When I read the challenge for this month I was a little intimidated I must admit. I thought for a long time about what to created based on my favourite piece of writing. I don’t really like classics, I don’t really like the Po, Orwell, and other tortured souls that would make a really good inspiration for a piece of jewellery. Living where the Bronte sisters grew up and just round the corner actually from the Law Hill gothic school that Emily Bronte worked at, and was the inspiration for the house that Cathy was held captive in by her husband (the description in the book and the actual building is uncanny) you would have thought that would be the logical choice for me to create something based off Wuthering Heights (anyone else singing Kate Bush right now?) But no, didn’t even cross my mind until I started writing this intro….. My guilty reading pleasure is young adult Steampunk fiction, I love small novellas, like the Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross, but I absolutely adore Cassandra Clare’s young adult Shadowhunter world, even the movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that got slated…. My secret is I went to the cinema to see it 5 times….. but that’s just between you and me! I am especially looking forward to the new TV show coming in 2016 ”Shadowhunters” which is based on the 2nd set of books, the same as the movie, The Mortal Instruments which is set in the present day. My favourite set of books is The Infernal Devices, which is the first set of books she wrote and set in the Victorian Era which has a little Steampunk twist to it I feel. The basis of the ”Shadowhunters” is power and protection from runes, the main rune is the Angelic rune which every Shadowhunter is given as their first rune. It just so happens this is a really pretty symbol and being one of the few solid ones without a break made for a fantastic casting piece. I love resin casting if you haven’t noticed! and decided to use the casting technique created by Baerbel from the 2014 Creative Team, find out how I created it below.
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Iced Enamels™: Shattered Fire Opal
Mixing cup and stick.
Printed rune image.
Marabu Fixo-gum or gum based flexible glue.
Fun Foam standard thin sheet and 6mm thick sheet.
Westcott Titanium knife, cutting mat.
Sandpaper and files.
Chain and clasp.
Throw away brush, paint brush and vaseline.
Face mask, protective gloves.
1: Print off an image of the rune from the web and cut it out.
2: Draw around the rune image onto the 6mm foam.
3: Cut the image from the foam using a knife
4: Glue the thick foam to the thin foam and seal all edges with the glue.
5: Weight the piece with something heavy to dry flat.
6: Brush vaseline all over the inside of the mold.
7: Mix ICE Resin to manufacturers instructions.
8: Add Shattered Fire Opal to the mixed resin until desired effect is achieved.
9: Gently pour resin mixture into the mold.
10: Balance or tape down a jump ring or loop to attach to your chain.
11: Carefully de mould once set after 8 to 12 hours.
!!!!!!!!USE A FACE MASK HERE!!!!!!!!!
12: Sand the edges smooth to achieve desired effect, attach chain.
We were tasked with making a project based on our favorite poem or work of literature. This one was tough for me. With so many great books, I did not know what direction to go. I Love The brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Emile Zola’s letter j’accuse is a great piece of writing, The Road Not Taken by Frost is another favorite, but I just could not make them work. One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe not as poetic as Frost or as passionate as Zola, but always insightful, humorous, and thought provoking. I browsed my collection of Vonnegut books, of which there are many and I came across Cats Cradle. I read this book as a young girl and it left an impression on me. For those of you who have read it, Ice 9 is the perfect inspiration for the ICE Resin® products. For those of you who have not read it, get to it! Its a quick, easy and entertaining read. (and look, its only 95 cents!)
The story is based on a fictitious substance called Ice 9. Ice 9 is a polymorph of water. Any liquid that comes in contact with Ice 9 will become crystallized and create more Ice 9. It has the ability to kill instantly by turning human tissue into Ice 9, as well as freezing entire bodies of water. You can see where the story goes…. I thought it would be cool to be able to wear a piece of Ice 9 without the threat of having your insides freeze and crystallize!
disposable mixing cup and stir stick
2 part molding putty
Shattered Opal inclusions
2 small eye hooks
Crystal/Rock with interesting shape
White pain/nail polish
Golden interference blue paint/paint brush
I started with a crystal I liked. You can use any rock with interesting shapes. Don’t worry about the color, we can fix that! Casting with ICE Resin® allows you to keep the original item and make multiples. The original was too heavy to use as a pendant.
