A lenient twist on the "item a day" craft challenge

The "item a day" craft challenge has always intrigued me. But it's a huge commitment! Lots of crafters have work, families, and other obligations that may prevent them from crafting every single day. So I decided to see if I could make 7 things a week. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 40: Hammer Time!

Only 12 more weeks to go!  It seems impossible to me that I've managed to get this far.  And while I haven't been all that great at blog updating, I've been sticking to the crafting portion just fine!  As another treat to myself to get thought this crazy busy month, I've decided to break out some of my metalworking tools and go to town!  nothing helps relieve frustration better than being able to (productively) hit things with hammers. : )

Copper and Amazonite Earrings
These earring were made with little bits of copper tube from Lowes that I threaded onto a knitting needle and hammered. I really like hand hammered texture, and I'm glad I finally found a way to incorporate it into projects with dimensional elements instead of just hitting sheet metal.  Which is super fun too.
The picture isn't the greatest, but I splayed the ends of this copper bar to keep these cool ocean jasper beads from falling off.  I really like "paddle pins" and this was a fun way to use a higher gauge of copper wire without having to loop the ends.
Thunder and Lightning Earrings
These are hands down my favorite project of the week.  Growing up, a lot of girls I knew wanted to be Rainbow Brite.  I wanted to be Stormy!  I  love thunderstorms, and this was a fun way to incorporate that into my jewelry!  I hand cut the shapes from sheet metal (32 ga I believe), then hammered them, torched them to get the nice chocolate patina, and polished the heck out of them to make the texture really pop.
Fun with ring blanks!  I've had this package of aluminum ring blanks forever, and haven't quite been able to figure out what to do with them.  It was my first attempt using these ring blanks, and as such this ring didn't turn out perfect but it doesn't totally suck either.   The ring band is hand hammered, and then I threaded an amethyst bead on an eyepin and attached it to the shank.
Hand Hammered Copper and Quartz Pendant
I love copper pipes!  This is a fun stacked pendant using three different sizes of copper pipes from Lowes.  I hammered the edges to give them texture, then drilled holes in the top of each piece with my dremel.  finally, a quartz bead on a headpin attached the whole thing together.  This necklace is cool, and I imagine that as it patinas with age it'll get even cooler!

Hand Hammered Aquamarine Bracelet
To go with the ring blanks I mentioned above, I also got a package of aluminum bracelet blanks.  This project turned out much better than the ring did.  I hammered the blank to give it texture, then formed it on an old pill bottle.  (Note to self, pick up bracelet mandrel...).  From there I punched holes and wire wrapped some raw aquamarine chips onto the cuff.  I really think that the ruggedness of the chips fits the bracelet well.  I don't wear bracelets, but I'm going to have a hard time letting this guy go!
Hand Hammered Copper and Agate Necklace
The storm earrings just barely edged this guy out for "favorite of the week".    I traced the agate slice onto sheet metal, then cut around the shape in an abstract, free-form sort of style.  Then I hammered that bad boy for texture, punched holes around the stone and wired it in place.  Once I realized that I could fit some quartz square tube beads in between the stitches to make a kind of stone bezel setting I was all over it.  this is one of those rare perfect projects that turns out better in reality than I pictured it in my head.  It was exactly the pick me up that I needed!
All in all, hammering a bunch of items really did help relieve some of the pent up frustration from the past week.  It's nice to take something tense and transmute it into something productive.  Hurray for creativity, keeping me from hammering people since 1995!

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