Balam Acab – See Birds (Moon)
Earlier this autumn I was asked to create two cloisonné pieces as Christmas gifts. Here is the first, which is also my first cloisonné brooch. Below is a photo of the piece right after it came out of the kiln, when the colors were yellower. I might have to find a way to replicate those colors because I always like the transparent colors best when they are just out of the kiln.
Ultrafox – Ice Skating
Ultrafox – Ice Skating (Glacier Mix)
Firstly, I posted two versions of the same song because I still can’t decide which version I like better, so why not share them both . . . Secondly, I present to you this week’s project. I wish I could say these are the cards I am mailing out this year, but they are not. They are actually an office holiday card I was asked to design. They were pretty specific about what they wanted (lone tree in a snowy field with the company logo as an ornament hanging off the tree), and I was pretty excited to do it since this is something I’ve had in my mind for a a few years. They chose the top version (all white) over the version with the black trees. Normally I don’t post “work” stuff, but I like how this came out, and it’s a look I want to continue to develop. Enjoy!
Big Lazy – Just Plain Scared
After spending seven straight hours in the studio last Tuesday night, I was able to finish the art nouveau inspired cloisonné pendant! I am pretty excited that 1. nothing horrible went wrong in those seven hours (trying to stay calm and not rushing helped) and 2. I am really happy with the piece . . . so much so that I don’t really want to sell it.
Below I have compiled some photos of the process. I didn’t take photos of every single step because that would be incredibly boring (since it involves building up thin layer after thin layer after thin layer . . .), but I tried to show a variety of steps.
4. In the kiln.
(Side note: The previous week I had aluminum on the trivet in the kiln and managed to push it so it touched those red hot 1500 degree coils and I got a serious zap through my entire body. Lesson learned.)
5. I love the way enamels look right when they come out of the kiln, too bad they don’t stay that way. (post firing)
6. I made little paper patterns to protect my yellow areas from the gray enamel (pre firing)
7. After removing the paper patterns (pre firing)
8. Added in the pink/yellow for the flower. At this point I liked my colors as they were. (post firing)
9. Once I got the coloring I wanted (8), I filled in the empty spaces with N4, a clear enamel (pre firing)
10. After putting on enough N4 to build up the enamel to the top of the wires, I stoned the hell out of this piece. Here it is ready to go in for it’s last firing (pre firing)
Deastro – Biophelia
Hello from yet another gorgeous almost summer-like day in November. First off, this week’s song comes to you from Deastro, one of my absolute favorite musicians of 2009. I was hooked ever since I heard this song. This past Thursday I had the pleasure of seeing him open for Max Tundra (he is a character, well worth seeing live) at a rather small show at DC9. He and his band mate have only been playing together for three weeks in their current setup (which he amusingly would remind us whenever there were technical issues), while he puts together a larger band. Check it out.
As promised, here are some photos of my progress on the commissioned piece I am working on at the moment. Things have been moving a little slower than expected but I am learning a lot in the process. For example, don’t polish up your fine silver with a brass wheel. The brass can transfer to the silver and then completely mess up the enamel when you fire it (gets cloudy and splotchy). I’m glad I learned this after “ruining” two pieces of silver and nearly ruining a third. Oy. I am not as far as I would like to be considering this Tuesday is my last class for the season (I need a kiln and studio of my own already), but I am hopeful that I can finish in time (showing up to class 3.5 hours early should help). This past week I managed to get my main wires on, so at least that part is done. Hopefully everything else will fit into place nicely. Here are some photos of the process so far.
The Flux 2020 firing was finally successful! No cloudiness or splotchiness!
You always have to enamel the back of any piece, otherwise it is more likely to crack.
Bending my wires to mimic the shapes in my design was a finicky process. It was trickier than I had expected and I had to adjust the shapes a wee bit to fit the domed silver disc and make room for thin wires that will be inside the piece on the right.