Friday, April 30, 2010

PMC is like crack!

This is turning into a very expensive material! But I am hooked now and cannot stop....oh dear.
That said, today I ruined a piece. I was very sad. It was really beautiful before it went into the kiln.  I didn't allow for my granulated silver balls not to shrink and the shrinkage of the entire piece caused my granulation to move all over the piece. I tried removing them with the torch after it was fired but there are way too many of them and it is just too hard. I learned a lesson though, and I certainly won't do that again. I need to send in some scrap to Rio anyway so I will add that to the pile.
I have a new piece in the kiln now. Hopefully it won't have any problems. I did try a patina on the sunflower piece but it looked horrible. Sometimes a patina is not necessary and this was one of those times. So I put it back in the kiln to remove the patina, finished adding the gold foil and now I will finish it with some type of beads.
I need to figure that out next.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fine silver with enamel and gold

Today I tried the gold/enamel on my piece from the other day. First I did a layer of gold foil, then a layer of clear enamel with a layer of mandarin orange over that. I didn't like the way the mandarin orange covered the gold so much so I layered more gold with clear enamel. I left some of the orange enamel "peeking" out so that it looks old and cracked....I can always layer more gold if I feel like it. I need to study it for bit before I go any farther.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wasted day in the studio today....

Some days are just not worth going into the studio and today was one of those days. It is doubly upsetting since I only have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to work in my studio. One day lost is a big deal. I began my day with a bone density test. Something we oldies have to have for maintenance. When I came home I went right to the studio. I decided to make some fine silver balls for adhering to metal clay and enamel. For some reason many of them were coming out in an oval shape rather than spherical. After more and more disasters, I gave up.

So then I decided to place gold foil pallions on my newest piece which you see in my previous post.  The pallions adhered beautifully. I put them under the heat lamp to dry and then disaster hit. I placed the enamel on and forgot to fire the gold first. Of course the enamel made all the gold foil peel off. All that gold foil, wasted. Then my son called to tell me there was a fire in his building and could he please bring the cat over while he cleans up his place. By then it was time for me to watch my grandson and bring him to soccer.

My biggest problem is that I don't have enough time to get into my studio and so I forget to do important steps in my jewelry making. If I could get into my studio every day, things would become habit and I wouldn't make these silly mistakes.

Maybe tomorrow I will get something done. Sigh.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunflower piece

Sunflower piece, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
This is not quite finished yet. My plan is to add some gold foil to the center and enamel over it with either a red enamel or a clear enamel. I will have to see once the foil is in there.
I love metal clay. I can make things happen with it that I just couldn't do otherwise!

Plug those holes!

New bead, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Yesterday I made a lovely bead with metal clay. Last night I fired it and today I thought I would try tumble polishing it. Well, I knew that I was supposed to plug the holes in the bead with pipe cleaners, but my mind was on other things at the time and I forgot. It wasn't until the bead had been in the tumbler for over a half hour when I suddenly remembered! By the time I got to the bead it was loaded with stainless steel pin shot! I was so upset I could barely breathe. My beautiful bead was ruined. Or so I thought. I set it aside and ran a few errands. When I came home the bead was still waiting for me to fix it! I decided to go ahead and patina it with Liver of Sulphur anyway. While I was rinsing and dipping, the shaking seemed to jar some of the pins loose. I was thrilled! I kept shaking and dipping and eventually, the pins started shooting out. I managed to get over 25 pins out but there were still more!

I decided to post my troubles to Facebook and lo and behold another jeweler, Brad Severtson, suggested trying a magnet. Well, I had tried that before but I figured I would try again. Now that so many pins had already fallen out, the magnet worked like a dream. The rest came out easily. Over 35 pins in this one small bead. Amazing. The bead is saved!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beadmaking class with Linda Kaye Moses

I really liked the way this bead came out. I like the shape. I like the texture as well as the patina.
I can see myself making more of these. The possibilities are endless. The other bead not so much.
To see the other bead click here.

PMC Beadmaking Class with Linda Kaye Moses

My class is over. But what a wonderful class it was! I took a PMC beadmaking class at Metalwerx with Linda Kaye-Moses. I will post some pictures very soon. I only managed to finish 2 pieces. Other people in the class made quite a few more pieces than I did but I guess I just wanted to really take my time. Plus the first piece we made was made with slip. I had never worked with slip before and I was using it too thin. So the piece ended up taking twice as long as it should have.

However, making those 2 pieces really taught me a lot about metal clay. First of all it taught me to get over my fear of metal clay. Yes, I was afraid to touch the stuff. I had heard so much about it drying out etc, that I was afraid I would ruin it. And with the price of the clay being so high those two things together made me fear working in it. But I became very brave with the clay and rolled out big pieces! It was very freeing!

And the second thing I learned was how to get my jewelry up and out of "Flatland" (think Edward Tufte)! I have been a painter and graphic designer for so long that working 2 dimensionally was all I knew. Once you have done that for so long it becomes quite difficult to enter the world of sculptual forms. At least for me it did. In this class I learned to give my work form and volume. It was very exciting to me.

Stay tuned and I will post some photos this weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Upcoming class!

This weekend is my upcoming class at Metalwerx with Linda Kaye Moses. I am really looking forward to it and hope to get a good handle on making things with form in PMC. Stay tuned as I will try and blog about the class each day.