Thursday, September 30, 2010

Disappointments & successes

Well, yesterday I promised not to neglect the blog, and I also promised an upcoming blog post about my other in-reserve chainmaille pieces that I plan to enter in a contest this year. I figure it's about time I at least post a photo (albeit, not a great shot) of it.

I dub thee: Celtic Dreams

This necklace was inspired by my love for Celtic design. I've long been a fan of Celtic knotwork, and have in the past made hand-painted wooden boxes adorned with these designs. I still have a few of these in my possession. But, I digress! This post is about jewelry, not boxes.

I've wanted to make a really unique and beautiful Celtic-inspired necklace not quite anything like the ones I've seen out there, so with a book of royalty-free designs in hand, I selected one that lent itself well to what I was trying to do. Using that design, I took a syringe filled with silver clay paste and piped out the design onto a non-stick surface. From there, I set a few pieces of white cubic zirconia in as accents and then let the piece dry thoroughly.

Once it was dry, I began the tedious task of filing and smoothing as best I could. I found I really could have used some new sandpaper, so I didn't get it as smooth as I originally wanted, but that's OK. The bit of texture gives it some personality. ^_^ I then put the piece into the kiln to be fired, and lo and behold, it came out just fine. Next came the task of polishing. Ohhhh how I loathe polishing metal clay! I have found, though, a nice method that works well for me, and it involves a combination of filing, sanding, brushing, and finally tumbling. And boy.. when I'm done, these pieces do S-H-I-N-E!

Then the question came ... 'ok, this thing turned out beautiful, now what do I do with it?' I knew I wanted to make a necklace, but just exactly what kind, I didn't know. Most of the chainmaille weaves I use often just don't go well with Celtic knots. So, I start looking at weaves... and huzzah! What do I find? A weave called "Celtic Visions". HA! I'd forgotten all about that one! I settled on this weave or, my little tweaked version of it, that is, and set to work. I think I had the chain woven in a day and a half, only because life interferes sometimes (bleh! lol).  I attached the chain to the finished piece of metal clay and was mostly happy, but felt that it lacked something.

Enter onyx and purple CZ from stage left.

I love purple and black, and so these two seemed just perfect for adding a splash of color and contrast to an otherwise totally silver, blindingly shiney piece. So, I worked them into the design and voila! You have Celtic Dreams!

"Celtic Dreams" by zerospace

Disappointments, you say?

But the title of this blog suggests something less than successful too, Z! Yes, yes it does. Today's disappointment was finding that my chainmaille supplies package has been delayed by a "Late train" according to UPS. *sigh* One more day ... just one more. Ohhh, how that new titanium calls to me!