Monday, March 29, 2021

Art Elements March Theme - Spring

One of our photos we took of the poppies a few
years ago.

This months Art Elements Theme is Spring. I have linked to the photo album on the Art Elements Community Facebook Group.

Mom and I actually have two pieces for this month's theme - birds on a branch with seedpods and leaves and a birdhouse. The birdhouse is an image mom found on Pinterest. I also found other images that we could use at later date and those can be found on my Pinterest. I have a board called Art Elements Theme ideas.

The idea for the bird plate was actually based off a painting by our favorite watercolor artist Rena Brouwer. I did a quick sketch and gave it to mom. Mom then found a pattern and she actually sawed out this piece over a year ago. We just hadn't filed, sanded or enameled it.

So, mom finished the filing and sanding and then handed it off to me to enamel.

The enameling process: I enamel the back first. I use clear as the base layer (of all of our pieces) and then I start adding the colors to the piece. I like doing the back first so I have an idea of what the front will look like. I can also change my mind about the colors. I do ask mom's opinion about the piece before I start enameling the front.

So, here is the final piece of the bird plate. Mom will assemble this piece in a shadowbox at a later time.

The second piece we did was a birdhouse that mom found. I told mom I wanted to create another 3-d effect piece. So, she figured out how to do it. The nest/eggs are a separate piece that we enameled to the birdhouse.

Here is the process:

Mom glued the pattern down to 20g copper.

I then sawed out the perimeter of the piece. Mom hates sawing out the perimeter, but that is something I don't mind sawing out. I hate sawing out the designs.

If you want to see a video of mom sawing out one of the designs you can head over to our FB page and check out here sawing skills.

Mom took a video of the finished filed/sanded birdhouse. I am so proud of her, that she took a video on her own without me nagging her.

I really didn't take a photo of the enameling process of the birdhouse. I do have a quick video of the powdered enamels on the piece before going into the kiln. I have it posted on TikTok account @ebbeadandmetalworks. I just started the account and I have no idea what I am doing. I also posted a TikTok video of the finished piece too.

Here are the final photos of the birdhouse:

I will be posting the photos to the Art Elements Community album for this month's theme. You can go here to see what everyone posted.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Art Elements December Theme - All Things Christmas


This months Art Elements Theme is All Things Christmas. I have linked to the photo album on the Art Elements Community Facebook Group.

Mom found all of our ideas, but I did find a couple and posted them to the my Pinterest Art Elements Theme Ideas board.

Mom is more of a Christmas person than I am; I am the Grinch out of the both of us. So, the ideas she selected for this month's theme was perfect for me.

I do love celebrating St. Nikolaus Tag with mom. It brings back memories from the time we lived in Germany. 

Mom found the ideas and then made patterns out of the images.

Patterns glued to the copper.

Mom cutting out the pieces with the large
copper cutter. It makes the pieces more manageable for
mom to saw.

Mom cutting out the other two pieces with the cutter.

Can you believe this - mom and I didn't take any photos of the process of her sawing out the pieces, filing or sanding. Mom only took pictures of the copper pieces after she finished filing and sanding.

I did take pictures of the pieces with the powdered enamel on them before I put the pieces in the kiln.

I also took a picture of the Grinch face right after I took him out of the kiln. It looked possessed and I thought it looked really cool.

After I took photos of the Grinch pieces, in our lightbox, I left them in the computer room overnight because I was being lazy and not taking them out to the garage. When I went between my room, through the computer room, to the main part of the house, I noticed that the Grinch eyes were glowing in the dark. It was so cool. I did try to take a picture, but none of them turned out good enough to share. You are just going to have to take my word for it :)

Here are the final pictures of the Grinch face, Max (the dog) and the Grinch stealing an ornament.

Once I was done taking photos of the pieces; mom then assembled them into a shadowbox. I then had fun trying to take photos of the shadowbox. I hung the shadowbox up in our hallway and brought in a sunlamp to try and take a good picture. You will not believe how much shows up in the glass. You could see the roof of the extension in the glass in a couple of pictures, and shadows of the shrank in another picture. I did the best I could and I hope this gives you an idea of how the pieces look in the shadowbox.

So, that is our pieces for the December Art Elements Theme. We hope you enjoy the process and final pieces.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Art Elements October Theme - Gothic


Image from Pinterest

The Art Elements Theme of the Month is Gothic. I had fun looking on Pinterest for Gothic images. You can find my Art Elements Theme board here.

I had a couple of ideas, but the one idea I wanted to create was having a black cat, a full moon and the number 13. I LOVE the number 13. I especially love Friday the 13 with a full moon. Unfortunately for me, mom had me on a Tuesday, the 13th. Not the same ring as Friday, the 13th.

Here are the ideas mom drew up for me. One of the patterns is from the Pinterest board - called Never more.

The Nevermore piece I wanted to saw it out of copper and have a boarder around the crow and monument. I wanted to texture the piece and hand-stamp the Nevermore into the copper. 

The black cat, 13 and moon I wanted to enamel the two pieces together. That is of course after mom saws out the pieces from copper.

Mom sawed out the Nevermore piece. We ended up making a change to the piece before mom started sawing out. We added more limbs (clouds) to the other side of the piece so it was more balanced. 

I sawed out the perimeter of the black cat and the moon and then handed them off to mom so she could finish sawing out the interiors. I even helped file and sand some of the pieces. That usually never happens because I HATE filing and sanding!

I finally figured out what stamps I wanted to use for the Nevermore word (that was difficult). I also was going back and forth on the texture hammer and what textures I wanted to use. Huge ordeal of too many choices!!!!

Once I textured the piece and hand-stamped the word Nevermore onto the copper I put the copper into liver of sulfur for it to patina the copper. I think I ended up liver of sulfuring three times because I wasn't happy for the first two times after I sanded down the patina. I was finally happy with the final patina. After I finished sanding down the patina I then sprayed it with lacquer and then let it hang for more than 24 hours to dry.

Here you go for the Nevermore piece.

I am not sure how we are going to display this piece. I really, really, really think it is too big for a pendant :) I think we might end up just displaying it in a shadowbox. But, who knows. Mom and I have not discussed this yet.

On Sunday I set up the tables to enamel. I enameled the pieces for the Gothic theme and I also enameled earrings and pendants.

The pieces after we cleaned them and before I put the first coat of clear down on the backs of the pendants.

The clear on the back of the pendants. I am letting them dry and then into the kiln they go.

Color has gone on the pieces and waiting for them to try and then into the kiln they go.

I have just put the enamel on the front of the pieces and I have layered the pieces together. The piece will then go into the kiln and cross my fingers that this will work.

Crossing my fingers did work. These are the completed pieces. But hey...can you see something spooky in the the picture? Look at the black cat and tell me what you see.

Here - I will make it a little bit bigger for you:

I totally freaked myself out when I saw that in the picture. I was trying to figure out what put that image into the glass. I was looking around the garage and there were no pictures to cast the reflection, and it wasn't me reflected in the glass. I was thinking that the garage was haunted.

Mom was laughing at me. What put that shadow in there perfectly was three holes in the copper. Mom and I decided we weren't going to put a design in the cats face or put whiskers on the cat. But, we made the decision after mom drilled the holes into the copper. I told mom I would just enamel over the holes. When I took that picture the shadows, and the holes, cast a perfect spooky image to freak out Beth :)

Here is the images of the spooky full moon, black cat, 13:

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.

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