Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inner Nerd

Sometimes I have to let my inner nerd out.
One of last night's projects pays homage to Pi....50 decimals worth of homage.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lunar Revisited

A couple of years ago, I made my 'Lunar' rings which, at the time, I thought were lovely.
I decided to revisit the idea of lunar-inspired pieces with some new design ideas.
Back in 2010, I relied on the patina effects from my torch and some milled texture to create an unworldly appearance.
My more critical 2012 self thought, "That's clearly not enough!"
This time, I took my metal outside, placed it on the concrete steps that lead to my driveway and hammered away.
That is some good unworldly texture on the left!

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Model

We had a new model at Wayne Art Center last night.
I am so lacking in confidence that I changed my easel location when I realized that my initial spot had me looking directly at her face. I was convinced I could only handle doing one eye and moved to get a profile perspective.
I am definitely a painting coward.
We have two more sessions with this pose.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Textured Evening

Last night was spent texturing different metals for future projects.
The above strips of copper were milled with cardstock flowers.
These strips will be flattened with a plastic mallet and then cut into discs and possibly smaller sections for bezel backings.
Brass discs were etched with small passages of text to be used for earrings.
This piece of copper was etched with lovely leaf fronds.
After the etchant was cleaned off with a baking soda wash, I torched the metal, bringing out a beautiful range of colors.
The whimsy of the evening was my bullet experiment.
I sanded the surface, taped off the top and carefully inked a pattern before placing the bullet into the etchant along with the brass discs and the piece of copper.
Not knowing if the bullet casing was actually brass, I didn't know if the ferric chloride would be effective.
An hour later, I had a curiously wonderful bullet which will be used for......?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Staying Humble

Forcing myself to do things that are a struggle
is a good way to remain humble...
and deeply appreciative of others talents.
I remain out of my comfort zone, but it's a comfortable place to be.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've been working on some organic forms lately and have become very fond of these copper pieces that I think of as unfurling flower blossoms. Even though I try to repeat my motions, each blossom ends up being a unique shape....just like in nature.
As I've been figuring out my technique, I've accumulated a small but growing collection of these blossoms. I had no idea where I was headed as I began this exploration.
Last night I decided that I should figure out how to use these lovely, little blooms.
I cut small squares of previously etched German silver and soldered two blossoms onto each piece. The pieces were pickled and then treated with liver of sulfur.
The above piece on the left is directly out of the liver of sulfur bath, and the piece on the right has been quickly cleaned with a fine grit sanding block.

Now the question is.....what am I going to do with these pieces?
It's a process, and I often have no idea where I'm going.
I've been focusing on cold connections and forced myself to do a soldered bezel last night.
Yay! Successful soldering in one shot.
What a happy surprise!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Paying Attention

I am just like everyone else, dealing with both the brutality and the wonderment that life presents.
Recent years have had significant and heartbreaking challenges. There have also been wonderful joys.
I find that I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to practice what I have always taught my one son:
When things seem overwhelming, put your head down and plow forward.
It will get easier.

Being a designer, I have always paid attention to details, but I have chosen to have a more disciplined focus of those details that I may have taken for granted.
This is a partial view of my backyard.
It's a nice yard, but meh.....I always thought there was nothing unusually wonderful about it.
But I recently decided that it actually is quite wonderful, mostly because of the view to the sky. When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I now do is look at this view.
I love how the sky is always a surprise, always changing.
Morning light can be magical.
Watching the sun come up while the moon is still glowing....love it!
Stormy skies totally captivate me.
When I don't stop to look....
I miss the nuances of the familiar.
When I'm paying attention, I sometimes get to witness the spectacular.
That makes the challenges easier to bear.