I met some lovely ladies at the Expo today, and even sold some jewellery 🙂 The free cake was a big hit with the visitors, so poor Scroticule didn’t get much in the way of leftovers.
I was quite pleased with how the stand looked, but had some very helpful tips from one of the ladies who suggested that it wasn’t immediately obvious that we design and make our jewellery ourselves. So Beardy is going to take some artistic (artistic being black and white, obviously. Hides a multitude of sins!) photographs of us getting busy in the shed which we can use on some publicity material.
Well, I’ve finally finished my Steampunk Butterfly, having had a wonderfully productive day in the shed with Sally.
I finished the final components, a cog to screw onto the back so that it can be worn as a brooch through a buttonhole on a coat or jacket (it’s way too heavy to be pinned to anything lighter) and some loops for a chain or cord so that it can be worn as a pendant.
So now it was time to rivet everything together, first a wing, then the body, then the rest of the wings…
So, I proudly present my Spiny Sharkly Steampunk Butterfly in all it’s glory! Just need to make a chain, I am working on a sympathetic design at the moment…
Well, I started being ill at 5am and stopped at about 5pm. A very quick acting vomiting bug which completely scuppered my plans to go and see my brother at Kemble Airfield today. I had to drag Beardy back early to come with me to collect Scroticule, so neither of them got to look at the planes either. Hoping to go next week, mostly to stroke 318…
This here flutterby is taking its time to come together! Mainly because I keep thinking of laborious additions… I needed to come up with a way to attach the wings to the body, so decided to make some cogs to rivet to the back of the body, and then attach the wings to that.
I cut a cog from thin copper as before, riveted it to thicker brass and cut it out, to make it easier to turn sharp corners, I drilled 1mm holes at strategic points, turning it into a metallic dot-to-dot!
As usual, there was a lot of filing to be done to tidy it all up, mostly done to the strains of Metallica. And Johnny Cash. I just need to rivet it all together and do a bit of bending to give it some depth.
Sal and I had a good day in the shed and she started talking about making butterflies after she’d finished the pendant she’s working on. This gave me the idea to stick some wings on the riveted pendant I made last week. I cut the lacy part of the wings from thin on a die cutting machine borrowed from a friend, riveted them to 1mm brass and cut the assembly out with the piercing saw. I also cut a cog to become the head with an old clock handle cut in half for antennae.
I plan to make more cogs and use these to attach the wings to the body for a real steampunk feel. I suspect that a few watch parts may find their way into this creation, it seems to be developing a life of it’s own…
I’m not entirely sure how this could be worn, though. Perhaps an oversized pendant, or attached to an ornate arm cuff. Maybe a brooch or hat ornament? Or possibly just an object to be admired. Any ideas? I’m very excited to see how part two evolves…
I got Tim McCreight’s very useful book, “Hot & Cold Connections” recently, read the section on soldering and ignored the rest. I revisited it the other day and found very straightforward instructions for making rivets. It looked like a great excuse to buy another hammer, a very small one with a flat head on one side and a blade on the other, a cross peen hammer. As usual, I got it on eBay, and just loved the way it was described as being for “delicate work”!
I had a piece of embossed silver left over from our top secret experimental project, and thought it would be suitable for playing with rivets. I cut a frame and a back plate from brass, and did a test rivet on a bit of scrap.
I bunged the Dremel into the vertical bracket on the workstand, complete with a 1mm microdrill, and gently drilled a couple of bits of scrap brass for a trial run. I filed the end of a coil of 1mm copper wire so I could ease it into the holes, and pulled it tight with pliers. The book said it was vital that the wire is a really snug fit, so that when you start bashing the ends, the only place the metal can go is outwards to form a domed head.
My new hammer was a bit rubbish, to be honest! I ended up bashing it with a 2oz ball peen hammer instead. The copper did it’s magic and formed a head on the front side. Annoyingly my bit of wire was a bit too short and ended up flush with the back, so I walloped it with a centre punch to flare the ends out a bit. Must have worked, because I can’t get it to come apart and neither can Beardy. And he is VERY rufty-tufty.
Obviously an expert now (I wish!), I filed and polished my component parts and drilled 1mm holes in the corners of the frame. To avoid annoying mismatched hole sets, I only drilled one hole in the back plate. I did the rivet and then drilled the opposite corner and riveted that. Just the other two corners to do, and onto some very laborious filing to get the edges of the two brass pieces flush. I could have done it with the Dremel in the shed but thought I’d be sociable and do it while watching the Carling Cup final with the menfolk.
I had originally planned to rivet this thing to some copper and make a bangle, but it’s too heavy to bend! So I’m going to add a couple more things to it and turn it into a Steampunk style pendant
No chance of making anything shiny today as I will be on the road for most of it. Dropping Scroticule off in Coventry at two and then driving west to be with my much missed and beloved Beardy. Hell, I might even stump up the six quid for the Severn Bridge instead of taking the scenic A48…
It’s been a lovely few days with Mum and the family, we got quite a few things made, as you’ll see from previous blog entries! She’s been making some fab Steampunk lacework, so I’ll be turning that into some really unique jewellery…
I’ve always had a penchant for Gothic and Vampire style jewellery, and bought some stunning black and purple lace last time I was visiting my mum. I have had huge fun over the last couple of days combining chain, skulls, beads, leather, you name it! There will be more soon, just waiting for some more sparklies to arrive!
These are all for sale in my Etsy shop at just £15 each.
It’s the last day of the school holidays, and I’m bursting with ideas and frustration! I really need to get back into making things for the sake of my sanity (or whatever passes for it these days). My hallmark registration has gone through, and I’m the proud owner of a hefty punch with my maker’s mark. I’ve got some sizeable chunks of sterling to make into pendants where the decoration will be just the texture of the metal and hallmark – vanity pieces really, but why not? They will make really personal gifts for the special people in my life who have helped me get this far.
I found some beautiful lace when I was up at Mum’s in the summer, and have been experimenting with making Steampunk chokers with lovely Swarovski crystal beads, silver chains and the occasional skull. I’ll be listing these for sale over the next few days, now that the final elements to finish them are on their way (Royal Mail permitting).
I have also been playing with wire wrapping and when I have had a chance, some leaf textures. This lovely labradorite is going to become the focal point of a lariat with silver and moonstone elements, and maybe some leaves…
When I’m not bashing metal in the Shedifice, I quite like knitting, cross stitch, papercrafting and generally making things, often with a vintage, goth or steampunk feel. Leather flowers are my latest thing, either as hair clips or brooches. I’m playing with some really small roses just now, which may find their way onto dolly pins and rings… There’s also some very pretty winged heart ones, red at the moment, but I’m going to be making purple ones too 🙂
Fantastically, eBay is not playing the game, and I can’t list anything at the moment on there, but there’s lots in my Etsy shop!