June 23, 2010

Rings and Things Product Playtime: Steampunk Sampler

This Saturday, I am teaching a class for the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild.  The Steampunk Sampler is full of brass and mixed metal and gear and steamy themed porcelain.  I really wanted to create a class that used some very basic metalsmithing techniques without a lot of tools.  Hammering, drilling, coiling, jump ring work, mostly. And I have been wanting to experiment with miniature nuts and bolts, rivets, and eyelets, so I experimented with those and this sampler uses all three. I am really excited about the possibilities this opens up in my work and I can't wait to share these techniques with my bead guild friends this weekend!
I made this piece mainly in part from selection of raw brass gears and beads* I got a month or so ago from the fabulous folks at Rings and Things.  The raw brass gears and sprockets (which also come in copper!) were the main inspiration, because they are so versatile and could be drilled and riveted easily. The large holed brass spacer beads worked really well with the bolts, rivets, and eyelets, too.  I made use of the gears and game spinners from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology collection as well, which is also conveniently available through Rings and Things.  I just got my shipment of supplies from them this morning!

I took these pictures in the hotel room at Bead & Button, on the striped etched glass office desk.  They are kind of neat!  I made another really neat necklace at the show too, with the extra parts and some early experimenting for the class idea.  Maybe I'll show that one tomorrow.

 *FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program
Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. Melanie, this must have been as much fun to make as it is to look at it. Awesome photos too! Wish I had such a cool desk :)

    at Rings & Things

  2. Dave, it was great fun! And I can't wait to show more people how to do it in my class on Saturday!

  3. This is fabulous, and I can tell it would just be so much fun to make! Kits, Melanie, kits!!! Can you possibly put a kit or 2 together for your Etsy shop? Paypal cash, no waiting.......

  4. LOL, I like your enthusiasm IncorrigibleDee! After my class I am likely to have extra kits, so I will list them next week. Maybe I can do mini kits, too! And ready made components! I will have lots of extra parts. Hmmmm....

  5. Fun fun fun piece! Hope your class goes really well :-)

  6. Now I like YOUR enthusiasm! I will be watching your Etsy shop for the new listings! Thanks!