One-a-Week Three: Wrap-up

For the full play by play, there are more complete notes over at Flickr in the Week Three photoset. Click on thumbnails below, or if you just want the overview check out the slideshow.

In summation:

Challenge: Create a piece of jewelry inspired by the word ‘grow’ or ‘decay.’

Bonus Challenge: Create two pieces, one for each word which somehow form a set.

Materials used:

  • copper sheet
  • vintage chain
  • pinbacks

Tools used:

  • sketchbook/paper/pencils/pen/lightbox/glue
  • scissors / X-acto
  • computer / Photoshop/printer
  • saw / sawframe / beeswax
  • steel bench block / rawhide mallet
  • round, half round, and flat files
  • dremel/drill bits/polishing-finishing bits
  • pliers
  • E900 adhesive

Things I learned:

  • 3pm is a bad deadline if I want to upload photos during the day AND eat lunch. Next weeks deadline 5pm.
  • while my sawing skills are rusty, they are much better than I expected (my arms are sure sore though 🙂 )
  • starting work earlier does allow more time to refine the idea, however it is still likely that I will still run overtime

Things I did poorly:

  • unreasonable expectations of how much time the final steps would take
  • Liver of Sulphur patina totally bombed (got to figure that out! I’ve used it before and had it work…)
  • went one and a half hours over deadline
  • pin backs aren’t positioned well (I may go back and reposition them or use some different ones that wouldn’t show through the piercing

Things I think I did well:

  • narrowed down my idea to just one concept
  • tried a totally new idea using long rusty skills
  • started doing real hands-on work earlier in week
  • spent far more time on the actual execution than in past weeks
  • adapted concept well to materials and tools available
  • made a quick decision to go with a heat patina when the L of S didn’t work
  • accepted that there wasn’t enough time to re-attach the pin backs

Evaluation of final piece:

  • wearable?: yes, though the pin backs should be re-positioned. They are awkward to close and the center of gravity isn’t well supported
  • durable?: yes
  • visual appeal?: I’m very happy with it. I could definitely see playing around with this idea some more!
  • concept? It came together as I intended. Whether or not the inspiration of ‘grow’ and ‘decay’ comes across or not, I don’t know. They are intentionally abstract, and I think if the design is explained it makes sense. ANY INPUT ON THIS POINT WOULD BE WELCOMED!

Annie’s going to sit this next week out. Is anyone else tempted to join in?

Stay tuned….week four challenge tomorrow.

For more on the challenge, see this weeks photoset
or all the One-a-Week Three posts here

Leave a comment


  1. I love this design! I myself am a big fan of base metals so of course I like that choice. Was the liver of sulfer old? I know it won’t work if it’s been around too long and it works better if it’s hot. I like the pointy/soft paisley fern idea and I love the connection. At one point I was thinking of doing a necklace with the same kind of chain idea, but now you beat me to it!

  2. Yes, it’s possible the LoS was old, although how old is old? This is the only bottle I’ve ever used. It could also be that I didn’t get the pieces hot enough, since I just popped them in the oven. My partner suggested that, copper being copper, it might have cooled down too much carrying it between the kitchen and my work area where the LoS was. I do want to try and figure it out under less time-restricted conditions! 🙂

    I’d like to see your necklace idea. We have such a great history and tradition and variations on a theme is one of my favorite things about it!

    Any chance you’ll take up the challenge for week four?

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Your recent posts are knocking my socks off… really. This piece is gorgeous, and I love that you document your whole process here.

  4. Thanks susan!

    It’s really been quite a whirlwind, especially compared to the meager posts the previous six months.

    Any chance you’ll be able to squeeze one challenge in? My documentation is a bit over the top, so don’t feel you have to do all that. I kind of feel like this is my really wordy way of getting at what you do so eloquently with your Original Intent series:)



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