I've been having a blast in my studio creating designs for my own jewelry, primarily using upcycled, reclaimed, and recycled stuff.
I believe I now have enough older Canadian copper pennies to last my lifetime or until my arm gives out from hammering them flat on the bench block. It takes about 50 blows with a 24 oz hammer to flatten each penny. Oh, to be ambidextrous! Friends and family know what kinds of treasure I covet so they watch for cool stuff wherever they go - old jewelry, beads, electrical wire...
I first started making simple beaded jewelry about 25 years ago but I was more passionate about collecting pretty beads than I was about actually making the jewelry. More recently, I became inspired by all the beautiful creations showing up in jewelry making publications on the market and started looking for more information.
I loved the look of metal but was intimidated by all the technical information. I was wishing I could afford to take a course somewhere when I discovered a wonderful book called "Making Metal Jewelry" by Jen Cushman, an awesome designer and writer, who delivered the information in such a friendly way that nothing seemed too difficult to try. That was my course! I highly recommend this book.
Of course I had to set up another zone in my studio to accommodate my newest passion.
|Jewelry making zone (shared with encaustic painting cause I really didn't have the space for another zone without giving something up and that's not likely to happen!)|
One of my favourite techniques is creating a patina with the heat from my MAPP gas torch like on this pair of earrings that I made from copper pennies.