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February Component of the Month Trial, Error and Success

*if you manage to make it all the way to the end of this post, you will see how you can enter to win a guest designer spot for the March component of the month.

Francesca Watson was the hostess for the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month for February. Even though Francesca fabricates her own jewelry designs...creating most, if not all, of the elements in her designs, she is not a "component maker". Meaning she doesn't fabricate components to sell.

In spite of this, she jumped in with both feet to make these lovely enameled and domed discs for us to play with. I got one similar to the turquoise colored one at the top of the photo.

Originally I was thinking of going simple. But then I had a brainstorm to use one of my Nightmare Insomnia series beads in the design. Inside a circle to repeat the shape. It turned out...HUGE...measuring in at over 3" long, 2" wide, 3/4" deep (not including that tube bead shown at the top of the pendant).

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

And I wasn't really a fan of how awkward the disc laid because the armature I made for the Nightmare Insomnia bead was really fat too.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

So I thought maybe making a short chain with jumprings for the disc to dangle from would help.

Component of the month trial and error Jen Cameron Glass Addictions

But when held up against my chest, it was still pretty awkward and the thing was getting monstrous in size. So I removed the enameled disc from the rest of the contraption (that will be its own piece eventually) and tried again. I freehand cut out a circle-ish shape of silver sheet, textured it, and domed it with texture side in the concave portion. I was going to place the enameled disc inside the concave part. But I didn't really like that either (no pics of that). So I will save the piece of silver for something else. It just so happened I had a bronze "donut" that Lesley Watt made sitting on my bench. The entire time I considered the enameled disc, it was always using silver, never copper or bronze. But I really loved the bronze of Lesley's piece. I think maybe it's part of a toggle? Not sure... So this is what I finally came up with.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #ajecom #lampwork #glassaddictions

I really love how this turned out. The only thing I am not totally in love with is the chain, so I'm considering switching it out for leather instead.

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions #com

The lampwork bead I used is (of course) one of my own. It was an experiment that I wasn't overly thrilled with, but it looks perfect with this necklace (the color is much prettier in person than in the photos).

February component of the month #artjewelryelements #lampwork #ajecom

Go see what everyone else made with their components: Participating AJE Contributors: Kristi Bowman-Gruel Jen Cameron <----you are here! Jenny Davies-Reazor Susan Kennedy Linda Landig Melissa Meman Kristen Stevens Francesca Watson   Guest Designers: Dawn Horner Kym Hunter Kay Thomerson Shelley Graham Turner Sandi Volpe There's still time to enter to throw your name into the hat to win a guest designer spot for March using these gorgeous lentil shaped beads by Joanne Tinley. Winners will be announced Friday evening March 1. art jewelry elements component of the month March joanne tinley  

European 4-in-1 Chainmaille now in Technicolor

Continuing the theme of using color in chainmaille, I moved on from the Japanese weave experiments to European 4 in 1 (the traditional weave for armor "back in the day"). The first one I used the a color mix of anodized niobium rings called "Air" and just added the rings randomly, only making sure I didn't end up with a patch of rings that were all the same color.

I'm currently working on another length of Euro 4 in 1 with a color mix called Fire. If you look at the construction of the weave, there are 3 columns of connecting rings that face down (that's how I see it anyway). Then there 4 columns of rings that face up. On the 3 connecting columns, I'm using the silver/gold/orange colors of the mix. On the 4 columns facing up, I'm using the pinks/purples of the mix. Other than that, color placement is random.

Have a great Sunday. I'm just sitting here enjoying some coffee before I start my day of packing and getting ready to travel home.

Japanese Chainmaille Weave in Technicolor

I've been playing with color this week, and I can't stop. Here's a progress shot of a Japanese chainmaille weave bracelet using anodized niobium rings.

And finished (except for a clasp)

Then I tried making a small component using sterling silver and anodized aluminum.

And I like them so much that they sort of started multiplying....

I think I prefer the rows of color fading rather than one color in the middle and a different color around the perimeter. What do you think?

Each of these components measures about 3/4" x 1 1/8" and would make wonderful links. What would use use them for?

