Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Altered Findings

You want to put your unique stamp on everything you create, but maybe you aren't at the point where you can create your own findings or perhaps time is an issue. One great trick I learned is to alter commercial findings to make them your own. Here are two examples.

A few tools to have on hand:
wood dapping block and punches
ball peen hammer
small bench block
hole punch
1000 grit automotive sandpaper
The bracelet started with a blank brass pendant from Vintaj. I used a screw driver on the back side of the pendant and hammered away to create the dotty texture. Put the pendant on the bench block, place the point of the screwdriver on the back of metal, tap the top of the screwdriver with the hammer.
I then used the dapping black to give it a slight curve to fit comfortably on the wrist. With a quick swipe of the sandpaper, the dots are highlighted. I used the hole punch to create a hole on the other side of the pendant.
I repeated the steps to alter a moon pendant and dream charm. I flattened the design of the moon with the hammer before I did anything to it. I also ran the sandpaper over the clasp to bring out a few of the highlights on the hammered texture.
The second project uses a silver chain that I purchased at my local bead store. I cut off two links, shaped them with my chain nose pliers and hammered them flat to strengthen them. I created custom links in just a few minutes.
With a few basic tools you can alter your findings until your heart's content. Have fun playing!
Sources - Brass findings: Vintaj. Tools: Rings & Things. Art Beads: Humblebeads.


Michelle Mach said...

Really nice ideas!

Beverly Herman said...

Those two projects are really cool. I really like the textured brass with your designs. I am swooning over the new leave pendants they are awesome. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.

TesoriTrovati said...

Necessity is the mother of invention, is it not? I love taking something and making it even better with a few twists of my own thrown in. Great ideas and great project pictures!
Enjoy the day!

Alice said...

Thanks for the great info! I'm always learning something from ABS.

Jeannie said...

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which one to keep"

Heather these are ALL keepers!

Andrew Thornton said...

Good thinking! Nowadays when availability is so easy, I think personalizing and customizing ready-made pieces is really the only way to go. It really gives that extra something special. You nailed it on the head! Literally!

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

Great ideas! I just love the first bracelet. The dots you created look so cool.

Heather Powers said...

thanks everyone, I have been enjoying my time in the studio - hammering away!

rosebud101 said...

Wow! Great ideas! I have to learn to think outside the box!

cindy said...

Your bracelet is beautiful, Heather. Your stamping tips are great...and I appreciated Andrew and Erin's comments about utilizing what is readily available - why not? :-)

Unknown said...

Thank You ! First for sharing these wonderful idea's, second for being such a wonderful artist ! LOL! I love your work and follow your blog I can't wait to purchase some of your beads I have loved from afar ! Lol ! Thanks again
dgibson@bak.rr.com Deb

Marcia P. said...

Great ideas! Appreciate the sharing and love the bracelet!

Metallo Bianco Jewelry said...

Well done! I love that cute litte bird bead!!!

Gardanne said...

Great ideas to start metal smithing without a lot of upfront cost or risk.

Stories They Tell said...

I love your suggestions for "making it your own". It's so empowering to know that you never have to settle for just what's out there-- you CAN have it your way!

Dave Robertson said...

Would you just look at the tremendous response to your post! You're presenting a simple and powerful idea that deserves to be used by more people. Thanks for an absolutely great article, Heather!


Rubenesque Reveries said...

Everything I see in the world is a potential to use in my jewelry-someone's throwaways become an inspiration- placing things together that are all different textures & shapes is always fun- your bracelet is fabulous- another inspiration! thanks