Skip to main content

August Design Challenge-Art Headpins!

This was definitely a challenge for me... I have just recently joined the Art Jewelry Elements group and thought I would sit this art headpin challenge out. Then after returning home from a quick trip to visit relatives I figured I should just go ahead and jump right in. 
Well...I didn't have time to order some of the lovely glass or ceramic headpins that some of my fellow AJE members create so I decide to just make my own.
So what do I make? How about polymer clay?  I haven't played with it in years, but what the heck, let's try it.  When I went to my stash the only colors I happen to have are black and purple. Hmmm-Ok, I can make it work.  Used a bit of Pearl-Ex powders on the clay before cooking and here they are.
Polymer clay headpins
 I thought it was too much Pearl Ex, so I sanded them. Then they were too blah, so I added dabs of gold ink here and there. (sorry I forgot to take photos after the sanding and dabbing of ink)
I attempted to go for something fun & funky and a little bit out of my comfort zone. I used a copper pipe (with patina added) to hold my tassels made of strips of sari fabric. I used several lengths of chain mixed in with the sari strips and dangled the polymer headpins from the chain, but first I threaded a mix of metal and ceramic beads on the headpins. Sorry these photo are not doing the headpins justice. They really aren't that black. They have splashes of purple and gold.
Close up of chains and dangling headpins

Silk sari tassel pendant
With so much going on in the pendant itself I decided to keep it simple & just hang it from 2 pieces of soft black leather. The colors have a kind of Mardi Gras look to it.
Funky tassel necklace

Not completely happy with just the polymer clay headpins I turned to my wire. I curled and hammered and then when I went to give them a nice patina with my liver of sulphur IT DID NOT WORK! It was the powdered form and it is quite a few years old. I tried doubling the amount-nothing. So I used heat to give a little color to my wire and then used a patina for metal to give some of them a blue/green color.
Here's my collection of brass & copper spiral, twirly headpins.

Copper & brass wire headpins
 And here is what I did with them. The headpins didn't turn out to be the stars of the show but I do like how they enhance the project.
Spiral headpin with patina added
Especially when I decided to pull out the wire to create a little basket to hold a piece of beach glass and brain coral in. This little spiral headpin with the patina gives just the right amount of color.
Woven wire basket with headpin attached
I added a necklace made with chain and recycled glass beads as well as some Czech glass beads.

Woven wire necklace
Since my true love is bead embroidery I just had to come up with something that I could incorporate a headpin with.

Close-up of twirly headpin
Close-up of beaded ceramic face
I used a ceramic face cabochon I made years ago when I used to play with stoneware clay and beaded around it. I paired the beaded head with some copper discs (etched & domed slightly) with a blue/greenish patina added. Used regular old copper balled headpins to connect the discs to each other and the beaded piece. Then used a swirly headpin with metal bead to dangle from the bottom.
I hung it from a piece of copper wire that I flattened in areas. Again, no liver of sulphur meant I had to try and patina with heat. I added some matte amazonite beads and a clasp to finish.
Mixed media necklace
Creating this piece using the bead embroidered cab along with metals and wires really made me rethink my whole jewelry making process. I have been so focused on bead embroidery that I forgot how much I love metals.
close-up of copper headpin
So I had to start another pendant that incorporates another wire headpin.
It isn't finished YET. I will do another piece of bead embroidery to hang the metal pendant from.
This is a piece of brass, flooded with solder and embedded with a brass filigree flower and a metal ring around it. I threaded an African opal bead, turquoise fetish bird bead & metal beads onto the spiral headpin. I believe I have a stone cabochon that will be perfect to pair with this. Stay tuned for the finished piece.

And finally I made a pair of earrings just because I needed another pair.
I did take the quick and easy way out and used store bought ear wires for photographing. I will probably go back and make my own ear wires so that they will look more cohesive.
Etched brass earrings with brass spiral headpins
The earrings were made with etched brass. Metal and glass beads were threaded onto the brass spiral headpins.

I can't wait to go blog hopping to see what wonderful things the other AJE team members and reader participants have created.
Here they are if you want to check them out:

Guests :

Alison Herrington 
AJE Team:

Until next time...Live your life creatively~


Karin G said…
Wow, you ended up with so many fantastic designs, I love all of them, I'm quite partial to the embroidered piece though. I love how you combine glass, metal, fiber in your jewelry.
Laney said…
Wish I had more talent with mixed media pieces, I just don't have the gift but you do!! love the wire head pins, I think they have worked well ;)
Bijoux Gems Joy said…
For someone who was going to sit out this month you sure were busy! So many designs, and so many that I like. I think my favourite though is the first one with the creative use of copper piping for the bail of the tassel. That's neat.
Jenny said…
Clay! Metal! polymer! Good grief woman! Is there nothing you can't do! Love it. The patina on the one headpin really accentuated the sea glass color! The hassle is so fun - Id hang it up. I mean that as a compliment.

And the beaded plus metal piece. One of my desires of the last year or so is to integrate bead embroidery and metal. We shall continue to talk!

