Monday, September 28, 2020

Art Elements September Theme - Blue

One of the images we used for this month's them.

The Art Elements Theme of the Month is Blue. This theme made mom and I think of different ideas to try. Mom found the space image and I found the other image we used for the second piece.

What does blue mean: blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed. The color of ocean and sky, blue is a constant and calming influence in our world. Blue has equal appeal to both men and women. (Sensational Color - Mean of Blue: Color Psychology and Symbolism).

Did you also know that the colors pink and blue arrived as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, but the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I. (Smithsonian Magazine). In a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, "The generally accepted rule is pink for boys and blue for girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for girls. (Smithsonian Magazine).

I thought that was interesting to learn. I had heard about the colors for boys and girls before, but it was fun reading about it again.

So, onto our pieces for this month's theme challenge.

The two pictures mom worked on making patterns for us to use. Mom and I first find images we like to use as patterns. Then mom draws out a pattern to use to glue onto the copper (again, I seriously hate to draw so mom does this part). Once the patterns are created we then scan them in and save them for future pieces. Then we glue the patterns on 20g copper to be sawed out.

Then mom works on sawing out the pieces. We use a jeweler's saw to saw out all the patterns from copper. If you would like to see mom saw out one section of the "Blue Woman" you can go to our Facebook page and click on the videos.

Once the pieces are sawed out they are then filed and sanded.

Sawed out pieces for this month's theme

Mom filing the "Space" piece

Mom filing the "Blue Woman"

After mom files and sands then it is turned over to me for enameling.

I had mom come out to the garage, after I laid out the colors. I had laid out all the blues we had to decide what we were going to use on the "Blue Woman" (I didn't realize how many blues I had in the opaque's until I laid them out). Then we started working on the colors to use for the space image. Again we went through the blues and then had to figure out what oranges to use. I then wrote out all the colors on the images so I knew what to use when enameling.

These two photos I have is mom trying to figure out how the two pieces fit together. We made the space piece into two separate pieces and then I was enameling them together. Mom had to figure out the lay out so I could take a picture to make sure I enameled the two pieces together correctly.

Then it was onto the enameling:

The two separate space pieces before I enameled
them together.

The "Blue Woman" after I took her out
of the kiln. The iron helps flatten the piece
when it bows from the heat while sitting on the

Now that you have learned our pieces it is now time to show you the pieces:

The pendant is actually the piece that was sawed out of the middle of the "orange" section of the Space piece. Mom wanted me to use the enamels I use when I make our "Cosmos" pendants and bowls. I did add some of the yellow into the piece to tie it all together. There is blues in the middle that go into black and then I added orange, purple, and white too. I really love how it turned out. This photo does not do it justice.

Here is the "Space" piece. I really love how this piece came together. I love the blues that are going into black on the bottom piece and I am really happy with how the oranges turned out. The holes we have drilled in the pieces are to represent the stars. I do have white around the holes, but the photos aren't showing the white. I am going to have to take pictures again, because again these photos don't do the piece justice.

Our final piece is the "Blue Woman". I used three different blues and one gray enamels in the piece. I love how it turned out, it didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted it to, but I still love it. I am so glad mom is so patient with the drawing of the patterns and sawing, because I sure wouldn't have been able to create this piece.

If you would like to see what everyone else has created please go to the Art Elements Community Facebook page and check out the month's challenge album.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Art Elements August Theme - Mandala


The Art Elements Theme of the Month is the Mandala. I thought that was a cool theme and a different idea.

What is a Mandala - a mandala is a diagram of geometric patterns. Each aspect of a constructed mandala has a deep symbolism and meaning. You can find out more about the mandala here.

The colors I used in the mandala were: blue, green, red, yellow and white. The five colors from nature and each color has a deep meaning. You can learn more about the colors I used by clicking here.

I found lots of images on Pinterest and I have a board where I save images for the Art Elements Theme for ideas. I have a board called Pretty Rocks that gave me inspiration for the pattern I used on our piece.

Mom was drawing on one of our copper pieces for this month's piece. We have made this piece two other times and each time I forget to scan the pattern into our computer. So, I actually had a photo of the copper piece after it was sawed out, so mom used that to draw in the parts that needed to be sawed out. This time I actually remembered to scan the pattern into the computer (finally).

