The wonderful Maureen Baranov continues to challenge our Charmsters group with interesting charm swaps. Her latest was a swap of Text Charms, as she called them. Her inspiration came from Deryn Mentock. You can check out her blog here. Her June 10 post shows examples of her text charms. She uses wire that is pounded flat into a round-ish shape, and she glues text to the back. Maureen admires other artists' work and then challenges herself (and us) to make our own versions. With much admiration for Deryn, here are our results.
Our task was to examine Deryn's charms and figure out how to make our own. I think we all started with steel wire. That was probably a first for some of us. Steel wire is one of those art supplies that you can get at a hardware store, rather than a bead or craft store, and it's much cheaper than sterling wire. It usually says it is "annealed," which is a process that returns its ductility that it lost during the drawing process. We generally used 18, 19, or 20 gauge wire. The steel wire is dark-coated with a rust inhibitor. We used green kitchen scrubbies or steel wool to rub some of this off. It gives the steel a bit of a shine and prevents the black from rubbing on your hands.
After bending the wire into a round or oval shape, we hammered it flat. This allowed the paper we adhered later to lay flat to it. I used a steel bench block and a chasing hammer to flatten my wire. To attach the paper, I poured a little white glue in a dish. I dragged the wire shape through it, then pressed the wire onto a page. When it was dry, I cut the paper around the wire.
I think everyone else used some kind of a gel product to adhere their paper to the wire. If you lay the wire loop on the page, you can pour, brush or drop a resin to cover the area within the wire. When you have 14 artists trying a technique, they'll try different products. Some used Diamond Glaze, and warned to put it on lightly and watch for bubbles. DG3, which is an art gel by Judikins, the maker of Diamond Glaze, was too sticky for one artist and stuck to her packaging. She also experimented with Glossy Accents and a resin kit, and they both worked. Other successful products used were Plaid's Folk Art Papier Glass Finish in clear (also comes in sepia or antique), All Night Media's Liquid Embossing for Paper (in Antique Glass, Clear Glass or Sepia Glass), and Golden's Soft Matte Medium.
What you did with your text charms was your choice. Some added beads, some made them in leaf shapes or wing shapes. I attached two to a yarn tassel. The yarn is wrapped in wire with some extra wire curled down. The close up picture looks a little hairy -- I think the tassel looks better in real life!
So, thank you to Deryn Mentock for inspiring us, and thank you to Maureen for challenging us. Please visit Deryn's blog called Something Sublime so you can admire the jewelry of this very talented artist.