Monday, May 31, 2021

Art Elements May Theme - Dandelion


Dandelion Metal Print on Etsy - our photo

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

This month's theme is perfect! The dandelion has a special meaning for me. The dandelion is a symbol for military brats. The dandelion represents how our lives grow not in one space, but across the world. Another explanation of the dandelion represents military brats, "The dandelion seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands."

This photo was taken on a walk with mom. I think it perfectly represents those of us who are military brats. Blown away, but we can take root wherever we land.

Photo taken on a walk with mom

I saw this article on Facebook - Floating Dandelion Seeds Produce Vortex Not Noticed Before by Scientists. This was a pretty cool article and I recommend reading it.

Mom and I actually made three pieces for this month's theme, but I have other pieces we have made.

Here are the pieces we created for this month.

The pendant is 20g copper that mom sawed into the rectangle shape. I then used crackle enamel for the color of the pedant. Once I had the colors on the pendant I used a dandelion stencil to put the dandelion design on the pendant. The colors I used were white, blue, clear crackle and black. The lampwork beads are beads I made and the accent beads are Green Sand (small beads that look black, but are actually green. Yup, surprised me too until I took the necklace outside to look at it) and Howlite. The clasp is a circle toggle pewter clasp.

I wanted to make a stamped piece, so mom suggested a key chain. I found the quote on Pinterest. I used Impress Art stamps and a dandelion stamp I had to stamp the copper. Once the copper was stamped I put the piece in liver of sulfer and then sanded back the black to get the finish I wanted. Mom then assembled the key chain for me.

I made another crackle enameled pendant with the dandelions stenciled on the pendant. I wanted two different pendants with the colors of blue (for the sky) and green (for the grass). I then used some of our lampwork beads and then accent beads. Sorry, mom and I can't find the tag that came with the beads, so if anyone knows what the beads are please let me know (I think maybe Jasper). 

So, those were the pieces we actually made for the challenge, but we have other pieces we have made and are in our Etsy store right now.

Dandelion Earrings

These are enameled copper earrings with dandelion decals. I love how these turned out. You can find them in our Etsy shop.
Enameled Cuff Bracelet

I have made several enameled copper cuff bracelet, but I have to say this is my favorite one. Mom sawed out a 20g rectangle shaped bracelet that we put a slight curve to. Once that was done I enameled the cuff with black, little bit of light blue and purple. I then used white enamel to stencil the dandelion on the cuff. The cuff is on adjustable bracelet.

Dandelion Dog Tag Necklace

Dandelion Dog Tag Necklace - Sold

Mom and I also have dog tag necklaces for sale with our images infused into the aluminum. What I did was take several of our dandelion photos and used an app to modify the image. I love how these photos turned out. Something different with the dandelion image.

I could bore you with tons of dandelion photos, so I will end here with three pictures. I hope you take the time to head over to the album on the Art Elements Community Facebook page.

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.

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