bar.
I was doing pretty good with it, I thought, right up until the cross bar part. Things started going all wonky from behind which kinda wonked out the swirls. That, and, well... the back looks like crap. I'm apparently not supposed to worry about that but I do. I don't want crappy looking shinies, not even from the back side no one sees. A lot of shinies don't see the light of day because that.
After fiddling with that one, I started lesson 2. More sculpting, but with Garnet beads this time.
It came out ok. Nifty, but far from sell worthy. I very much like the swish on the right side. It's all nice and swooshy. The thing is pretty much gigantic, much bigger than I thought it would be. That happens a lot when I'm learning things. Seems I have a subconscious 'go big, or go home' type thing going on.
Yesterday I decided to switch gears a bit. After getting all uber intimidated by some awesome looking wire work I found and pretty much shutting myself down again, I decided to go back to some chainmaille. Chainmaille is another one of those super repetitive things that I can do to help me focus and still make shinies while letting my brain settle down. While shopping for some new rings for a new project, I came across the King Scale pattern I've been wanting to try for a while. I decided to buy the pattern this time and as it turned out, I had all the rings I needed. So I went for it.
It's kind of a cool looking weave. I'm pretty sure the tutorial has the wrong size rings though, because it's coming out awfully tight. I'm sure it's suppose to be a tight weave, but this is a smidge too tight. It's trying to bunch up and I think it's pulling the rings apart a tad. In chainmaille, aspect ratio is of the utmost importance. Wrong size or wrong gauge ring, even by a smidge, and the whole thing doesn't work right.
Since it wasn't working like I'd hoped, I decide to stop. I do like the weave enough to try to make it work though. I found another ring size list and have ordered them, so fingers crossed, I'll be able to make that jewel next week.
After some chainmaille play, I decided to try my hand at another cab wrap. I started out wrapping a nice, small, round, red cabochon. Totally messed it up and made it to big, so I switched stones for a larger Lapis I was saving for a round tree pendant and ended up with this...
I proceeded to try my hand at weaving after finishing that one. It didn't go so well, so I have no weaving to share. I ended up frustrating myself reeeeeeeeally bad. I decided the only thing left to do was...
Burn stuff with fire >:D
So I did.
I went and tried to get my torch to ball up some ends. I couldn't get it to work on copper or larger gauge silver the last time I tried. I reeeeeeeeally want to get the hang of this so I can start using it in my work. I just love the look when I see people doing it. Being against my nature to accept defeat, I gave it another whirl. This time using my charcoal block to help amplify the heat. At least I thought I'd read that's what it was for.
Turns out, it was the ticket.
I was able to ball up the end on a thick gauge silver pendant I'm working one (it's hard to see in the pic, but it's the cute little ball at the end of the 'vine') and make some copper headpins. No clue what I'm going to do with them, but look how cool they are! Fire lessons from yesterday: quenching copper immediately after the ball forms makes way purdy little red balls on the end. :D Letting them air cool... black and icky.
Burning things with fire FTW!
This little red ball thing intrigues me. It also makes me want to run off and learn about something new. Fire painting. Oh hellz yeah. I totally want to learn that! Maybe even like, ya know, right stinkin' now. NOW! Now.
The rest of my projects didn't pan out. I've been working for weeks now on trying to design some Celtic Knot type work which so far, try as I might, is coming up fail. I keep trying real hard at learning to master the whole weaving thing; also coming up fail. And a few others are as well. That's ok. I shall keep trying. There's a darn good chance I'm just trying /too/ hard. Shinies rarely come together when I do that. Shinies come together when /they/ are ready. And not a second before.
Anyhoo, there's my weekend. Some win, some fail, all shiny.