Thursday, November 12, 2015

In Praise of the Weird and Wonderful

This week's blog post was generously provided by Karla Rosenbusch of KarlaKraft on Etsy. Karla is one of our newer members on the Jetteam and we are happy to have her with us.
 
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Like most jewelry artists, I love pretty stones! Diamonds, rubies, sapphires — they’re all lovely. But they’re also expensive and can be very hard to work with, especially if you’re an amateur like me. So lately, I’ve found that I love working with more unusual non-traditional materials.

 


Since I enjoy creating with rivets and cold connections, I came up with a design for mounting stones in an “envelope.” I cut a perfect circle out of a square of metal with my disk cutter, dome around the circle with a dapping block, place my stone in the hole, and rivet another piece of metal to the back. Fairly easy and lots of fun! But I’ve also discovered that I can use the same technique for materials other than stones.

 

I found some wonderful glass cabochons with images inside — the Man in the Moon, a Ouija board, and other cool things. They make the most delightful pendants! I even got some large glass eyes from a taxidermist, but I haven’t used those yet. I’m really looking forward to playing with them

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I also found a source for “pool ball” cabochons. Yes, actual pool balls. I took one that was sliced to the right size, used the envelope technique, and made what became one of my all-time favorite pieces!

 
 


I also found some faces carved from buffalo bone from Bali and used those for my “Goddess” series of pendants — which have proved very popular! And I also discovered a source for “fossilized” tumbleweed. Yep, I did, in fact, say “tumbleweed.” It is dyed, pressed, and heated, turning it into a stone-like material. I’ve only made one pendant with the tumbleweed, but I really need to get more. I just love how it came out.


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But I’ve found other uses for unusual materials, as well. Since I’m someone who loves recycling, upcycling, and “green” things, I’ve been doing a lot with recycled aluminum cans. I’ve made a whole series of pendants using recycled beer, selzer, and soda cans — the more unusual, the better! I just cut a disk out of the can, dome it, and attach it to a piece of metal — usually a nice copper or brass disk. That’s how I made my “moose crossing” pendant, “polar bear” pendant, and so many other strange and wonderful pieces.

 



So even if you can’t afford (or aren’t interested in) traditional and “normal” stones, there’s a whole world of unique materials out there. Just find what intrigues you and play!


Karla
KarlaKraft

14 comments :

Jennifer said...

What fun! So many possibilities!!

Jean Sandell said...

Very cool!!!

Urban Pearl Studio said...

These all make me smile!!!
Thank you for sharing!

Mollie Ann said...

Oh, this is fabulous! I can't wait to see those eyes!!!

Michele said...

Recycling something into something else is very nice & unique!!!! Makes a great gift for the upcoming season!!!!

Thanks for sharing!!!!

SendingLoveGallery said...

creative treatment and very eco friendly! thanks Karla :)

LoveStoneArts said...

Love your designs Karla. I know that you will have lots of enthusiastic customers for your wonderfully weird creations. Clever you!!

Beadsme said...

Great designs Karla and wonderful way to upcycle.

cooljewelrydesign said...

Karla, going green never looked so good and evoked such whimsy. Great designs.

Brooke said...

These are all great! Thanks for sharing:)

Keystring said...

Such a creative idea! Love the idea of repurposing things!

WanderingJewel said...

Awesome pieces, great ways to create jewelry using unusual items!

mjsee said...

Love your cold connection technique. Lovely work!

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Love your jewelry Karla, you're so creative and talented!