Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I loved my daughter's layered metal cross pendant (previous post) so much that I decided to make more for my Artfire store.  In my search for patterns that I thought would look good cut into metal, I found a "fire/flame" pattern that I loved.  I like the way the flames bend and curve and come out looking somewhat like a hand.  I tried different textures on the crosses and went with something simple on the flames to give them added interest.  I also played with different types of bales to see what worked for me and was visibly pleasing.  I think they all work and would appeal to your personal style.  I used copper and sterling silver filled sheet to complete the projects.  Argentium silver is used for one of the bails.  I plan to add chain or leather cord to complete them.  

Everything didn't go smoothly and I had some re-dos, but overall, I was pretty happy with what I accomplished on my own.  Next - I am thinking of a wire heart I'd like to try.  Maybe today! 

Have a great week.  Blessings, Anita


Well,  my classes in metalsmithing are long over and I had to  take the push to do some things on my own,  without the guidance of my teacher, Jolan.  My first step in that direction was the ring for my friend, Jeanne.   Then my daughter got me started again because she wanted a layered metal pendant... and she wanted me to teach her!   I was very intimidated, because I don't feel I am ready to teach anyone something I only just learned myself.  But I pushed onward and it was a great bonding time for mother and daughter.  She is already creative by nature and a quick learner.  So I had her come up with a design and showed her how to use a saw.  What a trooper she was - she cut out her design, breaking only one blade.  My first time sawing was awful, sawing lots of "wood" on the block and I know I went through more than one blade.  So now I am feeling a bit more intimidated, but VERY proud of my daughter.  Here is her finished pendant.

We then went to work on her cross pendant, cleaning, filing, sweat soldering, more cleaning and filing, and voila!  A beautiful pendant.  Being the perfectionist that she is, she was not happy that the cross was not perfectly square on the backing, but I told her that is often the nature of handmade - it does not have to be perfect!  The only thing she did not have a hand in was the soldering, but that will change with the next project - her own layered ring.  She has already cut out her pieces to go on top of the band.  She created her own pattern using texturing scissors, cutting out pattern on heavy paper.  She traced it onto onion skin paper which was glued onto the metal for sawing.  She did a great job sawing out the pattern.  We are awaiting more metal sheet so we can finish up the ring.  I will post a picture when it's completed.  In the meantime, is a picture of the copper elements we are using.  More later!  Anita

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Ring for an Old Friend

And that is not to say that she is old, but that we have been friends now for about 30 years!  My friend, Jeanne, got me on my way to creating jewelry about eight years ago!   I have gone from beading to chainmaille, wire wrapping, and now metalsmithing.  As you read in my previous posts, I learned to sweat solder a band ring and Jeanne liked it so much, she asked me to create one for her.  It is made with nickle silver and a copper overlay.  I made a soft curve in the copper and added texture with the diamond head of my interchangeable head texturing hammer (a great little tool!).  The metals were sweat soldered together with cleaning, filing and sanding as needed between steps.  The only problem I ran into was in the sizing...I need to get that process down!  But it was easily remedied by leaving the back of the band open.  I am very proud of the end result!  My next project is a pendant I am working on using copper and sterling silver filled materials.  More later.  In the meantime, here is a picture of Jeanne's ring!

Artfire Metalsmith's Guild

It's a new year and I am starting the year with some new challenges.  One of those is belonging to the Artfire Metalsmith's Guild.  I will be linking some of my blog posts with the guild, including featuring other member artists.  There is such great talent out there!   I will start out giving you a link to our guild master, Canadian Rockies Art, featuring her Peruvian Blue Opal ring! 
Canadian Rockies Art

Nathalie's workmanship is beautiful and I especially love that she uses a lot of copper in her creations.  

While you're at it, take some time and to check out the guild site and see the works of all its talented members.    Artfire Metalsmiths Guild

Blessings!  Anita