Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Anyway. I grabbed the green piece from below and retorched it tonight to see if I could get some different colors. This is what I got. The colors are a bit more vibrant in person and there is a hint of purple in it. Metal patinas are just so cool!!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"You could create a whole new line for Barbie...... Ax Wielding, Village Plundering, Braveheart Barbie! Imagine the fun your little girl could have lopping off Ken's head and burning down his house! Viking horn hat sold separately!"
I think that's awesome. Stay tuned for a Barbie you won't see for sale in the store.
Katie commented on the holes and if they caused the pieces to shrink less. I'm having a DUH moment right now. I kept looking at these pieces thinking they didn't shrink near as much as I expected and I was wondering if they had really sintered well. I was bending them and picking at them to see if they would crack...but they're good. The holes are the reason why they didn't shrink as much. Brilliant Katie!!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Just out of the kiln.....
After the torch. This one gave such a great brownish green. It looks so old.
After the torch....orange, green blue and purple. This one really went crazy.
That's all for tonight. It's been a long day. Lou's surgery went well. We were in by 9:30A and out by 1:30P. I think I was more nervous than Lou. The whole crew down at the surgical center were wonderful. He had an umbilical hernia that had to be fixed. I told him that they needed to re-tie the knot in his belly button because one day it would blow and he would sail around the room like a ballon deflating. He wanted to know how long I'd been saving that one....a while :))) When he was in recovery they gave him IV pain killers and then some Vicadin. I referred to it as the "I love ya man" medicine. He started stroking my cheek and telling me how much he loved me and appreciated me being there for him. Maybe I can save one or two of those pills for later :))
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Lou is having surgery tomorrow. Luckily it is what they consider "come and go" surgery. The get you in, cut you open, sew you up and kick your butt to the sidewalk. So tomorrow I will be his moral support, driver, afternoon/evening nurse, cook, maid....wait...that's what I do everyday. But then it's back to work on Tuesday for me. He is out for the week. He has these great plans of working in his home office his martial arts business...but I think he is going to be sleeping most of the time...especially if they give him some good pain killers.
It's going to be in the low teens tonight....do you know where your cat is?????
Saturday, February 21, 2009
United States 4,064
United Kingdom 181
South Africa 33
Woo Hoo!!! Thanks for stopping by for a look. Hope you come back soon. Stay tuned tomorrow because I have metal in the kiln.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I'm not one to like metal pieces clean and pristine. I've always dumped my silver pieces in liver of sulfur until they are black. With the bronze and copper I like to add color and make them look like they've been buried for a a few millenia.
Below are some of my copper pieces after a good torching.....
I haven't made up my mind about this piece. It is a 2D version of an ancient tool. I thought it would make a cool pendant but I don't know if I like it 2D. I'll have to try to make a 3D version to give it more depth.
Moe the Moo with a little color. I still need to fix his eye. He was inspired by a piece at the Louvre although I'm not sure they were cows (see pic below) and I don't think mine has quite the same look :)) But I like him and I want to make more. Guess that's all that counts.
A link for a bracelet. The other link I had broke. I think it sintered just fine. It was stressed to much on a design line. The stamp I used for this is too deep in areas and I was playing around bending it....a little too much.
A round pendant. It picked up a really nice blue green color on the left side and a little orange-red on the right. I also included a pic of the back. It came out orange-red also.
That's it for now but there is another weekend coming up and I am full of ideas...among other things. And I think we have no plans for the weekend. Now I just hope that nobody calls and wants us to do something. Lou is headed to the Golf Show on Saturday with his son and and golf buddy....YEAH....I'll have most of the day undisturbed.
Monday, February 16, 2009
A little bit of color on this pendant.....
I was trying to make a bracelet with one long piece of copper but this piece cracked apart as it was drying because the back was stuck to the teflon it was resting on. I forgot that the bronze and copper clay shrinks more than silver as it dries. If it is stuck to the surface it is resting on it will tear itself apart.
And my crazy cow. He lost his right eye but I'm going to refire him and hopefully give him full sight again :))
moar funny pictures
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Anyway, I have a load in the kiln and I want to be around when it finishes. I'll have pics later.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The copper metal clay is similar to the bronze in workability.....which makes sense since bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. To start I always take a hunk of it with a little spritz of water and knead it in saran wrap. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and it's ready to go.
To make slip I use olive oil for all three types of clay. I know some people use lavender oil for bronze but I don't have any in the house and I do have olive oil. It works well and the slip seems to last a while when I keep it in an air tight container. Some people recommend making new slip each time you work with the bronze and I would assume the same with copper. I don't, but you decide. I've had some of the faux rivets in the bronze come off after firing. Maybe it was due to old slip or maybe it was due to not using enough slip. I suppose I should try using new slip every time to see if I continue having this problem :)) DUH.
If I'm in a hurry I dry the wet clay on a cup warmer. If you don't want it to warp, put it on the cup warmer and press down on it very lightly with something flat. Flip it over and do the same on the other side....like searing a piece of meat. This will keep the warping down to a minimum. Unless you want your piece to warp. I like the warp factor....at least in bronze and copper. It gives it an aged, beat-up look.
