Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paper charms

I've continued to play with charm-making lately. One of the reasons I like it is because they're small and I can make many of them at once, unlike the stitched collages which take weeks! The book I blogged about here, Making Mixed-Media Art Charms and Jewelry, had a chapter on making charms out of paper, and I've been playing around with that with varied success. I started with some scraps of watercolor paper leftover from a previous project, and painted and stamped them, as shown above. Then I glued two layers of the paper together, back to back, to make it more sturdy, and cut it into various shapes. I originally planned to cut them into square inches to get the most charms out of my painted paper, but I find I don't like the look of squares in my jewelry - too rigid, boxy, and unnatural looking (do we ever find a square in nature?). So then I started making diamond shapes and ovals. I wrapped the edges of the cut up paper in copper foil tape. With a whole bunch of them, I glued on an oak leaf cut with a purchased paper punch. With some of them I wrote words on the back. Unfortunately, when it came to using them, I thought they looked too amateurish and homemade, too clunky and unrefined. I think it was the foil tape and my messy handwriting!

Finally, I made one more and did not wrap it in the tape. I put in a grommet and coated the whole thing front and back with a product similar to Dimensional Magic (a mod podge product). You have to let it dry very thoroughly on the first side before turning it over and coating it on the other side, which is a little drawback, but I was afraid it would require an edge to hold it in, like a jewelry bezel. This thick liquid has a nice consistency and enough surface tension that you can cover the charm completely right to the edge without it spilling over. Here is a finished charm (that I actually liked!) and put on an autumn-themed bracelet for myself. The Dimensional Magic dries hard and clear and is much easier to use than resins that have to be mixed and poured. I can't wait to try some other projects with it!
Below is a shot of the whole bracelet. I think I'll wear it for Thanksgiving and around the library this week!
I've started making a bunch of charms with a snow theme, as you can see below. I just painted and stamped some more paper to make some charms with these colors. Then maybe I'll be able to list a winter/holiday item or two in my Etsy shop before I get too busy and end up missing out on any potential holiday sales. I wish I could work faster so I had more stuff to sell!


Peggy said...

Cindy, your work is beautiful. I agree that your final oak leaf charm is perfect--it looks like enameled copper. The whole bracelet is gorgeous!

I love your blog (and subscribed, although I wish I could get it via email). Your jewelry is awesome. Like you, I like aqua and copper together, and also make cluster pendants like the Valentine one.

You would be a great asset to our ArtCharms group, although you might not like making multiples of a charm for our swaps. I'll send you an invitation; you don't have to swap (or join) if you don't want to. Just wanted you to know you would be welcome.

Thanks much for buying our book. Your review made me really happy.


norma said...

Cindy, you amaze me with the gorgeous things you keep producing. Your charm bracelets are terrific. I agree with you about the copper edges and like the one with Dimensional Magic. As Peggy said, it does look like copper enamel.

Cindy said...

Wow, thanks for all the great compliments! I joined the ArtCharms yahoo group and can't wait for my first swap!