Try These 11 Surface Design Techniques

Sep 7, 2009

Boy, Interweave Press is sure coming out with some kick-butt jewelry making books lately. The one I recently picked up,The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry Making Techniques is no exception. I was a bit put off by the cover at first, thinking the pieces there weren’t my cup of tea, but when I opened up the book I just couldn’t believe all the information held within! Like The Beaders Companion for beaders, this book is a one-stop information station for anyone interested in knowing how to cut, pierce, file, anneal, solder, polish or rivet metal. The bonus here is the chapter upon chapter of great ideas for anyone curious to learn about incorporating plastics, rubber, fabric, paper, wood, and even concrete into jewelry design. I know this one will become dog-eared in my studio. I’d highly recommend you check it out, too.

Inspired Surface Design Techniques

One of my favorite parts of The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry Making Techniques is a section at the back called “Decorative Effects”. It features rows of simple photos of different hammered, stitched, wired, printed, rolled, and other surface applications. This section was so inspirational to me that I sat down and did a few of my own “Surface Design Studies” on some aluminum foiling. Check them out:

Hammered with the round end of a ball-peen hammer.
Hammered with the round end
of a ball-peen hammer.
Hammered with the textured edge of a jeweler’s hammer.
Hammered with the textured
edge of a jeweler’s hammer.
Spacer ? 10x10 pixels  
Folded, opened, and flattened with my fingers.
Folded, opened, and flattened
with my fingers.
Leather scrap added with an eyelet.
Leather scrap added with an eyelet.
Spacer ? 10x10 pixels  
Layered with lace and spray-painted.
Layered with lace and spray-painted.
Punched with a paper punch; yarn threaded through.
Punched with a paper punch;
yarn threaded through.
Spacer ? 10x10 pixels  
Drawn with a pencil.
Drawn with a pencil.
Hammered with a rubber mallet over a metal form.
Hammered with a rubber
mallet over a metal form.
Spacer ? 10x10 pixels  
Sanded with 320-grit sandpaper while holding.
Sanded with 320-grit
sandpaper while holding.
Sanded with steel wool on a flat surface.
Sanded with steel wool
on a flat surface.
Spacer ? 10x10 pixels  
Colored with permanent marker, then sanded while holding.
Colored with permanent marker,
then sanded while holding.
 

Hey—that was fun! I think I’ll pack these into a plastic zip bag and tuck them in my design journal for future reference. Or perhaps I’ll play a little more, using one of them as a background in a collage pendant. Or maybe I’ll simply cut them into charm shapes, cover in resin, and make a bracelet. What would you do? Please share your comments with us.


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Comments

Patriciakoko wrote
on Sep 9, 2009 5:16 PM
Normally I read the "Beading Daily" daily e-mail and have enjoyed most of them. But I have noticed that more and more they don't offer ideas but are "infomercials" for publications from Interweave. Today was one too many---Jean Campbell, whose Wednesday installments I look forward to reading, is now touting the same new book BD described earlier this week. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Give us more content and ideas please! I already take all your magazines and buy the books that interest me. A short notification about a new book is fine but...?
IrinaS wrote
on Sep 10, 2009 2:30 AM
indeed, there is too much infomercial, and not the daily free project we were promissed when I subscribed, but to say that today's newletter had no ideas is going too far... by far ;-) there is no project, but ideas are there aplenty: how about using these pieces as cabochons? or in the focal points of those bead embroider pieces I die to try? how about combining the techniques: draw your form with a pencil, and color only some parts of it; or hammer your chosen form, paint it and then sand it? how about going a step further, and punch the wholes in a predesigned form (the points of a star, or strategic points along a flower's drawing) and then complete the drawing with beaded thread, (instead of the red yarn in the samples). how about going really wild, and use these bits in card making? you can make a building, or a car, or even an abstract form - they would be great solutions for those hard-to-design cards for males. well, I have to stop here: I need some original designs to call my own, don't I ;-) if I would complain about something in today's message, would be that it is not completely clear what metal sheet was used: "aluminum foil" as far as I knew, is the kitchen thing. Maybe this one is a thicker one? where do you normally find it: in hardware stores, or in stores specializing in building materials? do they sell it in sheets, or rolls? but I think I would manage, when the time will come to give this idea my full attention ;-) have fun, everybody
MarieG10 wrote
on Sep 10, 2009 5:44 AM
I'd love to see an article on the aluminum foiling covered with resin to make charms. Like Adriana I am wondering what aluminum foiling is and I have never used resin.
on Sep 10, 2009 10:02 AM
Adriana and Marie--the technical name for the aluminum sheeting is "36 gauge aluminum tooling foil". You can get it at most craft shops and definitely online. I ended up making a charm bracelet with one of these little studies, trimming out a square and gluing it to a cab setting, trimming out a circle, punching a hanging hole, and topping it with resin to stiffen it. Turned out pretty neat!
on Sep 10, 2009 3:34 PM
Speaking as an Interweave editor and a jewelry maker, I'm totally wired to tout pubs and products when they fire me up, because I want to share how and why I am inspired by them. (And I want our biz to succeed of course.) But I also don't want an ad to come at me in disguise if that's all it is. In this case, I thought Jean's post was really fun. I have to agree mostly with Adriana that, though yes Jean promoted a specific Interweave product, we got a ton of rich stuff in her post. I loved the way Jean showed us her own experiments found them very exciting. Yes, they made me want to look at this book, but I liked that, too. I respect her as a mutli-talented artist and thought, Jean did some cool stuff as a result of this book, I wonder how it might inspire me to stretch my own creativity? But point taken, Patricia. Too much is too much, and it's our job (your editors) to seek that balance so everyone gets the most from Beading Daily and all its contributors. Thanks for your candid feedback, which is always welcome and encouraged. We're in this together! Leslie
MarieG10 wrote
on Sep 11, 2009 6:37 AM
Thanks Jean. I'm definitely going to have to try the tooling foil. I've shyed away from aluminum as I haven't seen much from an instructional standpoint until now. Thanks for your your help.
FilipovicN wrote
on Sep 12, 2009 12:15 PM
Great Work!. This is not my material, but there are very interesting surfaces. Regards from Croatia. Nada