Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tools and tips

Well, there's nothing like publishing a new post right before the next meeting is scheduled, is there?

Kathy Kennedy, Mary Wolf, Sonja Wowk
and a little bit of Bernadine Jones
Last month we had a little show and tell session with pieces we'd all been working on. Bernadine (That's her arm in the far right of the frame) has been working diligently to create some beautiful cylinder or tube beads. She also showed us a bicone bead that broke apart during the firing process. We all agreed that she probably made it too thin and compromised it further while finishing and sanding. 

Mary (top left) was also working on her graduated bead project and shared a fabulous tool she found at a local hobby store. It's a purple plastic form with a series of graduated domes! You can get it here. She also carved her texture design into a thin, flexible, linoleum material by Jack Richeson. More durable than scratch foam, with
sharper more detailed lines. I just ordered some and am looking forward to trying it out.

From the FaceBook group, Leslie also completed her graduated necklace! It's a very popular project. :)  And, inspired by the chimneys at England's Hampton Court Palace, and the carved pillars at the entrance of the Natural History Museum - I'll be making a set of cylinder beads as well, when I get started on A7. Carrie Moyer posted a progress shot of her C4 entry. Just look at the perfection of the layout on the back of the bracelet pannels. Stunning!

Bernadine's copper tubes, Mary's lentils
Leslie's necklace, Carrie's bracelet
As it is, I've completed D2 and D3 which both require gold paste/paint. I've found that when Aura 22 or AGS (Accent Gold for Silver) dry completely, they're impossible to re hydrate without lumps. If you know of a trick other than adding medium or distilled water, let me know! Otherwise at some point I'm going to torch fire my crumbly lumps and send them in for refining. So I definitely suggest doing these projects at the same time. Unless you're going to make paste from lump gold left over from D1. Dried out slip from over-hydrated lump clay, will probably rehydrate perfectly. Or at least that's what I imagine. Don't have any dried out gold hanging around my studio.

I had some trials and tribulations while working with Hadar's one fire bronze on my Cone, Cube, and Sphere - and although I actually love the texture, I'm remaking them for a second try. Hey! Did you hear that
Prometheus came out with an open shelf fired bronze clay? I have a pack waiting for me in my studio and I'll let you know all about it! Carrie Moyer is the only distributor of it at the moment, and you can find out more details here.

What are you all working on? Have you joined the FaceBook Group? We'd all love to know about your experiences, successes, and see if we can help with any issues you're encountering. Let's be more than lurkers (I'm guilty of that too). Let your artistic voices be heard!