Mix equal parts casting putty until color is uniform. Place on flat surface and impress crystal into putty. Allow putty to set for 10 minuets.
Here is a video Susan M Walls did on Casting.
Once putty is set (test with thumbnail. If nail does not leave an impression, its set.) Remove crystal. Your mold will look something like this.
Drop a few pieces of rock salt in the bottom of your mold. Mix equal parts ICE Resin® in mixing cup and add a very small amount (about a pinch) of Shattered Opal inclusions and about a tablespoon of rock salt. The rock salt is a crystal itself so light will reflect off of it. The shattered opal helps the crystal reflect light. Pour ICE Resin® with inclusions into your mold and allow it to set (6-8 hours) Once Resin is set, remove your new “crystal” from the mold.
The crystal looks pretty good at this point but a few surface treatments will make it come alive. I added Golden interferon Blue to the back of the piece and dry brushed a bit on the front. This paint reflects light and gives it an iridescence.
Then, to make the piece appear solid and opaque, I painted the back white. I used white nail polish. You can use white paint, it will just need to be sealed.
Once all the paint is dry, the pieces look very similar.
I used 2 eye hooks and screwed them into the sides where I wanted the necklace to connect to.
Now you can add beads, chain, leather, cloth or any other components you like. I used cool blue glass beads. Its hot here in the desert, we can use a bit of Ice. This piece of Ice 9 is safe to wear and wont bring about the end of the world, however It may cause some commotion when your friends see it!
For this month’s literature theme, there was no question which book would be my focus: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, by Cheryl Strayed, a non-fiction work about Strayed’s early life and her hike on the PCT following her mother’s death, through which she overcame many challenges, and not necessarily the ones you would expect. In my many years of overseas postings, I’ve been in numerous book groups with friends from a variety of countries, but no book resonated like Wild. It generated the most personal, emotional book group I’ve ever experienced, in part because — like thousands of others who have been impacted by the book — I lost my non-smoker mother after a brief, painful battle with lung cancer, similar to the author. I could relate to nearly everything Strayed described in her narrative, on a visceral level. The only challenge for this project was choosing a quote to feature, as the book is full of impactful passages. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it.
Mixing cups & stir sticks
Art MechaniqueTM Paper Sealer
Clear packing tape
Art MechaniqueTM Mixed Metal Bezel
Paper components to place in bezel (map, heart, text)
Czech glass seed beads in matte mixed blues
Red white heart glass beads
Bronze clasp & soldered jump rings
Brass 20 gauge round wire
Brass eye pins
Accu-flex stringing material
Brass crimp beads
Brass bird charm
The first thing I did was create the components to include in my Art MechaniqueTM bezel.
The background image in the bezel is a topographical map of west coast, home to the PCT. I digitally manipulated the map for visual interest and to match the color palette I wanted to incorporate.
The heart — symbolizing Strayed’s love for her mother as well as the love she found for herself through her trials on the PCT — was created freehand on a computer with drawing software. The text I simply printed with word processing software.
I wanted the colors to stay bright, and the text pieces to really stand out, so I encased all the paper components in packing tape, and for the text pieces only, sealed the edges of the packing tape with a thin coat of Art MechaniqueTM Paper Sealer to ensure no resin would seep into the text papers.
Beyond creating the paper parts, the process for this bezel is quite simple. Mix a small amount of ICE Resin® according to the package instructions, and use a stir stick to put a small amount in the bezel, pushing the resin all the way to the edges and corners of the bezel. Place the map component in the bezel, on top of the resin, and press it down, pushing any air bubbles out to the edges. Add a very small amount of resin on top of the map, pushing the resin to the edges of the bezel, to act as an adhesive sealing the layer. Let that layer set up for a few hours.
