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!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Art Elements May Theme - Butterflies

One of our metal prints with a buttefly
This month's Art Elements Theme was butterflies.

Mom and I love working with butterflies - we have fun taking photos and making plates and pendants.

This month mom and I had several pieces we worked on and one we didn't complete.

The first one I worked on was one of our double-sided pendants. I was playing with decals I purchased at the beginning of the month. I wanted to have a stencil on one side and a decal on the other.
The two designs

One side with the decal

One side with the stenciled butterfly
 I had a lot of fun working with the decals. I am so happy with the way everything turned out. This double-sided pendant is for sale along with several other double-sided pendants in our Etsy shop.

The other two pieces we ended up completing was a butterfly plate and a butterfly pendant.

I worked on sawing out the exteriors of the bowl and plate (the bowl wasn't completed). Mom hates sawing out the exteriors while I hate sawing out the interiors. So, this works out for the both of us.

I think I only ended up breaking three blades sawing out both pieces. I thought that was pretty good for me.

Here is mom sawing out the interior of the piece. I actually recorded mom sawing out one petal of the flower. I posted it to our Facebook page and you can view it here.

Mom also does the filing and sanding. She completed the plate last Saturday and I enameled on Sunday.

Here I am enameling the butterfly plate and a butterfly pendant. Mom has had the butterfly pendant sawed out for a while. I am just now getting around to enameling it. I thought this was a perfect time.
I think this is the backside of the pieces. I always like enameling the back first. This gives me an idea of the colors and if it will work before I flip it over to do the front. are the last two pieces we worked on.

The butterfly plate will be displayed in a shadow box. Now that I have pictures taken mom will work on put the plate into the shadowbox.

I love how the colors turned out on the pendant. I am never sure what is going to happen with the cobalt blue when I use it, but this time worked out great. I am listing this pendant in our Etsy store today.

I know Art Elements is posting the theme pieces on their new Facebook page Art Elements Community. Please take the time to go and see what everyone has created.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Art Elements Theme - Bees

One of our Bee images on metal prints - you can find in our Etsy shop
This month's Art Elements Theme is Bees.

Mom and I love making bee pieces and taking pictures of bees (We usually will take the pictures at the little hort park near my work, but haven't been there yet this year. I am not sure when I will get over there since we aren't supposed to go back to work until after June 30th, maybe). We have one customer who loves it when we have metal prints with bees as the images. I think she has bought all of our bee images and now she is working on purchasing the butterfly images. I think we only have one bee metal print left in our shop. The yellow one above just sold right before the lock-down.

Mom and I have made bee pendants and a bee necklace in the past. One of my former co-workers bought our bee necklace when she retired. That necklace is still one of my favorite pieces that mom and I made.

For this theme challenge mom and I decided to make a plate. But, we wanted to give the plate a three dimensional look, so we started off with the plate in two different pieces. So, here is the process.

We first had to find an image mom and I both agreed we liked. I found the image on Pinterest. Then mom prints off the image and makes a pattern (I am so glad she is good at this part because I suck!). Once mom has the pattern drawn out - we print it off again and then glue it to the copper.

The flowers were sawed out of a large piece of copper in the shape of a circle. The bee was glued onto a smaller piece of copper. I actually sawed out the perimeter of the circle. The rest was all mom because I have no idea what her plan of action was on the sawing. Plus mom wings it a lot when she saws. I DO NOT wing it - I must have a pattern. I am in my box, I stay in my box :)

Mom then files and sands the pieces before it is handed over to me for enameling. You can sort of see mom's dirty hands after filing the bee.

Before enameling I took a picture of the bee and plate and how mom wanted the bee placed on the plate for enameling. The way I enameled the two pieces together is the same way I enameled the piece for our February Art Elements Theme - Letters.

This is the first layer of enamel on the pieces. I enameled the circle plate backside first and I also enameled the backside of the bee first. I wanted to have that done before I had the fun part of connecting the bee to the plate. There was some sweating going on when I connected the bee, let me tell you.

This was the final enameling - I used my heavy iron to try and make sure the plate was flat. Mom and I still have not decided if we will display this piece in a shadow box or leave it as is. We are afraid you won't be able to see the the bee off the plate if it is in a shadow box. We are still playing.

So after all that I am sure you want to see the final piece.

Here you go:

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

I hope you enjoyed the process and the final piece.

Now go and enjoy what everyone else created for this month's theme!

AE team:


Saturday, February 29, 2020

February Theme Challenge – Letters

A bracelet we handstamped in copper with our lampwork glass beads - I love this saying!
This month's Art Elements monthly theme is letters.

I love this idea! I love hand-stamping copper with sayings. Mom will handsaw out the copper for bracelets and key-chains and I have so much fun finding different sayings to stamp into the copper. I think the most fun is trying to find fun things to hand-stamp. Like the bracelet above.

I love words! I just wish I was a wordsmith. I am in awe of writers. I love books and the stories that can take you into a whole new world. I don't have that ability. I wish I could come back with a smart retort or be able to explain things in detail, but that is not my ability. I just enjoy those who can get their point across so eloquently.

So - our piece for this month's theme. I was thinking of hand-stamping something, but mom found an idea way cooler.

Click the image - or click here

Mom found this cool video on YouTube. It is about 10 letters that have been dropped from our alphabet. If you have the time, take the 10 minutes to watch the video. It is pretty cool. I actually knew two or three of the letters from my English classes. Wow, that information actually stuck with me. It is funny the little trivia that sticks in your head.

So, these are the 10 letters that were dropped from our alphabet. Mom had a whole design idea going, until the nightmares.

Mom's idea was similar to this, but she started to have nightmares about the letters. She said we couldn't make the design like this now. I don't know if the letters were chasing her or what, but we ended up not making the design like this.

Mom sawing out the letters
I thought of just using the letters as pendants in necklaces. Or some how connecting them as a bib necklace.

Mom had a better idea.

Mom ended up sawing out a back plate and then connect the letters to the plate. I thought mom wanted to connect the letters by wire wrapping them on the plate. Mom was thinking of maybe gluing them down after enameling, but I didn't like that idea.

I thought instead enamel each of the pieces separately and then enameling them all together. I wasn't sure if it would work or not, but what could we lose (except all the copper and the work). 

Go big or go home baby!

Last weekend was gorgeous - so I didn't end up freezing while enameling. Mom and I cleaned all the copper before the first layer goes on.

I had to get a picture of the letters so I knew what the front of the pendants looked like. I like to enamel the back of the pieces first. This gives me an idea of what the colors will look like, plus it is the back of the piece. If I make mistakes on the back you won't see them.

I always start with a clear transparent layer first. That is just how I was taught and why change after 12 years. The first layer is always clear and then each layers is a different layer of color until I am happy with the piece. So, a piece can have anywhere from 3-5 layers (sometimes more).

So, here is one of the color layers. This is still the back of the piece. Once I finish the back of the piece I flip over the pendants and do the same process to the front. I am sure other people do this differently than me, but this is what works best for me.

This is me laying out the pendants on the back plate. I had a picture of the layout next to me as was laying out the letters. I then had mom come out and check the plate before I put it into the kiln.

This is the plate before going into the kiln. Once it went into the kiln I held my breath for the two minutes it was in the kiln. I wasn't sure if this would work or not.

Here is the reveal of the final piece:

There you go. At least it didn't turn out as a big piece of junk :)

This was a lot of fun! Thanks Jennifer for the fun theme this month.

Thanks for sticking with me until the end.

I hope you take the time to see the other participants:

Evie and Beth - you are here

Art Elements Team
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