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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