Finding Inspiration - Etched Jewelry

The one downside to living in Costa Rica is that it's near impossible to get supplies here.  I have to order everything on-line, then have it sent to someone coming to visit or going back Stateside for a visit.  In other words, I have supply mules.  Shopping on-line is convenient, sure, but what I miss about living in LA is going downtown and just browsing beads and chain.  Going to the leather shops, engulfed in that leather smell, digging through boxes of scraps and feeling it in my hand prior to purchasing.  I miss going to the Fairfax flea market and thrift shops and finding random bits of jewelry that inspire me to disassemble them and create something new.  I miss heading to Santa Monica and spending hours in Ritual Adornment, looking at every single solitary thing and subsequently overspending because I wasn't able to pick just a few things!  

Basically, I miss being inspired by things I come across. 

I guess I've been feeling a little creatively stagnant lately.  Of course I love every little piece I make.  I don't mean to imply otherwise.  However, I'm learning that being the sole producer responsible with keeping my boutique stocked, if I'm not careful, I can fall into a creative rut that could end up feeling more like a job than art.  I wanted to try something totally new. 

But, again, since it's difficult to get supplies here, I had to be creative about being creative.  I love henna and mehndi tattoos and find myself doodling these sort of designs a lot.  Not as intricate, but lots of paisley type designs, dots and spirals.  I've done a few sheet metal bracelets with these designs using an engraver, but I was never 100% satisfied with the outcome -- I wanted something that looked "cleaner".  

I wanted to do chemical metal etching, but after digging around on-line to find out what I'd need, I was a bit discouraged because there was no way I could get the specific chemical solutions needed here, nor would anyone be able to bring them to me because of their toxicity.  Luckily, after a bit more digging around on-line, I found an alternative way to etch using chemicals that I can easily locate at the hardware store here.  Yiippeeee.!!

Needless to say, I've been experimenting with it for about a month now.  I feel like a kid with a new toy.  I love to work with sheet metal and so now this new addition just opened up a whole new world of possibilities and new ideas.  

That's exactly what I needed!  

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