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.


  1. Thank you for sharing your process. It is amazing. I think it is so cool that you and your mom work together on these pieces.

  2. That is mind blowing, I'm in love!! So much movement and color and power!

  3. I'm always in awe of the collaboration between you and your mom. Your first eagle design is really something, but that day of dead owl with its fun colors and quirky shapes cut out is my absolute favorite of the whole bunch. Y'all do have quite the collection of Birds of Prey!

  4. Yes, I enjoyed seeing your process! Your eagle is fantastic - the detail and the colors! And I love your other birds of prey as swell, the red white and blue eagle is great and the owls!

  5. I am in awe of your mom's sawing skills!! You two make a fabulous team. I love the eagle you made for this challenge. All of your pieces are amazing.

  6. Super neat, love that you work with your mom to make these. That sure looks like a lot of sawing!

  7. I love that you and your mom collaborate on your pieces. That eagle is seriously awesome! I'm glad you shared all the other pieces as well. Lots to love here!

  8. I love how you and your mom work together. Your metalwork is amazing.

  9. So. Freakin'. Amazing! I love reading about how the two of you collaborate and divide the labor on pieces. All the past pieces are fantastic and I am glad you shared them in addition to your challenge piece. Wonderful work.

  10. Fabulous pieces - your piercing and enameling is immaculate!

  11. Incredible work. I really admire the amount of piercing you've done for each design. They all turned out beautifully!

  12. I always love seeing what you and your mom come up with. That eagle is a stunner!

  13. It's so fascinating to me to see the process for pieces like this, and your body of raptor work is just great! Thank you for sharing! It must be so nerve racking to open the kiln and hope the enamel worked out. This month's creation is simply spectacular.

  14. I always love reading about how you and your mom collaborate, and that you each have your particular part to play in creating each piece. The eagle turned out amazing; the sawing is crazy good (and looks so tedious to do!) and the colors are perfect. I also really enjoyed the trip down memory lane with your other pieces. Thanks for participating in the challenge this month! I hope you join us again!

  15. That eagle is amazing - what a powerful image! I also like the owl from the coloring book - very ornate and so sweet!

  16. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! The pattern of your latest project is beautiful, and I'm glad you liked how the colors turned out, because I *love* the piece! And I'm keen on seeing it in the shadow box. Your past projects are beautiful too, and I really like the day of the dead one - very clever coloring!

  17. After seeing this work, I've come to the decision that your Mom (Evie?) is a Master Jewelry Sawer!! This is so intricate. But that doesn't detract from your Master Enameling! The colors are so beautiful, melding into one another. I LOVE big statement pieces too. I'm ruminating about doing a full size condor feather in leather. Oh ... your past works are just as amazing! Alysen

  18. The big piece.... just wow! I am stunned, the bird turned out so gorgeous! And all the tiny wee details! I love it! :)

  19. Wow!! I would love a master class in enamelling and cutting metal from you and your mum!

  20. Outstanding work! I love that you two get to work together on projects :)

  21. Your eagle is just amazing and I LOVE how the colours turned out, its great to see your work in progress shots too. I am always surprised how much effort goes into making anything handmade. Stunning work!

  22. What wonderful colors! It has a phoenix air about it - and its stunning. Thats quite a gallery of raptors there! Wow!
    Glad you could join us! Sorry i was a bit late to the hop!


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