Sunday, May 3, 2009

OUCH! I Guess I Don't Really Need That Finger Anyway...

So I'm teaching myself cold connecting with rivets. I have some great books that illustrate the process (Susan Lenart Kazmer has a FANTASTIC book illustrating all the ways to cold connect), yet I continually go it alone. Why is it that sometimes you just have to figure things out on your own, even when you have great information at your fingertips? I find that I work this way often. Not sure if I'm just too stubborn or impatient to open a book first, or if this is just part of my "creative process". At any rate, my fingers bear the brunt of my self-taught "lessons". My left hand in particular, the hand I use to hold the teeny-tiny elements I am attempting to rivet together with a steel riveting hammer held firmly in my right hand. I've whacked the crap out of my fingers. Sigh, there goes my career as a hand model.

That being said, I love riveting. It is very easy once you have the right tools, and you practice a bit. I got my rivet hammers from Burnt Offerings Jewelry and Adornment. FANTASTIC mixed media artists, and they have great tools and supplies. VISIT THEM!

Here is my first cold connected bracelet. I made it using copper disks colored with patinas, layered with hammered copper washers riveted with sterling silver wire. I connected each disk "sandwich" with black rubber "O" rings. This took forever, I was learning as I went along, and I have to say that I was quite proud of myself when I finished. Now I know I can rivet with much more confidence and I'm already working on new designs.

So, don't be afraid to try something new--even if you don't think you have the perfect skills. Of course, don't be totally stupid--I'm not suggesting anyone teach themselves how to use a blowtorch! But, don't be afraid to pick up a hammer, or a book for that matter, and teach yourself something. Remember, Band-Aids come in the cutest colors and patterns now-a-days!

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