Thursday, November 4, 2010

Acorns and Oak Leaves

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and I love to see all the changing colors, feel the crisp air, snuggle into my warm sweaters, and have a good excuse to drink all the hot cocoa I want. One of the ways I like to celebrate this time of year is to make glass acorn beads. The acorn is the humble beginning of a mighty oak tree, which symbolizes quiet strength, endurance, shelter and growth—qualities I would like my own life to represent.

Last year, I focused on traditional colors in various shades of tan and brown, along with a special version that includes gold metallic scroll work. This year, I "upped the ante" with a new crop of colors in rich shades of ivory, caramel, green, and dark chocolate, like these:

All along, I planned to create oak leaves out of bronze metal clay to coordinate with my acorn theme, but something always got in the way and I struggled to find time to work on all the ideas brewing in my head. Well, it's been at least three weeks in the making, but I finally have some finished leaves to show you, with some other fun things thrown into the mix!

Here's what bronze clay looks like when it's unfired on the left, and the charms on the right are what they look like after they've been fired and tumbled to a satin finish:

Don't you just love that gorgeous golden color?!? And here's a sampling of the oak leaves, with the three on the right showing what they look like after getting a stinky liver of sulfur bath to give them a darker patina:

I think they turned out even better than I was hoping for! I left them with a slight "rustic" surface to contrast with the smooth shine of the glass beads and here's what they look like paired together:

Isn't this a match made in Heaven?!? I'm working on some handmade bails next so I can create some finished pendants and necklaces to put in my Etsy shop soon. But in the meantime, I'll have some of these sweet guys listed in my shop later tonight, if you'd like to pick up a few to create your own designs? ;-D

If you'd like to try your hand at bronze clay too, I highly recommend a book by Yvonne M. Padilla called "Bronze Metal Clay," published by Lark Books. I checked it out from my library and it's a wonderful resource for people like me who have never tried this medium before. While I was familiar with working with Precious Metal Clay (PMC), bronze clay is an entirely different animal and I learned a lot of helpful information and was inspired by all the great projects featured in this book.

If you like these charms, wait until you see the rest of what I have up my sleeves to show you! I have a variety of bead caps, sentiment charms, and personalized pendants—just to name a few of the other goodies I've been working on. I promise I'll write and share them soon—right after I get done prepping, rolling, stamping, trimming, shaping, refining, sanding, firing, tumbling, adding patina, and polishing them all up! *Ü*


  1. CUTE! I love the acorns! Really, I love it all!

  2. Thanks so much, Lori! I love your designs too! *Ü*

  3. I love the word charms, and would love to buy some. Noticed they are not listed on Etsy. Will you update me?

  4. Great design and execution. I saw the acorn beads and charms in person, and they're fabulous!

  5. Hi, Charmeddesign! I am going to list some of these right now and am making more that say other words that I will hopefully have listed in the next few days. Thanks so much for asking! *Ü*


Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I love hearing from you and hope you will stop by again! *Ü*

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