Think Art Loud

Inspiring, Encouraging, and Promoting the Handmade Arts and Artists

Posts Tagged ‘My Art Monday’

Ok, so, as promised, here is the first post according to my new post schedule! Starting things off, is an announcement for my newest jewelry line: hair jewelry!

Hair Jewelry – ‘Aoifa’ design

Hair Jewelry - Aoifa design

This is the first of many more pieces of hair jewelry to come. It’s a sterling silver and Freshwater Pearl Mobius flower chainmaille and metalsmithing hair fork. Alternatively, if you don’t where hair jewelry, hair forks also work great as shawl/scarf pins. The total length of this hair fork is nearly 3 inches long. For anyone interested, it is available on my website.

I’m extremely happy with how this piece turned out. It’s simple, yet very elegant and not as easy to make as it looks! Hair jewelry is actually pretty tricky to make, and this piece was no exception. When it come to making hair forks, the trickiest part of this kind of hair jewelry is the shaft. Besides making sure you have a good wire gauge/temper, it is very easy to over work the zig-zag kink pattern that helps to keep the hair jewelry in your hair.

No idea when they will be finished, by more designs and styles are on their way! From hair forks, to hair combs, to hair sticks!

Hi, everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I last made a blog post, but I’m going to try and start posting again now that my summer art shows have come to an end. To get things restarted again, I thought I’d share some of my excitement from this summer: being invited to consign my jewelry to the Artistica art gallery in Dexter, Michigan.

Artistica is a small art gallery run by four ladies who are artists in their own right. I met one of the managers while exhibiting at the Midland Summer Art Fair where she was also exhibiting her work. The next month, I got a phone call from her asking if I would be interested in consigning some of my work to their gallery. And, of course, I was!! I then spent the next two weeks making a whole pile of new pieces specifically for the gallery so that I wouldn’t diminish my show inventory.

Here are a few of the pieces I brought down to Artistica!

Trizanov bracelet

Sterling silver and Dragondust Trizanov bracelet featuring Chrome Diopside beads. Trizanov is one of my own designs.

Half-Trizanov bracelet

Sterling silver and Dragondust Alternating Half-Trizanov bracelet with Iolite. Alternating Half-Trizanov is one of my own designs.

Vipera Aspis bracelet

Sterling and copper Vipera Aspis bracelet. Vipera Aspis is own of my own weaves.

Celtic Flower bracelet

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been making a lot of pieces lately in lime green and hot pink. This one is Celtic Flower bracelet in sterling silver and that lime green/hot pink enameled copper colour-combo I’ve been favouring lately. It sold at Artistica the day after I set up my display!

Byzantine bracelet

Sterling silver, burgundy, silver-gray, and blue-black enameled copper bracelet.

Celtic Flower bracelet

Copper and blue and orange enameled copper Celtic Flower bracelet. I really like how this one turned out. It reminds me of forget-me-nots.

Half-Romanov bracelet

Copper and lime green enameled copper Alternating Half-Romanov bracelet with Pink Topaz. Alternating Half-Romanov is one of my own designs.

Crotalus bracelet

Copper Crotalus bracelet. Crotalus is one of my own weaves.

Trizanov earrings

Sterling silver and Dragondust Trizanov earrings with Chrome Diopside, Pink Chalcedony, and Pink Sapphire.

Half-Trizanov earrings

Sterling silver and Dragondust Alternating Half-Trizanov earrings with Iolite and Tanzanite.

Dragonscale earrings

Copper Dragonscale earrings.

Romanov earrings

Copper and lime green enameled copper Romanov earrings with Pink Topaz and Pink Chalcedony.

If you would like to see more of the jewelry that I brought down to Artistica, you can find it here.

I love Steampunk; its crazy blend of history and science fiction. I love seeing the contraptions and creativity of other Steampunk enthusiasts. I also love dabbling in some Steampunk of my own. It’s not a very large Steampunk sculpture, but it is one of my favorites. This is “Arachnida Typographicus” the Steampunk spider.

Arachnida Typographicus (Steampunk spider sculpture) - Laura Hepworth

This Steampunk spider sculpture, as I said, is not very large, having a leg-span of only 7 inches. The carapace (main body) of the spider is made from an old watch, while the legs are keys from an old typewriter (hence the name “Arachnida Typographicus”), the abdomen was just a clear plastic bead I had lying around (it actually came from one of the first bags of beads I was ever given when I was 6), and all the parts are held together wire. Sorry, unlike some other Steampunk spider sculptures I’ve seen, my one is simply a sculpture and is not mechanized.

My links:

Deviant Art gallery (primary)
Deviant Art gallery (secondary)

Been working on some new bracelets and just wanted to share! I came up with a new design while goofing around with Celtic Spike Flowers, and, because of the shape, I’ve decided to call them Celtic Raindrops. Hope you like them!