Mix another small batch of ICE Resin® and add a thicker layer on top of the map, to build dimension for the heart layer.
Let this thicker layer set up until it’s firm, but still tacky, and place the paper heart component on the tacky resin.
Apply more resin on top of the heart layer, filling nearly to the top of the bezel. Let that layer set up until solid, but still slightly tacky.
Using the tackiness of the ICE Resin® to hold the text in place, position the text components. If you make a mistake in placement, simply peel the text piece up and reposition.
Add another layer of ICE Resin® on top of the text layer, sealing and securing the text, creating a dome effect. Add additional layers of ICE Resin® until you achieve the dome height you desire.
When the bezel is completely cured, incorporate into a finished piece of jewelry.
I hope this project inspires you to create something celebrating a piece of literature that’s meaningful to you!
For more about my work, go to:
My blog: http://gemfabulous.com/
“To see a world in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wildflower,
Hold infinity in the palm of you hand
And eternity in an hour.”
A picture paints a thousand words, but a few aptly written words can paint love, joy, warmth or longing, distress and sadness. Poetry is like that…touches the soul and fills our minds with pictures of what is beautiful or haunting. I chose a beautiful short four -lined poem to reflect where I am at this season of life (and it resonates with me, especially at this time of the year). If you had asked me my favorite poem when my children were small, it could have been Suess or Silverstein or a poetry book called “If I were in charge of the World” or if you had asked me in my teens, it would have been entirely different. But today, this little verse, fills my mind with thoughts of beauty, to pause in the moment and see passed beyond what is visible.
The task at hand was to create a poetry-inspired jewelry piece. Poetry has been a wonderful friend to me through the years and it is a great inspiration starter as images come to mind as well as the emotions one has while reading. When I am in my Art Studio or at the kitchen table, the same emotions are present when I create from the heart.
The “Sands of Time” Necklace encompasses many techniques from ICE RESIN® Sand glass bottles to wire shell dangles to paper beads. The sand glass bottles are my favorite element of this necklace. While most people fill the bottle with sand, I wanted to see grains of sand. By using ICE RESIN® as the adhesive and pouring the sand over the bottle (shaking off the excess), the effect is ethereal and delicate and individual grains of sand are seen. The sand will not come off over time, and the piece will stay true to it’s original color. The contrast of the sand in the bezel and the sand on the bottle shows the two opposites of wet and dry sand creating color contrast with the same element. I’ve created two versions of the necklace one with a broken shell as the main piece with crocheting the beads, the bottle and dangles in place. And the second one is with the hobnail bezel, metal elements and a brass circle chain to complete the necklace.
Here are a few tips for you as you begin to gather and create this necklace.
- I did use actual sand from the beach— no worries if you aren’t near the beach. You can use play sand and add bits of German glass glitter or purchase a bag of shells in the craft department of your local craft store and crush some to put in the play sand.
- For the sand filled- bezels, I just used ICE RESIN® as the adhesive on the bottom. If you would like a glass like finish, once the sand has been poured and dries 6-8 hours, you could then mix another batch of ICE RESIN® and fill the bezel.
- The paper beads are created with wildflower paper that has the look of watercolor art. They are sealed with ICE RESIN® and sprinkled with sand on the ICE RESIN® while it is wet.
- If you do not wish to make paper beads, you may substitute other glass or focal beads to use with the pearls.
