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!