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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Enamel Bangles

Toil and trouble can lead to success ... sometimes. :-)  I've been struggling with the torch-firing of a bangle bracelet made from wire.  Talk about frustration!@#^  Well, persistence paid off and I want to share the results with you.  Here's "In Flight."   The colors are a gorgeous baby blue opaque with drippy transparent pink enamels on part of the bracelet. There's an enamel swallow charm (hence the title, "In Flight" < :-) > and another charm with a leaf design in a purple called "Iris." 

In Flight

In Flight

In Flight, detail

The charm on "Meadowsweet" was made in a Painting with Fire Workshop.  It's one of the final things we do that leaves students saying, "Wow!  I didn't know you could do all this with torch firing!" To fire the charm, I dangle it from a mandrel and when it glows orange, I dip the piece into enamel.  Repeat two more times.  Then I transfer the mandrel to my nondominant (left) hand. I tilt my hand slightly so the mandrel is in a more parallel position to the ground. Using tweezers in my right hand, I place the flower chips where I want them. The yellow stripe is a cat whisker I added and to the upper right is some larger grain size enamel in the transparent enamel color "Copper."  All of these items are at my website (www.paintingwithfireartwear.com) if you want to try it.

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet
The colors in "Reef" remind me of all that's good about summer!  Turquoise makes an appearance with abandon! This 14mm ridge bead is topped with etched bead caps. An enameled head pin, some shiny faceted crystals in turquoise and a rhinestone rondelle finish things off.  The color of the bead is something my son, David, developed in the studio.  It was great discovery and is even more beautiful in person.  It's our new favorite! :-)  We call the color blend "Caribbean."

Reef

Reef, detail


I'm glad you were able to visit me today to share in my delight that the problem of enameling wire is solved! I love the wonky, organic nature of the bangle, so my persistence definitely paid off.  Can you think of a challenge in your own work that you've conquered?  I'd love to hear about it!

P.S.  Check out www.lovemyartjewelry.blogspot.com for some other bangles I love to make!




15 comments:

Palimpa Lim said...

Wow! WoW! WOW!
No, I'm not barking :)
This is so beautiful! Out of this world.
Some day I'll have to try this!!! I think it's worth all the frustration during the learning process - even though it will be a loooong learning process :)
The colours you chose are awesome - as always.

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Love, love, love the bracelets Barbara! Awesome details and colors in each of them. Love the coloring in "Reef" and the color blend "Caribbean"!
I haven't conquered anything recently, but I want to start making female forms again in glass, but instead of doing them as sculptures in boro I am trying to teach myself to make the female form on a mandrel in morretti. My first disaster was last night but that is just going to push me to do more and more and improve and improve :)
Thanks for sharing your beauties!
Beth

Preserve Jewelry Studio said...

Barbara, beautiful bracelet. Congratulations on conquering what seemed the impossible. I have not had my torch out since the seed beads have taken up all of my time, but we don't always get along either. I recently took a couple of pieces of silver from my scrap bucket(so precious at today's prices) and reinvented them into beautiful bracelet clasps. They were rings that did not solder into a circle very well and now that are beautiful "S" hooks on a bracelet.

Melissa Meman said...

these are so gorgeous! With the bracelets, did you just do small parts at a time? The pink must be the china over clover you were telling me about...love it!

diane cook said...

Sweet bracelets Barbara! The colors are soft and soothing for Spring =)

Gaea said...

How totally awesome! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Hip hip hurray for persistence!

eve said...

I just adore the meadowssweet charm, i really must buy some of the cats whiskers,

Sharon P said...

Wow, Barbara, I love all of your gorgeous bracelets! The bangles are so rustic yet romantic in feel, and the textures make me want to touch the beads and play with them...

I just overcame my problem with soldering ring bands onto the ring back...plenty of perseverance and that aha! moment happened today, thanks goodness!

stregata said...

Congratulations on your persistance - those bangles are incredible! I can't even wrap my head around how you enameled them... the colours are beautiful.

sundownbeaddesigns said...

Wonderful! I still haven't gotten the whole torch firing the beads thing down yet. But I'd love to learn how to do this too!

mairedodd said...

these are quite beautiful! so glad you had success after all of the hard work...

Christine Damm said...

I definitely want some of those-- seriously!! What a great concept, you are definitely pushing the boundaries of what's possible in torch-firing! And it's all beautiful!

balanced. said...

These are so beautiful, Barbara!
and so very clever!

Lisa said...

truly divine Barbara.. i love the subtle colors and textures.. very reminiscent of the beach. by the way, the links are fantastic... i love them so much...not sure what i'll do with them yet but the possibilities are endless..thank you!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh these are amazing - the little bird and teal are my favs - So need to purchase one of those starter kits - it looks like a blast!!!