Saturday, December 31, 2011

All That Glitters May Really Be Gold

Some of you may have used various leafing products, particularly the composite gold and silver leaf that mix well in translucent polymer. They are easy to use, and add sparkle and glitter to the piece. I've used the gold, silver, and copper leaf quite a bit, and enjoy both the process and the final "look". Recently, I was at a workshop where I met the owners from Woman Creative in Atlanta. They carry gold leaf sheets which are 23.75 K gold. The sheets are very fine and shimmery. I decided to try using a couple of sheets in some polymer mokume gane stacks and do a comparison of the two types of leaf. Since I was on a roll, I decided to also pick up some Magic Gloss carried by Lisa Pavelka, to see what that might do.

On the right are the results of my first steps. The first set used black and white and translucent polymer, and was made using the gold leaf composite. The composite breaks apart when it's used in mokemu gane, and makes lots of little sparkles that look like flakes of gold. I really like the subtle glimmer. In this particular pattern, the gold just seems to outline the leaves, making a very lovely statement.

Then I set to work with the 23.75 K gold leaf. The sheets are just so lovely and delicate. I discovered that these sheets tend to stay intact, so the gold stays in layers, even in the mokemu gane process, and creates a simply lovely shimmer. I'm not sure the photo really captures the glow this gold sheet creates. You can, though, see the difference between the broken bits of gold in the composite leaf, and the full, continuous sheets in the true gold leaf.

The last experiment used the gold leaf composite with the Magic-Gloss product. I impressed black polymer with a design, then used my finger and rubber tip tools to press the leaf into the design, minimizing tearing as much as possible. Below are the results:

Looks like I'll need to try Magic-Gloss over the 23.75K sheets, too. I'm continually amazed at all the possibilities with this wonderful medium, polymer. Wishing you all a very wonderful 2012 with lots of opportunity to explore and create.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December Gardens

Gardens? Yes, I realize it's December, and winter has just officially begun. Happily, we've been having temperatures in the 50s and yesterday it reached 60. So it's feeling much like spring! Perhaps I've been affected by the weather, or just want spring to hurry up and get here. Whatever the reason, I've been making leaf and petal canes, and started to play with the slices. I'd been thinking of the porcelain and polymer beads I've made, and thought I'd do something like that in all polymer. Well, one thing led to another, and instead of outlining a bead with leaf and petal canes, I started creating complete, lush gardens. When foliage is this dense and thick, I always wonder what might be hiding underneath.... The two pieces above are pendants, with loops in the back for a chain or perhaps multiple strands of pretty ribbons.

The pieces on the left are backed with convertible pin/pendant findings. They're just a tad larger, and these findings provide more wearing options.

From these samples, you can see what my color-moods have been. Now I'm feeling the need to go back to the worktable and make some new canes in other colorways...

....Well, I did go back, right after I made this entry. Here are a couple of examples of the next things I did. First, I had to make some earrings.

And then I made a set in yellows and purple shades. These take a lot of time, both in creating the canes, and then slicing and assembling. I do love the three-dimensional look and feel. Since, they're out of polymer, they're light, too. So nice to know these flowers won't fade.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Robin!

A good friend of mine is turning 60 today. As part of the birthday celebration, her husband decided to commission a set of jewelry. He took a look at some of my designs, and asked me to make something using my leaf cluster design. He also selected "jade" as his color choice - then I set to work. I've really enjoyed creating with a specific person in mind. Her husband came by the other day to pick the set up, and was very impressed.

I'm really hoping she loves the pieces, too. I made earrings in 2 sizes, a delicate necklace, and came up with a new design for a bangle bracelet. I really like this style, and am already working on one in purple.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pendants in Motion

Sometimes, an artist draws inspiration from nature, color, an event, an idea. My inspiration for these pendants came while I was asleep. I keep pad and pen next to my bed, and jot down ideas or sketches when they "come". Such was case for the idea for these pendants with a bit of motion.

I've made two, and have sketches for a couple more.

The hanging section on these necklaces moves forward and back. I had to figure out how to get the piece hanging while ensuring the holder section had clean and matching edges.

I plan to experiment more and to see what happens with the other ideas I've drawn. Reactions and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Early Holiday Porcelain

It's December, and I figured I needed to put together a few pieces for the holidays. I started with some new hollow porcelain pieces which I then embellished with polymer. The porcelain has a lovely sheen to it, which is complimented by the crystals, gold filled, and sterling silver pieces I've added to the simple cable chain.

Must be time for a party!