Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Posts Tagged ‘movement’

Moving to a Conclusion (Month of Earrings #30)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/03/31

My 30th entry for the Month of Earrings Challenge!!!

Having done a simple cylinder (posted as #28), twisted cylinder (#29), and a simple twist (#27), it seemed fitting to finish up with a flourish based on a “twisted tube” theme.

Spinner Twists

Last summer, I’d made a series of “Twistie” earriengs, with a shape rather like that. They are fragile during construction: when I’d break a bit off of one, I’d then trim the other to match. And repeat that as necessary, sigh, until a few twisties ended up far shorter than I’d intended. I was also fiddling around with various ways to drill nice, even little holes to use in attaching them to earwires, without falling prey to distortion (working with wet clay) or even more breakage (once they’d dried). Though I liked the look, and they did sell rather well, I had been thinking I needed to take a different approach if I wanted to enjoy making them.

Looking at the final remaining pair, last fall, I realized: don’t drill a hole at all— build a special little tube, attach it vertically, and run the wire through that! The idea’s been sitting there for several months. This, its first full implementation, seemed a good way to end this month’s challenge.

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Betcha can’t [make] just one! (Month of Earrings #28-29)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/03/31

At the risk of dating myself, I will admit that I keep thinking of that old potato chip commercial with the tag line, “Betcha can’t eat just one!”

No, Im not eating silver earrings. But, as I commented the other day, I sure do feel like I’m swimming in earring components. I can’t make just one earring. Not even just one pair. But now, it seems, not even one extra component when I think about how to do a piece. Noooo, one “simple” idea sparks a cluster of others. Which, in this context, is a good thing!

As I was making the little cylinder I used in my MoE #3, where I’d gone to some effort to get a nice, smooth base with no visible seam along the edge, I was thinking, “What if I accepted a seam, and decorated with it?”  So, I made several more pairs:

Little Cylinders

The first pair (above) was fairly small, with a curved edge that overlaps about half of the underlying layer.  With a satin finish, an ever-so-slight bit of patina along the edge is just enough to highlight to the curves.  The cylinders, and the glass and Swarovski beads, are free to move on the hand-formed Argentium silver earwires.

The second pair (below), is much longer, with a “deckle” edge, and wrapped on a diagonal such that the overlap gives an interesting twist to the shape. I thought these cylinders could stand on their own, without the need for additional beads. The earwires are sterling (.925) silver.  But I wanted these tubes to be able to spin, so they’re on Argentium sterling silver wires with a ball-end inside the cylinder and a wrapped loop outside:

Cylinders that Can Spin.

For the third pair, I again used twists around a straw.  But, instead of overlapping one larger piece of clay, I made narrow strips that I twisted around a small straw. You’ve already seen that one, back in MoE #26.

Back to the title of this post, then: can I just stop at the Month of Earrings challenge itself? Nooo, of course not! And that’s the point, isn’t it? Just like the challenge of stopping after you’ve eaten just one potato chip versus before you’ve eaten the whole bag of them: the trick here seems to be to take on a handful of challenges, a selective set of them, and to see what that mix will yield.

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Moving Further Along (Month of Earrings #16-17-18)

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/03/27

This Month of Earrings challenge (I’m well into the second half now!!!) has confirmed something I really knew already: I am drawn to movement.

As I was making the earrings with the orange jasper beads and citrus pattern that I mentioned in my last post, I got to thinking about giving a pair some more movement by hanging a another set (with smaller domes) this way:

Spinner Disk Earrings #7

And I’ll admit something: I had already domed those silver disks so that the texture was on the concave side (as shown in a number of my earlier entries). To get them to work for this pair, I had to put them in my dapping block and get them turned the other way. Whew: It worked!

There are several kinds of movement in both of these as well:

Movement Earrings #5 Movement Earrings #6

The four disks with a curve down the middle are leftovers from something else I tried last summer. (Those were OK, but I wasn’t that crazy about them, so I didn’t continue with that idea. I’d already made these four, however, so I just set them aside, knowing I’d find a use for them eventually.) What I did now was to make four more disks, flat ones, and attach them to the back.

Once everything was fired and polished, I decided to apply a patina to one pair, while leaving the other as “naked” shiny silver. Then I balled up the ends of some pieces of Argentium silver wire, and started adding beads. There’s a little bit of color from the Swarovski crystals at each end. To keep those from hitting the silver, next there are little glass beads of a similar color. And to keep all of that lined up nicely and allow the silver beads in the center to spin on the wires, there’s a column of tiny (11/0) glass seed beads down the middle of each tube. It’s a shame they end up hidden, but they serve a good purpose in there.

Then, the Argentium wires are finished with a wrapped loop, and hung on (purchased) sterling silver earwires. For what it’s worth, the tiny coils on the wires can spin as well, if you really want to fiddle with something that small.

(While I’m at this challenge, I’m also making a lot of the earwires I’m using. But I don’t feel compelled to do that for every piece. I’ll make ones where I want some custom design, but I do not feel compelled to make ones that look like ones I could easily buy. I got into all this because I wanted to make things I couldn’t readily find on the market; when I can find an appropriate component to use, I see that as saving me time that I can then spend on special ones.)

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