Cooking Glass: I love a challenge

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.

and again……

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.

via Cooking Glass: I love a challenge.

Talkin’ Tools Tuesday – Pepe Guillotine

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Metal Me This

I’ve got friends who schedule recurring themes for different days of the week and it makes great sense! Helps to schedule and organize (two things I long to be really good at…)

So, welcome to Tuesday Tool of the Week, where I choose one of my favorite metalworking or jewelry making tools and share why I love and it and how I use it. I’m no expert by any means so maybe you’ll have some tips that will make me love that tool even more!

My current fave is my guillotine. It’s a compact “paper cutter”, but for sheet metal and who knew I’d love it as much as I do! I’ve got wrist and finger issues so my day job as a book designer and my work with metal and jewelry all take their toll, leaving me with distressed digits a lot of the time. Cutting sheet metal, even…

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Tools Of The Trade – Disk Cutters

Alene's Adornments Blog

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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