Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Still Standing and Way Behind

I am feeling much better, thank you for all your kind messages. It was quite the stomach bug, I am still on a modified diet, all I crave is Gatorade and carbs. Between my daughter and I we collectively lost 16 pounds, but this is not a weight loss plan I would recommend.

I finally had an opportunity to check out the results of Lorelei's most recent challenge using my glass headpins with a balled end.

Thank you so much Lorelei for hosting this challenge.

I have visited and commented on all the challenge participants blogs, and I have to say the information you provided to me as a "supplier of handmade components" was priceless. 

I know these challenges are a great vehicle to stretch yourselves as jewelry designers. But I can see future challenges to field test new component designs.

This is what I learned about the glass headpins with the copper wire balled on the opposite end:

1)  The balled ends on the copper wire broke off when being manipulated by three of the ten participants. That definitely requires a design rethink on my end. I pride myself in my components being able to handle normal wear and tear.

I have a very hot torch and I am wondering if when I ball up the copper wire the excess heat of my torch is too much for the wire. This week I compared balled sterling and copper headpins, I grabbed the balled metal on the wires and pulled until it came off. It took much more pressure for the sterling balled end to come off, and the copper ones came off with not much force at all.

I would love to know what your experiences have been with balled copper headpins, should I use the butane torch instead??? Or maybe tumble them to work harden the wire????

Unfortunately using sterling for my headpins, while an option, would make them more expensive.

My solution to this issue is to make this style of headpin with a small ball of glass on the end opposite the decorative glass end. Glass fuses to the wire and has a very strong connection.

2)  Lisa Cone created extra balled headpins to use as tendrils in her flower earrings. Which gave me the idea to sell this style of headpin with extra wires that just have the balled end. You can use these extras  in your design, or perhaps a future project.

3) Pam Ferren went above and beyond expectations. When the copper ball on her headpin broke off she made a tutorial on how to make a new one without damaging the glass end of the headpin.

4) There were several different ways the participants chose to use the wire on the headpin. Remember I always welcome custom orders, and you can order the wire in the exact length you would need for the designs you may have in mind. 

Please visit the blogs below, every participant offered something useful and creative. 

Again thank you so much for participating in Lorelei's challenge.


Lorelei Eurto said...

Anytime! I am glad to hear it was helpful for you as a designer as well! It was a fun challenge. Everyone really stepped up to the plate on this one!

SummersStudio said...

Happy to hear you are feeling better! Don't over do though, OK? These things take a while to run their course.

Love your recap of the blog hop. About those copper head pins with balled ends. I have noticed that when I make those I have to be careful not to get a thin spot where the ball connects to the wire. It seems to me that the weight of the balled copper can stretch the connection too thin. Just a thought.

Alice said...

I loved working with your lovely headpins! It's great that you are taking notes on the results.

Hope you're feeling better.

Lisa Cone - Inspired Adornments said...

Your headpins were so much to work with! I had fun getting our the torch and making the tendrils, but I don't have my torch set up permanently so it's a commitment to do anything with a torch. I think selling tendrils would be a terrific idea. You could also do sets of enamel ones to mix in.

Now I want a tendril bouquet to make a pendant or pin our of!!!