For this month’s challenge we’re trying something a little different than our usual component of the month. Our blog leader Jen set us a headpin challenge. We could make some in our chosen medium, create something with headpins from another Artisan maker, or both…. pretty much anything goes as long as the design has, as Jen put it, some ‘fancy schmancy’ pins in it!
I have only made ceramic headpins once before. They’re difficult in clay if you want them on anything other than high temperature wire. I don’t think it’s as pretty as copper or other wires which will melt while firing, so you need to fire them on something that won’t collapse in the kiln at stoneware temperatures. I rigged up a little firing tray from soft kiln brick with wire wedged in it to hold them and crossed my fingers I wouldn’t open the kiln to a welded lump!
Luckily everything came out well and after fixing with bronze wire the pins were finished.
I’ve been playing around with lots of tree ideas so the first pair were based on buds on a branch.
I like how the buds looked so I tried out a multi bud design. It’s hard to keep everything so small!
Next I tried out some leaves… these are my favourites!
I decided they needed something to finish them off so I added some tiny copper flower spacers.
I had intended to use some of each to create some jewellery, but it’s been a busy month, so I only managed a quick pair of earrings. I love these… they remind me of magic wands!
I’ve really enjoyed working on something smaller and I’ll definitely be trying out some new ideas in the future!
To see what the rest of the AJE Team and special guests have created, join us in the blog hop by following the links below.
Another month has flown by and it’s time for the big reveal of our Component of the month challenge.
This month we were all treated to a gorgeous fossilised pebble pendant from Lesley Watt of TheaElements.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I love Lesley’s stoneware designs, they’re always wonderfully tactile, beautifully finished, and she has all the best glazes!
This is the one I received to work with…
I raided my stash and found a couple of bronze ammonite components (also made by Lesley) that I’d been hiding, which made my decision for how I wanted the design to look. I think these were earring charms, and having large holes for stringing, I decided to join them with leather thong and wrap them with bronze wire. I’m a little bit obsessed with bronze at the minute, it has such a lovely warm colour and looks great with everything!
I chose some matching beads in Czech glass, Amazonite, and some of my own lamp work, and made long connectors for the lower part of the chain.
And finished the top section with Aged seed beads and a Vintaj clasp.
It ended up as quite a simple design, but I think it leaves the focus nicely on the pendant! I’d like to say a big thank you to Lesley for such a gorgeous component to play with 🙂
To join us in the blog hop and see what the rest of the AJE Team plus special guests have made, follow the links below…
When Jenny asked the AJE Team ‘What represents Summer?’ I immediately thought of warm evenings and relaxing in the garden.
Early evening is my favourite time… the light has changed, the heat has gone, the bees are making their last trips around the garden before bedtime, and you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine waiting for the stars come out.
That’s the dream… but living in the UK, we’ve not been out much this summer as it’s been throwing it down since May. So for our Summer Theme challenge I decided to create that feeling for myself in a piece of jewellery.
I wanted the focal point to be a bumble bee, we’re lucky enough to have loads in the garden. They love it when we’re slow cutting the grass as they get lots of clover to buzz around in and I can lie for ages watching them visiting each flower. My bee was created from earthenware clay with slots in the side to add etched copper wings.
The chain was handmade from bronze wire, with wrapped Czech glass, crystal, and tiny hematite stars.
I need to get myself a mannequin so I can display chains properly. I kept the chain length quite short and it hangs really nicely!
I’m pleased with how this design turned out and it’s got me thinking of other ways I can add a little more mixed media in to my ceramic work.
To see what Summer means to the rest of the AJE Team plus special guests, join our blog hop using the links below…
Another month has flown by (where is the time going???) and it’s time for our AJE component of the month reveal.
For May, we were treated to some ever so cute tiny glass cabochons from Susan Kennedy of SueBeads.
Aren’t they sweet?
I decided I was just going to use one of the cabs for my design and picked the green star to work with. I had lots of ideas, most involving metal and prongs, but eventually I settled on a brooch using seed beads. I don’t seem to be able to stop buying them… they’re like tiny addictive sweeties available in hundreds of wonderful colours and I need them all!
I decided the star would make brilliant dragonfly head, so I glued it to some stiff stuff along with some Czech glass flowers and a Hill Tribe Silver shell charm for the body, all held together with a headpin.
The wings were added in Bronze and shades of iridescent pale green, and for a bit of interest, I added Czech glass leaves to the body.
It was finished with a brooch pin and some green leather on the back.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out… I’m still deciding on whether to add a line of beads for an edging… you can still see a little bit of the white stiff stuff, but I’m not sure if it would end up too bulky?
Big thank you to Sue for her wonderful component, it’s been fun designing around it! If you’d like to see what the rest of the team, plus special guests have made with their cabs, join in the blog hop by following the links…