Bead Peeps Swap & Hop 2015 : From A to Z

Finally, it’s May 2nd!!! The reveal day of Bead Peeps Swap & Hop 2015.

This time my partner is Nicole Rennell from USA. She mainly works with polymer clay and copper, in big and dark color palette. During our ‘get to know each other’ chat, she told me that her hobbies are jewelry making, reading, and traveling. 

It took me sometimes to come up with something special (at least I thought it’s special) for her. Her traveling hobby gave me an idea: I will send her something related with it. 

So I sent her some wire pieces I made. A wire train locomotive, a wire boat, a wire car and a wire plane to symbolize her traveling hobby. I added some green fresh water pearls, and azurite beads as coordinating beads. All in her favorite colors. I was so happy when she said she loves them, since I worried that it might not up to her likes.

A package from Nicole arrived just a few days after she told me she received mine. I opened it and was thrilled o see such combinations. She sent me two electroformed copper over polymer clay focals, some faux sea glass beads, some labradorite beads, and some copper beads.

 
Here are they. The labradorite rondelles, copper beads and white faux sea glass were not photographed because I misplaced them >.<

Silly me. I had a rough idea how to use them and put them aside for later but then I forget where did I put them lol.

Oh and here’s what I came up with this lovely things.

   
A simple necklace featuring one of Nicole’s focal piece: a labradorite in polymer clay.

I made the necklace out of a suede ribbon to enhance the copper color. For the clasp, I used solid copper wire adorned with copper beads and labradorite rondelle. 
 Closer view of the clasp. 
I still have some beads left and will work on them after I find a perfect design for them πŸ™‚ — if you follow my blog or my  FB page you will see that the perfect design I’m talking about might come tomorrow, or maybe next year lol.

Now, please take your time and visit all others participants of Bead Peep Swap and Hop 2015 HERE!! 

Hope you enjoy hopping around!! ^^

Thursday Technique: Making Balled End Wire

I’ve been exploring further in my jewelry making journey: using torch to make balled end wire. It’s one of those materials shared in Perhiasan Kawat group on FB.

Several friends who could use torch kindheartedly shared their knowledge and experiences publicly and for free to other members in the group.

Actually I wasn’t too interested to try this, because I thought it will be too risky -using fiery equipment while I still have a toddler. I changed my mind later because my personal project design need balled end wire! I told my husband and he convinced me to invest my money in a micro torch.

So, I started my experiments with my new torches. Torches? Yes!!! You’re right. I have TWO torches at this moment πŸ™‚
I wrote about them on last Tuesday Tools post.

Wire Materials, and so on πŸ™‚
My first attempt making balled end wire was using fine silver wire. And I’m really glad I used it.
Fine silver melts quickly and the result is perfect. The ‘ball’ formed has smooth surface and bright silver colors.
I could say that it almost have no flux from firing process.

I tried sterling silver, but the ball wasn’t as good as fine silver wire did. You can see fire scale spreading from the ‘neck’ part (the wire part just right before the ball) to other part of wire which was heated during the torching process.
Other difference is the ball formed wasn’t as smooth as ball formed from fine silver. Somehow the ball surface have ‘wrinkles’ on it. But you could always remove the wrinkles by filling it.

Permanently colored copper wire, or enameled copper wire has similar result with sterling silver. I tried using Gold plated Artistic Wire without removing the enamel first. My fault, I know. The enamel produce smokes during torching process *sigh*
Oh, before I forget to mention this: they lost the colors during torching, so the ball color is copper (after you file the fire scale)

Here’s the picture:

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I found some non-enameled copper wire, and tried to make balled end with them too πŸ™‚
*I know, I know, now it seems I can’t stop torching lol*
The result made me happier than enameled copper: it has fire scale of course, but the balled end has pretty smooth surface (insert my happy dance here)

The time needed for making balled end depends on the wire size: thicker wire take more time, thinner wire need less time.
Wire materials also have impact to the time needed: fine silver is the quickest one, sterling and copper (both enameled and non-enameled) take more time.
I also found that my two torches have their own advantages and setbacks, please read my previous Tuesday Tools post πŸ™‚

For detailed pictures of my experiments please visit my FB page under the Exploriment album πŸ™‚

See you on my next posts!!

xoxo,

ien

Friday Featured Piece: Mora The Peacock

Last post for today.. πŸ˜€
Please meet my new friend, MΓ΄ra the peacock.

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-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 MΓ΄ra: 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*

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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.

MΓ΄ra 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 MΓ΄ra 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: Thystvine Set

This week featured piece taken from my latest jewelry set project.
It was request by my old friend for her wedding day.

She came to me few months ago, requested me to design something for her wedding. Her requests were: purple, beautiful, classy, with a bit glamorous touch.

When I started to design her jewelries, I was really fond of Swarovski square ring. And really wanna try my hands on it.
So I designed a jewelry set using it. Fortunately she approved my design (yeay!).

The jewelry making process begun, and I just realized that it’s not as easy as I imagined.

The Bracelet

Thystvine Bracelet

Thystvine Bracelet

To set the square rings was not easy. Specially if I want it move freely like chain. I used jump rings here if you can see the details clearly.
When I finally managed to set three square rings as the bracelet focal piece I stucked.

Second problem was to make the rest of the bracelet. I wanted it to be delicate.
I then decided to make some vines and attached some amethyst Swarovski crystals. I’m very glad that it turned out into sturdy yet delicate part.

Bracelet parts done, assembling them was not a big matter at all, not to mention some tiny jump rings attached to the focal part lol

The Earrings

Thystvine Earrings

Thystvine Earrings

She asked me to make her pierced earrings with chandelier look.

Just like the bracelet. Biggest challenge was to set the square rings. With some tricks I finally managed it, and added amethyst Swarovski drop to each swirls.

Overall the design was look like intertwined vines with some amethyst splashes.
I love how it turns out after I cleaned and polished them using my new flexshaft (YEAY!!! Happy dance).

Moreover, I’m really glad that she love them.
I can’t wait for her wedding pictures, hopefully she will send me the pic because I can’t come to her wedding reception (I’m sorry..)

By the way, this set was made with lots of prayers within each intertwined vines, each swirls and rings and coils..
Prayers for her happy marriage and love life.

Happy wedding, Vin πŸ™‚

Materials:
Fine silver wire, sterling silver wire, SWAROVSKI components

Size:
Bracelet fit 6.75″
Earrings approx. 2″ from top of pierce earrings part to bottom

xoxo,

ien

Sparkling Saturday: London Blue Topaz – my new treasure

Last week I got a great deal with a friend of mine. She offered me a beautiful tiny gems: a rare london blue topaz.

I’m not that kinda person who really fond of gems. Well, maybe because I don’t understand about it, and maybe because I don’t have too much spare fund for that lol.
But I always attracted by colorful and shiny sparkling things-*Okay, you can call me Ms. Magpie :D*- and this gems definitely has beeyooowteefuuul color, and irresistible shine.
It also comes with gems certificate to ensure that it’s genuine.

The most important reason why I finally bought it is: this stone perfectly suits my newest design.
It has the color I’ve been searching for, it was cut perfectly, the facets and shape are perfect for my design.

It was a big decision for me, to buy this lil treasure. And I can’t wait to hold it in my hands. It’s on its way at this moment.

Well, that’s for now. I will update you with real pictures when I get it πŸ™‚

Ciao!!

Ien

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Friday Featured Piece: Mr. Nostrix the owl

Happy Friday!!

Finally, I can start to post things again πŸ™‚
How are you? Hope you’re all doin’ fine. How’s your Halloween? Was it a great one? Hopefully it was.

Today’s featured piece comes from my stash. And personally, I think with Halloween’s spooky feeling remain in the air, it’s perfect time to show you this:

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Please meet my new friends: Mr. Owl (I haven’t get a suitable name for him, so maybe I’ll call him Mr. Owl)

Actually I designed him several months ago. I planned to submitt him to a druzy themed contest here in Indonesia. But unfortunately, even I kept starring at the design sketch, I couldn’t feel any urge to work on him.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t know how to make the branch, or maybe because I can’t figure out how to make his eyes..

Few weeks ago, I pushed myself to work on him. And I just realized that working with a heart shape druzy was not easy. Specially when you’re not familiar with net bezel technique, like me lol.

Anyway, I finally managed to finish him and he look as spooky as he can be lol.

Happy (belated) Halloween everyone!!

Materials:
Druzy, permanently colored copper wire, SWAROVSKI components.

Size:
Approx. 2 3/8″ Height and 2 1/2″ on its widest part

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 Β 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

Gallery

Me as finalist!!

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Yeay!!!! ξŒ’ξŒ’ξŒ’ξŒ’ Before I tell you what makes me happy, let me scream and jump and scream and sing and scream and smile and take a breath  Okay, that’s exagerrated. I didn’t do that two nights ago when I … Continue reading

Friday Featured Piece: La Guitarra Broodant

There is no woman who sleeps so deeply that the sound of a guitar won’t bring her to the window.

~ Spanish proverbs

Guitar have always been one of my fave musical instrument 
I don’t know why, but I think it’s sexy -apart from its shape.
Remember the old school days, I insisted to learn how to play it. Spent every day trying to remember the chords.

I still remember the song I learned: More Than Words by Extreme.

Okay, long story short: few weeks ago a friend of mine, Vickie asked me to made her a guitar broodant (brooch and pendant).
Her request remind me about my secret passionproject: making guitar with wire.

Vickie kindheartedly sent me some links for some guitar pictures. After some “meditational” process (read: sleeping, eating, playing with my babygirl, and repeating those things all over again), I sat and sketched my design. Vickie approved it, and she (once more) kindheartedly
set my wild imagination free ξ€’ξ€’ξ€’

And here’s the result:

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I made it from permanently colored copper wire in gold and gun metal color.
Three strands of wire were used to form its body. Inner details were made of middle layer wire. Then I added 30 gauge wire as strings.

Materials:
Permanently colored copper wire & SWAROVSKI crystals

Size:
Approx. 2″ by 1.25″

More Handcrafted jewelries?  Visit my FB page

Don’t forget to hit the like button 
thank you!!!

~ien

Friday Featured Piece: Mom & Daughter Puzzle Pendant

Another Friday has come πŸ™‚

My featured piece for today was taken from my own projects: a puzzle pendant in sterling silver.

Actually, I don’t know what do fashionable people call this kinda pendant. But to me, it reminds me of puzzle. So, I call it puzzle pendant.

Just like jigsaw puzzle, this these pendants can be worn as single pendant when you pair them together, or wear it separately as independent pendant.

It took me few weeks to figure out how to create the pendant: how to link them without any bail/clasp.

Finally I came up with this idea.

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A single piece from mom’s hair and..

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The butterfly held by the daughter became the ‘bail/clasp’, like this:

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Each piece features SWAROSKI birthstone crystals of the family member. In this case: father, mother, and their daughter.

I think I’m gonna make one for me and Claire 

Hope you like this one like I do, and see you in next post 

ξ€’
ien

PS: more collections of my artworks please visit my FB page ξ€Ž

Thank you!! ξŒƒ