It’s all about texture.
Texturising my work is something that comes naturally to me. It’s like an urge, and one that’s easy to overdo. I guess the eye likes it busy, but not too busy, and too much to take in can be uncomfortable. For the first time in my life I’m learning the art of restraint. Maybe.
Because of that, I haven’t done much flat forging up to now, and normally prefer to texturise the metal with the peen end of my hammer so the wire glints in the light and tarnishes ‘authentically’.
These two heart pendants needed different treatment, however.
The first one, with the Swarovski crystal, really doesn’t need anything else going on. It totally has enough texture already. That’s one reason it gets just a simple leather cord.
The busy coil, coupled with the faceted crystal heart is plenty for one glance. By keeping the details to a minimum, the person looking at it can fully appreciate every part of it all at once. And since it’s designed to be worn, only the wearer is likely to catch more than a glance anyway … You get my thinking here?
The flat spirals seem to point to the intricacy of the coil, and the crystal is distracting, which makes the whole piece something to look at for longer.
Most of those comments can also be placed with the second pendant, the one without a crystal. However, there’s a juxtaposition in this one between the austere plainness of it, and the busy, tight coiling, and that gives it a different kind of attractiveness.
The basics of how these copper heart pendants were made.
These babies look intricate, but the design is really simple and kinda makes sense to itself. I bent a length of 1.6 mm wire in the centre, to create the point of the heart frame, and coiled the ends of the wire until they were both close enough to bring together and shape into a heart.
I flattened the coils but left the rest of the heart frame round, and took about 5ft of 0.8 mm wire to begin a basketweave to cleave the two spirals together. The tail sticking out from the start of this in the first pendant created a loop to hold the crystal.
The basketweave became the coil, and I wrapped the wire more or less continuously around the pendant frame, finishing at the basketweave.
The wire that holds the crystal in the first pendant is called a headpin, and I’m really proud because I made it myself with a blow torch! It has a little egg-shaped end. I made that! 🙂
The pieces are finished off with an inverted heart-shape bail, attached to the coil with two solid jump rings. I originally planned to make some gypsy wire wraps (see Janice Berkebile and Helen Stanley’s book mentioned on My ‘Tutors’ page) to accommodate the bail, but realised in time that they probably wouldn’t be strong enough, and would easily wear out. The terrors of design!
The leather cord is finished with a spiral shaped hook clasp and a jump ring. I could have made a copper chain to hold the pendants, but it would really detract from the simplicity of the shapes, so chose against that.
I named these pendants ‘I Give You My Heart’ as a sort of commemoration of a wonderful love in my life, but honestly, I think they’re the sort of gifts you give to someone you love in open recognition and acknowledgement of the way you feel about that person. The pendants kind of contain or embody that message and there’s something really real about it because the pendant is cold and hard and solid, a good reminder.
Just my romantic take on it, maybe, but I like to think I make objects of beauty that can be used for lovely things.