Friendly Plastic Floral Cuff with “rivets” Created for Jewellery Maker TV

 

Floral Cuff in Friendly Plastic and leather

Floral Cuff in Friendly Plastic and leather

Floral Cuff in Friendly Plastic and leather

Floral Cuff in Friendly Plastic and leather

Yesterday was the last ever Jewel Enamels show on Jewellery Maker TV which was rather sad. The reason for it was that Ranger who make the Melting Pots are discontinuing them.  But worry not, there are still some independent retailers with some in stock, Rare Bird Ltd included, but when they are gone, they are gone. But more on Jewel Enamels tomorrow when I will bring you the photos from that part of the show, but for now I want to tell you all about my Floral Cuff bracelet and the wonderful ladies who inspired it.

Last year I went to Denmark to spend time with the very talented Barbara Lees and Karin Schmidt (aka Rubber Karin!).  We shared our techniques and learnt a lot from each other, and one of the techniques that Karin has worked on and developed way beyond where I had taken it is her faux riveting technique. You can see from the photo below that she has done a lot with this idea, and between Karin and Barbara they are teaching classes in Denmark and online about this.

Check out Karin Schmidt's work on Barbara lees website

Check out Karin Schmidt’s work on Barbara Lees website

My cuff is definitely not in Karin’s style, I have gone for something a bit floral and more three dimensional.  I used simple little moulds made using silicone moulding compound around the back of a measuring spoon and the handle on the lid of my Efcolor stove.  

Making the moulds using silicon moulding compound

Making the moulds using silicon moulding compound

These became the moulds for the flowers.  Each flower is in three parts: the centre – a gemstone embedded into a small ball of Friendly Plastic, the inner flower made from the smaller mould from the knob on the lid of the stove, and the outer flower made from the larger mould created on the back of the measuring spoon.  The two Friendly Plastic squares that make up the flower have been foiled on the reverse and on the edges using transfer foils.

If you use hot water to soften the Friendly Plastic squares it makes it much easier to get them into the moulds without any undue sticking to your fingers.  The shaping around the edges is done by gently pressing out the corners and pulling in the middle of each side slightly.

Nesting them all together is made easier and more secure by using a soldering iron to spot-weld the three parts together.

 

The cuff in the making

The cuff in the making

A little piece of Friendly Plastic heated with a heat gun forms the “rivet”. Sit it under one of the holes in the leather and touch the soldering iron to the back of the flower and press down, forcing the “rivet” and the back of the flower to touch and stick.  Hold in place for a moment until they cool. If you want to see exactly how to do this, then check out the Jewellery Maker recording of the show on the Youtube clip in the side bar.

These earrings were made in a very similar fashion, but the leather is some lovely coppery metallic leather I happened to have a scrap of lying around.  The dots of leather you can see in the triangles are the bits of leather I cut out with the hole punch and pressed back into the warm triangles.Fp leather earringsThe other Friendly Plastic quick project I showed was using Fusible Film with Friendly plastic. Using heat to adhere the Fusible Film to the back of the plastic which was roughly cut into a triangle, I then used the heat gun to soften it completely so that I could shape it in my hands before plunging it into cold water. The holes were made with a soldering iron.

Friendly Plastic and Fusible film.

Friendly Plastic and Fusible film.

Three things for you to do: 

  1. Check out the fantastic work of Karin Schmidt and Barbara Lees on Barbara’s website, and maybe even take one of her tutorials.
  2. Watch the youtube video in the side bar to see exactly how easy it is to make the cuff and pendant.
  3. Catch tomorrow’s blog post all about the Jewel Enamel section of the show.

Don’t forget that I have two workshops coming up at Jewellery Maker on Friendly Plastic, one on the 3rd October – a beginners basic course that covers all bases and is a great way to get to grips with the medium. The second is all about using Friendly Plastic for the Festive Season and that is on the 15th November with ideas for Christmas decorations as well as festive jewellery.  Both of them can be booked via the Jewellery Maker website.

And finally, if you would like the chance to learn from Barbara and Karin and me on a two day workshop where you get two full days of classes, one with my Danish friends and one with me. Send me your email addresses and I will add them to the list of those who want to know more about the course at the very end of May 2015. It will be at Rufford Craft Centre in Nottinghamshire, and I will be able to provide you with a list of places to stay in the area.  The full details of this will be available in the autumn.