It's been crazy hot here in Cleveland. Driving home on Thursday the car was reading 107 on the freeway. Lou headed to Michigan on Friday for a golf weekend so I decided that this was a good weekend to just stay inside and work in the studio.
I recently made a few (40+) etched copper sheets to use as textures for metal clay. I had used polymer clay tear-aways in the past but the polymer clay company changed formulations so the process no longer works. It was time to try something different. I picked my favorite designs and nailed down acid-etching on copper.
I tried out a number of these yesterday. And I have to say I LOVE them. They were easy to use and because I can control the depth of the copper etch, I can make a stronger texture on the metal clay. It's not as much as with a rubber stamp but more than a tear away. I haven't polished them up yet but I can't help posting pics of the pieces fresh out of the kiln. The colors are just so great.
My typical tribal designs mixed with some industrial girders and rivets. Check out the orange spots on some of these.
These are all from nature. Molds of drift wood from my brother's beach and part of a seed pod (heart shape) from an Amaryllis that sits in my office at work.
The gear was made from a shaped frame I picked up at the MCWC . It's from polymer clay express. It's was a really easy to use. The other two pieces.... I have no idea....they were sheets that I had cut small discs and rectangles from...but I liked them so I threw them in to fire.
New Directions is a book that "embraces the unique personality that metal clay brings in the form of jewelry, vessels, functional and decorative objects". It brings together some amazing metal clay artists and I'm proud to be included in this book. A portion of each sale will go to CERF+ which is an organization that provides emergency relief to artists.
Got back yesterday. It was really great to catch up with friends...especially Facebook friends. To actually see them in person and get a chance to talk was great!! The MCWC is a well run meeting, in a nice location, and there were lots of good lectures.
She makes beautiful pieces and the book goes through her design process and how she uses the features of the stone to guide her in designing the bezel...on both the front and the back. If you have any interest in bezel setting stones in metal clay....you need this book. Of course I bought it and had her sign it :)
Speaking of stones....here are a few I picked up from Joe Jelks at Horizon Mineral. Joe doesn't have a website but he does shows. You need to check out his stones if you ever run into him at a show.
Anasazi Pot Shards...very cool and after Lisa's class my mind is buzzing with thoughts of the bezels I can make.
Fossilized Dinosaur Bone....really!! I have a hard time grasping that I have a piece of dinosaur bone.
Agate Tubes. Finding these were worth the trip.
I thought they might be thousands of years old. Joe said they are more like millions of years old. They are the result of volcanic ash deposits on the stems of silica rich marsh plant stems in Sumatra.
This is a picture of the primordial place they were created.
It's no secret that I love ethnic jewelry and artifacts. I have quite a few books that I've bought over the years and stuffed into my bookcase. Well I've had this book for a while...a long while...and never really read it. So I pulled it out to finally read it and drool over the pictures. There are over 400 pictures in this book. It showcases the collection of Colette and Jean Pierre Ghysels. It's a beautiful collection and book. I'd tell you to go to Amazon to buy one but it's out of print. If you run across this book in a used book store....pick it up. It's worth it.
In one of these posts I think I talked about making a dozen or so etched copper plates. Final count.....I made 43 plates. I used copper in gauges ranges from 26-20. Why??....because I had the copper and decided to use them all to see which I like the best for making jewelry and for making textures plates.
Now it's time to play with the etched plates.
I writting down instructions as I go so one of these days I will have a tutorial.
These are all plates that I have prepped for etching. I think I've got this thing down :) It's all about getting the metal up to temp and burnishing until you can see the image come through. Smaller pieces are easier becasue they come up to temp faster. Larger pieces have to be worked...especially on a small craft iron.
Tomorrow I will etch...and etch...and etch.........