Monday, October 13, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons

Dia de los Muertos Statement Necklace by Wink Artisans

BE BOLD! When life gives you lemons and you are Mexican, you make margaritas or you just put it on all your food, e.g. pico de gallo, soup, salsa, chips... the possibilities are endless. But if you are a jeweler and life gives you lemons, you just got to make something gorgeous, something bold.

A 2012 failed glass enamel project.
Back in the Spring of 2012, I was kicking butt in a copper glass enamel class. I was learning all sorts of new badass techniques and making colorful little creations. Then, my over-achiever self kicked in and I wanted to make a larger, bold, project.  I cut five pieces of copper to make a vibrant necklace. At least that was the plan in my head, little did I know that that copper did not want the glass enamel on its surface. Stubbornly, I tried and tried to add the glass enamel. First try, it did not work, it cracked as I took it out of the kiln.  I cleaned it up and tried again... I failed again. Tried, Fail, Tried, Fail. WTF! After about four weeks, I finally put the project aside for another time and filed it as a learning curve experience. 

Fast forward to Fall 2014 and here it is. I put the links together and added some beads to get an idea of what it could become. I still wanted to add color but decided to add silver instead. I took out my sketching paper and started day-dreaming. Se vale soñar!  My initial idea was large bold flowers... but then, a calavera entered the scene and that was it. The design had come to me. 

Cut Silver Pieces Ready for Soldering
I slaved away for about three days and finally I had all I needed. The shapes were cut in silver, all filed, sanded and ready for soldering.  I was so eager to see it done, that I wanted to skip steps to see it already. But I did not want more lemons so I methodically did every step carefully and diligently. 

Soldering Each Link. Work in Progress. 

Soldering is always a process. I especially detest the waiting to clean up firescale. But soon, my fruits (sin limón) of labor started to show up. It was so rewarding to finally see these two-and-a-half year old copper links come alive. I stamped each piece, filed and sanded it again to make sure there were no rough edges. Next came the oxidizing, that's when a darkening agent is added. I like contrast, it shows the stamping and it adds drama. LOL

Finished Piece.
I'm truly happy with the end result. Clearly, life did not give me lemons here. This necklace is fun, its trendy and sophisticated too. I know it will make someone incredibly happy this Dia de los Muertos.  So what are you waiting for? Hurry and check it out on our Etsy shop

By Sol of Wink Artisans
Maker of stunning, 
Mexican-themed jewelry

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