Friday, 23 July 2010

Brass "imitation bottle cap charm" -- or, what happens when you glue two pieces of brass together?


Third post in one day -- blame in on my camera: I good in a good and story-telling mood during the photo session, which meant going from taking pics of just three or four motifs for my other blog to taking... well, I don't know, let's just say it ended up being a much longer session than planned. And that was not just because of the annoying winds.

Anyway, this little thing (19 mm across) above is what this post is about. It is the result of putting round and cog-shaped brass stampings/cutouts/blanks in the same zip-bag just because they're both made of brass and bought in the same shop. I was bored, didn't get any ideas for the projects I wanted to work on and I began fiddling with these brass bits. Of cause I soon put one brass piece on top of the other and that was how this one came to life.

At first the patterned "frame" of this bezel -- I guess it can work as a bezel of some sort eventhough it's shallow -- didn't show very well so I thought it needed to be oxidized. Not having the right stuff for it at home, I took out my brand new bottle of alcohol inks. Not having used that type of inks before, this became the perfect time to see if I could make an imitation patina that resembled natural or man-made oxide in the recessed areas. (While brass can be oxidized some metals can't and then it's sometimes useful to know how to make "faux patinas" like this.)

When the ink was wiped off, the patterned edges was much more visible. And that's when I began thinking it looked a bit like a bottle cap, especially a "smooshed bottle cap", the kind used for charms and pendants. And that's probably how I'll use it, to frame a pic of some kind. Too bad I didn't see any big cog brass blanks (other than the 25 mm ones) because I'd be fun to make larger pendants too in this manner.

Well, picture charm it is then. That just leaves the question of suspension. Drill a hole to make a pendant (without damaging the edge), add a flat bail to the back or something else like attaching a pin/tie tack to make a small brooch or rivet it to a ring base? Right now I don't really know what I want to do with it. But I'll probably think of something soon.


Just two things I want to add before ending this post:

1. Yes, I know it's lazy to glue together metal that can easily be riveted or soldered. I prefer that too, but this was an experimental piece and I also felt glue might "fit the theme" if I want to use it as a resin bezel: gluing one part of it, why not glue it all?

2. It's really too shallow to work well as a picture bezel/frame so unless there's thicker brass "cogs" to be found it might be better to attach two pieces on top of each other to add depth. That would also enhance the edges without having to oxidize the charm.

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