Thursday, November 15, 2012

Artisan Whimsy Metal Prong Challenge

The Metal Team on Artisan Whimsy threw down a Metal Prong Challenge based on this tutorial by Staci Louise Smith. The tutorial was so well-written, and the pictures made it look so easy, I decided to give it a whirl. I love working with metal, but am still pretty new to metalsmithing, and this looked like something I could easily accomplish. Thank you, Staci and Francesca for the awesome tutorial and the challenge!

I am a cab collector, so I thought that finding a cab for this project would be fairly quick. NOT!! I fondled and looked over my cab collection for days, trying to decide where I would go with the future piece. I finally pulled out a few, cut out some 24g copper sheet in matching shapes, and gathered the rest of my tools and materials. Some copper rivets had come in the mail, and those were perfect! I then textured the shapes, and made a final decision on the design.

Soldering the rivets to the back of the shapes proved to be a bigger challenge than I anticipated. After 6 (yes, 6!!) tries, I finally got it to stick. Sixth time is the charm? Huh! I was ready to use my Gorilla Glue by the time I finally got it!  I then used some thinned gilders paste in Sandalwood to add a little color.

This is a two-part pendant, so I set the stone into the first one, and added the bail. I debated using some of Lisa Liddy's color patina here, but set it aside for a moment...

I then finished the second part, and made the necklace. I did use some of Lisa Liddy's patina --Fern Green--on top of the Gilder's Paste, and added a ceramic bead from Clay Genie, bought from Magpie Gemstones. I think I will work some more on the color...tomorrow!

Yeah, I got a little messy with the patina....

I played with another piece, to get my feet wet, and try out a couple of ideas that were in the back of my mind. I had some fun with this one, it is not finished and I don't know if it ever will be, but.....

The pink quartz owl also came from Magpie Gemstones, color from Lisa Liddy"s patina sampler. 

Thank you Francesca and Staci for this rewarding and challenging project. Check out the links below to see the gorgeous work of other participants.

The Beading Yogini,
Carolyn Dewison, Blue Berri Beads,
Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry,
Dawn Horner, Northern Adornments,
Gina Hockett, Freestyle Elements, are here!
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy,
Laura Medeiros.
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things,
Melissa Muir, Melissa Muir Jewelry,
Melinda Orr, Melinda Orr Designs,
Staci Louise Smith, Staci Louise Originals,
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame,
Jo Tinley, Daisy Chain Designs Jewellery,
Francesca Watson, Francesca Watson Designs,
Linda Younkman, Lindy’s Designs,


  1. hahahaha, Gina - gorilla glue! Actually, that's brilliant - I was going to resort to duct tape LOL

  2. Love the organic chunky quality to your pendants. Making a double pendant is super idea!!

  3. You did awesome!!!!!! Solder does take some practice, I have had plenty of time when it took me a million tries! You just need to learn where the hot part of your flame is, and what the solder looks like when it fully flows (I sometimes add a dab to the front so I can see when it flows). I am so happy you didn't give up. Love that you kept going, and that little owl and tree pendant is wonderful. Way to combine techniques for a truely original piece!

  4. PS_ there have been times I almost pulled out the glue too!!!! LOL!

  5. I Love these . The owl pendent is great !
    I guess learning to solder does make us come unglued !
    m.e. :)

  6. Not one, but two pronged pieces!? Nicely done!

    You did a fantastic job. StaciLouise is right, practice, practice, practice. I happen to be adhesively-challenged so soldering and cold connections are the only options for me!

  7. Gina, your work is beautiful. Both of them. We all learned so much, and grew as artists so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and some beautiful and thoughtfully creative work came from it. Alas, I actually did use glue! I have never had any luck with Gorilla Glue. It grows too much for my taste. I want it to stay where I put it and it just seems to have a mind of its own. Great job!


  8. Thank you for sharing the fits and starts along the way! I would love to do something like this but know that the soldering part would trip me up. I have done soldering but I don't have the right set up in my studio for that sort of thing so I know that would frustrate me. I would love to try this technique but without the soldering and see if I could make it work. Thank you for sharing your process! Enjoy the day. Erin

  9. WOOHOO! This turned out great. And sometimes it takes me 6 times to get things to go right too. You did a beautiful job. I love the fact that it is a two part pendant.


  10. Wow - taking on a challenge, plus a two piece pendant! The rustic combo of all these elements is great! I like how you set the stone, too. The horizontal use of it gives it a whole new purpose. (If you have a stash of stones like that, I can see why you had to take time to select which one got to come out and play!) Really cook design :)

  11. You did a wonderful job - I am quite amazed how many of us tried this for the first time. And we all seemed to have had tons of fun.

    I like your owl design too, with that 'tree' roots there, quite nice!

  12. Count me as a newbie, too :-) You did a great job, and I love the way the whole piece came together! I thought about gluing them in place just long enough to solder...

  13. Wow!!! Great work!

  14. I love your necklace. You did a great job!
    And the owl pendant is wonderful. You should finish it. Owls are the thing now.



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