In 2011 I was gifted a handmade coin ring by my partner as a promise ring. Curious on how he had made this coin ring, he showed me and then I started researching. Created a few of my own and then started selling them. First to friends and family, and then online. Creating jewelry from coins grew as my knowledge and skills in metalsmithing increased.
Learning about metalwork showed me ways to create in metals like copper and being on a limited income, I had to use what was easiest to get my hands on… salvaged copper. First I used copper wire and created rings, earrings, etc. but eventually I started working with sheets of copper. In 2013 my husband brought home a 30 ft length of copper gutter that had been in his bosses back yard for several years. It was all folded and bent up. I hammered it all flat in 10 foot sections. I used part of it to create some really pretty feather style cuffs and upon seeing the large grouping of them laid out, my daughter pointed out how they would look great as a giant wing. Well, that just fanned the flames of inspiration and I ended up hand cutting out 46 feathers out of that copper gutter. There are 23 feathers on each wing. Interesting enough… In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. That was a happy accident on my part.
The wings were all hand cut using metal snips. I then hammered them in half, opened them up and hammered the feathered lines into each one. My husband helped shaped a hammered head into a straight line with a grinder for me. So each line you see on the feathers is a hammer blow that I personally put there. The feathers are then carefully curled and shaped on the edges. Each feather was completely created by hand, no power tools involved at all. I spent almost 80 hours on just the feathers alone. The bust is a paper mache replica of my then 13 yr old daughter. (Use what you have on hand, right!?) Once I finished the paper bust I added penny coins all over it, carefully gluing them each into place. They have a thin coat of metallic paint over the top of them due to the fact that the white paper I used on the bust just didn’t look right shining thru all the coins. There is a final top coat of clear resin poured over the entire bust to create a good solid piece.
The sculpture had to have a name and upon searching for angel names I ran across the perfect one. Liwet… She was the angel of innovation and creativity. The perfect name for an Angel created from salvaged copper and coins.
More info: loraleeartist.net
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