Every time I have a new batch of titanium, I spread the pieces out on the table and just look at it. I am fascinated by the rainbow of colors, the sculptural shapes, and the sparkle. I imagine my family thinks I'm pretty crazy at this point , since on occasion I don't even get to making anything because I am so busy marveling at what I have.
Titanium often becomes the focal point to my jewelry because of the brilliance it adds to every piece. Usually, I choose a piece and design around it. For me that is the best way to work since each piece brings its own character that desires a unique design.
The first method I will teach you is the first method I taught myself. The results are stunning and the methodology is relatively easy. I hope you will expand on what you learn here and try new things on your own.
Titanium and Wire Wrapped Leather Necklace
Here is what you need.
Cutting the leather to support the Titanium
Check the fit of the leather against the titanium. Trim any leather that is visible from the front, however make sure that it covers any rough areas of the titanium or the titanium will pick at the wearers' clothing. For a custom, fit bevel the edges of the leather so that it lays nice and flat by angling the scissors inward while you cut. Some leather is not dyed throughout, so you may have to color the edges with your matching permanent clothing marker .
Shaping the wire into a bail or hanging mechanism
I use a scrap piece of plastic coated telephone wire the size of my "good" wire to experiment with different design choices. I hate wasting wire and once you bend the "good" wire sharply, it is a bugger to get the kink back out. In addition, the rough back of the titanium can scratch the wire, so I want to be sure of my design and reduce that risk.
I'll talk about the basics for one method for hanging your piece, but there are infinite possibilities. Start by measuring a piece of wire 3x the longest side of your titanium piece. Position the wire so that the middle of the wire is in the mid-back of the piece. Bend the wire around any open holes so that it will not be seen through the open spaces when viewed from the front of the piece. Bend the wire up over the top of the piece, positioning them so that your piece will hang level, then curl each end to form closed loops for hanging your piece.
In this step, you have a great deal of artistic license and your creativity comes into play. You can make one or more loops for use in hanging your piece, or you can feed the wire through a hole and use it to decorate the front. Try adding some beads, contrasting wire or other found objects for ornamentation.
Tack the wire in place with epoxy.
Gluing the leather, wire and titanium together
For pieces that are more porous, try putting the epoxy on the leather instead of the titanium and let it stand for a minute or so. At this stage the epoxy is more tacky and is less likely to ooze into the pores.