Thursday, February 28, 2013

Design Thoughts of a Cuff Bracelet

  Have you ever wondered how we Twisted Sisters' come up with new designs?  Sometimes the journey is an evolution. The design may start out as one idea and somewhere down the road the piece turns into something completely different.  That's what makes our designing process so much fun.
6 gauge copper cuff with antique button and lace

  Let's take for instance this copper cuff.  I have made many of these and no two are alike.  In the beginning the initial cuff starts out like it's gallery mates.  Through the torch annealing and forging process I begin to think about whether I want the bracelet to be contemporary or give it an antique flare.


 With this particular cuff I decided to dig into my mother's button stash.

my mother's buttons from the 30's, 40's and 50's

After choosing just the perfect focal button, I went for my grandmother's tatting which I use very sparingly.

my grandmother's tatting

beautiful silk ribbon

Then I matched it with just the perfect silk ribbon from the ribbon pile.  

I decided sterling silver wire wrapping would tie together the silver button and give the cuff continuity.

I love using carpet tacks for riveting so these silver colored tacks worked perfectly. 
   The end result is a unique one-of-kind piece of jewelry.

Living Life Through Creativity!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Join Us for the Parade of Souls Art Festival

We want to tell you about an art festival we are participating in this October 13th.  Parade of Souls is a festival dedicated to Halloween and Fall.  Thirteen talented Arizona artists are coming together to bring you a variety of art.  There will be woodcarving, fiber arts, jewelry, folk art, painting, sculpting, primitives and much more.  There will also be an artist raffle to benefit Lucky Dog Rescue .  Because we are dedicating Saturday, October 13th to this wonderful art festival, Twisted Sisters' Designs Studio and Gallery will be closed that day.  We hope you will come see us at the Parade of Souls Art Show!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Parade of Souls coming up soon

Perhaps you've seen advertising for Parade of Souls--if not, go to our facebook page and you'll see the address there.  Thirteen artists will be exhibiting their works in different mediums. It's going to be a fun day. We hope you can attend.
These witches are riding their broomsticks there.  How about you jump on your broomstick and join us Saturday, October 13.  The theme is Halloween and Fall decor.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Walking the Balance Beam

Here is another piece created at Art Unraveled.  The three of us had lots of fun with this one.  It's called a Balance Beam bracelet because the focal piece, in this case the turquoise stone, balances on (is soldered onto) an 8 gauge square copper wire.

There was lots of soldering involved, which taught us how to tackle different situations.  This clasp is made with 6 gauge wire that has jump rings soldered on at each end.  As you can see, it hooks onto the flat copper piece that has been sawed and curved to fit the 6 gauge wire.

And here is the finished product.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Creating Dichroic Glass Cabochons

   Have you ever wondered how those beautiful glass cabochon pieces are created?  Maybe you thought you would like to try fusing glass but have been intimidated by the process.  Hopefully this mini-tutorial will give you that little bit of extra motivation to sign up for a class.

  First you must decide what you want to do with the finished cabochon.  This will determine the size piece you will make.  Your next decision will be whether to have a black background or one that is transparent.  Then it is time to pick out what dichroic glass you want to use--color, shape of design, combining different patterns, etc. There are many choices.

Glass Cutting Board and Cutters
Now it is time to cut the glass to the size you want.  I know this looks and sounds intimidating but it really is quite simple.  Trying out different styles of cutters gives you a chance to choose the style that best suits your hand.    In order to have a smooth rounded surface to the cabochon, you will need to cut three layers. The bottom layer or backing, the center layer of whatever dichroic glass you want to use and then a clear piece on top. If you would rather have your piece more organic, then the top clear layer could be omitted. The choice is yours.

Cleaning each piece of glass in the cabochon with alcohol is essential because touching the glass leaves oils from your fingers that won't burn off in the kiln. This piece has been layered and cleaned. Now it is ready to be fired in the kiln.

    Then into the kiln they go to be fired.  The temperature needs to increase very slowly so the glass heats up gradually.  When the temperature reaches 1475 degrees, it holds for 15 minutes so the glass can melt together.  Following the fusing it has to be crash cooled.  This means the kiln door is held open until the temperature goes down to 850 degrees.  The kiln door is then closed and the waiting begins.  The kiln must drop to room temperature before opening the door again.  If you open the door before that time, the glass will crack and all of your work will have been in vain. peeking!

Oh so pretty!

Be sure to check out our classes.  We have several to choose from and will schedule them according to your availability.  You can come by yourself or bring a friend.

Creativity is Contagious!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From a Blank Silk Canvas to a Beautiful Accessory

  This summer we are focusing on teaching fun and creative classes.

  This class in silk scarf painting focuses on letting go of your inhibitions and allowing the silk fabric to guide you in your creation.  Let's get started!

  Choosing colors can be one of the hardest decisions.  Once you have decided on your palatte,
attach the blank silk scarf to a frame using thumbtacks.  Make sure it is evenly stretched and has no wrinkles.  Each frame is made for a specific size scarf.

   At this point you will need to have some idea as to what your design will be.

If you are going to draw a pattern, it must be done with a product called "resist". 
Resist is a liquid that prevents the dye from flowing past a certain point.  For this scarf  Mary chose not to use resist. 

You will begin with the background color.  From there, blend in  the other colors.  Each color needs to dry completely in order to achieve the desired effect.

A second color is now being applied to the background.  You can use as many colors as you wish . 

                Be creative!

  Spraying water on the now totally dry scarf will give it a mottled effect.  If you are still not satisfied with your design, you can continue adding dyes.  It is not always clear what you will end up with , but that is part of the fun. 

The finishing touches!
  Once the scarf is dry, it then has to be rolled up in brown packing paper and set in a steamer for two hours.  The next step is washing the scarf.   Any dye that has not permeated the silk will  be washed away.  Then it is pressed and ready to be worn.  Making a silk scarf is an involved process but very rewarding when you see the end results.
   Our design studio has several classes available from which to choose.  You will find them listed on our web site.  Come by yourself or bring a friend.  We will work around your schedule.

             Let's Create!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation and Playtime for the Twisted Sisters

Hi Everyone,
Just to let you know that we will be participating in Art Unraveled, a week and a half of workshops, the first two weeks in August. These workshops provide an opportunity for us to learn new mediums, so that we can offer you even more variety of creations in our studio/gallery. Because some of these workshops are day-long, we will be closed from July 30-August 13.
See you after August 13.

Debra, Mary and Rita