Celtic Raindrops bracelet (sterling/Black Onyx) - Handmaden Designs LLC

Celtic Raindrops bracelet #1: Sterling silver with Black Onyx beads. Measures at just under 7.5 inches long.

Celtic Raindrops (Sterling/Kyanite) - Handmaden Designs LLC

Bracelet #2: Sterling silver with Kyanite beads. Measures at just short of 7.5 inches long.

Celtic Raindrops (Sterling/Jade) - Handmaden Designs LLC

#3: Sterling silver with Jade. This bracelet is just over 7 inches long.

Celtic Raindrops (Sterling/Fire Agate) - Handmaden Designs LLC

4th (but certainly not going to the be last) Celtic Raindrops bracelet: Sterling silver with Fire Agate. This one measures at just under 7 1/4 inches long.

I really love how this design turned out and will definitely be making more of these! I will also be making some of these in copper/enameled copper. What do you think? Would love some feedback on the new design!


Have I mentioned how much I love experimental digital photography? It is just so much fun! Although you may not be able to tell just by looking at the photographs themselves, the subject matter of much of my experimental digital photography is often my jewelry, or, in the case of the one here, my sculptures.

The Creature (experimental digital photography) - Laura Hepworth

Much of the experimental digital photography I do is the result of being curious about what forms, light affects, etc. a given piece would create if photographed while moving the camera all over the place. The results are then enhanced by playing with the pictures adjustment levels. I really love how this one turned out! The object I was photographing, was a wire damselfly sculpture that I made a few years ago as a birthday gift for my mom.

I repurposed some wire candle holders I’d made some years before (I’d made them as props for my final project presentation in Ceramics I.) to make the main body of the damselfly, spray painted some strange looking buttons to make the eyes, and then made the wings and blinged up dragonfly with some colourful beads.

Here are some pictures of what the sculpture actually looks like.

Astrid the Damselfly - Handmaden Designs LLC

Astrid the Damselfly - Handmaden Designs LLC

Astrid the Damselfly - Handmaden Designs LLC

chainmaille Goa'uld hand device - Handmaden Designs LLC

I made this piece a few years ago, but it is still one of my favorite personal challenge pieces that I’ve done. I’d had the idea for some time to attempt a chainmaille Goa’uld hand device (yes, I am a geek!), and when the ‘fantasy’ theme contest came up on Maille Artisans I just couldn’t resist giving it a go. Making this chainmaille Goa’uld hand device (also called a ‘kara kesh’) was definitely a challenge, although not in the ways I thought it would be. The basic construction was a lot easier than expected, I simply needed to use European 4in1. The difficult part was in the planning of the different pieces and fitting them together. I spent probably at least 100 hours working on this: researching the original hand device design from Stargate SG-1 to make sure I got it right, sizing and re-sizing the piece as I went, and then doing more research to compare the results I was getting with the original. The chainmaille Goa’uld hand device ended up taking about 100ft of copper wire to make, and I am soooo thrilled with how it turned out.

Making this piece turned out to be just the beginning in geek chainmaille project ideas that I’ve had. Since making this, I’ve also made a chainmaille elf-ear cuff earring, and have been planning another major sci-fi project that I can’t wait to do!! (But sadly have to as I don’t have all the materials for it.) However, if I can pull it off it will probably be my ultimate geek-maille project: a chainmaille Borg head piece. Photographing that will be fun!!

Although I presently live in the U.S., I was born in Cork, Ireland and whenever I go back over (which, I’m sad to say, has not been for some time) it still feels like home. So, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day today, I wanted to share some of the pieces I’ve done that have been directly influenced by my love of Ireland (and Celtic design/history).

Symbols of Ireland by Laura Hepworth

The drawing shown above was a piece I did for an assignment in Drawing II while I was in college. It was a five step assignment. Unfortunately, I can’t completely remember what all the steps were, but it started with picking a small object to draw that had some kind of meaning to us. I chose something that reminded me of Ireland: a pound coin. Each subsequent object, or part of an object (some portions of the assignment involved deconstruction and metamorphosis), the stag, to the outline of Ireland, the Celtic zoomorph from the back of the old 1 pence (I miss the old coins!), a 50p morphing into the Irish 50cent Euro, and the Celtic knots, each piece I drew was a symbol of Ireland. Well, with the exception of the border, we were each assigned one playing card and had to incorporate some portion of that card into the drawing; I chose to make a border from one of small almost unnoticeable elements on the face-card I was assigned.

