Thursday, October 17, 2013

Copper wire wrapped enamel rainbow necklace

With practice, I'm getting better at making champleve enameled pieces. When I add the enamel to the grooves, it no longer overflows and the colors have become a lot less wonky. I now know that I need to add a base color (usually white or clear glass) in order for the top layers to come out right -- but I'm also getting the feel for how many coats to add so that the glass surface remains flush with the metal frame.

My latest creation, this copper and enamel rainbow pendant, was actually made as a test strip. When making enamel jewelry, you can never be 100 percent sure how a color will turn out after being fired in the kiln (you are depending on chemical reactions, after all), so we make test strips to get a feel for how colors will look. In this case, I laid out a layer of silver foil beneath the colored glass and wanted to see how the colors looked against the silver. Good thing I did the test because the pink turned yellow and the yellow turned orange! As my teacher pointed out, "cool colors" like purple and blue look great with silver beneath, but for "warm colors," like reds and yellows and pinks, you need gold foil.

Anyway, I liked the rainbow stripe design, especially with the shimmery silver beneath, so I decided to turn this test strip into a necklace. It's simple, but very colorful and I think that the silver undertone adds a complexity to the different hues. I especially like how it looks in the sun when you can see the sparkle in the foil.

I'm always experimenting with projects and have many that don't turn out well -- but sometimes I end up with a happy accident!

To purchase my jewelry, head to Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

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