Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Theme Challenge: Eyes

This month's Art Elements theme is - Eyes.

Mom and I both looked for ideas for this theme - I have a Pinterest board of Art Elements theme ideas. I think mom and I both came up with ideas for these month's theme. I found the idea of the tiger eyes and mom found the idea for the Day of the Dead.

These are the patterns glued down onto the copper. Mom will then drill pilot holes, thread the jeweler's saw blade through the holes and saw out each design. I didn't take pictures of mom sawing this time - she mostly sawed while I was at work.

Enameling for me is a several step process:

I start with a clear layer on the back of the piece first:

I then do layers of color until I get the look on want - on the back first. When I am done enameling the back - I then flip the piece and do the same layers on the front - and cross my fingers that the front will look as good as the back.

I then use an iron to smoosh the tiger eyes flat.

And again using the iron to smoosh the Day of the Dead eyes flat.

Because the pieces are flat, and laying on trivets, the heat can warp the piece. So, I use the iron to flatten the pieces out again.

Here are the final pieces:

The tiger eyes are being displayed in a shadow box.

If you guys didn't notice - the face is actually in a feather. Yes, I was totally oblivious of that fact until I started enameling the piece. Mom just shook her head at me and said this was your idea. I said all I was looking at was the eyes :)

Again, we displayed the Day of the Dead eyes in a shadow box. Sorry I couldn't get a better picture. The shadow boxes are not easy to take photos of to share.

So...that is what mom and I created for this month's theme: eyes.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else created!!!

Here is a list of the participants:

Beth & Evie  - you are here

AE Team:

Sunday, September 29, 2019

September Theme Challenge: Foliage

Leaf that was on our driveway with water droplets

This month's Art Elements Theme is Foliage.

Well, I have to say this is the most prolific mom and I have been for the Art Elements Theme Challenges. Mom and I like leaves - so there will be a lot of them.

I actually made some sketches for ideas - they suck - but gives me something to show mom what I am thinking of.

This image was actually a leaf pattern we use for our bowls, a house pattern we used for a cuff bracelet we made years ago - and then I just threw some trees on there for ideas (mom said no to the trees - which I agreed with - but needed ideas for her to see what I was envisioning).

I actually did some sawing - since these were easy enough for me to saw out. Mom is the intricate saw master - give me the easy!!!!

These are the leaves as they are being enameled. With the leaf bowls, or any bowls, I like to enamel the interior first and then the back. The leaf pendants I like enameling the backs first and then enamel the fronts. That is just my preference - I am sure everyone does it slightly different.

Mom and I actually finished the bowl and pendants two weeks ago - for us that is really good. But we had a show last week and I wanted to make sure we were done before the reveal date. The above picture is the one I shared when I completed enameling everything.

So - here are the finished pieces:

I actually made this bowl a few months ago - I used crackle enamel on this bowl and I LOVE how it turned out. So, I had to sneak it in with the pieces I actually made for this month.

This is the bowl based on the two patterns I incorporated into one. Mom made some modifications and I am really happy with the way it turned out. I am so glad mom and I can work together on ideas!

These are the leaf pendants I sawed out. These pendants will be listed in our Etsy store after I open it (hopefully tomorrow). We do have three listed already, but it will be nice to add  more of the leaf pendants. The purple leaf and the brown/yellow leaf have frit on them for a different look. These pendants always put a smile on my face!

This last piece was a last minute piece today. I have had the sketch done for a couple of years and we have had the components for longer. The pendant is one of our abstract/oblong enameled copper leaf pendant and the polymer clay I can't remember who mom bought from. They were a St. NicklausTag gift because I just loved the way they looked. If you know the artist please let me know because I would like to make sure they are named as the artist who made the pods/bird polymer clay.

I laid out the components and then said, "MOM-HELP!". Mom figured out how to add the bird (used a headpin to connect it to the bottom) and then created a loop with the pod at the top of the enameled copper pendant. I then used our lampwork glass beads and poppy jasper as accents to make the necklace. At the top is a seed pod with a jump ring, so I used it as my clasp.

Should have assembled when not tired - I assembled one side wrong.
Going to have to tear apart and reassemble - oh well. Gives me

Overall I am happy with the way my idea turned out.

Thanks for sticking until the end.

I hope you head on over to all the other wonderful artists participating in this month's challenge.


Beth & Evie  (you are here)

AE Team


Saturday, August 31, 2019

August Theme Challenge: Octopus

It is that time again - the reveal for the Art Elements Theme Challenge - Octopus.

