I'm drawn to pieces that tell a story. I believe that's why I like all things vintage and if they could - these pieces would tell us an incredible story.
When I look at these earrings, I remember my first trip to Paris with my friend and editor Marie. We had just finished photography for my book Metalwork Jewelry. She couldn't believe that I would just pick things up wherever I found them, even if they were on the side of the road, and use them in my artwork. Well, after a week in the studio with me, she changed her mind. While in Paris and just in front of the Eiffel Tower, I looked over to find her kneeling down, digging in the dirt with her keys to retrieve and old bottle cap.
I recently ran across an inspiration board on Pinterest that was all about rusty metal and turquoise patina. I loved the colors together and the way that the patina seemed to dance on the metal.
I thought these colors were just gorgeous for fall and since I love all things old and worn, I decided to have a play and Explore Beyond at creating my own rustic metal shapes. I love that I have a sense of control, yet at the same time, each piece was unique in its own way.
I hope this tutorial really inspires you to explore unconventional ways to use conventional materials. There’s so many ways to incorporate this into your mixed media artwork and jewelry. Have fun!
Faux Rusty Metal from Shrink Plastic
Project Dimensions: Varies
MMM-001 Spellbinders® Artisan X-plorer™ machine
MD1-001 Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Ovals One Die
MD1-012 Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Circles Three die
MT1-005 Spellbinders® Media Mixáge™ Grate Works Three texture plate
Shrink plastic - Graphix, Inc Inkjet Printable Shrink Film
Dark brown acrylic paint
Gilders Paste® Patina
Heat resistant work surface (such as a fire brick or metal tray)
Drill with a 3/32” drill bit or size of choice
Block of scrap wood
Optional supplies: charms, feathers, vintage finds, additional colors of acrylic paint such as copper, bronze, gold, 1/8” circle hand punch
Note: I drill my holes with a drill because I can place the holes exactly where I need them. Sometimes the holes shrink too small when I punch them before heating.
Cut your shapes from shrink plastic using the Circles Three and Ovals One die templates of choice. Don’t throw away your negative space as this can be used for the focal base for a pendant if desired. (note you may punch holes into your shapes at this stage with a 1/8” hand punch)
Place your plastic shapes onto a heat resistant surface. Apply heat. As the shapes melt, they will curl up and then flatten back out again. Use long tweezers to protect your fingers from getting burned.
While the plastic shapes are still hot, stamp them with the texture plate with firm pressure.
Paint with acrylic paints and allow to dry.
Apply Gilders Paste with your finger or a cosmetic sponge as desired.
Place shapes onto a block of scrap wood and drill holes
Arrange shapes and attach as desired with jump rings. Add embellishments and earring wires.