Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Art Elements Theme - Repurposing

Old scale
This month's Art Elements Challenge is Repurposing. For the challenge you could do the following: upcycle, recycle, pre-loved or re-purposed. Mom and I decide to re-purpose and use an old scale that belong to my grandparents (mom's parents). Grandpa always had cool stuff in his garage/workshop (he was an engineer).

Mom had the idea first, but it is something I have wanted to do for a while, a dangly thing/sun catcher. We are calling our piece "Weighty Observations".

For the pendants we went for fun/whimsical pieces.

These are the pendants we ended up deciding on using. We have three pages of pendant ideas (elephant in the room, 800 lb gorilla in the room, cock sure, one trick pony, etc.).

Once the pendants are decided on, mom then draws out the patterns. Once the patterns are drawn we then glue them down on the copper and we saw them out.

I think this is mom sawing out the flying pig.

These are the pendants that mom sawed out (I did saw out a couple of the perimeters). Once mom is done sawing, filing and sanding I then enamel.

Color enameled on the pendants before they go into the kiln.

Pendants after they are taken out of the kiln and cooled.

Here is another look at the scale mom and I are using. I betcha this thing is actually older than I am.

Here is mom assembling the pendants to the scale.

Here is a look at the piece - we have it in the garage (it was raining today when I took the pictures and the lighting isn't that good). It gives you an idea of what it will look like hanging.

Pigs Fly

Monkeying Around

Dog Tired

Scaredy Cat
I did take the piece outside to try and give you an idea of what it will look like outside. Sorry, it was raining. 

Overall I am really happy with the way the piece turned out.

Cow jumping over the moon, Gentle as a lamb, Hare brained,
and Stubborn as a mule.
We still have these pendants to enamel and then assemble too.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our piece.

Here is a list of those who participated in this month's challenge:

Evie & Beth (you are here)
AE Team

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Art Elements Theme - Luna Moth

This month's Art Elements Theme is Luna Moth

The Luna Moth is more commonly known as giant silk moths. Typically, it has a wingspan of roughly 114 mm (4.5 in), but can exceed 178 mm (7.0 in), making it one of the larger moths in North America.

Mom and I actually both did picture research and then we compared what we both found and picked the two we wanted to work on.

You can sort of see the images we selected and then mom modified for patterns. We are using our cutter to make the pieces smaller to saw out (best purchase we made).

I actually sawed out the perimeters of the pendants. I left the hard parts for mom.

What mom sawed out - then she usually files and sands the pieces for me before I enamel them.

I actually took one day to make beads to go with the pieces - though I didn't end up making enough of the purple. Mom and I didn't like the purple with the pendant - so used other beads I had made.

When I enamel - I always start with a layer of clear. I am not sure if everyone else does this. This is what my professor taught me when I took enameling in metalsmithing. It works for me. So, the above picture is the first layer of clear.

This is the picture of the Luna Moth right after I took it out of the kiln - this is the clear layer.

I then do several layers of enamel - I actually wrote down the colors I used. I used different green and yellow on each of the Luna Moth pendants.

 Mom setup the tables in the garage (we had a few really nice days) for her to layout beads to choose from. Plus it was nice to be able to work in the garage.

This week I was down with a migraine - while I was down mom went ahead and strung the necklaces. The more intricate Luna Moth pendant layout I didn't care for, so mom restrung it to what we used for the theme reveal. I am glad we both can tell each other if we don't like something. Mostly it is "I don't like that - pick something else".

So - here is the more intricate pendant design.

This is the one mom picked out. The lampwork beads are beads that I made and the accent beads are New Silver Jasper and Serpentine. The pendant is about 4" wide and 3" long. There is no clasp, so it is long enough to put it over your head.

Here is the one I selected:

The lampwork beads are the beads I actually made for this month's theme. The accent beads are Sodalite and Czech beads. There is no clasp, so it is long enough to put over your head. The pendant is about 4" wide and about 3.5" long.

Thanks for sticking to the end.

Here is the list of participants:

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Art Elements - February Theme - Birds of Prey

From Google images
This month's fun theme is Birds of Prey from Art Elements.

Mom actually did a lot of the image search this time. She did find an eagle catching a fish and was working on the pattern and decided she didn't like it.

So, mom went with her second image idea and started working on a pattern. I am glad she likes doing this part of the process - I HATE DRAWING!

Once the pattern is completed (and scanned so we have it for the future), she glues the pattern down onto 20 gauge copper.

Mom drills the pilot holes because she hates it when I drill the holes. One less thing I have to do - go to it mom. We drill the pilot holes so we have something to thread the saw blade through to saw out the patterns.

Mom saws out the pattern of the piece and then files and sands the piece before she hands it off to me for enameling.

Since this past weekend was supposed to be 50 degrees I was enameling on Saturday! I told mom she had to have it done before Saturday - I was not freezing while enameling this time.

I always start with a first layer of clear. I then build up on the colors.

I am always holding my breath as I carry the piece to be in the kiln - be careful, don't drop it, don't drop it - Phew! It is in the kiln. I also cross my fingers when I am enameling. I think I know how the colors will turn out - but never know until the piece actually cools down.

This was my final firing of the piece - I had my fingers crossed the whole time. On the back side mom and I weren't happy with the blue - so I added one more color on the front and I was waiting to see if the blue became a darker color - and lucky it did.

Here is our final piece:

The tips of the feathers are a dark transparent blue, that flows down to a transparent green, to transparent light orange and yellow. The body of the bird is transparent oranges and reds.

I was worried about the colors becoming one big orange, but I was lucky and the colors actually turned out they way I wanted. I told mom if I didn't like the colors she was going to have to hammer off the enamel - the look of panic on her face was not funny. She was worried about damaging the beak and claws - so no hammering was needed during this process!

The piece is about 10" long and about 5" across. Mom will be putting this piece in a shadow box for display.

It is funny - I didn't think we made any other pieces that were Birds of Prey - but mom said yes we have - so I got to go picture hunting. That was fun - to see pieces we made but forgot about.

Here are some other pieces we have made in the past:

We made an owl pendant for one of Lori Anderson's bead swaps - I think we sent the owl pendant to Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.

Mom and I actually had the eagle pendant made first - a friend of mine came to us asking if we could make a piece for one of her donors. The donor was going over to England for the 2012 Summer Olympics. They wanted to give her a piece to wear while she was over there. So, that is how the eagle pendant ended up in a necklace. My friend said her donor loved it and wore it proudly during the Olympics.

This is the back of a red-tail hawk. One of our customers from Etsy sent us a drawing her daughter sketched asking if we could make a pendant based off the drawing. So, mom went to town making up several patterns for the customer to choose from. We had a lot of fun finding pictures of red-tail hawks and having conversations with the customer about the piece. Mom and I actually made up two pieces - a large pendant and a small pendant for the customer to select from. The customer ended up buying both pieces - one for her and the other for her daughter. I love it when we can collaborate like that with a customer.

I found this image of an eagle. I asked mom if she could make a pattern out of it and then saw it out. Mom loves a challenge. It is really hard to see all the colors in this piece - but I seriously loved how it turned out. This is another one of our plates that go into shadow boxes for display.

Last one:

Another owl - but it is a Day of the Dead owl. Mom and I bought a Day of the Dead coloring book - and this is one of the pages you could color. Mom made a pattern out of that page and then I went to town with the colors. This plate is also in a shadow box - and I think I may cry when it finally sells. I am really in love with how it turned out - but someone will give this a good home.

So - that is our bird of prey challenge pieces. Thanks for sticking it out.

I hope you have fun blog hopping and seeing what everyone else created.

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