It’s Time for the 2016 YBC Challenge!

Tim McCreight - A Constant source of inspiration
Tim McCreight – A Constant source of inspiration

It’s Summer so it’s time to get a move on with this year’s Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen’s challenge. This year the theme is “Box.” I’ve been thinking about it awhile, looking for inspiration all over. I created a Pinterest Board for inspiration and I found this cool book at work.

The original sketch for my box. Of course it has morphed in the making.
The original sketch for my box. Of course it has morphed in the making. YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK

Of course I can’t make a normal box, mine won’t be square/rectangle. It’s going to be wonky and round-ish. It’s also only going to be about 6″ across. You won’t see the final piece…yet. (Of course it’s not done either!) The final reveal of everyone’s pieces will be at our September Chapter meeting. I hope to see you there!

The main part of my YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK
The main part of my YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK
The bottom for the main part of my YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK
The bottom for the main part of my YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK
The pattern for the next big piece of the box (ignore what it's sitting on - that's just a prop) YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK
The pattern for the next big piece of the box (ignore what it’s sitting on – that’s just a prop) YBC Challenge Box ©2016 WTEK

Scrapped Ideas

nickel scraps

Triple Shield Pendant ©2016 WTEK brass on an 18" rubber cord
Triple Shield Pendant ©2016 WTEK brass on an 18″ rubber cord

I’ve been in a slight slump lately creatively and one of my favorite ways to get out of it is to peruse my scrap pile. Jewelry made from scrap metal? YES! My junk yard is chock full of cut-offs from my bowls and sculptures that are too small for sculpture, but just right for earrings and pendants. I made two necklaces recently this way.

The first was a pendant using three oval-ish shapes riveted together. This one is made from brass on an 18″ rubber cord with a gold-filled clasp.

nickel fishThe other one used a piece of nickel I’d been eyeing for awhile now. It was a cool texture in an arched shape that wanted something special done with it. I have also been meaning to make a gorget type necklace, so I decided to combine these goals into a cool piece.

nickel fish with paperI converted a template from the Rose Bowl Trophy to act as a frame to put the nickel part on, cut them out, formed them, and then riveted the pieces together. After adding a brass chain with a hook clap I made, it was ready to be worn.

If you’re interested in either of these pieces, just email me and I’ll get them right out to you!

yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00
yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00
yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00
yet to be named gorget ©2016 WTEK nickel, brass $200.00

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Going Gargantuan

Wooden links for a necklace idea ©2016 WTEK
Wooden links for a necklace idea ©2016 WTEK

I’ve been a little blocked recently when it comes to designing. I’ve been stuck on stupid little things that are holding up my process, worrying about details to distraction. So I figured that I need to start playing around a little in the studio to get my mojo back.

I decided to try and make a chain out of sticks instead of hammered wire.

Original idea for giant link necklace ©2016 WTEK
Original idea for giant link necklace ©2016 WTEK

Then I decided to go super huge and use the patterns I was working on in conjunction with my tall sculpture as GIANT CHAIN LINKS! Maybe I’ve been watching too many morning shows, but I’ve been noticing that oversized is in (at least in some circles) and thought “oversized is who I am as a jeweler!” I’m taking it to the nth level with these links. OK, maybe not outlandishly gigantic, but giantly wearable.

Now with a slightly smaller giant link to keep it interesting... ©2016 WTEK
Now with a slightly smaller giant link to keep it interesting… ©2016 WTEK

Now I just need to decide on the texture for these bad boys…

Trying out some textures for the links ©2016 WTEK
Trying out some textures for the links ©2016 WTEK