Mom worked sawed out the piece. I am just so glad mom likes to saw out all the pieces; this is so not my favorite thing to do. I can do it, but I complain the whole time (in my head).

After mom saws out the piece she then files and sands the copper. Once the copper has been filed and sanded we then clean the copper to start the enameling process.

The piece is ready to be enameled. I always start with the first layer of clear enamel. I don't know if anyone else does that, but that was how I was taught when I took an enameling class at Purdue.

Here is the layout of the piece as I added all the colors. After I put the clear enamel on the piece I then added a layer of black. Once the black was fired I then started adding all the colors. I used a stencil to put the dots on the piece. I am so happy with the way it turned out because I was winging it.

So, here is how the piece turned out.

If you would like to see what everyone else has created please go to the Art Elements Community Facebook page and check out the month's challenge album.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Art Elements July Theme - Hollow

Wave pendant - made back in 2013

The Art Elements Theme of the Month is the Hollow. I thought that was a cool theme and a different idea.

Definition of Hollow: 

  • Adjective: having a hole or empty space inside. 
  • Noun: a hole or depression in something.
I found several images on Pinterest that I thought was interesting. I save them to my Art Elements theme ideas board.

Mom found this wave image that she really liked. I told her she is sketching out the idea for that piece. We also both wanted the piece to be one of our plates so we could display it in the shadowbox.

This is one of the sketches mom worked on. I told mom there was no way I was sawing out that piece. To many holes I wasn't sure what to saw out.

This is a picture mom took sawing out the piece. The piece ended up being about 9" long and 6" wide.

I was awful about taking pictures this month. So, you aren't being bombarded with tons of photos of the process of us making the piece. The above picture is of the back of the plate, with clear enamel on it, before going into the kiln.

This is the backside of the plate. Mom and I decided to use crackle enamel on the plate. I used one of the recipes from Laura Bracken's crackle recipe book. I love her recipe books - I have all three of them. Laura has posted that she is creating a fourth book and I can't wait. Unfortunately I can't remember which book I got this recipe from.

I did make a slight tweak to the recipe when it came to the front side of the piece. I ended up making the front of the wave plate too dark with the black I added. I ended up adding a different color blue to tone done the colors. I also added in a lot of white.

I am so happy with how this plate turned out. The photos does not do this piece justice.

If you would like to see what everyone else has created please go to the Art Elements Community Facebook page and check out the month's challenge album.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Art Elements June Theme - Solstice

Sun Bowl we made back in 2012. We sawed out the pattern on the copper,
formed the bowl into shape, and then enameled it in a kiln.
The Art Elements Theme of the Month is the Summer Solstice. Mom and I actually created two pieces for this month's theme.

I was bad this month - I didn't take many pictures of the process. I am going to blame the heat for this because, dang, is it hot.

Here are the pictures I did take of the process:

Mom actually sawed out this whole piece - I usually saw out
the perimeter. But, I am not complaining!

This is after mom has filed and sanded the piece. It is ready
for enameling.

This is the sun goddess pendant - sorry for no before pics.
Both mom and I weren't thinking. Mom sawed out
both pendants and then I will enamel them together.

Hopefully what it will look like when I enamel both
pieces together.

I did a huge enameling session that day. This is all the pieces I worked on. The
notebook is a list of colors I was going to use to enamel each piece.

One of the layers of enamel waiting to dry before I put in the kiln.
 Okay - here are the final pieces for this month's theme:

 Mom and I love creating the "Green Man" plates. We have done several plates and some pendants (which there are four for sale in the Etsy shop). Now that I am done with pictures mom will put this piece into a shadow box to display. When I enameled this piece I used crackle enamel to give it this look. I LOVE how it turned out!!!

The final piece is the "Sun Goddess" pendant we made. I am really happy with the way the pendant turned out. I am not sure mom really likes the colors of the sun, but we will make it work. I still haven't decided what kind of beads to use to make a necklace with this pendant. I want to use some of our lampwork glass beads, but I have to figure out what colors to use. I also need to go through our bead stash to see what we have. I am looking forward to seeing this being completed.

So, that is my blog post for this month.

If you want to see what everyone has created please had over to the Art Elements Community on Facebook. There is a photo album for each month's theme. Here is the album for this month's theme. Enjoy!

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