I'm back from Bead Fest Santa Fe and it was a dream come true. I've wanted to incorporate metals with my polymer clay work for some time now so taking several metalsmithing courses has really added to my repertoire. I also met lots of great people. By the way, Santa Fe is beautiful and we spent 5 glorious days there. On the 3d day it snowed 6 inches and was icy and snow blown for the better part of a day and a half. All melted though by the second day after the storm. It’s kind of felt like Denver in that regard. Here’s a picture of my coursework. There were lots of firsts for me - etching and coloring metal, riveting, ring and bail making, fold forming, riveting, hammering and heat treating metals and precious metal clay charms and earrings. Wow!
Tomorrow my husband and I take off for Santa Fe, about 6 hours from Denver. I'll be attending the Santa Fe Bead Fest and taking several workshops. Since I'd like to add more metals to my work, I'll be taking metalsmithing, precious metal clay and etching classes. I'm looking forward to incorporating these techniques in my jewelry making.
I'm always on the lookout for findings to use in my jewelry designs and, of course, can find them in the usual places - craft and hobby stores. What about interesting, unique, one of a kind findings? I haven't sewn for a very long time - at least 20 years - but lately I've been looking in the sewing and button sections of fabric stores and have found some great stuff to use as findings. You can alter and repurpose what you find with ink, polymer clay, wire, and paint. Here's a collection of my latest finds - snaps and hooks.
These I like just as they are.
These metal hooks will get a customized look with alcohol inks. You can use any combination of colors you need to match beads or other elements of your design. I did coat these with a protective varnish.
These larger hooks with tiny jump rings attached I'll cover with polymer clay and a decorative cane. Texture the sides that don't have the cane on them for a more finished look.