Bead Soup Arrival

I received delicious soup from my partner Shari Replogle. I love the bag she sent it in.

Here's a group shot of the soup:

The focal is a piece of transferware (I think that's what Shari called it...I don't have my cheat sheet to check) from the 18th century that she made into this lovely bird focal. It's my favorite color too.

I absolutely adore the etched bullet casings and the domed discs. LOVE THEM! The clasp is so pretty.

And if that wasn't enough, she also sent some gorgeous coordinating beads.

And since Shari has received her soup from me, I can share what I sent.

The focal is a lampwork infield antique key and the clasp is a super cute sterling silver toggle I bought a long time ago. I don't remember where I got it. I sent a few lampwork beads and lampwork headpins along with some coordinating Czech glass, swarovskis, seed beads, hand dyed silk ribbon, and some wire lentils. I can hardly wait to see what Shari makes!

Challenge Earrings Week 5/52

Kristi Bowman sent me these darling little copper star charms with an order once. I recently made a bunch of simple black encased with fine silver foil and clear glass spacer beads. Some in a "nugget" shape (achieved by heating up small areas of the bead and flattening with a tool. This requires patience or you can completely knock the bead off center). I thought the black "starry" beads would be perfect with the copper stars for a set of dainty starry sky themed beads for the 5th week of the AJE Earring Challenge. These are going to a special (and unsuspecting) person as a thank you gift.

Challenge Earrings Week 5/52 jennifer cameron glass addictions

Make sure to follow the AJE Earring challenge Pinterest board.

Frenzy

This week I've been in a full blown, have to make myself go to bed, frenzy of creativity. It's kind of exhausting. I did stop long enough to snap a few pics of my week in the studio. And write up an article for Art Jewelry Elements about the War of Art. I haven't been blogging much, but I have been taking a few minutes out of my day to share a couple photos and insights into my days on my Facebook page. Please go there and click like . I would love input on designs I'm playing with, or just to chat. Oh, and do you like the new look of my blog? I LOVE it! I finally got around to using my logo in my banner, added a few recent photos, and my friend Robin Koza tweaked the design, installed the new banner, color coordinated the background to my logo, added my own customized social media buttons to the right, and it looks so amazing! Here's what I've been up to this week: This shows the very beginning of the frenzy. These things have multiplied faster than...I don' t know. What multiplies really fast? Our junk drawer seems to give birth to at least 30 new ink pens every single day. So maybe my headpins multiply faster than ink pens...if that makes sense.

Glass headpin bouquet #lampwork #glassaddictions Jennifer Cameron

I came up with this new glass headpin and copper wire design when I was falling asleep Sunday night (or maybe it was Saturday night?) and could hardly wait to get to the torch the next morning to try it out. I love them, but wasn't sure if others would. However, people have given a big thumbs up so far. I have never seen anyone do anything like these before, so I'm cautiously hopeful I'm the first...

New glass "headpins". Transparent encasing swirl of copper wire. #lampwork glass addictions Jennifer cameron

I got some brand new studio shoes. I LOVE these things, they are so cute!

New studio shoes jen cameron glass addictions

  They replace the old studio shoes:

Studio Wear

  And even while sitting in front of the fire, relaxing with the fam, drinking a delicious glass of wine, I just HAD to do some viking knitting. I'm trying 24 gauge bronze wire. And yes, I'm using a yellow highlighter as the mandrel. Don't judge. It's all I could find at the lake cottage that would work well.

How I'm spending my evening (Viking knitting bronze wire in case you are wondering) jen cameron glass addictions

Hope you have a fun weekend! I will be working most of the weekend trying to meet some deadlines that are coming up fast.

Challenge Earrings Weeks 2-4/52

I went on an earring making binge today (if you want to call making 3 pairs of earrings a binge...) All three of these pairs of earrings will be headed to the gallery that carries my work on Monday. If you want a pair, let me know which in the comments. Week 2/52:

AJE Earring challenge Week 2/52 jennifer cameron glass addictions

Week 3/52:

AJE Earring Challenge week 3/52 jen cameron glass addictions

Week 4/52 (and my personal favorite):

AJE Earring Challenge week 4/52 jen cameron glass addictions

You can see more amazing designs as part of the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge at the AJE Earring Challenge Pinterest board. You can follow me on Pinterest too.

