i have spent a couple of weeks cleaning and reorganizing my studio, getting rid of things that after years i have not used, but will in a week or month or so i will find a use for....as always.
my studio still needs some work done, but i have enough room to work and this arty girl is starting to find her oh-so-lost mojo again.
since easter is around the corner i figured what better project to start off with than one that has a bunny.
about a year ago while wandering the bead section of a local artsy fartsy store i came across the beads for this project and knew exactly what i was going to do with them. one set of beads have flowers printed on them...the other remind me of heads of lettuce or cabbage.
i needed this guy (and his twin) for the necklaces....... because this is one of those make one to sell and one for meeeee kind of pieces. these bunnies have been part of our easter decorations for about 20 years.
even though the bunnies are 20 years old, they did not look old enough so i aged them with a bit of sanding and......
how about that chippy neon pink polish i am sporting....huh? every time i would look down at my nails it would about blind me!
i using a sponge brush i rubbed a bit of this over the bunnies....
the top bunny has been aged with the distress ink, and the bottom one....not yet.
later today i will spray a bit of clear coat on it to seal the distress ink.
the next few steps were very tedious.....i cut 60+ 4" pieces of 18 gauge steel wire.
there are 2 very important tools, besides the clippers, for this job.....
i love my nitrile gloves. they help keep my hands clean....er, and keep me from getting poked by the wire. after a messy job like this i give them a good washing with some dish soap and ring them out.
my safety glasses with built in bi-focals. this arty girl will be 47 this april, and even though i feel like i could be my 21 year old daughters twin sister, my eyes and their abililty to focus on objects within arms length would beg to differ.
i use to wear my safety glasses all willy nilly until a few years ago when cutting the tip off of a large sewing needle, about the size of 18 gauge wire, the chunk hit me dead center in my eyeball. yipes! i kept looking at my eyeball all evening expecting to find the chunk imbedded in my eyeball...several hours later i found the quarter inch piece in the lower part of my eye lid. it took over an hour to get it out of my eye....believe it or not, it is much easier to get an eyelash out of the ole eyeball than a chunk of a needle.
i now wear my safety glasses 99 % of the time and usually won't even cut a piece of paper without them on.
so after cutting these 60 pieces, which takes some muscle let me tell ya, i then began sanding off the annealing.
i have found that the easiest method for this is to sandwich the wire between 2 sanding blocks.
i use the super cheapies from harbor freight.
below you can see the difference. i love the aged look the annealing gives, but it rubs off and it is icky, so if i want to age and darken the steel i rub a bit of novacan black patina on it...which i do not have a picture of. you can buy it at shops that sell stain glass and soldering schtuff.
thank goodness i have a tiny t.v. from the dark ages in my studio. it gave me something to watch while i undertook this boring task. i am too antsy to sit for too very long doing something like this. even while engrossed in a movie i had seen a dozen times before.....eagle eye....i still had to get up and fidget in my studio every 15 or 20 pieces.
by the time i was done with this my shoulders and hands were in cramps, so i decided it was a good time to join the peeps upstairs for the evening....and if i began to feel a bit guilty, all i had to do was remind myself that my nitrile glubs were-a-drying and i had to wait for them to dry for the next task anyway.
the next task will be to apply a coating of this stuff.....
this will seal the steel and help prevent rusting in case it comes in contact with water. i have not had much experience with this stuff, just under a year of working with it, but many artists that work with steel use it and swear by it.
i am hoping by later today i will have completed this step and be well on my way wire wrapping the beads and assembling this piece.
you will have to excuse the blurry-ness of this photo, but it is a bit of a peek of what is to come.
i am still not sure of how the bunny will connect to the necklace.
and i am ending this post with a pat on my back, because the beast (meniere's disease vertigo) has been kicking my butt big and bad...i spent two days in bed because i was unable to walk....i was able to do all of this while my world was still spinning and tilting. i am able to walk at this point, but i kinda look like a drunk trying to walk on a waterbed, and my hands sometimes forget they are attached to my body and i drop things.....alot....which makes the whole entire process of creating slow going at times. my fear of becoming an invalid from this disease has given me the strength and determination to push myself beyond what i thought i could do. i am pretty darn proud of myself.
with that said, and my back patted, i hope to be able to post later this evening with photos of what i have completed.