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Posts Tagged ‘hammered texture’

It is high time I started to practise my metal-working skills again so I decided to start small, cutting out a rose leaf shape from sheet brass and piercing it with holes before I textured it with the hammer.

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Then I used some green perle and using the holes, put in the foundation stitches for a woven spider’s web which I worked in a gorgeous variegated pink and green silk ribbon.

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It worked out perfectly so I had a green centre shading out to the deep pink edge. I neatened it up with a piece of pink kid leather over the back and added a jump ring to turn it into a sweet little mixed media pendant.

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One of my Christmas presents was a Dremel engraver so I had a bit of a play with that, first using one of the included stencils to add a rustic star shape to a piece of sea glass which I then turned into a pendant.

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Then I moved on to a piece of reticulated brass which I created on the silversmithing course I took in Sheffield a few years ago. I had deliberately worked the reticulation from either end of the piece of brass in order to leave a smooth bridge between them for some text. Finally, I had the tool to add the lettering!

I used uncial script and the H of ‘haven’ looks a bit like an R, unfortunately, but I really like the way the engraver worked on the brass.

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I turned this into yet another pendant and gave it a lovely vintage sari silk strip ribbon to hang from in crimson and gold.

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My other Christmas present thanks to some vouchers was a doming set and I was dying to have a go at doming some old coins that I’d accumulated. Tiny bronze British decimal half pennies seemed to work best and I combined one that I’d hammered into a hemisphere with a ‘cornflake’ of reticulated brass that I’d also domed. I drilled them both through the middle and chose an odd stud earring with purple diamantes like stamens of a flower to connect them together.

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I’ve got a piece of fantastically patterned gilding metal to which I hope to attach the ‘flower’ which I can then turn into a brooch. It’s been good to play with metal again!

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This was the intriguing title of our full day workshop with Josie Storey at Embroiderers’ Guild last Saturday, so armed with some very lush velvet and the usual sewing stuff I headed off without any real idea of what I was going to be doing!

The technique we were going to be playing with involved ironing prepainted bondaweb onto velvet and then using the stickiness to embellish with anything and everything to create a rich textured surface.

I started with some gorgeous Oliver Twists hand dyed velvet called ‘Stormy Seas’ and so I had to go for wave shapes,

Lush plush and crush 1

with silk waste, carrier rod strippings

Lush plush and crush 2

and scraps of painted melted plastic.

Lush plush and crush 3

Lush plush and crush 4

By this point I’d decided this was going to be the next piece in my travelling book, so when I got home I layered it up with wadding and calico and quilted round the wave shapes with my sewing machine. From this:

Lush plush and crush 5

to this:

Lush plush and crush 6

No hand embroidery – yet…

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I missed Under A Topaz Sky’s third anniversary in May so decided that since I was relatively close to 300 posts, I’d have a giveaway to celebrate that milestone instead.

I’ve been finishing more of the projects I started last year on my silversmithing course, including the plans I had for these brass domes. Hammered…

Hammered brass domes

 

…and impressed with embroidered fabric.

Impressed brass domes

They have finally been pierced and attached to silk cocoons to make unusual and quirky pendants.

Brass and silk cocoon pendants 1

There are two colours: red and ultramarine blue, and two types of finish on the domes, hammered and impressed.

To celebrate my 300th post, I’m going to give away one of these unique little pendants. The winner can choose from: crimson red with a hammered dome or vermillion with an impressed dome…

Brass and silk cocoon pendants 2

…or ultramarine blue with a hammered dome…

Brass and silk cocoon pendants 3

…or ultramarine with an impressed dome.

Brass and silk cocoon pendants 4

They have brass jump rings attached as a bale and I’ll include a ribbon or thong or something similar as well.

If you would like to enter the giveaway then just leave a comment below and I’ll draw a winner out of something suitable next Thursday, October 2nd 2014. Good luck!

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As usual, and with the excuse of the last session of my jewellery course looming, I’ve been rushing to complete another project with a deadline. Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild is having a ‘Showcase’ Open Day on the 27th of July and the organisers had requested us to stitch 2 and 3D owls for display.

Several weeks ago I cut these out at home and quickly hammered and polished them during one evening at my course.

Windy Rupert 1

As I’ve moved into metalworking I wanted to be able to include elements in the work that reflected my current skills and interests, and I also wanted to go back to the crazy patchwork that was my early way into embroidery.

He’s pieced from a pattern in one of my youngest’s books, using a mixture of silks and cottons in greys and black, with gold highlights, on a black silk dupion background.

Windy Rupert 2

The hammered brass eyes are held down with long stitches in gold thread over raw edged patchwork pieces with feather stitched seams and blanket stitched edging.

Windy Rupert 3

For his beak I found a triangle of reticulated brass.

