Monday, May 20, 2019

05.20.19 Gold Rush! Kinetic Jewelry 2.0, Part 3

With the hollow forms completed - including making sure the tubing and wires for hanging were the proper length - it was time to start thinking about embellishing the silver teardrops with granules of 18K gold.

At $1,300 an ounce, I didn't just snip off some of my gold wire and fire up the started by getting some comparably sized (20 gauge) copper wire, and experimenting.

I cut pieces of copper wire to different lengths and started playing around with the placement of granules on each side of the form.

I settled on an arrangement that corresponded to my original sketches; a larger, flattened single granule on one side, and three smaller ones along the bottom curve of the opposite side.

I wanted to use the gold granules on both sides of the earrings, so that when the forms spun on the interior rivet wires (the kinetic part) the details on each side might - or might not - match at any given moment.

Once I was happy with the placement, I cut up my gold wire, balled it up into granules, and with De looking over my shoulder, I lit my torch and fused the granules to both sides of each hollow form.

As luck would have it - Melissa, from the Creative Side staff, was in the studio taking photos and video - so I have a short clip of the forms spinning on their rivets, with the gold on both sides.

I was thrilled with the finished earrings, still had some gold - and time - left before the class I decided to make a simple pendant and add gold granules.

Photo credit: CSJA
I bought a small, oval turquoise from the stone case at Creative Side - I didn't want to invest a lot, in the event it didn't turn out well - and got started.

I built the setting with argentium silver, just like every other pendant I make, and under De's patient supervision, fused the gold granules down to front of the bezel.

The order of assembling a piece of jewelry is always important, because when both fusing and soldering, the fusing has to be done first (because it is as a higher temperature); adding gold simply means that there is another set of metal temperatures to consider.

In keeping with the spirit of the class I put a riveted bail with - gold wire - on the top of the pendant, and was left with just enough gold for one more small granule. I couldn't NOT use that last bit of gold, so I flipped the pendant over, and gave the cactus cut out a flower.

The granule on the back had to be soldered - so as not to melt the joints on the rest of the piece - and gave me the opportunity to work with gold solder in addition to fusing.

In case it's not obvious - I love taking classes at Creative Side...I love making shiny new things, I love learning new techniques, and I really love spending time with the fabulous people - instructors and other students - that make it such a special place.

I'm going to take a break from making and blogging in June, but will be back in early July.

Until then...have fun, stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.