Welcome to Inside the Studio!
Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations Colleen! You have won three beautiful, beaded beads from Rebecca at The Curious Bead Shop. Please send Rebecca an email with your information.
Recently I needed to summarize my creative process for some pieces I was creating for a special project. You’ll have to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about where these pieces are heading and why I documented the process. I love to know how an artist works and I thought you might be interested too. So I thought I’d share my creative process with you in today’s Inside the Studio post.
I begin with metal scraps. Thus far all of the copper I use has been salvaged and upcycled from the construction industry. Here’s a look at the raw metal before being turned into pieces worthy of jewelry designs.
The copper is annealed (heated with a flame until it is glowing red) to soften the metal, pickled and then cleaned.
Patterns are added. The metal is cut using metal shears or disc cutters.
I then use a grinding stone to round off any sharp, pointy edges.
Now comes the fun part…..
I have collected and dried an assortment of flowers. I’m so excited that Spring is here as I continue to add to this collection everyday. I then apply the dried flowers to the component. Individually placing the flowers sometimes placing one little stem or flower to harmonzie with the shape of the component.
In the step above I created a sandwich of paper, copper, flowers and paper. The sandwich is run through the rolling mill, impressing the dried flower into the metal, thus creating an image on the copper.
After the images have been impressed into the metal, pieces are tumbled to remove any construction grime and work harden the softened metal.
Fresh out of the tumbler. It makes all the difference. The pieces are so nice and shiney. Finally starting to look like something to be used in a piece of jewelry.
Liver of sulfer patina is applied.
The pieces are hand sanded and dipped into liver of sulfer multiple times until I’m satisfied with the end result.
Renaissance wax is applied to finish each piece.
All these pieces have been sent to Chris Thommen at The Art of the Bead and will be for sale at Bead & Button June 6 -8, 2014. You can read the back story over at my blog over at Ema K designs. So if you’re going to be in Milwaukee, WI and attending the Bead & Button show stop by booth #1200 to pick up your favorite.
A personal note: Here in the US Memorial Day Weekend begins tonight, a time to celebrate and remember those who have served our country and lost their lives doing so. A special time to honor those who have fallen. Personally, I honor those who have served in any capacity. I would be amiss if I didn’t give a shout out to all our military branches for the incredible job their doing! One my best girlfriends has been in the US Army for 20 years! I’m so proud of my friend Marilyn!
I’m going to giveaway a copper pendant impressed with baby breathe, 1.25 inches round (impressed image may vary from picture). Answer the question below in your comment for your chance to win.
Next week I’m planning to write a post about tools. Since I work in two different mediums I could go a couple of different ways with this. I’d like to hear from you. What would you be most interested in? Do you want to see an overview of metal working tools or lampworking tools? As always, thanks for visiting ABS today!
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts.