Scraphappy April 2021

‘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, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn (me!),
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, NancyDawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?!
This entry was posted in geek, Gems, Other Blogs, SciFi, ScrapHappy, silver, Tech Tip, tutorial, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Scraphappy April 2021

  1. claire93 says:

    a fascinating process and gorgeous brooch

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    That is lavishly beautiful, and has just beaten Mr Tialys’ birdhouse into second place in this month’s scrappy gorgeousness. So strange, considering it’s based on Klingon design forms, but it reminds me strongly of the motifs used in traditional Hawaian quilts, which used a lot of plant, fruit and flower silhouettes. It makes me think of a frangipani (plumeria) blossom. Plus I’ve had a riot with the vocabulary! Thank you for NOT being a fabric or fibre post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tialys says:

    It would be lovely to see brooches making a comeback. I have two or three vintage ones but never seem to get around to pinning the to anything, Your one is very contemporary and would look great pinned to almost anything,
    The technical talk is a bit beyond me but I’m hoping to remedy that because I’ve starting watching ‘All That Giltters’, the jewellery equivalent to the G.B. Sewing Bee that started this week, Did you see it? If so, what did you think?
    By the way, Mr Tialys says, ‘no hard feelings’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol, thanks MrT 😉
      Yes, we were watching and playing Jewellers Bingo (a snifter any time one of them uttered anything MrG hears regularly) I enjoyed it and I hope that they do a bit more explaining about each of the tools they use, and I expect they’ll all get a bit more comfortable and develop some personal chemistry over the coming shows, like Pottery Throwdown did so well this season.


      • tialys says:

        Yes, the judges are a bit stiff to say the least although I don’t suppose they are used to such a format. I noticed, at the end, when they were chatting to the participants, they seemed a bit more relaxed. Although not too relaxed I hope, I can’t quite get used to seeing the judge in the Pottery Throwdown in his denim overalls over bare arms and chest 😮
        Perhaps we’ll play Sewing Bingo when we watch the GBSB – sounds like fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. acflory says:

    I love asymetrical shapes, and this really does feel rather scifi. I’m not sure about Star Trek though. This makes me think of an alien’s ‘eye’. But I suppose that’s the beauty of the piece, that we can find our own shapes in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. writinghouse says:

    I love watching a true artist at work, creating joy out of whatever is to hand! Lovely stuf!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Orphan Earrings – my favourite! and Hooray for technoflux and the soldering gods! The piece is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Susan Nixon says:

    Oh, I like it! That is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I think you are getting the scrap bug – thinking about what scraps you will create when you make something! The brooch is lovely and thank you for telling us that things went wrong – we all do it but not everyone owns up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ha! Well, I think it’s really important to share that there’s science (and magic and alchemy!) and lots of learning behind each piece. IT helps to explain the difference in price between a handmade and a factory produced piece of jewellery. Thank you very much for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        I wear very little jewelry but the few pieces I have and do wear on special occasions were all handmade by a local couple who are also friends of mine. I know just how much thought and skill and ‘eye’ go into each piece. They are now retired so if I want something else you will probably get a commission!

        Liked by 1 person

        • that’s very kind of you to say so, let’s hope that we’ll all be encouraged to attend fairs and local makers safely again soon so that if you do fancy something you are able to find something and someone with whom you feel a connection. Thanks again for your kindness.


  9. what an amazing amount of work. The brooch is lovely and the moonstone perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rutigt says:

    Wow, so beautiful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That is so beautiful … no one would ever guess it’s scrappy origins.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. anne54 says:

    It’s a beautiful, elegant piece 💜
    I wear brooches on various bits of clothing ~ jackets and beanies especially. I usually keep the same brooch on it. Laziness? Or just finding something I like?!

    Liked by 1 person

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