Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bowl of Balls Ring

Bowl of Balls Ring, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Making these rings has given a real boost to my creative flow. I find them so enjoyable to make and I love how after they are done, they just fit on your finger. No ear wires, no connections, they are just ready to wear!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brookline Annual Bike Parade

Today was the wonderful annual Brookline Bike Parade. I look forward to it every year even though it isn't very long (only 5 miles). The best part about the ride is that for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon they close the main road in our town, Beacon Street and we cyclists who are usually confined to sidewalks or bike paths, get to ride all the way down Beacon Street from Amory Park to Cleveland Circle and back down all the way to St. Mary's T stop without having to worry about traffic. It is an amazing feeling to do this. It makes me long for a time when cars didn't exist.
This year my ride was made extra special by the fact that I had company! Ordinarily I do this ride alone but this year my grandson came with me. Kids have to be at least 10 years old to be in the main parade so this year he was finally old enough. I can't tell you how great it was to have him there. We both had a fantastic time and we look forward to riding in the parade together next year! I wish I would have remembered to bring my camera but I didn't even think about it. I am so used to trying to pack light when I ride. Oh well, next year!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fine Silver ring

Fine Silver ring, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

This is the second ring I made. It is in the same style as the first ring. I have two more on the bench right now. These rings have really inspired me. One idea leads into another and I can see myself just making rings for a while. 

I need extra fingers though:))

Fine Silver Ring

Fine Silver Ring, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photos of the rings

Here are a couple of photos of one of the rings I made using Kate McKinnon's instructions. I love the ring. It is comfortable on the finger and solid as a rock!
When I first made it and before I added the patina to it, it was very bling-y. I don't wear bling really. It was too much. Once I added the patina though, the transformation was amazing. It looks really nice now. Mellowed it right out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yay! I can make rings now!

First let me just say that I have always wanted to make rings. My very first jewelry project was a simple hammered band ring that I wear every day. It isn't perfect, in fact I can still see the seam on the inside but no matter, I have a special affinity for it.
It was the only ring I had ever made up until this weekend. I made, not one but two beautiful rings with a third on the bench. I used Kate McKinnon's ring making method and found it to be pretty much a miracle technique for me. I finally could concentrate on the design with out worrying about how to solder it all together.
Soldering, after all, has been the bane of my jewelry making existence. I simply hate it. I hate the flux, the firescale, the third hand, the pickle, the getting it just right only to have it slip out of place at the last minute etc. Plus I don't have a really good torch or the ability to even have one in my tiny condo.
With Kate's technique, (anyone who is interested in working in metal clay should have her new book/DVD, Sculptural Metal Clay), I can design what ever I want and putting it together is so simple using her "squidging" technique.
Kate uses "squidging" instead of the ubiquitous slip. Basically it is just placing water on both sides of bone dry clay and sliding it back and forth until it stops moving. When that happens it means that the clay has bonded with the clay. I can tell you that this is a much better way of working than using slip. I had an applique pop right off a piece because it was only joined with slip.
I will try and post some pictures of my new rings this week.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fine silver pendant

Fine silver pendant, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
I am still working on this piece. I want to enamel it and place some gold foil in the center as I did with the other one. So far I like it just fine.
I am discovering that you need to really check a piece before you fire it though. Especially in the areas where there is no texture. I am doing a lot of sanding and filing after firing which means I am not getting the scratches and dings out before hand. There is a huge learning curve to metal clay, just like anything else I guess! Whoever thinks this is easy.........I sure don't!
I keep going back to Kate's book. I want to make everything in it but in my own style. Not hers. Don't get me wrong I love Kate's work but I don't like to make other people's projects. I get no satisfaction. But she has enough basic ideas that I can take them anywhere....I think.
Today I made some fine silver ring blanks. I just need to fire them and decorate them. Ah the fun! I have not made many rings. Especially ones with tops! Only bands. So we'll see how I do. I am quite sure I will ruin a few before I get it right.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Does She Think She Is?

I really need/want to see this movie: Who Does She Think She Is?
I have been an artist for over 40 years. When my kids were small, I stayed home during the day to paint and worked at night as a waitress since we needed my income. During those years I was very prolific. I created  thousands of paintings. Some sold, some didn’t. But I was always painting every day. I always thought when I got older I would have so much more time!
Now that I am older and my kids are grown I find I have less time to create. Between full time work as a graphic designer (we still need the money), a grandson who needs me as much as I need him, aging parents, a husband who needs attention etc.
I went down to 4 days a week and try to get into my studio on that day off. But it is much harder than I thought it would be. There is always something competing for my attention on that day. Doctors appointments, babysitting, parents, etc.
My advice to young artist/mothers is do it now while you think you don’t have time! Later may not be what you think....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kate McKinnon's book has arrived!

I have been looking forward to Kate's latest book ever since I first discovered her just a few months ago when I first became interested in metal clay.
Kate is one of my favorite metal clay artists. I like her clean and simple lines. Much of the metal clay work we see today is, in my opinion very overworked. Just because you can texture every inch doesn’t mean you should.
I have Kate’s first book, “Structural Metal Clay”.  In this new book Kate actually shows step by step how to create the various components in her rings, bead caps, toggles etc. Her first book left me wondering how she got from step 1 to step 2. With this book I feel confident that I will be able to create what I want without too many problems.
Plus it comes with a DVD, which is like having Kate come right into your studio!
This is a great book for the beginner as well as the more advanced metal artist.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A little work done tonight

I spent a little time in the studio tonight working on a pair of earrings.  I seem to love making small shapes in the PMC like squares, circles and pointy ovals.
When I amass a large amount of them I start playing with them, kind of like putting together a puzzle. It is a fun and challenging way to create with the clay. When it is bone dry, I am at my most stress free and able to think. When the clay is wet, I find myself getting totally stressed out. Will it dry out on me before I am ready? Will it crack? Do I have time to shape it. It is exhausting. But when the clay is dry, now that is a fun time for me.
I have no interest in making organic forms. Which is weird because I love plants and flowers. Just not in my jewelry I guess. I'm just following the orders of my muse.
I am going to try and remember to photograph my work before I place it in the kiln. I love looking at it before and after. It still amazes me that something that looks grey and dry can be all shiny and silvery after it comes out of the kiln.