Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Texturing Metal......NOW WHAT???
Since our Art Jewelry Boot Camp is currently focused on texturing metal by hand, perhaps you've been hammering away and have a nice little sampler of metal pieces that you're not quite sure what to do with......
So today, I wanted to share a little tidbit for a simple way to turn that textured metal into a simple slide bail for another pendant. Slide bails/pendants!
Slide bails/pendants are a popular trend in higher end jewelry and you could add some of these to a table at your show as they can easily slide onto a heavy omega style necklace (so ladies can buy a pendant and simply swap them on their own omega for a new look) or be added to ready made leather necklaces. OR....you can incorporate them by adding punches of color by adding them to beautiful silks and fibers or a more involved pieces.
I started with a copper stamping that was very large (about 3+" across) and probably wouldn't serve well as a pendant. But you could use squares, circles, ovals or any other symmetrical pieces you've been texturing to make a slightly different shape. The original shape is above.
I snipped off the side rounded bits with a pair of french shears and filed the sides nice and straight and then annealed the piece to make it nice and soft so it would be ready to receive that nice texture we've been talking about..... Next, I textured the piece by using my grungy pitted hammer followed by a piece of bent steel wire that I mentioned at the intro to our challenge.
My piece was quite work hardened by this point so I annealed it again with my torch, cleaned it very well, then folded it around a 1/4" dowel rod to form the bail portion....(this was the point where I wish I owned a pair of bail pliers or wrap and tap pliers).....but a wooden dowel worked fine too! I then used a pair of chain nose pliers to bend the bottom rounded bits out a bit so it met in a friendlier manner.
At this point, I drilled my hole by using a center punch and drilling through both pieces at the same time so the holes would meet. I did all my finish work with my emery papers, cleaned, oxidized, distressed, and waxed and you have this:
A fun bail to add on a bit of silk or a slide pendant! Add your favorite Art Bead or pendant and you are set to go!
One word of caution: Don't forget to seal the INSIDE of the bail (I do this by passing a Qtip coated in wax or a cuticle stick wrapped with some muslin or cotton ball and wax through the opening so it is finished inside and out) You don't want any oxidation to rub off on leathers or fibers....