Tulips everywhere!

Hello there!!

Lately I was flooded by ideas inspired by flowers, specially tulips. There are other flower-related ideas too but I haven’t get the muse to work on them so I just sketched them down and wait for the perfect mood 🙂

So far since I started making wire jewelries back in 2009, I’ve made 3 tulip designs: a jewelry set in late 2009 and two pins/brooches this year.
There’s almost 5 years gap between those designs, and I make a good progress (well, at least in my own opinion lol).
Let’s see them all ^^

First design & the beginner’s flaws
The first tulip design was a jewelry set made for myself. I wore it on the wedding of my husband’s (that time he’s still my boyfriend hehe) cousin.
IMG_9607-0.JPG
My first tulip design

You can see so many flaws and that the designs were so simple.
That ring weren’t constructed very well. I only thought how to realize my design without considering its wearability. Maybe it’s a beginner’s weakness.
I have to admit that the ring caught on my clothes and bag. And I had to repair it every time it happened.

I’ve learned my lessons, and I try my best to improve the wearability of my designs.

Latest designs…
This year I make 2 tulip designs. Both are pins/brooches.

IMG_0287.JPG
Black Tulip Pin

IMG_9608.JPG
Tulips Bouquet Pin

Both were made with same methods. Every stones and wires wrapped all at once. No re-wrap or wire joints being woven twice.

I also made the pin by myself. This way I can control both the front and the back side of each brooch. Both wrapped neatly, no wire mess crossing behind the focal cabochons.

Can you see the improvement? Can you point my mistakes and flaws? And will you be kind (and patience) enough to tell me those mistakes?
I would love to hear what you think about these pins I made.

For more detailed pictures please visit my FB page

Thank you so much, and see you on next post.

xxx,

~ien

Advertisements

Friday Featured : Dance of The Phoenix Series

I love Harry Potter series. It really drives my imaginations gone wild!
These designs are the results.

There are many magical creatures in Harry Potter, among all Fawkes is my favorite. Not to mention unicorns 🙂
When I read the books, I always imagine how Fawkes flies, how he burnt into ashes and rebirth, his loyalty, his bravery, his song, and so on. I kept the ideas in my mind, and didn’t know what to do, until several weeks ago the designs came up.

The very first design of this series named The Path to Heaven.
It was made of 999 fine silver wire, soldered and hammered then oxidized to give it depth. Unfortunately it came up a lot like Keri Luiz from Pheonyx Art logo. When she mentioned it, I was shocked and feel bad because I don’t wanna offend anyone with my design.
However the problem was settled in a very civilized manner. I will have to modify the design if I ever make it again, which is a good thing to do so I can have my own design instead of something similar with someone else’s identity.

Here it is, the first design
20131220-050200.jpg

And this is the modified design, in progress

20131220-051406.jpg

The Circle Has No Ends is the next design I came up.
It shows a Phoenix in a circle pose, where its head and tail met. It represents the death and rebirth cycle of a Phoenix.

Here it is
20131220-050435.jpg

The 3rd design was named Wind Rider. It was made of a single wire, without any soldered joint. I’ve created two version of this design: a copper brooch with handmade pin, and a silver pendant.

20131220-051047.jpg

I really hope you like this series 🙂

Until next post,

~ien

PS: to see other art works of mine, please visit my FB Page
Many thanks!!!

Friday Featured Piece: Mora The Peacock

Last post for today.. 😀
Please meet my new friend, Môra the peacock.

20130118-010925.jpg

-Now you can take yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or chocolate and some snack before you continue reading this post.
This gonna be a very very long post. I promise.

I have this peacock design for quite a long time. It came as raw and wild idea 3 or 4 years ago.. (Yeah it took me THAT long to realized it)

One step at a time: from raw idea to detailed sketch
I was dreaming about a 3D peacock design, with brilliant colors, as close as possible with the real peacock.
I started to sketch down my peacock design, but it was really simple: some round and teardrop shapes with big and bold note “make it 3D, as real as possible. Research about it” LOL
Something big start with little step.

One day after I learned how to set stone, I drew another peacock sketch, this time with a stone as its body. I added note try to search for perfect blue-ish stone beside the sketch.
Another little step.

My Feng Huang project gave me some insight how to make 3D head. I drew another peacock sketch: stone as its body and 3D head.

I’ve done with body and head, but I still didn’t know how to make the tail. Meanwhile -for me- the tail -the feathers- is the most important part of a peacock. It was the most beautiful part of a peacock, and I have an ambition to make it as real as possible.
My ambition got bigger when I purchased a real peacock feather. Its beauty really thrilled me. And I promised myself to do whatever I could to realize my peacock design.

It took me over a year to solve this problem. I found this spike seahorse over the internet, and that AHHA!!!!! *a BIG lightbulb turned on in my head* came to me.
I quickly grabbed my sketch book and sketched down another peacock drawing. This time I finally could sketched every details of it. I could even sketch down some insets with detailed size, materials, and colors of every parts!!

