Thursday, November 15, 2012

Now this is serious!

As you might remember I am part of a wonderful artisan community, aptly named 'Artisan Whimsy' - the baby of CBC (Creative Bead Chat group on facebook) administrators. Not only that - I am also a member of the Metal Team. Our team started their existence in style - with a free tutorial and a challenge!

I am, of course, still learning and at the beginning of my metal working 'life' (more on this later, in fact about a month from now, on Artisan Whimsy - I will remind you :)) and nothing pushes me better than a challenge.

Like the current one, Metal Prongs: I procrastinated and procrastinated, I almost toyed with the idea of dropping off... then I decided 'no way! this is *my* team, I will not back off'... Luckily for me I had all the tools available, until I wanted to use the torch and - nothing a trip to the hardware store won't fix it (although I baffled one of the gentleman working there: I had a copper pipe in my hand and asking for a micro torch; he tried to explain I will need a bigger torch for soldering pipes... I didn't correct him, how do you explain a nice gentleman the copper pipe will become jewelry?!).

I looked through my stash of metal blanks (I just finished etching all the Vintaj ones, so I had to look for others!) and I found a beautiful one (from the de-stash at CBC back in August)! Brass, of course.

I had no rivets and no place to get anything like that from. But I had some brass wire (from wonderful Tanya of Fusion Muse) and my evening ended with the following first ever actions:

* cutting a pin off the back of the brass blank
* twisting the brass wire so it'll be a bit more resistant (thank you, Heidi, for the tip - it worked like a charm!!)
* trying to ball the ends of the twisted wire (that didn't go very well, will have to try more :))
* soldering the 'prongs' to the back (that went pretty well)
* pickling, cleaning, buffing (eh, need more experimenting to figure out what dremel head is good for what :))

The stone - I meant to use a smaller one, with no holes... but in the process the prongs kind of 'extended' themselves... so  I used one of the stones from my wonderful friend Therese of Therese's Treasures

What? You want to see it? OK, here you have it:

Metal Prong Challenge @ Artisan Whimsy (metal smithing!) :: All Pretty Things

In the end - it is not a perfect piece, but it is my own, my very first one!
Which makes it just perfect for the 1st try (and don't you dare to say otherwise!)

Thank you for visiting with me today.

This is a blog hop so please hop and visit the other participants!

Carolyn Dewison of Blue Berri Beads

Mary Harding of Mary Harding Jewelry

Dawn Horner of Northern Adornments

Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements

Heidi Kingman of My Bead Therapy

Alicia Marinache of All the Pretty Things <= You're here

Melissa Muir of Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs

Staci Louise Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Francesca Watson of Francesca Watson Designs

Linda Younkman of Lindy’s Designs


  1. Lovely post and piece! I keep all my "firsts" :) ...and extra congrats on your piece being in the Step-by-Step Magazine! Woot!

  2. Yay you!! I love firsts - thanks for taking the plunge and making this your own!! :-)

  3. such a cool setting you made. love it. this has been such a fun learning experience I think for all of us.

  4. YAY for taking the plunge!! Good for you:)

  5. It looks great! Fantastic first attempt!

  6. Thanks for participating! REally love the creativity I am seeing from people who didn't have all the materials. You guys rocked it anyway. I woudln't have thought to twist the wire for strength- but that makes perfect sense! Great job!

  7. Great work, especially for the first try!!!

  8. I LOVE the added twist of your prongs!
    lovely work !
    m.e. :)

  9. Love the twisted prongs. What a great piece.

  10. I think that the best things, the ones that I hold onto and leave out on my beading table, are the ones that don't go as planned, that have mistakes that only a bead-mother could love and that show me what I have learned and how far I have come. This is a great start. You have learned so much and I thank you for sharing that with us! Enjoy the day. Erin

  11. Alicia,

    What a fantastic first attempt. It is actually quite nice. Love the twisted prongs - they are such a nice detail. And the stone is beautiful. It was a first attempt for me too and for so many others that have participated. We have all learned so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and some beautiful and thoughtfully creative work came from it. Great job!


  12. Alicia,

    For a first go at it, it was a VERY successful piece. I love the texture of your backplate. Very cool. You should be proud.


  13. It's definitely perfect for the first try, and any other try. I have found that "Perfection" is elusive, and that the imperfections are the most endearing and memorable. I think your piece is so creative and beautiful, love the twisted wire touch!

  14. I'm glad you didn't back out! This is a lovely piece!

  15. What a fabulous first try! It is lovely!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!