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Posts Tagged ‘reticulation’

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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Not much more to see with the blue crazy patchwork, but I have been upcycling/making jewellery again.

First was a simple brushed stainless steel pendant, probably 1970s. I had various ideas for embroidery to add to it, mostly on a second smaller disc, hanging from a jump ring through the top hole, but when I went looking for a jump ring, I found one of my hand cut reticulated brass discs and that was that.

Reticulated brass and stainless steel pendant

I love the contrasts – silver/gold and smooth/textured.

Then I rethreaded the remains of a vintage white glass bead necklace and the oddments from a gorgeous very dark red glass bead necklace along with some odd black and black/white lampwork beads to make this:

Black and white glass bead necklace 1

I love that the dark red beads (the flat faceted rondelles) are so intense in colour that they look black unless they catch the light just right and then they are the most mouthwatering crimson.

Black and white glass bead necklace 2

They’re both in my Etsy shop here.

If you enter TOPAZ1 at the checkout from now until the 20th of December 2014 then you can get 20% off any item in my shop – vintage, upcycled or handmade jewellery.

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The reticulated brass paisley shape at the heart of the design was attached using a modified curve stitching pattern.

Paisley brooch - finishing 1

And then it was time for the making up.

Paisley brooch - finishing 2

I cut and laminated together two piece of pelmet vilene the same size as the overall shape and laced the design over them. I covered another single piece of vilene in the blue silk, stitched a brooch back to it and then ladder stitched the two covered pieces together.

Paisley brooch - finishing 3

The basic shape is a kidney shape, which made getting the fabric to evenly go into the dent of the kidney quite challenging and even after my best efforts, there’s still a slight pucker on the back.

Fortunately the french knot edging on the front hides any imperfections.

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And boxed ready to join my other completed pieces.

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My summer holiday job is to open an etsy shop for my jewellery. Watch this space.

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I love paisley shapes – one of my favourite parts of my North Cornwall Wallhanging is this little paisley design:

North CVornwall wallhanging paisley design

So after the first failed attempt to attach a reticulate brass disc with shisha stitch I decided to embroider a paisley design with the disc at its centre. I used a design I’d found on the internet that I liked and because the sapphire coloured silk I was using was too dark for me to mark the design onto it, I stitched three elements straight through the paper: a yellow silk split stitch inner shape, running stitch (to whip later) in the middle and yellow silk french knots round the outside.

Paisley brooch 1

The stitches were close enough to have perforated the paper really densely so it was very easy to remove and I could begin to fill in the gaps. with more french knots…

Paisley brooch 2

…chain stitch…

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Paisley brooch 4

…and feather stitch.

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I tried the disc in place but with everything else following the paisley shape, it looked wrong, so I cut a piece of reticulated brass to match the central shape.

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Laid in place to get an idea of the finished piece.

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Just some french knots to add, the brass to attach and the finishing to do.

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I’ve changed my mind about these ‘shishas’,  cut from reticulated brass, several times.

Reticulated shisha

I originally wanted to attach them with shisha stitch but my first attempt failed and then I decided a brass paisley shape would work better than a round one in the middle of the paisley design I’ve been stitching so they’ve been waiting in my box of treasures for the eureka moment.

I was spring cleaning one of my many sewing boxes and a scrap of gold shot greenish blue organza came to light. It was sheer enough for the detail of the brass discs not to be obscured when I laid it over them and it was there that the eureka moment happened.

Doubloons 1

I realised that I could sandwich the discs between the organza and another fabric and stitch around them to trap them in place. So after another trawl, I found this fantastic hand dyed silk in purples, blues and turquoises, and when I layered the elements up it made me think of scattered doubloons from a wreck, lying in dappled sunlight on the sea bed.

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Especially when you see the effect of full sunlight on that organza.

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I used lines of running stitch in gold Gutermann machine thread, which I find is very resilient to hand stitch, to trap the discs between the fabrics. And one long, hot committee meeting later…

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…the doubloons were finished.

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The whole thing measures about 4 x 3 inches; the biggest piece I’ve created from my metalworking, so the next thing is to decide whether to finish it as a brooch or a pendant.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Rather than cutting a shape from already reticulated brass, I cut this half leaf shape first and then reticulated it.

Leaf pendant 1

As with the beaded leaf I used detached buttonhole stitch to create the embroidered side of the leaf and long bullions to hold the metal in place.

Leaf pendant 2

Following a suggestion from a friend, I replaced the gold bullions over the green side with lengths of gold purl.

Leaf pendant 3

They were a lot easier than doing bullions in metallic thread but I feel they’re a little skimpy looking. Then I gathered and laced it over a double thickness of pelmet vilene cut into a leaf shape.

Leaf pendant 4

I wanted to leave a bit of the background fabric (silk dupion) as a buffer between the leaf and the edge of the pendant.

Leaf pendant 5

No spare silk dupion in this colour for the back, so I covered a slightly smaller leaf shape in pelmet vilene with a scrap of hand dyed habotai silk.

Leaf pendant 6

This just needs a bale to finish.

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