Saturday, February 16, 2013
I've gotten serious about the lapidary work since I last spoke. That's cutting and polishing stones. I don't really know a lot about minerals, but I love the colors and patterns of them. Mostly I use jaspers and agates. My rock hound friends tell me that those are the most abundant types around that I'll be using.
There are so many shapes that people use for their jewelry designs. I seem to like the long, narrow rectangle shape best. I think mostly about the pattern of the stone and just do what seems to work best with that. I like larger pieces than smaller ones. I mean, if I'm going to do all this work, I want them to be noticed!! It does take time.
After selecting a slab of stone (somebody usually already has done this step for me), I draw on it with a sharpy pen so that I can then cut it into rough shapes with an electric saw that's made for that purpose. When that is done, I sit down at the machine with 6 grinding/polishing wheels from coarse to very fine. Water runs over the wheels while you work so that friction doesn't build up and the slurry is washed away. I don't do facets, just the rounded cabochon shape. I am using my rock club's tools, so can only go once a week. It takes a long time to get the skills that are necessary, I've found. At least for me, anyway. So we are talking hours of work!
After the stone is perfectly smooth and just the shape I want, I decide what sort of setting to make for it. In the pictures I'm showing here, I'm amazed at how feminine and how masculine the designs are, depending on how I feel about the stone! I'm not sure why that happens, but I definitely listen to the stone, and what seems appropriate for it. I don't always use the bezel technique
to "capture" the stone. Sometime I like a heavier "frame" around the stone and use a heavy duty epoxy to hold in the stone.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Everybody probably remembers Calder as the American artist who developed the new modern art idiom: Mobiles and Stabiles. I remember him also, as the guy who did little wire sculptures that were so whimsical and imaginative. The Whitney Museum had a display of his "Circus" which I saw in N.Y. It just fascinated me. All that defined a circus he had made from small wire "gesture drawings". That's what they look like to me, anyway. I love the idea of capturing the essence of an animal or person with just minimal lines. They come alive with so little detail!
I am adding 2 pictures of animals Calder did and 2 little things I did. My little dog is 3 dimensional but the person is flat so it can be worn as a pendant.
Calder also made jewelry. He hammered his wire so flat that it lost all of the feeling of wire. It looked more like cut out metal sheet. I didn't know how much work that entailed until I tried something similar myself. I'm adding that picture, too. Hope you enjoy!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I've started making a picture frame for a show I am going to be in next month. I have to frame a piece of jewelry in a 12"x12" frame. Since I use a lot of copper, I am covering and extending a nicely shaped frame I found in a garage sale yesterday, but it's too small. I'm cutting out the copper in four mitered pieces and hammering each piece to give it texture. then nailing them to the wood frame with tiny little brass escutcheon pins. I've gotten two sides done and it's coming along pretty well. Then I think I'll put an aqua patina on it . It's a pretty large expanse of copper to leave as is. I can see this as a start to the wall sculpture thing. The frame is the primary interest, then put a small assemblage in the center. I'm folding under the edges of the frame to give it more stiffness. I think this metal I'm using is about 22 to 24 gauge. I can think of a lot of ways to decorate future frames. Etch, hammer more, but that's really exhausting. I think I could buy molding to make a base for it so it would have some curviness. I would like that more than just a boxy thing...
Other materials I'm thinking about are :
concrete patch....like one I did in a Penland class. Put a little mirror on it and some ceramic for a little mosaic and strips of copper I swirled around and just the edge showing.
Hardware cloth as a base, larger squares. Repeat elements on it.
CLOCKS!!! Like the woman I did at Penland. It was a little sculpture. Slate base, copper tubing legs, copper tube face and wire hair and face. a black square of counter top sample. clock mechanism. It was so cute. I should look for a picture of it.
Mosaics as one element. especially for yard sculpture.
Collect more found objects. I need to find some junk yards. I don't want to do anything too large that would be hard to tote around or ship.
Tagua nuts: I've got to get some ideas for carving them. They're like ivory, so nesuke comes to mind. I should go google that.
Themes to consider.....primitive/jungle, animals with people, make smaller elements that can
be combined. Like the black "egg" as a seed pod with foliage around it. I wonder where Madalyn gets her brass leaves and stuff. I need to google again and also look at the metal books.
Well, this is a starting point. I'm doing this form my own use but I guess it helps to see how people work, so if it helps anyone, good.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
This is another colored steel, but this time I colored rusted steel and did silver tube rivets in the holes in the steel strip. These rivets didn't connect anything, they were just a decorative element. I used the little brass rivets to connect it to the silver back. Instead of connecting it directly to the back, though, I used tiny silver tubes between the two pieces to give it some elevation.
This is another example of using the little silver tubes to raise the top piece above the backing. This way I could slip the shell and twigs between the two pieces and that helped contain the things.
Another thing about rivets is that they can allow two pieces to swivle if you leave a little space between the two layers to be connected. You can use a little piece of paper to act as spacer, then you remove it to allow the swivelling. I don't have any examples of this.