Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Going Batty!

I usually don't focus on theme-specific work.  Nor do I do what I consider "production" work" very often.  I make jewelry because I enjoy the creative process of taking raw materials and making something pretty.  Or, finding and being inspired by a vintage piece of jewelry, a piece of art, or even a bowl full of tomatoes.  You'll probably never see me making and selling "Christmas" jewelry.  However, Halloween gets the exception.  It is one of my favorite holidays and I've always LOVED all things spooky.  The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was always a favorite of mine and, as a punk rocker, spooky was always enticing.  

Several months ago, I found an old bat stamping in a stash collection and it all went to "hell" from there.  I found the very same bat is still being made today, bought a bunch of them and went to work.  

The main components are a piece of stamped metal, the bat which I treated with some color, some chain, some beads and a bat bracelet is the end result.  

So, here's how it's done....

The metal component (I used some metal blanks both in rectangular shape and cut out in a leaf shape) are taped down with painters tape and the word is stamped into the piece with metal stanmps.  I used 1/4" letters for this project.

I then punch holes in both the pat wings and in the metal strip pieces with my favorite metal punch tool (what a work horse this tool is!).

 Rupert has been very helpful with the project, providing lots of spooky inspiration (and black cat hair)

I then color the metal with Gilders Paste.  I used 2 colors of metal (an antiqued brass and a rusty black finish) and about 8 different colors of gilders paste.  I applied it with a horsehair brush that I cut down to about 1/4".

The pieces are then formed on a braeelet mandrel with a rubber mallet.

When all of the components are prepared and the gilders paste is dry, I seal it with a matte finishing spray.  When everything is dry, the assembly work starts.  No two pieces are exactly the same.  I've added different charm elements, chain, colors, words and shapes.  Some of the charmed I made using antique Swarovski bat crystals and resin.

Here are all 19 of them all lined up and ready to go to Bella Cosa.  They will get an exclusive on these pieces.  Im not even going to put them on Etsy!

Here's a few of the pieces up close.  I've been experimenting with photographing my work.  Not quite the perfect photos yet, but maybe some minor improvement.  

So, there you have it!  They are not difficult to do if you're doing only one or two.  Making 19 was more of a challenge and took several nights of concentrated work.  I hope they are popular!

If you would like one for yourself, please go to Bella Cosa Boutique in Bixby Knolls, Long Beach.  It's a fantastic store and there are always tempting goodies to be had.

Next Up.....The Art Bead Scene Challenge and the piece I'm entering (first time!!!)

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