Tuesday, November 16, 2010

more prayers

prayer seems to have been a 'thing' for me in the past year.  learning (the hard way as always)..... reflection........ and prayer.  so, i was happy to have an opportunity to fill a special order  for these two, to send my mind and heart back to why i first made these pieces  in the early part of this year .   it feels so good to make something that i can feel reasonably sure will work the way i want it to.  my self confidence suffered enough with 'teddy and sara', to want some 'comfort food'.  so here they are with all their lovely sentiments:  a wing and a prayer x 2.  always be grateful for the small things.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

an interesting proposal.....

one day a fellow artist in our building walked in with a pair of sandals with these little metal bees on them.  the sandals were much loved and worn out, but my friend wanted to keep the bees and was curious if i could design a piece of jewelry around them.  her first thought was just to put them on tie tack posts, and use them as scatter pins, but i proposed a copper leaf pin for the bumblers to sit on. i could bore tiny holes in the leaf so that the bees could be attached with the tie tac pins and worn as a broach with the leaf, or singly as scatter pins.  what do you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the end of a long journey

those of you who have been following the loooooong saga of the double dog portrait will be interested to know it is finally complete!  i thought for a while that i would have to abandon the copper altogether, and my client really wanted it in copper.  i don't have as much experience in copper, but i think i finally figured out what was causing it to pull itself apart during firing.  at first it pulled apart at the chins.  i fixed that by embedding a copper wire in the wet clay there, and that worked, but the image cracked elsewhere.  i researched online and experimented with making sure the clay was very dry before firing.  i fired it vertically in the charcoal, then horizontally.  then i tried higher and lower in the firing pan.  it made no difference.  after many tries.....and i mean many, i landed on the idea that perhaps it was the shape of the design.....that with so much clay at the bottom, and the ends barely touching at the top, it could be that the piece was pulling itself apart because the natural shrinkage would be more in one area than another.  so this time when i pushed the clay into the mold, i left the center filled.  low and behold...... that worked!  all i had to do was cut away the copper to restore it to my original design.  praise the lord and pass the whiskey!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ok....just so you know......

i couldn't stand it, so i crash cooled the kiln...................suffice it to say, i know what to do next time for the final shrinking of this sculpture.  fear not....the dogs' dear little faces are still perfect. 
this picture is just a subterfuge.

while i am waiting.....

here i am sitting at the keyboard, killing time blogging rather than cleaning up the pigsty that has become my studio. i'm waiting for the kiln to cool down so i can see if my double dog sculpture fired properly in copper.  i haven't had as much experience with copper, and one copper cast failed on this project already.  instead of firing them last night, as i told you i was going to, i put them back in the dehydrator, and weighted them.  i wanted to make sure that they were very very dry, as one scource told me that not being 'gently' dried, and not being fully dry could be the reason that the first copper one cracked and failed.  never occurred to me, as i can fire bronze completely wet and it does ok. 

so here i am tapping my toes and waiting, and it will still probably be tomorrow before the blinkety blink thing is cool enough to take out of the kiln!

so..... let me tell you about the PMC level three certification class i took in purdue at the end of july.  it was held at purdue university, here in indiana.  i stayed for three days, and met alot of really wonderful folks.  class instructor was mary ann devos, both experienced and accomplished.  she gave us the traditional level 3 projects---one little hinged box and one setting of a large natural stone in two setting methods: prongs and bezels.  i aquited myself well except for forgetting to put the plaster duplicate of my stone in its setting before firing the piece!  the whole piece shrunk way too much to fit the stone, but lucky me!  my stone was a fossil and very soft, so i could file it to fit.  it actually looks better with the smaller stone.....sure it does....  such are the happy accidents that come with inspired lunacy.  here it is.   
my friend caorl meyers gave me two gifts before i went on this trip.  one was this nautilis fossil, and the other one was a bee bead.  the tree and the spiral are recurrent images in her work, and as i contemplated how to use this stone in my project i thought about how many times she has inspired me.  so how could i not make a piece called 'carol's inspiration'???  we are now in a friendly arguement about who will eventually get to keep it.  i'll keep you posted on that.  my dad would say that posession was nine tenths of the law.

