Sunday, January 15, 2012

Metal Mania

I'm a bit of a metal it...all of it! I'm especially drawn to mixed metal pieces with aged and rustic patinas. They have the feel of warmth and I seem to be able to imagine a story behind them that gives them character and charm.

I don't have to imagine the story behind this piece. I already know it...I created it.

Last night I went into my work room with the intention to get started on some basic wire working tutorials to share here with all of you. As often happens, I was sidetracked when I spotted a napkin ring that I had picked up at a thrift store several months ago
(eight rings for only $2).

I used half the napkin ring and two pieces of broken jewelry from my stash to create this pendant; three dangles from the earring and two copper ring links
(not pictured since I didn't take any before photos).

I hammered half the napkin ring to flatten it out a bit - not completely flat as it would have broken from the stress - I did hammer the ends flat though. As you can see from the photo below, the ring did begin to crack a little from the stress but not enough to compromise the strength of the piece. I think it just adds to the character of the piece.

I smoothed the edges and roughed up the surface of the piece.
This removed most the silver exposing the brass underneath.

I soldered on the copper rings.

I connected the metal dangles with rivets that I forged from copper wire.

Finally, I created a heavy patina. I wanted the pendant to look as though
it could have been a found object from hundreds of years ago.

I loved the pendant and did not want to distract from its rustic beauty with a fancy chain so I added a simple oxidized copper chain which allows the pendant to take center stage.

I still plan to put together those tutorials on basic wire working techniques. If you are interested in learning how to make jump rings, wrapped loops, beaded links, and hook clasps, be sure to return soon. I will begin posting those tutorials in a couple of days.

Sharing with: Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Nite Special, Creation Corner: Friday Link Party, Here Comes the Sun: Fabulous Friday, Homemaker on a Dime: Creative Blog Hop, Craft-O-Maniac: Craft-O-Maniac Monday, Polish The Stars: Monday Party, Not Just A Housewife: Show Me What Ya Got, The DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade, Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday


  1. Have you ever read "Hector the Collector" poem by Shel Silverstein?

    If you haven't, you should. It's one of my favorites!!!

    I picked up a strip of flattened, rusty, metal the other day from the UPS parking lot...It's SO cool...and I wonder "how did I get SO much junk? ...Love the patina of this piece!!!

  2. Hector the Collector
    Collected bits of string,
    Collected dolls with broken heads
    And rusty bells that would not ring. Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
    Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
    Paper bags and broken bricks.
    Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
    Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,
    Leaky boasts that wouldn't float
    And stopped-up horns that wouldn't toot. Butter knives that had no handles,
    Copper keys that fit no locks
    Rings that were too small for fingers,
    Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
    Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
    'Lectric trains that had no tracks,
    Airplane models, broken bottles,
    Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
    Hector the Collector
    Loved these things with all his soul--
    Loved them more then shining diamonds,
    Loved them more then glistenin' gold.
    Hector called to all the people,
    'Come and share my treasure trunk!'
    And all the silly sightless people
    Came and looked ... and called it junk.

  3. What a wonderful transformation, Kathy...I love mixed metals...

  4. Another great piece! I recognize the earring dangles! Wow, forging and soldering....sounds like fun! I'm looking forward to the tutorials. It will help me with my 12-step program!

  5. That's so beautiful. Seeing the finished piece, it's hard to imagine that it once was a napkin ring.

  6. I love this piece, the finished colors and textures are just perfectly imperfect. Beautiful!

  7. How turned out beautiful


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