This month's theme was pretty fun. I had a lot of fun looking at images on Pinterest and adding pictures to my Art Elements Theme Idea board. Of course the hard part was narrowing down ideas because mom also was looking at octopus images. So, more ideas might be coming in the future. I know I would like to make an octopus necklace (hey mom - I want to make an octopus necklace)!

A picture of mom sawing out the octopus.

Mom has the easy stuff sawed out - now she has to saw out around the tentacles.

Video of mom sawing on our Facebook page.
If you want to see a 10 second video of mom sawing out one of the tentacles - head on over to our EB Facebook page. If you wait to the end - you will hear mom give a big sigh.

Mom has finished sawing out the piece, filed and sanded. Now it is my turn to enamel.

This is one of several layers of enamel I put on the piece. All those circles are some of the places I need to clean out the enamel.

You can see a video of my cleaning out holes with the dental pick.

Here is a closeup of the dental pick I use - this belonged to my grandpa. He was an engineer and he always had cool tools on hand. You can go to our EB Facebook page to watch a video of me cleaning out the holes. 

For the octopus it took me about 20 minutes to clean out all the holes. I have to do this on each layer of enamel I do on a piece. 

I was lucky this time - no holes filled during the making of this plate :)

After each firing - I would take the octopus out of the kiln and then lay it flat on the bricks we have. I then used an iron to place on the plate to make sure the piece lays flat. This picture always makes me giggle - smushed octopus with tentacles waving.

So - here is our piece. I took the picture outside when it was really sunny. The plate will go into a shadow box for display. But, I wanted a good picture of the octopus plate before it went into the shadow box and then you have reflection off the glass.

Mom wanted to go with pinks and purples. I found some pictures of octopus that I used as reference. But I mostly just played with the enamel and crossed my fingers and hoped it turned out.

Mom had a great idea of adding black around the eyes and some of the details. I knew there is reason I keep her around!!!

I hope you enjoyed our tour of how we created the octopus plate.

Here is a list of those participating in this month's theme:

Guest artists:
Evie and Beth (you are here)

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July Theme Challenge: Flowers

Photo by my nephew Skyler.
It is that time again - the reveal for the Art Elements monthly theme - Flowers.

Mom and I LOVE flowers. If you are friends on Facebook with mom - then you know she loves to post pictures of the flowers from her gardens.

We also love going to a little hort park located near where I work. We have thousands of photos of flowers from that little park. We have even put some of those flower photos on metal prints.

Mom and I love to make flower plates, bowls, pendants and jewelry. I have pictures posted on Flickr, Pinterest and our EB Facebook page. I have been a little lax on posting pictures and I also need to make sure all the photos are out on all of the sites.

Grandma showing Skyler how to saw. I also had Skyler help me enamel.
This past month mom and I have had my niece and nephew for a visit. My niece was able to stay two weeks before she had to get back to work and we have had my nephew for a little over three weeks. We only get to see the kids once a year (they live in Oklahoma) and we only maybe able to see them two more years before they start college. So, we are trying to enjoy as much time with them as we possibly can. If you follow me on Instagram - you can see some of things we did while the kids were here.

So - we didn't fully complete the piece for this month's theme.

The piece is ready to be strung - but we actually have a few more enameled pendants we want to add in. I didn't get them enameled - so waiting on those to be completed.

Mom found the pattern for a sunflower and she sawed it out. I know I took pictures of her sawing out the piece, but now I can't find those pictures (sorry!).

Mom then wanted to form the pendant. I have a dapping block I bought a year ago, but haven't done anything with. I haven't domed anything for over 10 years, so I need to watch some YouTube videos - but mom just winged it.

Mom did a really good job of winging it :)

Once she was done with that - it was onto enameling (after mom found the image she used so I knew what colors she wanted the pendant to be).

Before going into the kiln

After being taken out of the kiln
Here is the final look at the sunflower pendant.

And these are the smaller pendants that mom is sawing out to add to the necklace and also make a bracelet from.

Mom sawing out the little suckers that I will have
fun enameling

Mom finishing up the filing and sanding

Completed pendants that need to be enameled
A look of the beads we are using in the necklace:

We are using some of our lampwork glass beads, with pearls in between the beads and I think we are adding some seed beads too.

Thanks for sticking it out with me until the end.

Now it is off to see what everyone else has created. Here is the list of those participating:

Here is a list of our Visiting Artists:
Evie and Beth - you are here

And our Art Elements Blog Contributors:
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