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent and it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked and it would be like living the moment all over again.” Daphne Du Maurier
As I write this to you, I am on the beach, listening to the waves crash on the sand and the shore, I am gently reminded to see the beauty in the moment and the possibilities in the tiniest of things… Now with the world and infinity in our hand, let’s get started and make a memory…
Disposable cups, brush and stirrer
Plastic mat or trash bag
Sand *see tip above
Metal bezels 1 large (if this is the center) and 1 small
1 small metal connector – if the metal bezel is chosen for the center
10 glass pearl beads
Paper bead roller
Glue stick, your choice
7 head pins
1 eye pin
1 large shell for center
4 seed or bugle beads
Glass bottles * I used Tim Holtz glass bottles as they are more unique in shape
Wire – thin gauge 22-24 (wire wrapping the bottles)
Round nose pliers, flush cutters
Hemp or cotton yarn, size F crochet hook, 1 button- crochet finish
1 metal chain – for metal bezel as the center
- Prepare your work surface with the plastic mat/trash bag. Gather the bezels and the bottle and the paper beads.
- Mix ICE RESIN® using equal parts of A & B. Gently stir for 2 minutes and then let rest for 5 minutes.
- For the bezels, pour a small amount to cover the base of the bezel and then pour the sand into the bezel, tapping the sand down. Let dry for 6 – 8 hours and then shake off the excess.
- For the bottles, using a brush, brush a thin coat of ICE RESIN® onto the main part of the bottle, gently pour the sand over the bottle and then set it standing up. Drip a little ICE RESIN® around and onto the top of the bottle and then using a spoon, pour sand, shaking off excess. Allow to dry 8 hours.
- To create paper beads, using a paper bead roller, cut strips of paper (varying the widths and lengths of the strips), roll a tight bead and then using the glue stick, adhere the end of the paper strip to the bead. Slide the bead off and continue to make the desired number needed.
- Using a brush, coat the beads with ICE RESIN®. If you would like, sprinkle a little sand onto the wet bead and let dry.
To wire wrap the bottle- once the bottle is dry, cut a long length of thin gauge wire and fold the wire in half. Create a loop by twisting the wires either using round nose pliers or your hands. Then begin to wrap around the bottle, once it is wrapped to your liking, snip the excess wire and tuck your ends to the back of the bottle. Attach to metal bezel with a jump ring.
To create the shell bead dangles and paper beads:
*On a wire head pin, thread one seed/bugle bead, then the shell and then one more seed/bugle bead. Using round nose pliers, create a loop and then with the remaining wire, wrap around just below the loop. Make 2
* On a wire head pin, thread one pearl, then one paper bead (after it has dried), then one pearl. Wire wrap as for the shell dangles. Make 4
*For the center paper bead, using an eye pin, thread one pearl, paper bead and then one pearl, wire wrap as above. Using pliers attach the metal bezel/bottle to the other end.
Putting it all together:
Choice 1 – Crochet the chain and the beads.
*String all shell beads and dangles on to the yarn,
*Using crochet hook, going through the center of the shell from the back, crochet 9 single crochets, turn.
*Chain 1, bring the first bead up to the hook, sc into first stitch. Repeat for the other beads, sc in each stitch. Turn
*Chain 1, sc in each stitch. Fasten off. Weave in ends
For necklace, lengths will vary.
Chain desired number for first half of necklace, when you are at the middle, chain through the shell center and continue to chain the 2nd half of necklace. When you reach equal lengths on both sides, chain a few more stitches to create the loop for the button. Slip stich back into the chain and now sc in each chain until the end. Fasten off. Leave a long tail as you can use this to thread the button on to the necklace. Using adhesive or ICE RESIN®, adhere the flat shell to the center of the shell and onto the crocheted middle.
Choice 2 – Attach chain to metal bezel with jump ring.
Chantal Johnson lives in Rowlett, Texas and is married to Scott. They have three children, 3 dogs and 6 sweet little hens. Her work has been published in Somerset Studio, Somerset Home, Sew Somerset, Apronology, Haute Handbags, Belle Armoire and Green Craft. She is currently on the ICE Resin® 2015 Design Team. For teaching engagements, you may contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her blog at chantaljohnson.blogspot.com or become her friend on Facebook to see her latest inspirations and see the joy in daily living.
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