Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mad scientist mode!

 Here I am all decked out in my "mad scientist" gear, mwahaha! 😉
I only wear the mask when working with the dye in powder form to avoid breathing it in. When the dry dye is put away and I'm working with the liquid dye solution, I take the mask off. But, the rubber gloves stay on!
 Not much variation to see in the picture showing the skeins of thread being painted with the dye. That's because the batch is "Grayscale" (only shades of gray) and the dye looks darker when wet.
The hand dyed thread all finished! The flower is in the picture to show that it's a color photo.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hard and soft combined

 What started as an experiment to see "what if I put tatting inside wire weaving" seems to have gathered a following. So, I'll share what I've learned from doing this piece:

I used Parawire in 2 colors, "Army Green" for the three base wires in 20 gauge, and "Vintaj Natural Brass" in 28 gauge.

I had to start twice, because the first time I wasn't sure about the weave structure and made mistakes. Probably only another wire weaver would have noticed, but I did, so I started over to do it right!

When adding the tatting (see this previous post on that technique) I attempted to keep the wire weaving pattern as undisturbed as possible. In my earlier pieces my weaving tended to be messy at that area but it doesn't need to be. The tatting only needs to be caught with wire now and then, as if one were adding a bead.

Parawire, or any coated wire can be marred or scratched easily with tools such as pliers, so I did most of the shaping by hand. Serious jewelry artists usually avoid coated wires but since I'm breaking the rules already, why not have fun with the color choices? And, obviously, I'm not going to do any oxidizing or any other processes that would harm the tatting.

I do have some solid wires in my stash as well, such as solid natural brass which I used in the frame findings and jump rings on the earrings below. The solid brass will naturally patina or get darker over time, but that is okay.