‘Draw the spaces’ is a mantra I often hear when listening to podcasts, and after sawing out some Bat’leth necklaces I was left with a gorgeous negative space that demanded specific use, rather than merely being consigned to the scrap pot.
Given April 5th is #FirstContactDay it seems appropriate that I used this piece of scrap for this month’s piece 🙂
There’s a pleasing asymmetry to the shape, which I felt works best horizontally rather than vertically, and as I love a brooch, and am gradually creating a range of more modern interpretations of one of the oldest forms of adornment AND wanted to echo the exploration and space travel that is Star Trek it seemed perfect.
Looking through my collection of rescued, vintage stones (mostly from orphan earrings and broken jewellery given to me over many years) I found a particularly interesting teardrop rainbow moonstone that has both a milky area and gorgeous blue flash – the perfect embodiment of warp speed, worm holes and space travel !
So – how did I make it?
File all the edges
Sand and polish front and back and the edges
Make a bezel for the moonstone*, sand the base flat and reduce the top so that there will be an optimal amount of silver over the stone
Decide if less is more or if more is more (ie shall I add lots of recycled balls to this, or not?)
Solder the bezel to the back plate using ‘hard’ solder – pickle and clean
Saw the tube for the hinge that holds the brooch pin, file and sand the edges, file a flat area in preparation for soldering to the back of the brooch
Find an offcut of 1mm sterling wire for the brooch hook, and select a small jumpring** to help brace it
Solder the fixings to the brooch using ‘medium’ solder
Pickle, clean, polish
Apply liver of sulphur to patinate the inside of the setting, seal with Renaissance Wax (rainbow moonstone always looks more impressive with a dark background)
Set the stone
Form the pin using stainless dental wire**
Shape the hook – at this point there was a slight disaster – I had forgotten to triple check the security of the solder joint and the wire detached. So, I removed the stainless pin, smothered the stone in Technoflux and resoldered the joint, using ‘easy’ solder – this is always a bit of a gamble, but moonstone is mostly a heat-safe stone, as long as it’s not heated and cooled too dramatically – I approached it cautiously with the torch, held my breath and sent a plea to the soldering gods, applying heat as minimally as possible finally allowing it to cool naturally before pickling and repolishing
Surprisingly the colour (patination) I’d applied to the inside of the setting survived this process
After further polishing I was then able to reform the hook and the pin
I’m really pleased with this, it feels really appropriately modern yet classic, and is in my shop. I think I’ll take care over the placing of my templates to create more interesting negative spaces and more pieces
*This actually was a left over bezel I had made previously that was too large for the stone I was using (this is irritatingly common!) I keep them all with my freeform cabochons, in case I find a stone that they fit
**These are the only elements that aren’t from my scrap pots
ScrapHappy is run by the wonderful Kate in Oz and her friend Gun in Sweden and is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. I’ve found it a fabulous way to refocus my #ReuseIsBetterThanRecycle efforts.
You can make a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture
Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join in on the 15th of each month?
Either email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page, or leave a comment on her blog. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.
Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post scrappy stuff every month, but their blogs are still worth a visit).
Kate , Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, Hayley, Dawn (me!),
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Nancy, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith