I love to play with unusual materials in my jewelry designs. I was recently asked to show some images of works created with weird stuff and remembered some bangles I made using PVC pipe. These were inspired by Robert Dancik, the inventor of Faux Bone, which is really a version of PVC in sheet form. FANTASTIC MATERIAL and I love using it. In fact, I need to dig some out and make something...
Anyway, when I was first experimenting with Faux Bone, I came across some large PVC pipe leftovers on my husband's work bench. "Hmm", I thought. "These bits of pipe ALMOST fit over my wrist JUST LIKE A BANGLE!" Ding-Ding-Ding! We have a winner! Turns out that you can get short lengths of schedule 40 PVC pipe that with a bit of work can be turned into a standard 8 inch bangle. WHO KNEW?
So, I pounced on the pipe and got to work. First, find the largest PVC pipe sold at Home Depot, Lowes, whatever. Should be almost big enough for a bangle. I simply marked around the pipe with a Sharpie the width I wanted the bangle to be (about an inch), then sawed it with a jewelers saw. I filed and aged the PVC to look like old bone by burning the edges with my micro torch (well ventilated area, people, PVC gives off fumes when you burn it). Then I cut the pipe open, heated it with a heat gun to soften, and slid it on my bracelet mandrel to stretch it to the 8-inch size. Then I drilled the ends and filled the gap with a riveted band of copper, silver, brass, aluminum, whatever, embelished with beads, discs, etc. I also used an Xacto knife to slice and score the PVC, then used SHOE POLISH (you heard me) rubbed into the marks to accent it further and make it look like old, beat up bone. Buff if you want and VIOLA! You have a super-cool, unusual bangle created from an unexpected material!
What weird stuff do you play with in jewelry designs? PLEASE SHARE!!!