Monday, July 27, 2009

Altered Findings

You want to put your unique stamp on everything you create, but maybe you aren't at the point where you can create your own findings or perhaps time is an issue. One great trick I learned is to alter commercial findings to make them your own. Here are two examples.

A few tools to have on hand:
wood dapping block and punches
ball peen hammer
small bench block
hole punch
screwdriver
1000 grit automotive sandpaper
pliers
The bracelet started with a blank brass pendant from Vintaj. I used a screw driver on the back side of the pendant and hammered away to create the dotty texture. Put the pendant on the bench block, place the point of the screwdriver on the back of metal, tap the top of the screwdriver with the hammer.
I then used the dapping black to give it a slight curve to fit comfortably on the wrist. With a quick swipe of the sandpaper, the dots are highlighted. I used the hole punch to create a hole on the other side of the pendant.
I repeated the steps to alter a moon pendant and dream charm. I flattened the design of the moon with the hammer before I did anything to it. I also ran the sandpaper over the clasp to bring out a few of the highlights on the hammered texture.
The second project uses a silver chain that I purchased at my local bead store. I cut off two links, shaped them with my chain nose pliers and hammered them flat to strengthen them. I created custom links in just a few minutes.
With a few basic tools you can alter your findings until your heart's content. Have fun playing!
Sources - Brass findings: Vintaj. Tools: Rings & Things. Art Beads: Humblebeads.

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