Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Here is another fun swap I participated in for the Art Charms group. The theme was wood, so we had to make charms incorporating wood in some manner. The possibilities were endless - wooden beads, sticks, blocks, spools, shapes - you get the idea. I was poking around my local Ben Franklin store in the packaged wood items and found some cute, little spools. I decided to wrap them with wire and add beads as I wrapped. It was a challenge getting that springy wire to stay on the spools, but I finally came up with a system that worked. I was happy with the way these turned out.
Here are some charms I made for the Art Charms swap Adopt An Ancestor. This was my first attempt at soldering. I cropped and reduced some of my vintage photos, sandwiched them between 1-inch glass, applied foil tape around the edges and soldered. I soldered a jump ring at the top and added a bead dangle.
I'm not exactly sure how I discovered the new Art Charms group at Yahoo, but before I knew it I had joined. I have never made jewelry, and I don't count the one class I took in college years ago because it was totally uninspiring and unproductive. It ranks down at the bottom of my college experience along with the weaving class I took.
The group was started by Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen, very talented artists who have had years of experience teaching jewelry making, metalworking, and making lampwork beads. Of course, I just had to purchase their book Making Mixed-Media Art Charms & Jewelry.
This book is a wonderful resource because it opened up a whole new world of making art charms and also because it is great for the beginner as well as experienced jewelry makers. As a group, we have been going through the book chapter by chapter trying all the techniques. The really fun part is all the incredible swaps, and there is no pressure to participate, it's a matter of choice. So far, I've participated in quite a number of swaps and have received amazing charms in return. Experience in this group ranges from new to very experienced. The focus is on having fun creating, and members are so supportive and willing to share. If you'd like to learn to make amazing art charms and have fun doing it, this group is for you!