September 28, 2009

Copper Earring Exploration - Series No. 2

This week I continued my exploration of using hammered copper in jewelry - again with a focus on earrings and botanicals. I cut leaf shapes, pods and organic shapes for the earrings. The copper reflects each hit with the hammer so well and the copper seems to have a warmth about it that silver doesn't offer. I have ordered them from easiest to most difficult.

The sunflowers at the farm were gorgeous this year and if you look closely you can see the bright metallic green wasp on the blossom. There is never a shortage of interesting bugs at the farm and this was the first bright green wasp I have seen. He was so engrossed in the sunflower that he didn't even move when I moved in close for this shot.

Copper earring series number 2, begins with tiny copper leaves with red coral faceted rondelles dangling from one rice pearl bead on sterling silver lever back earrings. Although they are tiny, I think they still make a bold statement with the copper leaf and red coral bead, the pearl adds that little touch of feminity for contrast.

I found it easier on the fingertips to use the tip of a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the leaves in place for hammering. These tiny copper leaves are much too small to hold with your fingertips while hammering.
Native thistle with tiny purple blossoms and thistly stalk
common along the road side in the country.

The pod earrings were alot of fun to put together, but time consuming to create an organic, natural looking shape. I added tiny rice pearls to represent the seeds that move independently of the pod for extra movement. I shaped a pair of earwires in sterling silver for the pods.

The curve took patience and a steady hammering rhythm for a uniform curve down the side of the pods. After shaping, a pair of pliers provided the slight curves to make each pod unique from the other.
My journey of exploration with metals, gemstones and other natural materials seems to stretch on infinitely like this country road. This is what I love about art, the journey is endless and only limited by your imagination.

The final pair of earrings in this series have a tribal feel about them with carved black onyx beads, burgundy greek beads and copper in the shape of a seed pod from a maple tree.

Another view of the tribal earrings that are the longest pair of earrings that I have made at three inches. I kept weight in mind and selected beads to keep them lightweight and comfortable to wear.
The inside curve on these copper pods were the most difficult part of the earrings and they required alot of filing to smooth the edges. A daping block was used for the bumps that represent seeds any tiny brass rivets to join the pods to the beads.

My exploration continues this week as I head back into my studio today work on the next installation as I continue to master shaping copper into beautiful jewelry.


Angela Recada said...

Beautiful post! Your visuals are gorgeous. I really love the look of copper, too. Hammered copper, especially. Beautiful earrings!

Dorthe said...

Julie Hi,-
have to tell you that your cobber work is so very beautifull, I love the long ones with the pearls, they are fantastic, and I love seing pictures from your surrondings.
Blessings, Dorthe

Marcella Lally said...


busy hands are happy hands!

walky talky...

Lee W - The Way I See It said...

very nice!