Join us for a fantastic tutorial prepared by Nadica from Art Fantasy Jewelry guiding us how to make a pair of lovely brass and leather earrings.
As a jewelry designer I love to work with natural materials. My most inspirational ones are the metals such as copper, brass, all the gemstones and leather. The variety of color and texture that they offer is something I can’t resist. It just overwhelms me with ideas. My working space is rather small but very comfortable, having all my tools and materials at hand. Plus I get to enjoy the sunshine a lot till the trees start to grow leafs, which transforms my view and I have a perfect green leaf curtain on my window. Aaaand I have a pink hula-hoop for exercise between projects. :)
My working process usually starts with an idea and a sketch. In most of the cases the drawn sketch is completed as drawn. But sometimes through the working process it tends to change and the final piece of jewelry is something completely different than the starting sketch. Today I will share my work process for brass and leather earrings.
First when I decide the dimension of the earrings I prepare a brass plate. The brass that I work with is very thin and easy to cut and fold. I start by cutting a small plate enough to fit the two earrings (this is due to the etching process in order to have the same texture on both of them).
Using a permanent marker I draw on the brass. The parts that are not covered with the marker will be etched.
I cover the back of the brass piece with the permanent marker so it wouldn’t be etched.
After the desired design is achieved, I place the brass plate in salt water and make the etching. I leave the plate in the salt solution for about 20 minutes. For these earrings I don’t want a deep texture, only enough for the pattern to be nice and visible.
After the process of etching is done, I clean the plate from the permanent marker and place it on heat. I do it on a small electric stove because I have more control of the process (which is difficult with more aggressive fire like the torch).The heat makes it turn dark on the edges of the texture and sometimes it changes color.
When the texture is complete and finished, I draw and cut the desired shape on the brass plate. If it is more simple shape I use the metal cutting scissors, and for the more complicated shapes I use a jewelry saw.
After the cutting I sand the edges to make sure they are soft. When the brass pieces are done, I start handling the leather. My choice for these earrings is a dark grey leather. I will use the back side because it has a fine messy texture, which I love. I cut two pieces the same size as the brass circles.
Place the leather parts behind the brass. From the three brass extensions that I left I use three of them to firmly press the leather. With round nose pliers I twist the fourth one to which the ring will be connected. Add a jump ring and attach earring hooks.
And there they are, the messy leather and textured brass earrings. Hope you find them inspirational. They surely were for me !