the continuing story of the double dog portrait

i made a new mold of the teddy and sarah portrait yesterday.  i had a bit of trouble as the first metal one that i cast.  it cracked, and had to be put back together with beeswax before i could make the new mold.  don't know exactly what happened to make it crack.  it was in a place where it had cracked in the greenware state. ......that would be because i, never leaving well enough alone, saw that it had warped slightly and applied pressure to the copper greenware.  thus..... it cracked.  i repaired the crack with paste, but it broke again in the firing.  i could have gotten away with that if it were in the bronze clay.  i paste things together all the time.  i forgot to put any lavender oil in the copper paste, so maybe that was it.  any way, having lost my confidence, some what, i cast the new mold in metal clay adventure's bronze.  i really like the bronze, and the shrinkage is the same as their copper, so it fills the same purpose.  the piece came out beautifully, and another third smaller.  still have a couple of firings to go, though to gt the size i want, but aren't they pretty?

there are a couple of tiny marks that shouldn't be there, but i filled them and they should come out in the next casting.  i cast it in copper this time, and i'm drying it slower with weights in it, so we'll see if that stops the warping.  i'll let you know tomorrow....... it should go in the kiln, tonight.

wonder how i should mske the bail???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

other things i've been working on

months ago the good queen molly comissioned a royal portrait in metal of her two golden retrievers, teddy and sarah.  i've been dragging my feet on this, while roalling it around in my mind, because i could not come up with anything more interesting that two dog heads profiled, and slightly off set, one on top of the other.  i had met the dogs, taken dozens of pictures, and thought and thought, but nothing came to me.  finally, finally i came up with a sketch to submit for approval.
she liked it!

the 'K' needed to be in the design to remember a dog long lost.

now i needed to spend the time working on a 3d image that would look like the real teddy and sarah.


wahoo!  molly liked this too!

i am now in the process of casting and firing.  i can take advantage of the 30% shrinkage factor of metal clay adventures bronze and copper clays, and cast and fire several times to achieve the approximate 1 1/2" x 2"  that we want the final product to be.  the original sculpture is 3 1/2" top to bottom.  first firing reduced it to 3" tall.  i've got the second casting ready to go into the kiln, and that will hopefully get it down to 2 1/2".  i'll let you know.  if all goes well the final casting will be in copper, and get the height down to 2".  my goal is to be done with the casting this week.....always good to have goals, ya know.  i'll keep you posted!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

taxing technology

yesterday, i spent quite a bit of time writing lots of informative stuff illustratined with  "8 x 10" glossies with circles and arrows" explaining my processes in attempting to do mixed metal inlay, only to post and find that 2/3 of what i had written had disappeared!.  lost in the ether.  arrrrgggghh!  at least i know, now, what i did, and won't do it again, but......X#?&X###!!!#@!!!!   oh, well!

to continue:  so far i've only been about 50% or 60% successful in my inlay efforts, but the process has been very interesting. while the 'termite run' inlays i previously posted, worked just fine fired at the schedule for bronze clay, the bigger pieces i tried next did not. in the picture in the post immediately preceeding this one, are two earring parts that were fired at the same time and constructed by rolling metal clay adventures bronze in to 2 card thicknesses, and cutting into cushion shape.  then roling again 2 cards thick cutting cushion shapes and cutting out a leaf pattern.  i spritzed the first set with water and lined up the second set on top, leaving me with a leaf shaped hole, backed with a two card thickness of bronze.  then i rolled out copper (metal clay adventures) two cards thick and rolled my leaf into the clay, cut around it and dropped it into my leaf shaped hole.  dried and fired both according to the bronze schedule and when i took them out of the charcoal, i realized that the bronze had fired, and the copper had not.  hmmmmmm......i said to myself, having just read hadar jacobson's blog on torch firing copper.....i wonder....i did not wonder for long as i got out my trusty torch and heated the first shape to red hot and held for six minutes, quenched, and viola!  perfect.  this is the leaf inlay you see in the front in the picture below.  success must have me giddy, as i immediately embarked on the second, did what i thought was the same thing and bubbled the bronze.  poop!  this is the less that perfect leaf inlay that you see behind the first,  in the picture below. it was an interesting lesson, however.  there was only one edge of the copper leaf that was blurred, and my conclusion was that if i filed off the bubbled bronze, i would have another perfect leaf .  wrongo!  the farther down i filed, the less of the original leaf showed.  the rest had obviously alloyed with the bronze.   never leaving well enough alone has been one of my major character flaws since childhood.    this is the results of my efforts:    
.....should have left well enough alone.   you can still see just a little of the copper at the top edge of the leaf and the stem, also a pretty big dent where i tried to file out a bubble.   once again, my favorite phrase has become...oh well.  BUT, now i know about alloying metals at high temperatures. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

a tast of things to come!

