Friday, October 4, 2013

"Swimming Upstream" copper wire wrapped, turquoise and enamel champleve necklace

I finally finished my latest champleve creation! This one, I call "Swimming Upstream" since it has an abstract fish design that I made from silver cloisonne wire:

I actually began this project last June. After sawing out a rectangle of 16 gauge copper sheet metal, I "burned" a depression into it using acid (a process I recommend NOT doing unless you've been taught and have proper safety supplies). After, I filled the large groove with silver foil and then a few layers of white base enamel. Full disclosure: I burned the enamel a couple of times, which I why I had to add several coats.

Once it came time to lay down the cloisonne wire, I played around with some shapes and came up with this simple, abstract fish design. I liked the way that each fish fit into the next, creating a little pattern. I also love the ocean, so I liked the idea of creating something that had a nautical motif. I used aqua, nitric blue, purple and gem green enamels to create those oceanic colors; the silver foil provides a bit of a shimmery effect, so it looks like the water is rippling behind the fish.

After the pendant was finally completed, I set to work on the chain. I wanted to offset the copper "frame" on the pendant, so I alternated the turquoise bead links with little 18-gauge wire wrapped copper "shell" spirals." I didn't want to make the chain design too complicated because I wanted the pendant to take center stage -- but I think that the wire wrapped design complements the fish.

I have a couple of other champleve enamel pieces that I'm working on, so stay tuned! Meantime, check out my jewelry at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

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