Sunday, January 29, 2012

January Art Bead Scene Challenge

After a great deal of frustration, I finally have some photos of my entry for the Art Bead Scene Challenge. For some reason I just can't figure out how to take a good picture of my jewelry. I tried reading a book, The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos by Heidi Adnum, which didn't really help much. I searched out advice on the internet. Yesterday I watched two DVDs about how to use the camera (my husband's Nikon DX SRL), also not entirely helpful. (Unfortunately, we can't find the manual.) 
Then I went to Target and bought some inexpensive desk lamps and some expensive daylight bulbs. I set up a plastic bin with the lights shining through the bin. That part worked well. I got the idea from Keirsten Giles' blog. (Her photos are great!) I took a ton of photos, most of them really bad. These are the best of the lot, but I still have a way to go. I guess my main problem now is getting the focus right. It just shouldn't be that hard!!!

This necklace started with the focal bead. It's a tiny mosaic made from polymer clay. Shirley Rufener describes the process in her book, Polymer Clay Mixed Media Jewelery. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it. The bezel is only 1 inch x 1 inch. I tried to draw a little picture of a wild rose, however, it was just too tiny to follow, so I ended up with a little four petal thing. After the mosaic was baked, or cured, I glued it into a copper bezel with Weldbond. Then I made the grout with a mixture of clay and clay softener, and pressed it into the mosaic. I used a paper towel and clay softener to wipe away the excess "grout". After it was baked, I added resin. (My first time using resin . . . very scary . . . but yea! no bubbles.)

The next part was the clasp which I made with a button and a hand forged, wired wrapped hook, etc. The findings and chain are all gunmetal in color, so I used liver of sulfur to darken the copper parts.
This part is made with a copper washer that I forged, wrapped a copper flower to and then patina'd. I rubbed the patina off the flower. The colors in the photos are not quite right. In real life it matches the colors in the William Morris wallpaper design quite well. (Maybe it's my background paper! Argh!!)
Trellis by William Morris, 1862


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Well, I never imagined that I would ever be writing a blog. I have become an avid reader of jewelry blogs, and I can see that this is a great way to share thoughts, ideas, pictures, tutorials, etc. etc. So here goes . . .

Let's start with a picture of my beading table this week.
 "The beading mat is soft, the lights are warm and I have your complete attention. I don't see a problem."

 Tomorrow I hope to post some pictures of my entry for the Art Bead Scene Challenge.