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Patinated floral earrings

Apply patina inks to metal charms for custom chandeliers

My parents, both avid gardeners, provide plenty of floral inspiration for my jewelry making. Though these earrings combine a variety of techniques — painting, reliefing, glazing, and beading — these embossed components make it super easy to paint a colorful bouquet.

SUPPLIES

Earrings

  • 6 4 mm pearls or crystals
  • 2 21 mm Vintaj brass menagerie chandelier charms
  • 6 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) brass head pins
  • pair of brass earring wires
  • 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • reliefing block
  • 4 Vintaj patina inks: 1 background color, 3 flower colors in dark, medium, and light
  • Vintaj glaze
  • small paintbrush
  • waxed paper

Supplies from Fusion Beads, fusionbeads.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS

Patinated floral earrings 1
Step 1
To make a bead unit: On a head pin, string a pearl or crystal. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Make six bead units.
Patinated floral earrings 2
Step 2
For each earring: Paint the background of the chandelier charm with the background color (see “Patinating tips,” below). Allow to dry.
Patinated floral earrings 3
Step 3
Paint the charm’s flower with the darkest paint. Allow to dry. Carefully add the medium color to each petal. Allow to dry. To the center of each flower, add a dab of the lightest paint. Allow to dry.
Patinated floral earrings 4
Step 4
To highlight the raised edges, gently buff the piece with a reliefing block to remove the patina.
Patinated floral earrings 5
Step 5
Paint the entire charm with glaze to seal. Allow to dry.
Patinated floral earrings 6
Step 6
Attach a bead unit to each hole on the bottom of the charm, completing the wraps as you go.
Patinated floral earrings 7
Step 7
Open the loop of an earring wire. Attach the dangle and close the loop.
Patinating tips
Patinating tips
  • Although its consistency is watery, patina ink dries very quickly and sticks. Work on waxed paper so if ink bleeds the piece won’t stick to the surface.
  • A little dab of patina ink goes a long way. Use sparingly.
  • Immediately clean your brushes in water when finished with each color.
  • Sealing the component with glaze keeps the reliefed edges from darkening over time.
  • Mix a small drop of glaze into the paint for a thinner, lighter wash.
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