June 12, 2009

Rings & Things Product Playtime: Copper

Well, last month was SO busy getting ready for the Bead & Button Show, I never got to blog about the new product samples I got from Rings and Things for March. I just never got a chance to get to my bead studio to work, as I was busy in production with clay and glaze. So I am a month late. heh. I was able to play with last month's items during the show and make things, but I need to put the finishing touches on them and photograph them.

This month, I got the opportunity to choose some new things to play with from the Rings & Things site! ooh it was hard to decide what to get, let me tell you! But I decided I wanted to challenge myself, and do something totally new, and totally experimental. It's not often that I can play and just have fun with a new material, working with it without fear. I love to be able to do this, really... playing and pushing the limits of the material to really try to understand it.

So I chose Copper as the material to work with. R&T has all of these neat copper blanks in basic shapes, and I chose circles and dogtags to work with. I plan to play with them by hammering, stamping, setting them on FIRE!, melting enamel, and applying patina. Among other things, I am sure... hopefully my first ideas will lead to other ideas to try! I am sure I will end up with some fugly, wonky, charred pieces of copper at the end. *laugh* That's a great way to learn, though, and I am giving myself permission to be creative through potential destruction! *evil plotting grin*

I also received a new tool to help me out: a metal punch, shown below with Russ the Troll bead, the mascot bead of Rings & Things! He will be following me around the studio and getting into beady adventures with me, so keep an eye out for him again in the future!
In other news, on the agenda this weekend is the Royal Oak Clay, Glass, and Metal Art Fair, which I will be attending tomorrow morning. I have been asked to do the onsite jurying this year again. Time to get out the sunscreen and see some great art! On Sunday, there will be big changes over here at the home and studio... my brother Jeremy, who is also a ceramic artist, will be moving in with me! It is very exciting, but a ton of work moving, and a big change! whew! Lots to do.. I will blog again soon, when things settle down a little bit...


  1. I am hoping to order some stuff from you, when will you re-open your Etsy shop?? I have a few specific items in mind. Let me know


  2. Marie, I probably won't reopen the etsy shop until next week. I have to go through my stock from the Bead & Button Show because I sold a lot of stuff from the etsy shop there.

    You can email me with etsy specifics at earthenwood@gmail.com or order from the website at www.earthenwoodstudio.com

  3. Such fun finds! I took a class at Bead & Button you would totally love. I just sent Heather the post about it for Art Bead Scene. Sawing and stamping and riveting and patina-ing...oh my! I look forward to seeing what you do with all these fun things...my Russ Troll is on an adventure with me this weekend...Enjoy the day! Erin

  4. Wow, those blanks are making me drool! I can't wait to order some for myself. I'm really thinking I'm going to put together some sort of etching thing in the garage. My brain is bursting with images to use!

    Good luck with your new fun stuff!!

  5. Wow, great selection from Rings & Things!! I can't wait to see your creative experimentation. I must tell you it makes me feel better to hear someone with such talent and experience needing to push herself to get brave with new materials! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Good call getting those copper blanks, Melanie! You can do so much with them -- and copper is hot stuff. My favorite metal to wear...


  7. That does look interesting to play with! Copper is gorgeous, and I want to use in more in my pieces (I particularly like it with Unakite).

    I've got to get myself into that blogger program sometime. :D

  8. I do so love copper! I was just working with it today... it makes such lovely colours when you use it with a torch. I'm looking forward to seeing the types of patinas you use yourself!

  9. You've probably already seen it/know about it, but EstyMetal blog had a really cool article on how to etch copper and brass with ferric chloride. Stuff turned out so cool. And you've probably already seen this/know about this too--patina recipes for copper and brass on JewelryLessons: http://www.jewelrylessons.com/node/6697. Trippy, very cool effects.