Try These 11 Surface Design Techniques

Boy, Interweave Press is sure coming out with some kick-butt jewelry making books lately. The one I recently picked up,The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry Making Techniques is no exception. I was a bit put off by the cover at first, thinking the pieces there weren’t my cup of tea, but when I opened up the book I just couldn’t believe all the information held within! Like The Beaders Companion for beaders, this book is a one-stop information station for anyone interested in knowing how to cut, pierce, file, anneal, solder, polish or rivet metal. The bonus here is the chapter upon chapter of great ideas for anyone curious to learn about incorporating plastics, rubber, fabric, paper, wood, and even concrete into jewelry design. I know this one will become dog-eared in my studio. I’d highly recommend you check it out, too.

Inspired Surface Design Techniques

One of my favorite parts of The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry Making Techniques is a section at the back called “Decorative Effects”. It features rows of simple photos of different hammered, stitched, wired, printed, rolled, and other surface applications. This section was so inspirational to me that I sat down and did a few of my own “Surface Design Studies” on some aluminum foiling. Check them out:

Hammered with the round end of a ball-peen hammer.
Hammered with the round end
of a ball-peen hammer.
Hammered with the textured edge of a jeweler’s hammer.
Hammered with the textured
edge of a jeweler’s hammer.
 
Folded, opened, and flattened with my fingers.
Folded, opened, and flattened
with my fingers.
Leather scrap added with an eyelet.
Leather scrap added with an eyelet.
 
Layered with lace and spray-painted.
Layered with lace and spray-painted.
Punched with a paper punch; yarn threaded through.
Punched with a paper punch;
yarn threaded through.
 
Drawn with a pencil.
Drawn with a pencil.
Hammered with a rubber mallet over a metal form.
Hammered with a rubber
mallet over a metal form.
 
Sanded with 320-grit sandpaper while holding.
Sanded with 320-grit
sandpaper while holding.
Sanded with steel wool on a flat surface.
Sanded with steel wool
on a flat surface.
 
Colored with permanent marker, then sanded while holding.
Colored with permanent marker,
then sanded while holding.
 

Hey—that was fun! I think I’ll pack these into a plastic zip bag and tuck them in my design journal for future reference. Or perhaps I’ll play a little more, using one of them as a background in a collage pendant. Or maybe I’ll simply cut them into charm shapes, cover in resin, and make a bracelet. What would you do? Please share your comments with us.

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