Floral vessel with Sterling Bail
Well, ok, I need to practice

I am just so clever.

It's like this. The Problem: how to darken just the bail, which was washed out, without over-lightening the rest of the image, which was properly exposed.

This is, in fact, a pretty simple fix, but I'm not much good at gimp, beyond cropping and the occasional adjustment to value (only yesterday I discovered you could use the curves tool to adjust, individually, the red, green and blue channels, in addition to value)! Never let it be said I'm quick.

Hollow striped vessel with floral trailing, sterling bail riveted shut with flattened corrugated bead, and twisted cotton (some ombre) cord, accented with stripey mini-hollows. Assembled 2012

The intelligent scissors were a bust along the relatively straight part of the bail, so I switched to the paths tool, and oh my goodness has that become easier and more intuitive to use in the past few years—I had to struggle a bit to create a closed path, and still don't quite know the exact proper way to click to close, but adding, deleting and moving points, as well as curving segments is now a breeze.

Changing the path to selection was also easy; this choice was right on the paths menu. First time out, I grew the selection by 25 pixels or so, then feathered. Oh noes! A grey ucky band around my bail. But gimp obligingly brought back my original layer, and I tried again, this time feathering inward 15 pixels; between that and somewhat better outlining, I got a much better result. I was of course helped by the fact that the focus in that part of the image is fuzzy to begin with, and if you look at the image full size, you can see bits where the path and the actual edge of the bail diverge.

But all in all, a pretty sweet piece of image manipulation for a relative beginner, if I do say so myself.

Now, about the piece...that vessel has probably been lying about for several years (like, before I broke my collarbone in 2010?)—it can't be really ancient though, because it has transparent thompson enamels on it, and those only came out 5 or so years ago. The subtle stripes come out of two needs: on the one hand (as ever, sigh) the desire to use up shorts, on the other to have a sufficiently heated big-gob of glass to make such a (relatively) large bead from. So I would've mounted several shorts onto a 1/8” (3mm) thick mandrel-as-punty, which gives the subtle color banding to the body of the vessel.

The mini-stripey just atop the vessel looks as if it might be made out of bullseye, which means it's also a fairly old bead, since it's been ages since I made any mini-stripeys out of bullseye.

The sterling wire is a hand-made (or torch made) headpin, and so is the bail, which I banged on a bit for interesting texture, since the client wanted something like my heavily textured pmc bail[1] Because she wanted a soft (and potentially adjustable) necklace, we went with a cord rather than a silver chain; to keep the cost reasonable, I used a bradshaw winder to twist the cord, as opposed to braiding it.

I still need to refine my methods for making the bails, but I'm fairly happy with this piece.

[1]Guess I should photograph and show the piece I'm talking about...