Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Five Techniques That Show The World What An Amateur I Am

Wire wrapping is my thing as it is with most home-type jewelry makers. The reason is simple: No expensive equipment. But there are techniques out there that I am dying to try. I've already gushed over metal clay. Metal clay is more like a new technology than an old technique. This list right here are time-tested jewelry techniques that I'll get around to once I'm rich and can afford a kiln.

  1. Repousse (make like there's an accent over the last 'e'): Imprinting a slightly raised design on the back of a metal piece. This technique is within the poor jewelry designer's reach. Investment in sheet metal and hammers and/or chisel required. A person can get really crazy and use hot power tools to work very thick pieces of metal. A person can even make the Statue of Liberty using Repousse.

  2. Basse-taile: Firing enamel over slightly raised metal. For this you need a kiln. And enamel. If I ever get a kiln, I'll learn everything I need to about enamel.

  3. Champleve (again with the accents. Over the last 'e'.): Kinda the opposite of basse-taile in that the enamel is put into the stamped metal depressions.

  4. Cloisonne (the accent. . . oh screw it!): is champleve's much more complicated cousin. Instead a stamped design, cloisonne uses a metal frame-- like stained glass-- into which layers and layers of enamel are set.
  5. Taille d'epargne: Sort of reverse Champleve in which the outline of a design is dug out of the metal and an opaque (usually dark, like black or blue) enamil is fired into these channels.

  6. Granulation: Little balls of metal used to create texture on a piece. Shot Ball is the same except with bigger balls.

I'm all cold connection. Perhaps I should start with a butane torch. As soon as I can move my "studio" off of my bed. None of these techniques are used making the handmade earrings at my Etsy Shop nor are any of the trinkets at my Artfire Studio.

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