Tuesday, July 8, 2008

handforged copper sea turtle pendant

I had my mind set to making a copper sea turtle a few days ago, I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to accomplish this but I was quite determined. I don't often use my jewelers saw, and mostly prefer to use metal shears on most of my designs that don't require cutting in the middle of the piece. I started with a general shape of the oval shell in the center rectangles at the head and tail and triangles for the four legs, I slowly carved my way through the copper with my files until the end result was quite pleasing. I stamped using my metal stamps and then domed the finished shell and head, slightly curved the legs as if she were swimming through a coral reef. Drilled one hole in her upper left leg for adding a bail. I will say I was extremely happy with how she turned out when finished and even happier when she sold within a few hours of listing her in my Etsy shop. Off to a good home I'm sure. I will soon try to make another only a bit smaller perhaps for my younger daughters. They fell in love with the sea turtles when we visited the aquarium in Chicago last fall.
The overall pendant is approx. 1 1/2" wide and 1 3/4" in length. I can't wait until we visit the aquarium again and find a new living species of inspiration to design my work upon.

I have also decided it is time for me to work on finishing more of my pendants and turning them into a finished necklace ready to be worn upon purchase. I have been rolling wire through my mill at different depths and using different gauge wires. I haven't actually used the rollers for wire as I haven't had the need or desire, but I'm sure as I continue making chains and gain more experience in this are I will be needing additional styles of wire. Included in the wire chain making is also my need for more detailed bails that have been made using larger 14 gauge copper wire rolled flat and then stamped for added detail.
The last photo is a necklace I made for my sister Kathy, I used mookaite gemstone beads, copper wire, (and one of my favorites as well as hers) and a beautiful Queen Anne's lace copper pendant made using a dried queen Anne's lace flower.

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