Monday, September 09, 2013

Returning to the Bench

Last week I finally had a day when I felt a need to actually get back out to the studio. I decided to start easy and "remake" something. I've been wearing my Full Moon earrings regularly and felt rather attached, so I felt a need to have a pair I could actually sell. It seemed like an easy project.

Blue Moon Earrings
©2013 Vickie Hallmark
argentium sterling silver, fine silver, Swiss blue topaz
fabricated and fused with hand-sculpted details

So I rounded up a few leaves and flowers and a pair of birdies that I had cast into Argentium and set forth. First I formed rings of Argentium wire, fused and hammer textured. These I fused onto sheet to form the moon rims for my night scenes.  I wound and cut a new clutch of small jumprings for the connections. I fused some wire bits into branches. Finally, I carefully placed all the bits along with a pair of Argentium bezels and a bunch of granules into their mirrored scenes and fused everything into place. That's the hard part, when the flux starts to expand and all those tiny bits start moving. Once it gets warm enough that all settles down and every single piece gets painstakingly pushed back into its proper place with a pick, then I can heat up to fusing temp and make it all permanent. Finally, I have to cut out each earring from the back sheet which stayed attached all this time, drill holes, sand, polish, patina and make ear wires and set stones.

When I went to search my stone supply for 6 mm cabochons, the Swiss blue topazes jumped right out for me. The first earrings had moonstones, but I wanted these to be different. Somehow the name Blue Moon seemed totally appropriate -- it has been a very blue month.