Caroline said…
Wow! That bead embroidery piece is stunning! Love your all your work :D
Wow, so beautiful! I really like the mixed media necklace and the sari silk pendant is so great.
Saraccino said…
You definitely should create more metal work! They all look great especially with the patina! :)
Wow! Wow! Wow! I loved the first part with the sari silk , the colors are fabulous the last picture really does show the head pins off! I loved your swirly whirly head pins that you made! Glad you played along, welcome, and I can't wait to see more!
Tammy Adams said…
Your polymer clay beads have an awesome organic finish and they go so perfectly with the sari silk design. The metal headpins are fun and your designs with them are great. I especially like the looooong focal on that necklace.
Lindsay said…
I am so glad that someone went wild with wire headpins! They're within reach for most beader's, but sometimes overlooked because of that. I think all of your designs elevated "simple" wire headpins to the next level!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thank you to everyone! I am so glad I jumped in and did this challenge. It is always a learning experience to do something like this. It also gets the creative juices flowing. So I now have tons of ideas for more work, especially with art headpins!
Geez! For someone who was going to sit out this challenge, you really did some overachieving here. I love everything LOVE!!! Fantastic job, and welcome to the team. We are so thrilled to have you.
Niky Sayers said…
Oh my! First off I love every thing you created, such amazing designs but oh how I adore your bead embroidery piece! It's every thing I love about Art Jewellery all in one piece. Just speechless!
Deb Fortin said…
Love all of these . for someone who was going to sit this one out you went gangbusters to create a whole stash of headpins. I make spiral ones all the time and to me they seem plain but never did I think to add patina . that makes all the difference. I adore that tassel. I have a stash of sari silk like yours with unfinished edges and little idea how to incorporate it. Now i have ideas, so glad you played along .
Kathy Lindemer said…
You made a lot of really wonderful pieces. Lots of creativity and skills!
Diana P. said…
You went all out! I'm super inspired by that bead embroidery piece now!
Wow such inspiration! Excellent pieces, but I am drawn to the embroidery one too. Great job!
Lesley said…
What a fantastic com debut Cathy - not a thing here that doesn't please and intrigue me. I love the basket piece and now have try that technique myself! Your wire headpins are great too - sometimes it's the supporting cast that really allow the stars to shine!
fulgorine said…
I love the sea glass necklace - it looks like something a mermaid would wear.
SueBeads said…
Well, for not thinking you had time to make anything, you sure did an awesome job! Love that cage!
I really like your nature inspired designs. The wire wrapped beach glass is my favorite.

Popular posts from this blog

Component of the Month Design Challenge

Over at Art Elements Caroline created the most beautiful starry bead sets for August's Component of the Month Design Challenge.
Below is the bed set that I received. The photo doesn't do them justice. The lustrous finish is just gorgeous and those stars on the central bead are brilliant.

I received these beads while I was working on a tuturial for etching brass bullet casings (you can see the dirty fingers in the above photo). As soon as my bullets were etched I knew the brass would look really good with these beads!
So I created a tassel of brass chains and seed beads to dangle from the bullet shell then added the starry bead at the top.
Once I create a pendant whether it's bead embroidered or a tassel type pendant, I am always torn about how to finish the necklace portion off... Of course I knew I would use the other 2 beads but I didn't know whether to use chain or more beads or leather etc etc etc.... Too many choices.
I ended up creating just a short beaded porti…

Art Elements Component of the Month for April

Over at Art Elements Jen hosted the Component of the Month for April. She is a glass artist and made some amazing lampwork glass beads with texture. I just love the colors especially when the light hits it. She said she had the 'northern lights in mind' when she created these beauties.
She planted the 'northern lights' in my mind as well. Immediately I thought about freeform peyote and creating some sort of movement of light and color streaking through the sky. I have to confess I do a LOT of bead embroidery and some peyote bezeling BUT I don't do a lot of bead weaving. But I thought this was my chance to do some practicing!
I attempted to created lots of movement/texture with the beading. I left some open spaces and also created lots of waving/rippling with changing up the bead size periodically. AND I had no idea what I was doing. Just picking up beads and trying them out. I think it worked okay.
Once I got the slightly irregular piece beaded, I needed to figure …

May's Component of the Month

Over at Art Elements it was Lesley's turn to host the Component of the Month. She made these gorgeous ceramic cabochons and pendants with the impression of a cross section of a shell. Just love the earthy look and shells are one of my favorite things!
I failed to take a photo of the one I received but as you can see from the photo below it was one of the cabochons with the darker glaze with the touches of green pooling in areas--yummy!
I knew I wanted to pair it with either more shells, or rocks that would keep it beachy yet earthy.
Out of the millions of sea shells I have I could not find ONE that looked good with these darker shades in the glaze. I also wanted to enhance the circular shapes by using round shells. I tried several different colors of snail shells-nope didn't look right. Tried some pebbles but they were too black and too blah. So I found this fossilized coral cabochon in my stash and decided to use it.
It wasn't circular but the starburst effects in the c…