You fire the copper as you do the bronze...buried in carbon in a stainless steel container. On Bill's recommendation I have been firing in the coconut shell based carbon. I use a full ramp up to 1650 and held for 3.5 hours. It comes out of the kiln a matt pink/peach color.....like a very new penny. I have been using a 3-sided nail buffer to shine up the high spots on the bronze and copper. I know some people prefer to throw the pieces in a tumbler for a high shine....just depends on what look you want.
Since the coconut shell based carbon doesn't give colors, I use a torch to heat patina the copper. You can get varying colors by heating the copper and then pulling it away from the flame and exposing it to the air. It's really cool to pull the copper away from the flame and see color flash across the surface.
That's about it for now. I'll be working with the copper some more tomorrow. I've got some ideas for some new shapes based on old tools. Everything old is new again.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
It works similar to the bronze clay...which I love. Here are some pics of the dried clay before firing.
I ramped at full speed up to 1650 and held for 3.5 hours. Pieces fresh from the kiln with a short polish from a 3-sided nail buffer to shine up the high spots are shinnier than a new penny.
I applied a heat patina with a propane torch and ice water quench...or in this case I went outside and scooped up snow. It gives a nice color to the copper. I was using a big ass plier that I had in the garage and held the lentil a little to tightly. Pressure and heat caused the lentil to crack at the point where I had a hole for the bail.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
To Bibeya, from Gimil-Marduk. May Shamash and Marduk grant you, for my sake, to live for ever. I write this in order to enquire after your health. Let me know how it goes with you. I am now settled in Babylon but I am in great anxiety because I have not seen you. Tell me when you will come, that I may rejoice. Come in the month of Arakhsamna (November). May you, for my sake, live for ever.
Not much of a love letter by today's standards but they lived in a different world than we do. I wonder if Gimil-Marduk created the clay brick himself or if he had to pay someone to do it for him.
July 6, 1806
My angel, my all, my very self -- only a few words today and at that with your pencil -- not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon -- what a useless waste of time. Why this deep sorrow where necessity speaks -- can our love endure except through sacrifices -- except through not demanding everything -- can you change it that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine?
Oh, God! look out into the beauties of nature and comfort yourself with that which must be -- love demands everything and that very justly -- that it is with me so far as you are concerned, and you with me. If we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I!
Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall surely see each other; moreover, I cannot communicate to you the observations I have made during the last few days touching my own life -- if our hearts were always close together I would make none of the kind. My heart is full of many things to say to you - Ah! -- there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all -- cheer up -- remain my true, only treasure, my all as I am yours; the gods must send us the rest that which shall be best for us.
Translating Beethovan's words into some of the first written languages seems a little strange to me. I'm still not set on it in my mind yet. I would like there to be some connection between the language I am using and what is being represented on my jewelry.....something original from the time period. But historically the first written languages were used to correctly count agricultural products and for keeping the calendar to plant crops at the correct time. I brought back a cuniform tablet from The Louvre. The card that came with it explains that the writing represents the sale of land and slaves. It's original...but doesn't capture the heart or imagination of someone considering a piece of jewelry. I prefer to have it be a representation of a love letter....even if the author had nothing to do with that culture. Love is universal and timeless.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Officer Dan: Well, you were going 78 in a 65 zone. I'm going to have to give you a citation (he flashes a cute smile). I'll have you out of here as soon as I can.
Gail: (under her breath)...Fuck Fuck Fuck.
So tomorrow I have to call and find out how many hundreds of dollars I will have to pay because I was racing to my mother's house. I got to Mom's house late and apologized to everyone and let them know I was late because I had a nice conversation with a police officer. This elicited a hearty round of laughter from my brothers...and from me too. I had a really bad week and this should have topped it off but I managed to just laugh about it. I'm either really balanced or gone over the edge.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Just a little peak at a piece of unfired clay. I got a really nice dome on this lentil by using a small light bulb. It had a larger arc than a regular light bulb. I dried a strip of clay across the bulb also so it matched the arc of the lentil.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I found this in Chicago when I was there in December at P.O.S.H. I love that store. It is a some type of bottle or drink caddy. It's perfect to keep all my tools handy and it's cool :)
Next weekend Lou will be in Florida on a golf trip. I am looking forward to having the whole weekend by myself....is that wrong. I plan to stock up on groceries Thursday night and I am NOT going to leave the house all weekend. Lou told me that I am turning into a recluse ... DUH. Althought I'm not sure that is the issue. I'm work all week and most of the time get home around 7 PM and then I try to run errands, keep the house clean, and get a little time in the studio...usually very little. So I guard the weekends like a pit bull with a bone. I'm in 7th heaven when we don't have plans. I begrudgingly go places. I mail order from stores that are only a few miles away because I don't want to waste the time shopping.
I also believe that I have a finite period of time to get my jewelry out there. I got into the game late. I envy my friends who have found this passion at an early age. They have so many years for their art to develop and evolve. Probably my only regret in life so far is that I left art behind so I could concentrate on creating and advancing a career in healthcare. But there came a time when I realized that I didn't want this to be my identity. I needed more in order to have a fulfilling life. Many women at this point have children, but that wasn't to be my path. So I went back to art. I feel like I have to make up for lost time plus when I am creating I am in a zone. And as many of you know, getting into a zone...whatever it may be....is a great feeling. So...I guard my time and others see it as being reclusive.