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 you re-create an accident?

'broken wings, open heart' 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!

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?