January Component of the Month REVEAL

It's finally here! Karen made these amazing little pie beads (the link takes you to a description of how she made these sweet things). Ever since I finished my contribution for component of the month, I've had the song "Cherry Pie" by Warrant stuck in my head (yes I am a product of the 80's and Mtv. Yes I remember the very first music video I ever saw..."Rio" by Duran Duran. I was immediately addicted) I've been belting out the chorus to "Cherry pie periodically for about 36 hours or so. My poor 11 year old daughter.... I know you came here to see what I did with the darling pie bead. Here you go:

January Component of the Month Jen Cameron glass addictions

I literally had no idea what I was going to make until the last minute. It came to me without giving much though beforehand. I took copper washers and enameled them in various shades of purple. Why? Because I wanted to. Plus I was going for the whole "pie" theme.  Even though my pie is turquoise and I've never seen a turquoise pie. But what looks awesome with turquoise? Purple. That's what. But then purple looks awesome with everything...

January Component of the Month Jen Cameron glass addictions

So I attached all the enameled purple discs using large-ish sterling silver jump rings. Then I made the toggle. The disc is fine silver fused together then I hammered the crap out of it (cheaper than therapy!) I twisted up some wire into a toggle bar and hammered that too.

January Component of the Month Jen Cameron glass addictions

I decided the bracelet needed "more". More what? Cherries! That's what. Cherries are awesome with pie. These are faceted pearls from a bead soup I received from Kristi Bowman. I decided it still needed more. So I added "berries" that are more sparkly and go by the name Swarovski.

January Component of the Month Jen Cameron glass addictions

All berries are wire wrapped onto the bracelet using headpins I balled up with a butane torch. That is a very fun technique. Perhaps not on the same level as hammering... Visit the other jewelry artists who received these delicious pies to work with to see what they came up with
Hope you have a delicious weekend!
Jen

Sneak Peek January Component of the Month

The Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month reveal has been delayed for a day. So I thought I would do a sneak peek instead...since mine is actually finished on time this month.

January Component of the Month Teaser Pic jen cameron glass addictions

On a completely different note, the weather has been insane. 0 degrees last week, 60 degrees this week. Last week the lake was frozen enough each day I noticed more people out on the ice fishing. And more huts. And dogs wandering between the people and the huts. This week the lake was rapidly thawing. With the result of a fast moving rolling fog over the lake.

Spooky day at the lake jen cameron

Come back tomorrow for the reveal!

Non Toxic Pickle

No, I'm not talking about those things some people eat. I'm talking about a chemical which cleans the firescale (nasty black stuff) off metal which has been exposed to flame or kiln. After a bad experience with the VERY toxic pickle I purchased at a jewelry supply place, I swore off that nasty stuff. It will eat holes in anything it comes into contact with. However, I started  making lots of lampwork headpins on copper wire, which come out of the kiln covered in firescale.

Glass headpins jen cameron glass addictions

While using steel wool gets a good chunk of the firescale off, I still wasn't 100% thrilled with the results. So I started googling non toxic jewelry pickle and found a recipe using regular (cheap!) white vinegar, which I purchase by the gallon anyway. And regular table salt (also cheap!). That's it. The suggested ratio was 1 cup vinegar to 1 Tbsp salt. I placed the vinegar into a glass jar and heated it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Then I added the salt and stirred. I dipped the end of one headpin and swirled it around for a second or two. This is what it looked like:

Non toxic jewelry pickle for copper glass headpins jennifer cameron glass addictions

  So I dumped all of them into the pickle

Glass headpins in non toxic pickle jennifer cameron glass addictions

  After a 1 minute soak:

Glass headpins in non toxic pickle jen cameron glass addictions

  I removed them from the pickle at this point and just wiped the rest of the "soot" off with a paper towel. They are a dull pinkish color at this point

Glass headpins jen cameron glass addictions after soaking in non toxic jewelry pickle

  Rub them a little with 0000 steel wool and they get the shiny copper back.

copper after pickle and steel wool jen cameron glass addictions

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