Thursday, November 02, 2006


Birthday Present for Therese

My friend Therese is having a birthday this weekend. She is a slip of a girl who just loves unusual necklaces, so I have made one for her. Given it uses one of my favourite techniques - layering - I thought it might be useful to show you the different stages involved in the creation of this piece.

Like many things in life, this necklace had an accidental beginning. I was rummaging in my supply cupboard the other day when I discovered an ice-cream container full of brass pieces that I'd completely forgotten about. I bought them about two years ago when I opened a shop on eBay for selling antique-brass scrapbooking items.

The shop was called Metal Garnish. It was a complete flop. And the pieces ended up getting shoved further and further to the back of my cupboard. 'Nuff said about that episode. LOL.

Anyway, when I happened upon them again the other day, I dragged them all out - and looked at them with a fresh eye. I started wondering how I could use them for jewellery-making rather than scrapbooking. After much mixing and matching with other components (I swear I spend hours doing this), I chose to do something with this one:

I was selling this piece to scrapbookers as a photo frame, and I realised that I could use it for a similar purpose jewellery-wise. The open section in the middle measures about 37 x 20 millimetres, which gave me plenty of room for a dangle of some kind.

All I needed now was my husband and his trusty drill to turn a static frame into a hang-able pendant. He added some piercings for me - two in the top outer corners (for suspending from chain), and one at the top of the open section.

I'm not into the raw-brass look, so the next step was to antique the frame. And oh boy, I loved the result! All that beaded detail just popped in the antiqued version. Here's how it looked:

Another thing I found in the ice-cream container was some cute little filigree wings in antiqued brass. Here they are:

These were the one item that were popular with the scrapbookers. The idea was to add them to photos so that your child looked like a little angel. Here's an example of what I mean. This is my own son when he was a toddler. Cute, no?

I discovered that I could get quite a nice effect by laying two sets of these wings on top of the rectangular frame. They looked like a frame-on-a-frame, kind of thing. When I glued them in place, this is how the pendant looked:

Next . . . what to hang in the middle? Here I was faced with the tyrrany of choice, but in the end, I couldn't go past my new resin sliders. (I have already mentioned how pathetically in love I am with these!) I chose the mauve one, and teamed it with a small, olive-shaped Czech glass bead in peridot AB and a fluted spacer bead in antique brass. Here it is:

I turned this combo into a dangle by crimping the two strands of tiger tail together above the slider and adding a jump ring. The dangle is very light, so I am not concerned about the crimping coming apart.

The pendant looked lovely . . . but you know me! I couldn't resist adding some little rhinestone chatons for extra effect. Yet another layer! I chose peridot, to tie in with the bead:

With all that detail in the pendant, I felt that it wasn't necessary to do anything fancy with the necklace section. So I simply added some large-link antique-brass chain. And here is the finished product! What do you think?

I hope Therese likes it!

Oh! Therese is going to fall in love with it! It's stunning! Another beauty Siobhan!
Very clever Siobhan! Your pendant illustrates a common principle: think outside the square. I know of a popular artist in my local area who recycles everything metal from discarded car wrecks to kitchen utensils in creating his metal sculptures. So ingenious are his works that each is a masterpiece in its own right. I believe that every one of us has the potential to create our own masterpieces, being limited only by our imagination. Thanks Siobhan. You’ve taught me something new. (PS. Your son is one handsome little man. Watch out girls!)
Hi Siobhan, I'm glad you're writing about your fabulous jewellery. I'll definitely add you to my list.
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