Rip it up - The painting

"Rip it" - use the components of a piece and make something new from it, that was the March/April challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community.
I'm practically a professional rip upper. Up ripper? Jack the Ripper? You know what I mean. I could put on my shop sign "Ripping up since at least 2012". Because that's when I first wrote about ripping up stuff for a JAC blog carnival.
The other day a fellow jewelry maker asked how long others wait to rip up pieces or offer them at sale prices if they don't sell. For me, it often depends on
- how much I like a design - endlessly hoping it will find its person eventually
- on the materials and if I will be able to reuse or recycle them easily - I rip up fewer silver items than other things
- how difficult the ripping up will be - wire crochet or knit items with a bead in each stitch are the absolutely worst, but it's also no big fun to pick tiny thread bits out of beaded items.

Just like in 2012, my urge to rip something up usually comes over me like a sudden wave.
For the challenge, I had picked up two items, but both them were nothing but wire and pearls, and I didn't have an idea for just pearls. So I went wild and ripped up five items with stones instead, a Cantera opal, a small Boulder opal bead, two jasper cabochons, and a tumbled rock that I have fallen in love with many years ago.
Latter is the stone I want to show you today.

I don't know what kind of stone is, but to me it looks like a tiny impressionist landscape painting, a stormy sky over fields. So pretty.
I messed up royally.
My first mistake was to go for a wire wrapped bezel, a technique I had only just started and that I tried to make work on a very slippery rock, with wire just barely long enough. That led to mistake number 2, adding some "decorative" wire strands stabilizing the bezel and, frankly spoken, looking as if someone peeked at the landscape from behind very strange bars. The tiny dangle definitely couldn't save anything.
The pendant went on the "rip up" list pretty quickly.

This time around, I opted for bead embroidery. I had a leftover piece of beading foundation that looked like half a navette shape. Its center was just big enough for the rock.
My plan was a simple bezel and for the sides a few mookaite beads picking up the colors of the stone and flowing lines around them. I hated my first attempt. I didn't like the second attempt much better.
Ripping up a piece twice that was part of a ripping up challenge, oh, the irony!
I left the center with the stone, with a peyote bezel in metallic bronze, but the two sides had to go, snip snip.

That's when it hit me. I had a painting which needed a frame and nothing else. No flowing lines, no beads, nothing on the sides, nothing dangling from it.
Was it coincidence that the current episode of my favorite show about artisans was about a gilder working on an antique frame?
I read that impressionists would have preferred white frames for their work, but that collectors and museums wanted the valuable look of gilt frames.
To enhance the "old frame" feeling, I added an edging around the bezel using a mix of light and darker metallic bronze and gold.
Sorry, it's a very grey day, I still have to take better pictures.

If you have been wondering about the shape, by the way, you are right. The stone is not symmetrical as this picture of the back shows, it's more like a drop shape if you look at it vertically. So the pendant isn't symmetrical, either, but I think it still works.

And did I feel the urge to add dangles after all? Of course I did, it's not something I can just turn off. I just had to look at my little painting, though, and the urge went away.

So, what do you see?


  1. I am sorry for missing so many posts! My blog reader is supposed to alert me, and it did about your most recent post, but not all of these.

    Anyway, while I truly think the original design is very cool, this version is gorgeous! I sometimes wonder if our insecurity about a piece taints it. Like maybe we don’t use the right wording when describing it for sale or something. Okay, maybe that’s over the top.


    1. Thank you, Michelle, and no worries!

      I know that I tend not showing items that much if I am not sure about them. That has sometimes proved to be wrong because others may see something that I can't see.
      For my own feeling, however, it is better to turn a piece into something that doesn't leave a nagging doubt at that moment.