well!  after a hiatus of some little time, i back and boy do i have a lot to write about.  i have been discovering and experimenting with new brands of all three metal clays i have been working, and am discovering that each has different potentioa and different properties that i can use to my advantage.  metal clay adentures makes the bronze and copper clay that i have been using.  this summer i bought hadar jacobson's clay in copper bronze and WHITE bronze!  how cool is that?!!!  hadar's clay can be fired with a torch instead of ina bed of carbon in a kiln.  and my new thing that i've been working on is bronze with copper inlay.
more tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

too, too much excitement!!!

i've begun to experiment with actual inlay of copper into bronze!  i've got so many ideas buzzing around in my head, i almost don't know where to begin.  i've been attracted to using all three of my metal mediums in one piece and have so far just been assembling them that way, either by soldering, or simply linking pieces of different metals of different colors.  here is my first piece!  i molded a piece of rotted wood that had been eaten up by termites and woodpeckers in interesting designs, cast the mold with bronze, then filled in the biggest termite run with copper.  here is the result!  cool thing is that i was able to use the bronze firing schedule that i've sort of arrived at and works for my kiln, and both metals 'sintered' just fine!  watch  more soon on this new venture, but that's the end of my report for now!  i've gotta do my portrait of 'teddy and sara, plus K', now that i finally have an idea that i think will be interesting and show both to advantage.  wish me luck!  i'm gonna put them nose to nose.  i'll post when i have a workable drawing.  stay cool!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

good golly, it's the lovely queen molly!

you know, some people you meet are special, and you know it the minute you meet them. such is queen molly, who asked for her tiara months ago, and only got it last tuesday.  patience and modesty are great  qualities for a queen, and i understand she rules her queendom, with a gentle, but, steely hand.

she wanted her tiara in copper, because of her hair color, and she wanted to wear it or her 35th wedding anniversary. as  'jewelrymaker to the queen,('that would be me) i scurried around, perfecting my skills with copper firing times....and indeed my first set of leaves were a total loss!  i lengthened the firing time and tried again. i used fresh charcoal (coconut) and fresh clay, and included a few pieces of the old clay for test strips.  the new leaves came out fine, and the test strips did not.  my conclusion was that the first clay i used had been stored too long and oxidization had prevented proper sintering.  i will take better care when storing base metal clay, not only keeping it moist, but keeping in the fridge or freezer, to prevent, or slow down the oxidization.

i did some heat patina-ing on this piece...pretty fun, and got some lovely colors!  thanks molly for the opportunity!  how was the anniversary celebration?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

candace's creations

i have spent three enjoyable days giving private lessons to a very talented student who wanted to embark on a creative journey using metal clay in her jewelry designs.  we started out with an ambitious project around an existing piece of jewelry, that she brought in because it had weight and interesting textures.  i'm afraid i let us get carried away with the idea it presented even though i didn't know exactly where it would lead us, and i didn't know at the time exactly how flexible was my student.  she was very much up to the task, however, and, although we changed direction many times, due partly to my oversight and partly to some simply failed experiments, we completed some lovely pieces and both learned alot about our creative processes.

we covered a great deal of territory in our three days.....mold-making, casting in a mold, torch firing silver clay, how to use syringe clay in a design, how to make and use oil paste, sanding, finishing, polishing to a miror shine, copper clay, adding silver to copper, soldering and assembly, wirework additions, and earwires.  i'm proud to post candace's creations and her first metal pieces!  you go girl!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

dear diary........i've been neglecting you

so much has happened since my last post i don't know where to start.  the 'really big shooo' of the stutz open house went very well.   many earrings and necklaces went to new homes.  in the process, i learned that i should read all instructions given to me, and instruct my (voluntary) help with same, as we had some discrepencies with the credit card slips, but all that ended up o.k., too.  soooooooo  some life experiences and some restful days folowed, and i realized that i need to move on to the next project.  which was.... a custom order for a microphone pin, for Randy M's neice, graduating in broadcast journalism.  hmmmmmm......where to start?    how about studying some microphones?   i started looking at microphones present and past, and came up with a retro-design that i liked, using the graduate's initials for the call letters of a radio/tv station in the banner over the top of the design.  then i played with the engineering of the piece, and decided i needed something behind the microphone to make everything stable, and pull the design together.  ah hah!  a spotlight?..i like it!  i did this experimenting in polimer clay and when i was finished, baked the clay and sanded it very, very smooth, thinking that the light in back needed to be mirror bright, and that effect is much easier to achieve with good preparation from the start.