What? You wanna know what did I write as note on my last sketch?
I wrote:
find perfect stone: blue with greenish one, with some sparkle if it’s possible.
Find perfect SWAROVSKI colors
Find perfect materials for it

Materials hunting
Next step was hunting for perfect materials.
I planned to use dyed druzy at first, but I can’t find perfect druzy. As usual, the one with perfect color was either too big or too small..
The one with perfect size was in wrong color *ouch*

Until one day a good friend of mine offered me this beautiful gems. A natural london blue topaz. Another AHHA!!!!! strike my mind. The color, the size, the sparkles.. All are PERFECT!
I doubted to take it, for it was too much for me, almost unaffordable for me. But that crazy lil artist inside me said “remember what you said, you’ll do anything to realize it”
Dang! I just had to take it. And generously, my friend gave me a great deal.
Long story short, I got my perfect stone. Yeay!!

After holding the gems in my hand, I know I can’t use my ordinary copper wire to wrap it. It’ll be a silly thing to do. So I save my money to buy some fine silver wire and gold-filled wire. I also started to collect all my sterling silver wire.

Choosing the right SWAROVSKI colors was another issue. I finally took denim blue and peridot, both with AB coating.
It took me almost 6 months to collect all materials needed.

Practice makes perfect
I used several techniques to make Môra: spike technique, making balled end wire, prong setting, and a bit hammering.

I tried to use all these techniques in several projects. I really wanna ensure myself that I won’t make any single silly mistake (which I did!!!!).
I won’t let myself touch the materials before I’m ready.

The real process
I started to work on the body by setting the stone with prong setting.
I made two different claws: a pair of standard prong claws, and a pair of balled end claws.

Next step was forming its head. I weaved thin wire over the frame wire and form a 3D head with it. I also heated the end of each wire to make eyes. Flattened it a bit with my pliers while it was still hot to give it accent.

When my gold-filled wire arrived, I know I was ready to make the most important part of my project: the feathers.
I failed on my first attempt *sob*

20130118-011121.jpg

It looked too heavy and not fluttery enough. But after some mind-opening chat with my friend, I finally figured out how to make the feathers look fluttery. (Thanks to you, Renata. You know I owe you a lot.. Too much to be counted.. Thanks!!)

Some suggestions from my friends over my FB page also helped me to give the feathers ‘light and airy’ look. (Thanks to you, Wendy!)

I added some very thin wire (about 0.2 mm wide) between each spikes of the feather then trimmed and flattened it using my pliers. These wires gave fluttering look to the feathers.

Finally I assembled each parts, added a bail and a pin, so it could be worn as pendant and brooch.

Môra is one of my milestones. It’s my first piece using real natural gemstones and gold-filled wire. It also a piece that I designed, planned and make with every effort that I can do. Like my friend said, I did go the whole nine yards to get to my dream-peacock.

It took almost 4 years to bring my dream-peacock into real. Can I proudly tell you that Môra is my masterpiece?

-it IS a long post, right? Hope you enjoy reading it just like I enjoy writing (err, typing) it.

Thanks for reading, and see ya!!!

xoxo,

ien

Friday Featured Piece: Prince Aldric Caerulea from Anouran Kingdom

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince who lived under a curse. A kiss from a girl who really love will set him free.
What’s the problem, we might think.
To kiss a handsome prince is easy. Piece of cake.
But what if the handsome prince is a…
FROG?

Okay, that’s not the original version of The Princess and The Frog tale. But, Hey!! I’m trying to be original here lol.

I bet most of you are familiar with the story. Disney just made their movie based on the story.

For the contest I mentioned in my previous post, I made a frog brooch, inspired by this tale.
I still remember the day I got the idea.
I was looking at my druzy stash -wondering what should I make for the competition- when my eyes found a big green triangle druzy.

It was too big to be a part of lil creatures, and I can’t imagine it being a part of delicate things.
It’s bold, therefore I should find something special for this druzy.
I thought it would be perfect for animal body parts. So I browsed and browsed and browsed about green animal, and frog was one of the result. After some times rotating the druzy, I can see a frog in it.

I remembered a merry prince in Disney’s Princess and The Frog. I thought he really fit the frog in  my imagination. So I started work on him.

The hardest part was when I realized that I made a mistake, AFTER I FINISHED WORK ON HIM. Based on some references I read, frog has 4 toes on each foot. Dang!! My prince has only 3 toes!!!

Well, I have to admit that I was too lazy to re-work on him, and I think he looks so handsome with his 3 toes *creator’s excuses, please ignore this*

So, here he is. Prince Aldric Caerulea from Anouran Kingdom

Prince Aldric Caerulea

Materials: Dyed druzy, permanently colored copper wire, SWAROVSKI components.

Size: approx. 2″ height