Friday, March 22, 2013

Variations on a Theme...

I've been having a wonderful time playing around with the Now that's a Jig!  This tool, developed by Brenda Schweder, is a great resource for creating consistent wire components.  She has a bunch of FREE projects available for download.  Just CLICK HERE and scroll down the page.

When I was in art school, one of the assignments was to set up a still life and render it using different mediums and techniques.  It was a great way to really see the subject and explore its nuances through the different materials and methods.

I decided to give myself a little challenge.  Using the Now that's a Jig!, I created a triple-loop-helix shape out of 18 gauge copper wire as an earring component.  This was going to be the base to work from and investigate variations on a theme.

For the first variation, I embellished the earring components with wire-wrapped dangles strung up with Swarovski crystals.  I picked two shades of pink.  When copper is annealed and quenched quickly, it creates a beautiful rosy color.  I wanted the crystals to mimic this lovely hue.  I used the darkly patinated balled headpins to give the piece a little more contrast and definition.

For the second variation, I was inspired by ancient Egyptian jewelry.  I filled in the loops with translucent polymer clay and did some washes of acrylic paint over the individual cells.  I also touched up the copper wire with Testor's enamel paints to make them more gold.  In the light, they seem to glow like fiery carnelians in the desert sunlight.

For the third variation, I wanted to keep it simple and elegant.  I decided to incorporate two different colors and sizes of coin pearls.  I wanted to showcase the looped shape of the wire component, by using it to frame the beads.  The bronze wire and gold-filled earwires provide a subtle accent.

For the fourth variation, I wanted to create something reminiscent of the earrings that I made that just won the Nina Design Blog Partner Earring Design Challenge.  I love how the wired on stones seem to give the earrings a luxurious, almost regal, feel.  Instead of using the rough, more organic, pyrite nuggets, I used faceted nuggets with a rose-gold colored coating.  The warmer color seems to bridge the bronze and copper.  As the focal, I incorporated solar quartz briollettes.
For the fifth and final variation, I wanted to go for a more tribal and earthy feel.  To the base copper shape, I added copper-colored ancient coin replica charms and patinated bronze sunburst discs.  The round shapes mirror the form of the base components.  The earrings have a lot of movement and have an organic feel to them.


ACBeads said...

That is a beautiful shape to use in earrings. I love all variations you've made. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Oh these are gorgeous!! Cool to see ways to use the jig. Inspiring.

Regina said...

All lovely!

The Crafty Mama said...

I don't know about you, but I feel like I do some of my favorite work when I work in series like this. Isn't it wonderful to have a framework, and then work it up in many different ways? You've done a lovely job!
I think my favorites are the ones with coins.