Thursday, July 15, 2010

Repurposing Components for Jewelry

We all have bits and pieces made for one purpose that pile up unused. Sometimes it pays to get those back out and reconsider them for a new project.

I have a nice stash of torch-fired enamels on etched copper that didn't fit into my silver clay rings. That was before I realized I needed to change the order of steps in my process to make things work out better. I dreamed of making them into earrings or a bracelet, but that would have been much easier if I'd drilled holes in them prior to the enamel application.

Last week when I made some marquis shaped earrings that came out big enough to stretch my lobes to my shoulders, I stared at those wondering what I could do with them. Then I dug out the enameled discs, which just happened to fit. Aha! How to mount them? Resin was a possibility, but I wanted to try out the concrete I'd learned in a class at Bead & Button with Robert Dancik.

One thing led to the next. I needed to hang the new pendant. I auditioned my chains and was nonplussed. Then I remembered the olive green rhyolite beads I bought at B&B. Perfection. I wired those up and added some jump rings to connect everything. Then I needed a little something to fill the void of silver wire at each jumpring. I hobbled upstairs an extra time (in my one time per day world) to dig through my bead collection. Voila! The green pearls I HAD to buy in Kona, Hawaii, knowing that I'd need them somehow, someday, popped out of the box.

Too many hours later, a necklace was finished. Whew. Of course, there was originally a PAIR of earrings, so there's another sitting on the work table.