29 October 2009

slightly glowing trivets & molten glass = luscious color...

....and oh, so much fun in the studio....

After a long hiatus (from blogging & metalworking) I have found myself enameling again. And am I ever smitten with it. Using a piping hot kiln to create vibrant colors on fine silver is an exciting process. Could you possibly think of a better accent for a design based on line and shape? I simply can not.

For those of you who haven't enameled before you may be curious as to what tools are used, so that is where I will start. They don't make for a pretty picture so those folks who enamel are going to have to wait for the good stuff. The good stuff being my finished piece.

Here are the sifters which the dry enamel is placed in. The sifter is filled so when you tap the handle a generous amount will cover your piece to be enameled. Brushes are also handy to have nearby for removing enamel which has lost it's way. I also use a brush to apply the gum agar which is like an adhesive. It is applied before the enamel creating a sticky surface that will hold the enamel versus naked metal which the enamel would slide off of. 

I enamel on old magazine pages. They are nice and smooth so the excess enamel easily runs off the page and back into your enamel packet for future enameling adventures. I find some of the pages inspiring as the colors are bold and you come across the occasional advertisement which strikes a chord.

My domed discs are carefully arranged on my handmade props. They are now ready for that piping hot kiln I was talking about. And when I take a peek into the kiln and see that the trivet is a dull red, I know that the enamel will have taken on a glassy sheen.

An apple green glassy sheen in this case. These domes will become earrings which are a compositional study of color, shape and line.

I had also used some mica to enamel on and it didn't behave. The mica stuck to my piece, causing me to take my discs over to the flex shaft bench and use some abrasive wheels to remove the flakes of mica. Seems that my handmade props worked best for this situation. After the grinding I need to fill the spaces with some enamel so I used the wet packing method. You can see my teensy spatula and palate which make wet packing easy.

Back into the piping hot kiln, this time on my props. I don't think I knew what shape these earrings were going to take, even at this point. 

Out came lots of pliers and wooden rods. I played around with these tools and some silver wire with the end balled up and this is what came out of it....
 tendril earrings

I promise they can be worn, easily, and you will never lose them while they are on. They are really fun earrings. I can't wait for them to make their debut at Craftland's holiday sale. They have some family members too which need a little more work. I will share them as soon as they have cooled. 

P.S. this post has been updated. Click on the photo if you are interested in buying them from my shop!

05 October 2009

autumn flowers captured on a Providence stroll

I have been lucky enough to come across some beautiful buds still rich in color while on my daily walks with my four legged lady. I love the colors that autumn brings but I can do without the crispness and shorter days. For now I will just have to embrace what is still blooming. I have a sneaky feeling that these forms and colors are going to be brought back to life in my studio this winter as I delve into some new enamel work. 

Part of the attraction to brown eyed susan's is the vibrant yellow shooting up as dull golden leaves fall to the ground. The best part is the plethora of blooms creating a blanket of tuscan yellow.

Here is to the hope that there will still be weeks of walks full of blooms in my future.

I couldn't have gotten luckier with this picture. While I was trying to get my iPhone's camera to focus on this cosmo my lovely lady tugged at her leash causing me to move and not get the original picture. After getting her to sit and stay I went back to discover a bee busy at work. So, I am glad my lady can't always sit perfectly still. I would never have gotten this shot. Have you ever seen such a striking cosmo? Love the stark contrast of deep purple and white.

About a two and a half minute walk from home is India. This restaurant is a feast for the eyes. The gardens are lovely, the fountains are dreamy to listen to, I always smile as I walk by everything is alive with color. And the sky was such a pretty backdrop for this potted beauty.

This tree amazes me. I believe the random bends and twists of this composition will certainly show up in my designs once I get myself settled at the bench to prepare for the upcoming holidays.

I thought a close up of this sunflower would be the composition of choice. Capturing the one stray petal, like a piece of hair stuck in your eyelashes with the rest of the petals looking like a wild mane. But I stepped back....

...and realized that there was personality in the gesture of the flower's leaves. I can't decide which one I prefer. Can you?

make a wish

fill your cheeks up with air and blow.....

may your wishes come true.

enjoy the sun today!

thanks for reading!