Saturday, March 21, 2009

Remember the little things - how it was done!

Thought I'd share with you how I made the "remember the little things" bracelet.

It all started with an idea to do a story-type bracelet. I had this idea a year or so ago but had never figured out anything more than that. After I did the animal and bird tracks bracelets, I decided that using that style would work.

The idea was that I would take 9 drawings/illustrations, make photo polymer plates (PPPs) from them, then use these plates to make the squares for the bracelet and voila!! Easy!!!!

I really can't draw so getting the illustrations was the first trick. I put a request in on Alchemy on Etsy for someone to do some drawings for me. I ended up choosing two artists. The one for this bracelet was Deanna Maree from NSW Australia. I'll do the other bracelet one day in the not too distant future so then you can see that....

I found it to be an interesting process to come up with an idea for the bracelet that was more story-like in that it took 9 squares to tell it, instead of the usual one image with a necklace. I decided on the "little things" and then told Deanna my thoughts and ideas.

Deanna was great. We worked back and forth quite a lot. Her illustrations are lovely but we had some tricky times with the fineness of the lines. First of all, getting fine lines to show well enough on the PPP's was difficult - but then I found that some style of illustrations didn't really show up well when in the silver. I found that telling a story in silver needs bold simple lines and in the end, I took Deanna drawings and adapted them to make them work for the silver, changing the bird, and a few other things. It was a learning process for both of us but good to work with another artist. She subsequently made her drawings into a collection of cards.

The drawings were then transferred onto transparencies and I created photo polymer plates which were then used to make the 9 front squares of the bracelet in metal clay. Once dry, I used little straws as spacers on the back to attach the back part of silver. These spacers make the 'track' so that I can link all the squares all together.

I then decided to name each square with what it represents so made PPPs for the words too and added these to the back.

Each square was sanded, popped into the kiln for 2 hours, more sanding and polishing, assembled and you have the bracelet!

In reality, the drawing part of this took a long time to figure and decide on and the rest what pretty quick.


Sue said...

Thanks for sharing the story behind this piece. You have really outdone yourself this time! Have you tried etching using pnp transfer paper instead of ppp's? You can get very fine lines this way. I'd be happy to do a demo for you sometime if you're interested. Keep up the marvelous work!

Ruth said...

Yeah, I keep reading the posts on yahoo about etching. Maybe we should arrange a play day. I'd love to see the process. Love your new line of spring fruit and flowers!

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

I love this bracelet!
I've awarded you an honest scrap award for your blog at


Beaded Zen said...

What a great backstory and alot of work. The braclet is amazing with the simple lines.

How nice that you found someone thru Etsy's Alchemy to work with. I never would have thought of using Alchemy that way. Hmm. What possibilities!

Thank you