….try out my new PepeTools jumpring maker. In addition to the mandrals and mounted chuck and handle for coiling the wire, there is a cutting rig that uses a blade and collar mounted on a Foredom size 30 handpiece, and a jig that holds the wire coil.
I love a challenge
Recently I took part in a challenge on Lampworketc, a forum where I like to hang out. Several lampworkers each chose a picture and the challenge is to create one bead for each of the other lampworker’s pictures. It is a way to stretch artistic boundaries, exploring glass techniques or colorways a person would not normally choose. It is also a great way to combat a creative block. You know, when you sit down at the torch and look at your glass and are at a complete loss as to what to do. Everyone who creates in any medium has experienced this and exploring another person’s creative interests or preferences is a wonderful way to find your way back to your own muse.
This was the picture I chose:
This is the necklace that resulted from the exchange, I am really happy with it.
I still have a few beads left
over that I plan to work into a matching bracelet later when time allows.
I received some wonderful beads and was truly amazed at the different interpretations of my picture. I think as people sometimes we get caught up in the idea that everyone else sees the world in the same way that we do. It’s a great reality check to do an exercise like this that celebrates our differences.
After I received my beads I had a new challenge. How could I take them and create something that would express me and do justice to the all the little pieces of art I had received? I knew I wanted a dark stringing material. What I had on hand was lots of copper wire. I also had liver of sulfer. Hmmm.
I thought it would be fun to take you through a bit of my process and how I arrived at my final product and also talk about a couple of tools I use along the way. It wasn’t a big leap for me to go from copper wire to chain maille as I had just purchased one of these:
This amazing little tool is the Pepe Jump Ring Maker. I love chain maille and have for quite some time but the cost of buying rings to create all the things I wanted to create was becoming prohibitive so when Otto Frei had a sale on this I jumped (lol) on it.
What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
I love my tools. Of course a camera is essential. I’m a Canon girl, through & through. After that, it’d have to be my torch & my flex shaft. Both are basic staples, but they really can do so much. Ott lites are awesome as are Pepe brand tools. Honorable mentions: custom letter stamps, a programmable burn out kiln, and a ring stretcher/reducer.
I discovered this tool when taking a riveting class last year. I decided then and there that it would be my next tool purchase! It cuts circles from metal. The brand you choose makes a difference. Some are made with better steel, enhancing the precision of the cut. I purchased the Pepe brand for my bench.
So you say. Big Deal. Who needs precise circles or holes in metal anyway? Most metalsmiths find this a useful tool for punching holes into metal for riveting or for design (or both). You can also use the circles as part of a design. The larger holed disc cutters provide circles up to 2″ diameter. And that can create the beginnings of a beautiful pendant… without sawing. Sawing has it’s place but it is difficult to be completely accurate when sawing a circle. Or I should say I have this difficulty!
As I add…
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