Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Re-Claimed Copper Forged Metalwork Gritty Angels

I have a great friend who is a general contractor and an all around interesting guy - he knows I am an artist and love to make things out of anything so he brings me all sorts of interesting scrap materials.  When he found out I make copper jewelry and metal sculptures he started bringing me not only brand new scraps of beautiful copper but also reclaimed beaten up patinated copper ~ LOVE it....  These Angels are full of nail holes, patinated from being out in all weather, then the heat of the torch, hammered, textured, soldered, and rivited, some have re-claimed vintage spoon heads and prisma color details others old cookie tin hearts...Gritty Angels

Copper Assemblage Angels
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Patinated Copper Hoops with Garnet twinkles - ETSY Teaser - A sweet tutorial for you ....Part I

Here is a sweet tutorial for those of you beginners who want an easy basic beginning metal work project with a fabulous result. This will be posted in two parts.  My patinated copper hoops with garnet twinkles.  Enjoy! ~

Cut two 8 inch pieces of copper wire, I used 18 gauge but anything from 20 down to 14 would work.

Wrap the wire around a mandrel or other round object such as a dowel, that is the size of the hoop you want to make, and make two that are the same size.
flush cutter

Mark your hoops with a sharpie or other
permanant marker and cut with a flush cutter.  This tool cuts two flat edges and allows the parts to be soldered to line up nicely.



Apply flux to the joint, I am using paste flux here

Add a small amount of Easy Solder on top of the flux


Use a medium torch and heat until the solder flows and then quench in a bowl of water.

Soak hoops in a pickle pot with sparex solution to remove firescale and then brush with a brass brush and mild soap such as dish washing liquid

True your hoops on your mandrel or dowel so that they are round.

Forge with a hammer for a textured edge.

Here I am using a solution of water and liver of sulfer gel to give a patina to the newly cleaned copper.  In part 2 I will show how to add the beads, jump rings and earwires for the completed project.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Etsy Teasers .... Owl Pendants .....Hoot Hoot

Etsy Teasers ..... Sweet little owls ... hooo hooo ........

Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review! Color Scheme Bible - Anna Starmen

THE COLOR SCHEME BIBLE- Inspirational plettes for designing home interiors.  Anna Starmen  

I LOVE this book and often use it for color inspirations.  It is not a visual artists book per se but rather intended for interior designers.  Do not let that deter you from buying this little handy gem.  It has loads of color combos that work in fabulous exciting ways to punch up your paintings and other art projects.  I have been using it a LOT lately in my mixed media portrait paintings and metal work prisma color pendants. 

Here are some images from the book so you can see how the color schemes are formatted.

Some of my prisma color designs waiting to be made into new pendants - so much fun to do and based on some of the inspirational color schemes in the "Bible".

Don't forget to follow my blog for a chance to win a pair of my Gritty Industrial Earrings - I am drawing names from my blog followers and my Facebook Page, if you are on both you will have 2x the chance of winning. I plan to continue to have monthly give-aways of goodies from my shop after my Etsy Shop - Bellamarcella1 re-launches later this month. So be sure to click and follow me here!

xox, Marcy

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why Do A Blog?

Why did I start blogging?  First of all I do like to write and it seems to clear my thoughts a little to get them all down on paper.  Second I am hoping to be more connected to the artistic community in a bigger way then just locally.  There is so much I love about the energy and dynamics of all the artists across the globe coming together in one place to share ideas and inspirations that I want to be a part of that.  Thirdly I think artists sometimes isolate because in order to do what we do, we need extra head space, thinking time and a place to be apart from general chaos in order to process our creative ideas. So when we do come together on the web or in real space it's an explosive kind of energy that happens with all the creative minds unleashing at once.  I think
that 's pretty cool!
Above are my Gritty Industrial Copper Enamel Earrings in pale blue.  I will be giving away a pair of these in a couple of weeks.  I will be drawing names from my blog followers and Facebook fan page so please be sure to follow me here and like me on facebook!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Making Art with Children

One thing that keeps me constantly inspired and motivated to come up with new ideas is being a teaching artist.  I learn so much from the kids I work with - they are in creative brain all the time - they are so inspiring.  Teaching afterschool art programs for the past several years has forced me to constantly invent and re-invent new projects, since at one program I have been lucky enough to work with the same kids over a period of several years now.  Here are two  Atumnal Leaf projects for fall that are easy to do with kids.  I have done them with kids K - 8 - everyone loves them, the pastel project is less messy to do with the youngers but life is short and art is messy - just wear a smock.