Celtic Knot wood carvings - Laura Hepworth

I love Celtic knots, however, I don’t think that I ever want to carve them again! One of the assignments in my Sculpture class was wood carving (via a dremel). Instead of carving a single piece of wood, I chose to carve multiple smaller pieces in different types of wood (my dad has lovely selection of wood!) and have each of the large carvings be different Celtic knots and the did zoomorphs for the smaller ones. The carving was rather fun (except for when I slipped with the dremel and took a good chunk out of my nail/finger; that was not so fun), but very tedious!! I kept asking myself why I’d brought that torture on myself by choosing to carve Celtic knotwork. Particularly, since before this assignment I’d never done an wood carving before!!

Eibhlin chainmaille necklace - Handmaden Designs LLC

Another, though more subtle, way that my art has been influenced by Ireland (and the Celts in general) is seen in much of the jewelry that I make. One of my primary techniques is that of chainmaille, and chainmaille was invented by the Celts to make better armour. The set shown above, also takes inspiration in Celtic design. It was specifically inspired by the Celtic revival pieces created by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co. in the 1800s during the Art Nouveau movement.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and I hope you enjoy this selection of Ireland/Celtic inspired artwork as much as I enjoyed making it!

So last year one of the new things I decided to experiment with was Prismacolor on copper. However, the bracelet project I’d planned did not go quite as expected. The original idea was a single bracelet with three Prismacolor on copper panels with chainmaille making up the rest of the bracelet’s body. However, after getting two of the panels to solder with minimal issue, the third one apparently decided it didn’t like me. I could get the the connector rings to solder just fine on one side of the panel, but on the otherside (no matter what I did) they simply refused to solder. Most likely, there was a miniscule gap somewhere between the sheet and the rings, but nothing I did (even using binding wire) could get it to solder. So, what started out as one bracelet, due to the stubbornness of silver soldering, ended up turning into two Prismacolor on copper bracelets plus a few other non-Prismacolor pieces not shown here.

Prismacolor on copper bracelet - Handmaden Designs LLC

This is the first of the two bracelets that resulted from the change in project plans. While the centerpiece of the bracelet is the eye-poping Prismacolor on copper, the rest of the bracelet is made from sterling silver. The body of the bracelet is the classic chainmaille weave: European 4in1. Before being coloured, the copper sheet was hand embossed by hammering copper swirls onto it to give the sheet more detail. The bracelet measures at just over 7 inches long and is 1 inch wide at the wisest point.

Prismacolor on copper bracelet - Handmaden Designs LLC

This is my personal favorite of the two bracelets. I just love the colours and while the granulation was a pain, I love the result and would endure all the frustration all over again! Like the other bracelet, this is a sterling silver bracelet with hand embossed Prismacolor on copper focal-point. This one, however, uses a micromaille Half-Persian 3in1 weave with granulation accents. It measure at 7.75 inches long and 1 inch wide at the widest point.

While it was frustrating that my original plan did not work out, I actually like the results of the two bracelets much better!

Here are my links if you’d like to see more:


"Claramae" multichain bracelet gifted to the stylist of Cedar Cove - Handmaden Designs LLC

I am so happy with how this piece has turned out! “Claramae” is multichain bracelet design. This one is made with copper, Quartz crystal, and freshwater pearl and features Half-Byzantine chainmaille segments. It measures at about 7.5 inches long when, when twisted, can be made as small as 6.5 inches.

Thanks to The Artisan Group, the original “Claramae” multichain bracelet shown above is being gifted to the stylist of “Cedar Cove” on the Hallmark Channel to be considered for use on the show!

I will be adding this design to my website soon and will be offering it in both copper and sterling silver, as well as, in different stones.

Will let you know if it gets selected to be used on the show!!

Chainmaille hornet sculpture - Handmaden Designs LLC

Believe it or not, this chainmaille hornet actually started off life as the beginnings of a bracelet project. It is a great example of what can happen when a mailler gets bored with what they are making and starts playing with their project. And, if you’ve ever held a piece of dragonscale, you know how irresistible it is to play with it. The way the weave feels and moves, you just can’t help it!

Anyway, that’s how the chainmaille hornet came about. I was originally working on a diamond patterned Dragonscale bracelet that I was going to edge with Half Persian 4in1, but I got a little bit bored (Dragonscale is not the fastest weave to make!) and got distracted. I kept playing with how flexible the weave sections were and noticed that if I curled the edges upwards with some of the sections and the other sections downwards that it looked rather like a hornets body. So, of course, I was now thoroughly distracted from my original project and curious as to whether I could successfully turn that would-have-been bracelet into a chainmaille hornet instead and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!!

I’m now planning on taking this project a step further. Someday, I want to make many more of these chainmaille hornets only smaller (about life-size or just a little bigger) and possibly using coloured wire so they look as real as possible. I am also planning on making a life-size hornet’s nest and these little buggers are going to be attached to and around it. However, this is a long-term plan as the wire amount it will require is pretty substantial.

In the mean time, I find myself still needing a name for my original chainmaille hornet. Suggestions anyone?

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