Posts Tagged flame patination

52 earrings: #34 Bright Arrow

#34 Bright Arrow


This was a 16-strand kumihimo pattern where I had the marudai instructions but did it on a disc. It has little arrows in white, yellow, orange and russet brown, surrounded in blue. I wire-wrapped the earrings in flame-patinated copper and the earrings were darkened with liver of sulphur and then tumbled.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 33 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #27 OctoKumi

And here are the next pair of kumihimo earrings! These are the octagonal braid and I put all sorts of beads on the tassel ends.

#27 OctoKumi


There’s a little lampwork spacer hiding in there on each earring, along with Czech crystal, wooden rondelles, acrylic beads, crackled crystal and little seed beads in teal and brown. These are long but still comparatively light. The tops are wire-wrapped in the end of my flame patinated copper.


52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 26 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #26 Urda Kumihimo

This week’s earrings use a flat kumihimo braid and more wire-wrapping.

#26 Urda Kumihimo


They’re quite long! I flame patinated the rest of my thin wire for the wire-wrapping and did a chaos-type wrap around the knots. I added a pair of dyed blue riban jasper coins that matched the colours well.


52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 25 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #24 Woven Around

A lot of my friends are doing kumihimo at the moment, there was a full kit on sale a few months ago… I’m sure you can guess the rest. Kumihimo is rather addictive and I can do it in my lunch breaks. (It takes me back to the knotted friendship bracelets I used to make when I was a teenager, too). I made a few long braids, then decided that the pattern on this one would look good in short earring-length pieces.

#24 Woven Around


So I made the braids, wrapped up the top ends in thread so that they couldn’t come undone, then added the copper wire-wrapping. Which should have been simple, but I will now have to digress into the evils of anti-tarnish coated wire…

I said I was going to patinate last week’s earrings with liver of sulphur. I have the gel variety, followed the instructions and put them in a little pot with warm water and a few drops of gel. So far so good. I put in some textured washers I’d made beforehand too. They sat in there for a while and I noticed that the earrings weren’t getting any darker, unlike the washers. I’d got this wire in a sample pack of different sizes: some of them are anti-tarnish, some aren’t, and they don’t say so on the packaging. I got everything back out, neutralised in bicarb solution and went looking for how you remove the coating. I tried attacking it with micromesh, steel wool, nail polish remover and had another go. This time I used much hotter water and got little bits of black, but only on the top side of the topmost wrap of wire. So my previous earrings are now backwards from the usual finish, where everything goes dark and then you polish back the highlights!

These earrings were made with the same wire and the copper was too bright for the braid, so I’d wanted to patinate these ones too. I’d been going to just paint the LoS on the surface of these, because I didn’t want to soak the cord in the solution in case it absorbed the smell. But after all the faffing about above I obviously wasn’t going to be able to get the effect I wanted this way!

Instead, I knew the coating burns off easily because I’ve seen that before when balling up wire, so I unwrapped all the wire, carefully went along straightening both pieces out with my pliers and then passed them through my torch flame in sections. The coating burns off quickly (and with a green flare) and at the same time the wire gets flame patinated and reannealed. I ended up with darkened varicolour wire that was easy to wrap back around my braids. Hooray! They will probably get darker still over time.


These are shown on my niobium earwires and I am wearing them right now. They’re nice and light for long earrings.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 23 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #19 Ghost of the Navigator

I’ve been gradually making these for at least two weeks now. The little skull beads are from my Pirate Treasure bonus from Elise Matthesen’s Beads of the Month club.


I’m going to put a lot of photos of these up because they were tricky to capture. They’re quite long and definitely statement rather than everyday earrings!

I wanted something suggesting a compass so I got two pairs of copper washers that I’d previously flame patinated and I made lines in them by hammering on a triangular file. (I had a look at astrolabes and sextants but they’re a bit complex).


I gathered together a small pile of sea-related beads. I have aqua glass, various seed beads in blue, green, coral, brown and gold, dyed salmon pink shell nuggets, peacock freshwater pearls, rhyolite nuggets and white/brown shells.


I used waxed linen cord from The Curious Bead Shop to do the knotting (Rebecca also has a selection of absolutely gorgeous Czech glass beads there). I also learned some nautical knots, because you can’t do navigator earrings using granny knots!

It took me an age to finish the first net because I wasn’t quite sure where I was going – I originally had it flat but it looked too sparse so I added some more spokes and kept going round until it formed a conical net.


I don’t usually take photos on slate because I get loads of reflections: I got this done early enough in the day that I could use sunlight instead of my daylight lamp and that made quite a difference in the result. Normally I take my pics after dark so can’t rely on that.


The second earring progressed much faster. I used a pair of copper earwires where I’d kept the ball ends dark from the heating and finished them off.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 18 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #15 Earth’s-Blood

#15 Earth’s-Blood


I flame patinated the copper discs to a dull bronze, then gave them a hammered texture and polished them partly back up. I left my ball-ended headpins and earwires with the dark shiny red they had after heating, just polishing up the straight section a bit. I dangled poppy jasper cubes in the centre of the discs and wire-wrapped little matte leopardskin jasper rounds into my connection. I originally had a jumpring there instead, but this looks much better.


(By the way, the intended emphasis of earth’s-blood is a bit like heart’s-ease. Less fraught than earth’s BLOOD).

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 14 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 (earring pairs) in 2013 challenge

It’s a new year, let’s get this blog restarted! I’ve got a bit stretched thin with various media, with some things here and others there… I should sort that out.

Anyway, there’s a plan in the works that should get me doing regular blog posts here.

Over on the Craft Pimp forum some of us are planning to do a 52 in 2013 challenge. The idea we’re borrowing is to make one pair of earrings per week, so 52 in the year. You don’t have to be making earrings to join in, though! Any small crafty project will do. (The original challenge was by Anke aHa and her flickr group is at

I will be making mine in small batches and then posting one a week, because I know that’s the way I work – some weeks I’ll definitely have other things that need doing or that I’m concentrating on. (And when I’m fired up about something, I don’t want to only make one!). I might end up with more than 52 by doing it this way: unless I get buried in earrings, that’s not really a downside :p

I think it’ll be a lot of fun and I’m going to come up with a bunch of different designs. I made some commission jewellery over Christmas and I want to make more, so this is also a good kick-start to that, but with the freedom that these designs don’t have to be perfect. I expect to end up with some that really don’t work, but the point is not to be stressed about that because next week there will be another. I think it’ll be good for me.

(I reserve the right to switch away from earrings to make something else if I get absolutely sick of them, but I’m thinking that’s not too likely – there’s a lot of scope in them for all kinds of techniques and materials).

I’ll be linking to some of the other people doing the challenge as we get going with it, so stay tuned!

Now, without more ado:

#1: Rainbow Bright


Another view, because they’re only as bright as the first pic in really bright direct light. The second pic is more representative.


Flame patinated (by me!) brass discs, brass earwires, copper dangles with faux turquoise beads.

I’ll be watching these to see how the patina changes over time. The discs and other components I patinated have been sitting about for a month since I did them without any appreciable difference. I haven’t coated them in anything – I do have some Renaissance wax, but wanted to see how they did on their own, because in my reading about flame patination some people say waxing darkens the colour and others don’t add any surface coatings. Since they won’t have much contact with the skin, they may well only change very gradually. Change is a feature with any patinated copper or brass, besides. (Wouldn’t they look pretty with verdigris on them?)

Other blogging participants!

Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

Week 1 thread on Craft Pimp.

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