Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friendly Plastic - Simple and Stunning

Here's another piece I've made up using the samples from my demos at the Brisbane Paper Crafts Festival. This was a marbled strip in lovely shades of turquoise and purple which I cut with rectangular cookie cutters. I loved the colour combination, especially with the hint of red to spice it up and I knew straight away that it was destined to be made into a piece of jewellery.

But when it came time to assemble into a necklace it proved to be a little bit of a challenge. The striking colour combination was competing with every bead and colour combination I tried, which is a lesson in itself - sometimes, it's better to simplify! So with that in mind, I came up with a simple stringing idea - just a few crystal set dangles in between the rectangles and it's become an elegant choker - simple but effective!

Before I assembled anything, I gave each rectangle a coat of resin - that's five fronts and five backs and left them to cure overnight. Then I took a length of 18 gauge non-tarnish gold wire and bent it into a gentle curve. I laid out all the backings, face side down, on a non stick mat using the curved wire as a guide. I left just enough space between each rectangle for the dangle to be attached later. Then I heated the back of all 5 pieces with the heat gun until they were softened and placed the wire down into the Friendly Plastic. Make sure you have wet fingers when you do this because both the wire and the plastic are hot and of course, the Friendly Plastic will stick to you. One by one, I placed the top pieces in place, pressing them down gently to sandwich the wire securely in between. I let the whole piece cool down on its own rather than plunge the wire into a water bath - no sense in encouraging rust! I turned loops on the ends of the wire and hooked on the chain adding a clasp on the other end to finish it. Finally, I added the crystal set dangles.

And there you have it - Friendly Plastic...... simple and stunning!

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