Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Try Mixed Metals!

Do you work in mixed metals? Some beaders are afraid to mix it up, worried that they'll have a jumble that says 'I ran out of the right parts' when they are finished.

We have a great project today at Panopolie's Try It Tuesday that teaches you the easy rules for mixing your metals. Just in case distance prevents you from coming in, I have the rules and project instructions here.

So what are the rules? It is simple.

Mix intentionally. Lay out your design before you start working and think about where you can change out the metal finding in one spot or another.
Mix repeatedly. A single clasp of a different color may look like you didn't have the 'right' parts. Add in other elements in the alternative metal to make the design flow.
Mix alternatively. Try to keep the same metals from 'touching' in your design. Alternate finishes.

Some of my favorite combos are gunmetal and gold, silver and antique brass or antique copper and antique brass but really, they all look great.

To make the earrings shown above you'll need:
Imitation rhodium simple ear loops
Medium knurled antique copper chain, four link section
2 Tiny antique copper beads, 2 mm
2 Imitation rhodium headpins, 1 inch
2 brass wavy rings, 20 mm

1. Thread a copper bead onto a head pin. Use your round nose pliers to create a wrapped loop approximately 1/2 inch up the head pin as shown.
2. With your chain nose pliers gently open one chain link and remove it from the chain section. Thread this link through the loop on the copper bead and through the wavy brass ring. Close securely.
3. With your chain nose pliers gently open a second chain link and remove it from the chain section. Thread it through the ear loop and through the chain link attached to the wavy ring. Close securely.
4. Repeat all steps to make second earring.