By the way - the adult staff at the centers where I teach almost always end up making a project along with the kids and some take them home to frame up and hang - these projects are great for the crafty and those who are not so confident about their artistic ability because they are designed to have fabulous results regardless of the age and skill level of the artist; while still developing an original design style and sense of color through artistic play.


You will need to collect some leaves of any kind, softer less brittle ones are best.  I used maple leaves since we are surrounded by giant maples on my small farm in central Connecticut.  It's great to start with a nature walk if you have time. In the autumn, I collect as many as I can for my children's classes, and store them in the pages of junk mail catalogs - it keeps them flat and they will last all winter.  Kept this way you can use them many, many times over as long they go back between the pages when you are done using them.


This is a really fun technique  where you paint a thin coat of white or light colored paint directly onto a leaf and press it firmly onto paper.  Here I am using colored scrapbooking paper which is of a good weight and can handle a semi-moist water based paint but any paper of good weight will work.  I then have students use small cut pieces of inexpensive kitchen sponge to dab into colored paints and  apply paint in any creative way they wish.

To do this project, I started with the heavier weight colored cardstock/scrapbooking paper but you can use any paper for this of a good weight. Using oil pastels, the leaves are traced all around. They can be re-traced in complimentary colors or analgelous colors or any way you like.  Backgrounds can be colored to accent the picture.  This is also a great watercolor resist project - using water media paper and oil pastel or crayons.  Trace the leaves and paint over with watercolors, temperas or watered down acylics.  Mix it up!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Etsy Teasers....

Here are some of my newest pendants. 

I have become completely obesessed with the process of drawing mini paintings with prismacolors onto copper pendants.  All of the pendants in this in this line feature a textured back tag in copper or nu-gold (a brass alloy that looks like 14K without the price) and hang on textured copper or brass chains (sealed) with hand crafted clasps.  I am working on a tutorial for this technique that I promise to post at an upcoming date (very soon!).

I am loving online classes!

For the last couple of years I have been delving into online art courses.  I was at first hesitant because I was always more of a hands on in person art class sort of girl.  I can't tell you how enriching these experiences have been for me; so if you haven't tried this yet give it a try - it's awesome.

In 2012 I took an online course with Flora Bowley who's book I had just devoured and loved so much, I knew I couldn't get to one of her fabulous workshops so I tried her online workshops! What a surprise!  The class was very intensive, with daily vimeo videos, homework, feedback via a private facebook page for students.  The class and all videos were generously held open for 1 year so you could go back and work through the course or do the excercises over and over if you wanted. Please use the link below to visit Flora's site Brave Intuitive Living to see her gorgeous art and experience her philosophy about creativity and life.  http://braveintuitiveyou.com/

Through Flora's Facebook group I met the very lovely Pauline Agnew - a lovely talented Irish artist and teacher and I had a great class with her this summer.  Pauline's class was even more wonderful because our online group really bonded through the Facebook page.  There was a great group, literally from around the globe, supporting and encouraging each others work - just fabulous!  I am including a link here to Pauline 's site Seedbed Studio - please visit and consider taking one of her fabulous e-courses and friend her on Facebook. http://www.seedbedstudio.net/ I cannot stress enough how much taking Pauline's class feels like an actual in person experience, her warmth, charm and personality shines right through the camera and with the online support - you actually feel like you have made a new friend!

I am currently taking yet ANOTHER online class with Timothy Adams of Handmadology called Build a Better Creative Business - this is something I seriously need folks!  I would stay in the studio all day and make beautiful things but I am not the worlds best and marketing myself so I am trying to learn.  What a great class!  This guy is a genius at creative business building and has brought in the top names in the online selling game to share secrets - I highly recommend his site for free tips, courses and tutorials.  He even has books out about Etsy Marketing, one of which is by my side all the time lately calle How to Make Money using Etsy - A Guide to the Online Marketplace for Crafts and Handmade Products. Visit Tim Adams online at Handmadology for tips, courses and information about marketing your handmade and creative work.  http://www.handmadeology.com/

Abstract Acrylic Paintings on Paper 12" x 16" July 2013 " The Four Seasons

Top to bottom, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Charcoal Abstracts from my 2013 Online Painting Class with Pauline Agnew