Saturday, February 12, 2011

lessons learned

mary jane dodd

'nature is an endless combination and repetition
of a very few laws.
she hums the old well-known air
through innumerable variations.'
~ ralph waldo emerson

this is how i feel about rings - a few basic techniques needing to be learned well which are then repeated - but after that... well it's about raising the bar to whatever inspires... this week i added small gemstones to them... 


here inspired by conifers... 


here by the promise of spring... 


i was working on a version of a rustic engagement ring - using brass and nickel - soft silk and a raw diamond... 

lessons learned - 

the engagement ring is the second one i made... the first one taught me that even with the heat required to apply patina, soft solder will lose its hold... 

this engagement ring has a circle in the middle of the etching, so it has to be redone... as there is some etched pattern visible, i am thinking it must have sunk to the bottom of my container...

copper is a very friendly metal, it likes to snuggle - when it comes to chemical techniques, keep your brass and copper separate - unless you want plated brass... which is kind of cool, but not what i was looking for... 


** i just want to add here that i know these rings are simple in construction - i marvel at the skill of smiths creating truly magnificent pieces... one of my personal goals is to expand my knowledge in this respect... 

any casualties this week in your work? while they can be frustrating, ultimately we learn from them and keep moving - 

17 comments:

Barbara Lewis said...

These are beautiful, MJ. Do you seal the copper to prevent the copper from leaving a green "ring" on your hand?

mairedodd said...

2 ways of sealing - spray and wax!

D'Arsie Manzella said...

These are beautiful. I love how you incorporated the stones into the design. I will have to redo a mold I made this past week and a couple of items I molded that had three dimensions got flattened more that I wanted. When this happens, my mantra is -"It's ok, I can make it again. If it came from me once, I can do it again."

VanBeads said...

The rings are gorgeous! I love the rustic engagement ring. What a beautiful idea!

Those of us who do beadwork are all familiar with a stitch called the "Frog Stitch", also known as "Rip it, rip it". Those of us who design our own beading patterns and unique pieces know how frustrating it can be to spend hours of work on a piece, only to find that it doesn't come out quite the way we envisioned it. I usually toss my failed experiments into a bag and then when I need a little beading break, I'll spend some time tearing them apart and sorting the beads back into their original containers.

Chris said...

Wondrously organic~~I love the circle on the engagement ring~even if it's not what you'd planned. :-)
Jewelry mishap this morning! Pouring resin into riveted bezels...two messed up, only one left and I hope it turns out OK. If not, a great learning experience...did I mention that I HATE learning experiences! lol

Patty said...

Mary Jane, what a beautiful sentiment to accompany your wonderful pieces. I can't wait to see what you do with a raw diamond!

Kelli said...

MJ!! These are GORGEOUS!!! "simple construction" ???? Don't sell yourself short! These are wonderful!!!! I love love love the rustic engagement ring. It's my favorite!!! The so called 'flaw' just makes it unique!!!

SummersStudio said...

Your rings are beautiful and very thought provoking. Lots of failures for me this week. All of them were learning lessons. Not necessarily welcome but I think that failures can move us forward to new things, ideas, and expression.

TesoriTrovati said...

so full of beauty. there is a quietness here. a contemplative feeling, like there is a secret under that dome. the fibers, the stones. all such special touches.
thank you for sharing.
enjoy the day!
erin

MaCarroll Beads said...

Beautiful work as always!!! Casualties this week??? I'll save that for a later post...but.... I can say that I am DONE experimenting with the clay that Bill brought home from the local landslide! Not pretty..... :O( I think I should be all set for lessons learned this week! ;o)

Createology said...

Your engagement ring is so soft in color hue and just ethereal. If we never have some difficulties we can not appreciate our successes. Beautiful and beyond...

Cindy said...

Mary Jane, your rings speak volumes in their simplicity. You must be so proud of your work -they are so beautiful.
For me...yes, plenty of mistakes this week. I worked on a design with a bracelet in mind but it just never worked out no matter how I tried....I eventually turned it in to a necklace and was finally pleased with the results. :-)

Cindy said...

P.S. ....I thought of you today while out antiquing....I saw a wooden milk crate that was marked "Dodds" dairy. :-)

stregata said...

Always it is the mistakes that lead us to learn, make new discoveries. If everything turned out just the way we thought, how could we grow?

Bri's Bits said...

I absolutely love this site, all the artists have beautiful work. I put the button linking back here on my blog, I hope that was alright. I truly love the work done by the talented persons crafting their love.
Thank you for showing such beautiful works :)

Bree.

Barbara Lewis said...

Bree, Thank you so much for putting our button on your wonderful blog. I've only seen tatting done once and it was magic in the fingers of a woman tossing the bobbins back and forth. You make beautiful work!

quiltingjewel39 said...

You're rings are phenomenal - I absolutely love them. It sounds corny but they evoke a calmness or peacefulness when I am looking at them.
I don't want this to sound wrong - but I was amazed at the people who said they had mistakes this week! I thought I was the only one who suffered making mistakes!! Not that I want others to make them but in a weird way-it's nice to know I'm not alone.

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