 i made the mold, put in the wet silver clay, and left it in the dehydrater over night.  the next day i realized that i should have supervised the drying of the clay as the whole thing had warped and was unusable.  drat!  i hate rehydrating metal clay!  i spritzed the thing with water to start that process going, and started on my pin again with fresh clay. this time i was succesful in producing a good cast from my mold, sanding and finishing as before.  this particular silver clay fires longer and shrinks more than the PMC3 silver that i have been using the most.  i chose it for the shrinkage as i could sculpt bigger and still have a pin of a suitable size and weight.  you never know how all your best laid plans will work out in a finished piece, but the firing went well and after i had spent quite a bit of time polishing the spotlight to a miror shine, it came to me that if everything was polished to the same degree none of the parts would show off to their best advantage.  duh....... so i scratched a crosshatch pattern onto the background and the result was just what i wanted, and barely ready for my deadline by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!  such are the highs and the lows of artistic endeavor.  as always.......more later......


Monday, April 12, 2010

my fortieth pair of earrings!!!

hooooooraaaaaay!  forty new pair!  now i can move on to the necklaces and bracelets!  i have about 20 or more pair to upload to the website, and i'll put out an announcement that they are there.  i've moved some things around at the website, and earrings will have their own gallery.  o.k. it's 4:45 AND I'M GOING TO DRINK NOW!  thanks all.

p.s.  couldn't help it.....here's a couple more!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

update on queen kathleen!

kathleen wanted tiny silver oak leaves in her crown.  this looks so lovely in her beautiful red curls!

new stuff

new earrings!  i'm finally getting the pieces and parts put together.  i'm really pleased with the results.  i wish i'd made two of everything, but i didn't.  most are unique. here are a couple of my faves.

these are the first earrings in copper. i love the sheen of this metal. i've finished them not quite flat as they come out of the kiln, just a little bit polished. the triangles are bronze.

these were fun, but i didn't anticipate having to solder the circles together.  i couldn't let them float, though, and i didn't forsee that i would need texture on both sides!

silly me.  love the results, however.  the blue, pink and gold show well.

the silver and gold and red-gold in these look really rich to me.  i am enamored with leaves, if you couldn't tell!
more on the website!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

queen kathleen is a five star queen, but i've only given her three....

.....can't have her getting a big head!  five stars is a weighty responsibility.  this tiara was custom made for kathleen and is actually glued instead of soldered.  i've used e 6000 which holds anything to anything.  the silicone is more flexible than solder. but, the big advantage is that i don't have to reheat my beautiful leaves.   they have such lovely patinas, that i hate to change by applying heat.  of course if this solution doesn't work as well as i think it will, all my pieces are lifetime guaanteed!

Monday, March 29, 2010

a plethora of pieces and parts

i just couldn't resist taking a photo of my ever accumulating 'component' pile.  every day i look at the pieces and play with them for a while, adding the new ones from the kiln...  moving them here and there, studying color weight and shape.  trying to decide which ones belong together.....but so far....it's still...... just a pile of parts.  soon to become.....a new line of earrings!  and a few necklaces!

Friday, March 26, 2010

seeking out new territories

i seem to be in an accumulating stage....making components and waiting for the inspirations that will put them all together.  my facination with leaves and natural forms continues, and i'm trying a new material, copper clay, which will expand my options in color and texture in my work.  too much fun!  these are the new leaves i made in copper, the only metal clay that i had not tried.  i cut out the leaves three cards thick, and dried them over short lengths of drinking straws.  i used the imbeddable eyelets made for bronze clay, and hoped for the best.   following the firing instructions on the clay package, as i could not find much other information, i held my breath and fired up the kiln.    the leaves came out beautifully, the bronze inserts worked just fine.  whooo hoooo!  i am so excited by all the possibliities before me  ...........................i'll keep you posted!

Monday, March 22, 2010

a princessleigh success.....

as i was saying, about the wonderful gift from my parents....they taught me that there was nothing i couldn't do, if i wanted it bad enough.  "where there's a will, there's a way", they always said, and that has been my motto, my entire life.  if i can imagine it i can make it.  so, i always forge ahead, never thinking i could fail, even when i've bitten off more than i ought, by rights, to be able to chew.  truth is, it almost always works.  so here we are.....coronation time.  every girl should have one! 
i crown me, the princess of leaves!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

developing interesting headgear.....

