Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wrapped Cabochon: Prong Style

As a child I was lucky enough to take lapidary classes for the space of about a year. Every Friday evening, my dad would drop me off at the rock shop for a few hours and I'd spend that time learning how to cut, shape and polish cabochons. I kept a few of the stones, gave away a few, lost a few.

This is one of the keepers. Many years later, it finally finds a “home” in a copper wire wrap.

I wish I could remember what type of stone it is. I'd like to say a type of jasper, but not sure.

Used the technique outlined in Remy Heath’s Border Wrap Prong Pendant tutorial. If you are looking to learn this method, it is well worth the investment.

Tree of Life in a Heart

A couple new pieces experimenting with the Tree of Life in a copper heart shaped frame.
First we have one with carnelian chips and goldstone beads with a copper chain.

Next up is one created with garnet chips and beads.

More pieces coming soon, as I just photographed a backlog of pieces. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Slinging Paint at the Sacramento Autorama

Spent Friday afternoon & evening at the pinstripers' panel jam located at the Sacramento Autorama. Hosted by TJ Pagano & sponsored by PPG.

Incidentally PPG is also a sponsor of Penske Motorsports, but I digress.

I'm pretty sure there was a car show going on, at least that is what I am given to understand. I know there were some great cars in the building where the panel jam was located. I got so wrapped up in painting, I didn't leave the building. One the bright side, I managed to get a piece finished for the art auction, on the bummer side, I didn't get to drool over the automotive eye candy at all beyond the ones I could see. And, unfortunately, the only pics I managed to snap were of this piece.

This is the art for today:

12" x 24" painted steel panel. I have had that flying eye/skull pic floating around for a while and wanted to do something with it. Still going to refine it and put it in something else eventually.

Flames were done by covering the steel with Sticky Mickey (masking film), drawing the flames on, cutting out the design, then sponge painting the Kustom Kolor pinstriping enamels in a series of fades. Skull & flying eye are both painted with the Kustom Kolor enamels, but I reverted back to my trusty 1-shot for the pinsriping, flame outlines, and the black outline on the skull/flying eye part.

Overall, I really don't care for the Kustom Kolor enamels. They don't flow very well on the brush, they gum up too fast, and the thinners STINK worse than anything used with 1-shot. I had a "kill me now" headache by the time I was done. Thanks to T-Bonez for having Alleve.

But 2 positives about Kustom Kolors: they dry very fast (flames were dry by the time I did the outlining) and some of the colors were pretty cool. I especially love the purple I used on the wings.

I think I'll stick to my 1-Shot.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hammered Hearts

A recent design. Hearts formed and hammered out of thick gauge copper wire, then some coiled and woven embellishments added. I made 7 in all in this "series", including the prototype.

Above: The "prototype".

Above: #4 of 7.

Above: #6 of 7. My favorite of the series. "Unfortunately" I ended up squishing the coil on the side, so didn't feel like I could justify selling it. Oh, darn. I had to keep it. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Copper Coiled Bangle

Its amazing what you can do with some copper wire, a few tools, and most especially an antique hand drill. Without that drill, I wouldn't even try something like this. Coiling teeny tiny wire over slightly larger wire by hand just doesn't scream "good time" to me. Still, I have to thank Stacy of for posting the instructions for this bangle on I've since made a few more that are waiting for their final antiquing and tumbling before photographing them.

Some "Tree of Life" Pendants from last year

I became quite fascinated with Connie Tescar's "Tree of Life" pendant tutorial from Ended up making a number of them.

The first 5. All in copper. Some more in copper:

And a few in silver:
I have a couple more pieces in the works with different frames. Moving on to my own interpretation of this wonderful Tree.

Yes, another "Guardin' Koi"

I painted and sent another fishie on its way. This one went to Pomona for the charity art auction that Von Hot Rod holds with his Pinstripers' Reunion every year at the Grand National Hot Rod Show.

Why I decided to do the lettering inside the mouth is beyond me. Was a cool idea at the time, but EGADS what a pain in the arse! Lettering is definitely not one of my stronger skills.

Still, I’m pretty happy with the way this guy turned out. 
I had originally intended to do the areas now in Sublime green in gold leaf, but the gremlins invaded my paint area and hid my sizing. Needless to say I was less than thrilled about that.