One of my goals for 2019 is to post more blog entries, last year I spent my time working on my webpage to get it to match my brand and my personality. It was a lofty goal but I have the workings of a webpage and store. I also want my post to be relevant and entertaining to my readers. So when I saw Art Elements’s moon monthly challenge I had to give it a try with the hope that it would give the push I need.
I am so excited to participate in Art Elements‘ Moon Challenge. As soon as I heard about this months challenge I knew I wanted to make the moon element in metal and resin, with that in mind I created a necklace. The challenge reminded me of a time when my son was 4 years old. We were driving along at night and he asked me, “Why is that moon all cut up?” It was a crescent moon. He was at that age of figuring out the world around him. He always amazed me with his observations. My necklace is his cut-up moon, it is full of dreams and discover like his 4-year-old mind.
To create this pendant you will need:
- 28 gauge copper sheet
- copper bezel wire
- jewelry grade resin
- studio pro-lead-free solder
- moon clay cutter
- twice locking tweezers
- soldering board
- bits and pieces of embellishments
To get started you will:
Form your bezel:
I have a little trick I use in forming some of my bezel shapes, I use clay cutters from Hobby Lobby. I take my bezel wire and wrap the wire around the shape. Make sure your bezel wire end is cut straight with a flush cutter. Form the wire around the clay cutter and mark where the wire meets the first edge. Cut with the flush cutters to make the second cut straight. You will need to meet up both ends so they are aligned.
Attach the backplate:
Using the formed moon bezel as measurement cut the copper sheet to fit the moon shape. You will want to leave enough room on the plate to add a bail or any dangles you might want.
Once you have your backplate cut you will want to sand the copper to remove any oil from your fingers. Scrub after with a green scrubby to remove any debris from sanding. Dry completely and brush on a light layer of flux. Flood the copper plate with the solder covering the plate. I use my torch to melt the solder onto the back plate, be careful to not overheat.
Once the plate is covered with solder, clean with soap and water and brush on a light layer of flux covering the plate and the moon shaped bezel wire. Using your torch quickly heat up solder until your moon bezel wire is attached. Make sure your edges of the bezel wire are lined up. You will have to use the tweezers to make sure the moon is in the place you want on the backplate. Scrub the piece with soap and water to remove flux. If you want to adjust the size of the backplate you can saw or trim away what you want.
After you have cut or sawed out your moon brush on a patina to give an aged look.
For this step, you will have to play with bits and pieces of embellishments to the inside of your bezel. I’ll use some kind of ephemera for the back of the plate. Sometimes I make my own collage of papers as I did here. I also like to add a bit of bling (I’m a Texas girl after all). I also made the little stars that dangle. from the bottom.
Mixing and pouring of the resin:
I am excited about this next part because I am trying out a new resin. This resin can be cured in the oven for an hour at 170 degrees. Mix your resin according to its manufacturer instructions. To help pop any bubbles I will hold a lighter stick above my piece until all bubbles are gone. Once the resin is completely cured you can attach a chain. I like making what I call a “junk chain” with bits of different chain and beads for my resin pendants. It has been a while since I’ve done a resin pendant from scratch since I mainly work with sterling silver now. I had a lot of fun working through the process. The new resin made it enjoyable because it is almost instant gratification, no need to wait till the next day for your resin to cure.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s moon challenge and learned something new! Stay tuned for more challenges.
Be sure and check out the other moon challenge from these some incredible talented artist. Click on their names below to be directed to their webpage.