......i worked and worked all day to develope a base for my leafy tiara.  first i started with a curved sheet of brass.  i worked and shaped it until it fit comfortably on my head.  i go for the 'princess diana' style of tiara.  hers were always molded to her head rather than the fifties rhinestone prom queen models.  those were always on a straight foundation of flat wire, and sat rather precariously on the head.  tiara engineering is very important if you are a princess and destined to wear decorative headgear for more that 1/2 hour for a costume party.  when i had what i wanted, i began soldering leaves to the brass band, beginning from the outside edge of the design.  when the right and left sides were done, i was very pleased.  my leaves were getting a nice patina with the extra heat of soldering, and the design was going together well.  at last it was time to put in the three center leaves, including the one with the stone.  i clamped everything together, fluxed and placed the solder, then added heat with my little micro-torch......held my breath and the solder melted.  nothing had fallen off, and i was home free!  ready to buff and polish and prepare the final finish.

BUT....there's always a but...it was late in the day by this time, and i was tired.  i had been concentrating on this almost without coming up for air for three hours solid.  BUT, as i said, but..... the solder didn't hold and two of the last three pieces fell away when i unclamped everything.......  oh well........  time to quit and start again another day.  never fear.....the princess in me will prevail!  what my mother and father taught me over and over, is, that "where there's a will, there's a way!"  what a great life lesson.  and a wonderful gift.  for this reason, i have never doubted that if i could dream it......i could DO it.  more later.....the picture is of the unpolished tiara.............with a steel clamp holding the last pieces into place!

Friday, March 19, 2010

mother forgive me.........it's been two weeks since my last confession.....

i've been really remiss about reporting, and i have made lots of discoveries in the last couple of weeks.  first of all, i had a class, with one actual student, and we made ' my heart has wings'. (not pictured here)  we had cracking of the bronze, and sintering falure in the part around the dicroic glass stone, and i've been trying to figuring out why. sometimes i think it's the luck of the draw, but..... my piece pulled away from the hole cut for the glass, a bit, but, my student's completely pulled away, and failed to sinter properly.  i now think lavender oil is essential when making paste, especially if you are adding a fair amount of water in the construction process.  and, lavender oil in the clay as i condition it, seems to make the bronze stronger after firing, especially when i'm firing at a lower than recommended temp.  i know alot uf us are superstitious about this, but i did not have good experience with olive oil, highly recommended though it is.  i used olive oil in the clay for 'penrod and the windy day' (pictured above), and had some sintering failure there, too.  i find i like to fire at a lower temperature.  at about 1490, i get lovely irridescent, and tetallic patinas, and at the recommended 1550 for three hours i get mostly black.

next up......a leafy tiara in the making!  these are bronze clay leaves, before firing.   and.........

Thursday, March 4, 2010

again and again....and again

........now for the rest of the story.... after a couple of tries, i finally reproduced the accidentally 'broken wings' pendant.  i learned a few things on the way:  don't be in a hurry.  when i cut the clay for the new 'broken wings'  i didn't stop to pay attention to the thickness of the whole piece, thus when i broke off the part to be 'broken', i didn't notice that that part was thinner than the main.  the small piece shrank much more than the rest of it, and so was not usable.  back to the drawing board.  the second piece i fired turned out a much better size, and since i did have the forsight to drill holes for the 'stitches' in the clay while it was in the unfired stage, assembly went much quicker.  here is the finished piece along with the original, it's inspiration.  so next time i'm faced with the question, 'can you recreate an accident?'   i'll be able to say, yes.....yes you can....ifyou think twice! 
 here's one of my poems that seems to go with this. 

sky blue woman

 sky blue woman thought she'd never be whole,
the wind knocked out of her earth-strong soul
.......but when the dust cleared and she shook our her wings,
 she was grateful to find they were still useful things.

  when sky blue woman is brought to her knees,
 the mother earth whispers to the wind in the trees,
 and the trees rise up to speak to the sky
 that bends over the Woman with the visioned eye. 

 the wind and the trees and the sky embrace,
 to dry all the tears from the Woman's face

Friday, February 26, 2010

the good news...... and the bad news

o.k. the bad news first.  i took the pieces for the 'broken wings..'' pendant out of the kiln, today, and they didn't fit right.  the top part came out fine and the piece for the bottom of the wings was too small.  the bronze clay shrinks in the firing, and there was a little difference in thickness between the top and the bottom, causing the small part to shrink more.  so..... back to the drawing board on that.  today, first thing, i made a new part, thicker, and tried to calculate the shrinkage.  i put it in the kiln, tonite, and we'll see.  i love this one so much, i really want to re-create it.

the good news is, that while i was letting the clay dry on the second try of  'broken wings..'  i cut out a bunch of heart earring components to go with  the heart theme that i seem to be on.  i used several textures, including a piece of embossed paper with a spiderweb design that JM had given me. i also used some new, pronged findings that i can fire right in the clay, which makes adding stones alot simpler and more attractive.  so some serious experimentation was going on, and here, i was successful.  hooray!

more on the progress of 'broken wings'.. as the story unfolds.......

