Metalwork Update

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog entries, you might have realized I’m a big fan of what I call elegant simplicity. I like jewelry that gets a response of “Oh, that is really elegant.” Don’t get me wrong, I like color, but I think it should typically be used as a highlight instead of the main focus.

With this idea in mind, I have wanted to do metalwork since I started creating jewelry. I think metal jewelry is simply elegant. However, two things kept me from this. The first one is the fact that I thought big, chunky jewelry was in. I started designing chunky jewelry even though it wasn’t really me. The bold pieces certainly have their place and I will wear them on occasion to add some drama to an outfit, but at the end of the day, I’ll admit it’s not my style. The second thing that held me back was the fact that metalworking seemed to be very difficult and expensive. I wasn’t sure I wanted to make the investment and risk getting in over my head.

Time has since passed and I have changed my mind. Little by little I’m working my way into metalwork. I created my first few pieces this week and it was enjoyable beyond words. Given the pieces were fairly simple, it felt like I was headed to where I want to be.

My first few pieces will be done by what is called “cold forming.” This means the metal pieces are created and joined together without the use of heat. This gives me the opportunity to get a feel for how the metal responds to different methods of cutting, punching, sanding, and finishing. After I get a good feel for how to cut and shape the metal, then I will move onto soldering. This requires a torch, so I want to be comfortable working with the metal before I introduce fire to the process.

So, are you wondering what I have created so far? Earlier this week I bought a piece of copper and I have been playing with it. I bought copper because it is cheaper than silver, but now that I’m working with it, I really like the color of it. These two pairs of earrings were cut from the copper sheet, sanded and hammered to give them a bit of a texture. They are hung on sterling silver ear wires. I have them on sterling silver wires because copper tends to turn skin green. I also created matching pendants, but I need to get chains for those.

What do you think? I think they might be difficult to give up. Hopefully, I’ll have some silver pieces to show you in a few weeks! For now, thanks for stopping by!

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