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!