Several years ago, when I first started thinking about selling my handmade jewelry online, the first thing I did was search for "jewelry making." And the first thing I found was a lovely online forum where jewelry designers were chatting about their projects and plans, asking questions and offering advice, and sharing photos of their work.
After several weeks of lurking, I took my heart in my hand and joined that group. And before I knew it, I found myself a welcome (and contributing) member of a circle of jewelry making friends. These wonderful people soon became "family," and it was through them that I found my way to Etsy - where Rough Magic Creations was born. That lovely online platform has since fallen victim to the ever evolving cybersphere, but the "forum family" has held together through an active social media group, and we have continued our tradition of semi-annual swaps.
This spring a group of jewelry designers, friends who met on a now inactive online forum, organized a themed swap called "Sprummer" - a combination of Spring and Summer, with each participant contributing five pieces to be sent to five other participants. For my part, I decided to create a brand new design - a rustic, primitive copper flower pendant on a leather cord.
First I drew very rough sketches of three flowers in graduated sizes, which my husband Joe used as templates for cutting the components for the pendant from a repurposed sheet of industrial copper. I then made another sketch, again very rough, of the assembled piece as I envisioned it.
After hammering the three pieces for texture and a slightly concave shape, I punched holes in the centers, removed any burrs or rough edges, and tumbled the pieces until they were smooth and shiny.
The next step was treating them to a color enhancing flame bath, after which I stacked them and ran sturdy 12 gauge head pins through the holes to secure the pieces. The ends of the pins, folded upward and brought forward though holes in the larger flowers, formed bails.
For the 18 inch long necklace cords, I chose natural tan leather, wire wrapped at both ends and closing with my own hammered copper hook and eye clasps.
When this new design was finished, I liked it so much I made another one - just for me! And one day soon, I'll be adding these made-to-order necklaces in my Etsy shop.
A few days after putting my 5 pieces in the mail, I received five wonderful items myself, each one a lovely surprise - handmade by a special jewelry making friend.
Thank you very much, Mollie. See you all next week!