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This was attached with more long stitches in gold thread, this time criss crossing to keep the shape in place.

Windy Rupert 5

You might notice that by this point I’d replaced the grey/white piece of silk on the top of right wing, which wasn’t working, with another piece of matt grey silk from an old blouse which does.

Windy Rupert 6

By this time it was 5 hours to the Guild meeting where I needed to hand him over, finished, mounted, labelled etc. No pressure then.

Gold purl feet. Not as neat as I would like, but the clock was ticking.

Windy Rupert 7

Neither was some of the blanket stitch up to my preferred standard, but no time to take it all down. The silk dupion was laced over a piece of thick board and then stuck onto another slightly larger piece of thick white card to form a frame of sorts.

Meet Windy Rupert. It’s a long story, you had to be there, but take it from me, naming my little fat owl Windy Rupert caused a lot of hilarity in the house. I wanted to call him Bunter, but no one these days seems to have heard of the Fat Owl of the Remove.

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I hope what he lacks in technicality he makes up for in charm. 🙂

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Some while ago I bought some dyed silk cocoons just because I fell madly in love with the colour.

Silk cocoons

It occurred to me a couple of months ago that they would be wonderful combined with something in the brass line to become jewellery of some sort.  Perhaps with the hole fitted with a cap of domed brass…? I scribbled some preliminary ideas but didn’t actually get round to doing anything until last week, when I had some time to spare waiting for something to finish steeping in the pickle.

I was introduced to a doming block and doming punches and after cutting myself a piece of brass, rather tentatively began. Wow! It was a lot easier than I’d thought it was going to be, and I quickly produced this cute little cap.

Brass dome 1

I then hammered it all over the convex side to give it a lovely finish… and found it was fractionally too small for the cocoons!

Brass dome 2

But it’s lovely, I’m sure I can find something to do with it and now I know how to dome the metal, I’ll be cutting out some slightly bigger circles during the week to have a blitz on making them on Wednesday!

I also used my favourite lace to do a bit more impressing with the rollers. On gilding metal:

Lace texture on gilding metal

Lace texture on gilding metal 2

I love this pattern, especially the bright shiny areas where the larger holes were in the lace. It’s like bark or snakeskin, really organic.

Lace texture on gilding metal 3

same lace on brass – this has been tumble-polished.

Lace texture on brass

And on silver, for something very special. 🙂

Lace texture on sterling silver

More of that later…

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I’ve been asked to make a tunic and hooded cowl for a friend who is just starting Live Action Role Play (LARP). The cowl will need a fastening and it occurred to me as I was clipping seams and struggling to turn things inside out, that instead of communing with my button box, I actually now have the skills to custom make a metal button!

After consultation with the friend and a bit of a mooch on the internet for outline images, we chose two leaf designs, one oak and one maple, and I scribed them onto a piece of annealed brass.

Leaf buttons 1

Then I set to with the piercing saw. Cutting shapes so small (about an inch across) and so intricate was a real challenge, but much to my delight, I managed it with the loss of only one blade.

Leaf buttons 2

Next, the fun bit: finding a suitable hammer in the garage and using it to texture the leaves.

Leaf buttons 3

It hasn’t given as crisp a hammered look as I can achieve with the tools in the workshop, given that it was a domestic tool against the metal end of the workbench vice, but I actually like the rougher look just as much.

Leaf buttons 4

Leaf buttons 5

Then I measured, marked and drilled the holes with one of my new drill bits which is supposed to be resistant to breakage, and actually managed all four holes with a still intact bit which has to be a first as well!

Leaf buttons 6

Both buttons, start to finish in under an hour. All they need now is to sit in the barreller for an evening and they’ll be ready for the recipient to choose which one will be the finishing touch for the cowl.

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The Easter break is over and it’s back to my jewellery making and silver smithing course. Before the holiday I created three elements for a linked pendant – three hammered teardrops of brass, gilding metal and copper.

Linked hammered pendant 1

Last night I finished it.

Linked hammered pendant 2

I used a hacksaw to cut slots between the holes I’d drilled and bent the tips of the two larger teardrops through the holes to link them.

Linked hammered pendant 3

After a great deal of bad language and only after being introduced to a tool I wish I’d been told about in the first place, I successfully soldered a brass bale onto the back of the largest teardrop…

Bale close up

… and polished the whole thing.

Linked hammered pendant 4

I am inordinately proud of it, despite the wonkiness of the slots and therefore the slightly crooked way it hangs, the fact the bale is slightly off centre and the smallest teardrop is not as symmetrical as the others.

But as a design, a technical response to our challenge to create a piece of jewellery utilising a linkage system, I’m very pleased. It came together pretty much as I’d envisaged it and that’s a rare and precious thing!

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