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

how .......do you re-create an accident?

'broken wings, open heart'

...........is a happy accident, made from a piece of bronze, over-fired and broken.  the pieces haunted me, until a friend told me to make something of the pieces.  well....since the things were over fired, they no longer fit exactly together, makeing the interior negative space an open heart.  hmmmmmm...  that same friend and i had been carrying on a running conversation about beloved things that had been broken and then repaired, by whatever means available, to restore them to usefulness.  sooooo....i came to stitches.    how ordinary........ how woman-like....... how practical.  anyway, i loved the resulting pendant, and was surprised to feel a bit of grief, when that same friend bought it.  now, of course the dilemma is......can i do it again?  well.........i can

more later........

Friday, February 19, 2010

alpha and omega....the beginning and the end

my project for the last 2 days has been to re-make a 'wing and a prayer', and to photograph each step.  many people have not seen the process of a taking a piece of jewelry from clay to finished metal. 

please visit my website and click to the portfolio page to see the show.   i'm really proud of this!
leigh dunnington-jones.com

Monday, February 15, 2010

the weight of the matter

the counterbalance was what my sister would call a story problem.....what form should it take?  how much weight would it need?  as for the form, i settled on a feather, at the suggestion of a friend, but the feather became two....and three.....and four, until there were twelve feathers positioned in a spray and cascading down the right shoulder.  i had made so many additions to my original solder-joints that when adding more pieces,  it became a challenge not to melt any of the connections i had already made!  and i assure you i did!   i learned the hard way to cool the piece thoroughly, between solderings.  and to use a  separate metal plate to sheild areas i did Not want to reheat.  but the piece at last was balanced!  and i loved it!  i wore it everywhere and other people loved it, too.  only problem being that this one is so mangled by the process that i can only use it to wear myself, and to show the design for a new custom-made piece to fit a new wearer.  but, the whole experience started me thinking that i should consider the back of every necklace i construct......hmmmmmm....more later.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

an engineering mind bend

'flight from paradise', the necklace pictured below, in my discovery of 'dodge and burn' post, was a real learning curve. not because of the clay, but because after i had assembled the necklace, i realized that my vision had some practical drawbacks.  hmmmmm.......   i wanted a parrot in flight placed off center on the front of the necklace. when i had it made, i realized that it wouldn't sit right on the wearer.  it wanted to slip off kilter.  well,  nobody told me to plan ahead.   so..... regrouping,  i set about figuring how to counterbalance it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ps......thanks janettmarie!!!!

today was a day to refine my burgeoning skills at documenting my work

i spent most of my day, today, taking photographs and learning more about my 'elements' program, so that i can better document my work.  i've learned that if i pay more attention to my set up, i will have less editing later.  the biggest bain in my existance here, is the little lint spots on the black velvet i take my pics against.  simple solution:  lintbrush.  a little harder is using my photoshop program-----but i'm learning!  did a dodge and burn on this one!

hooray!!!  i've been trying to get a good one of this for a year!
later.......the rest of the story.

Friday, February 12, 2010

a wing and a prayer

today i took two new pieces out of the kiln.  at present i am working in bronze metal clay.  i've discovered that i can fire dicroic glass cabochons right in the bronze clay and when they come out of the kiln, i can file off the charcoal that imbeds in the glass during firing and then remelt the top to restore the beauty of the glass.  while i was doing that, one day i found that when the pieces cooled, they were left with a brilliant patina.  so i began to practice this patina-by torch, and experiment with how to control the colors i could get.   i played with the patina of these two for along time, until i got what i wanted.  today's discovery....if i polish the piece before treating it with the torch, the color becomes shiney and very irridescent.  if i leave the finish as it comes out of the kiln, the colors remain mat, and look completely different.  holding the soldered joints together through the heating and re-heating  process came with a long learning curve!  duh?