Monday, 28 February 2011

Bicolour Smokey and Lemon Quartz Sculpted Necklace

It's been ages since I made any wire sculpted jewellery.
This is a Bicolour Smokey Quartz Briolette, which is quite sizeable.It's sculpted in sterling silver.

I photographed it in a light box, since the natural light where I am is still poor. It was tricky trying to capture the colour of the briolette, but I think the pics have come out well in the end

I've been a busy making fine silver pieces for my upcoming enamelling course. They're done now, I made 4 of them, and I'll put up the photos as part of a pre and post enamelling blog post.

I'm also heading to the Desire Contemporary Arts Fair in London soon too.
So there is lots of inspiration to be had...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fake Coral Reef Sculptures Video

I found this video today, showing statues underwater in Cancun, acting as fake coral reef. They are sculpted in special concrete that is marine life friendly, so they are covered in algae, and are attracting fish etc

Its surreal to see statues of humans working in offices and from different cultures, sitting in a coral reef. As time goes by, they will look even more "natural"

I haven't made anything this week so far.I'm meant to be sculpting pieces in silver for an upcoming enamelling course...maybe I'll get some made today.

I've ordered the essential enamel tools, and the all important enamel samples.Maybe the cost of this is killing my mojo today :(

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bronze and Jade Woodland Bracelet


I'm still loving my new Bronze clay sculpting.
I am starting to think, it might be my new favourite medium - I'm afraid it does have to do with cost.I subconsciously design smaller pieces in silver, because I'm aware of how much an ounce is costing me

The price of silver is becoming extortionate, whereas Bronze is extremely affordable.Of course this means I can charge less to potential customers, so everyone wins.

My latest piece is something I am really happy with. It's another woodland inspired piece.

Its a bracelet of twigs and branches, covered in little leaves and fungal forms. The piece is sculpted in bronze, and is embellished with Jade beads.
I love the contrast, and the green tones of the beads, adds to that forest feel

Its really comfy to where to0 - I've been wearing it all day yesterday.I couldn't help it LOL

All the images are clickable thumbnails. That way you get some lovely closeups of the details

Enjoy the pics!!




(Loads of pics aren't there!... I really must love this one)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lichen and Moss Bronze Pendant

Spring hasn't quite sprung here yet, but I am lucky to be surrounded by a mini belt of natural woodland.

The latest pendant is influenced by the plethora of lichen, moss and fungi covering the trees, that I can see from my window.

Some people are huge fans of this kind of flora and fauna.Flickr has whole groups dedicated to the subject. I used a couple of pics from this group to base my piece on.The original photos can be found HERE

I love the fungal forms in this image...

...and the colours and textures in this image

The pendant is sculpted in Bronze, with a small focal point of fungi.
An inlay of polymer clay has been textured and painted to mimic the lichen and moss

Here are more photos showing different views.Hope you like them:)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bronze Aztec Style Pendant

My new piece is an Aztec Jewellery inspired pendant
Here is a typical example

This one is made in Bronze, using the Fastfire Bronze clay, I mentioned in the last post
I found it really easy to work with, and even managed to make the snake like coils, and ball embellishments, that I tend to favour in my designs

The finished effect was actually a light gold coloured bronze. I added a torch fired patina, which gave off deep gold and green hues, that for the life of me, I couldn't capture on camera LOL.
It's so much nicer "in person"

I took some close ups to show the textured details, and a little pic to show its true size to scale, with it in my hand

Hope you like the pics!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Blistering Fastfire Bronze Clay

This was my first experience with Bronze clay of any kind.
I chose the FastFire version (from metal clay adventures),because its firing properties seemed similar to the artclay silver I'm used to

I also used the Cool Tools brand of no flake foil, to avoid the spalling and sooty mess, you get with a steel pan. You create a box, by folding it, origami style, and cut some slits on the top lid for ventilation

What I didn't factor in, was that in my experience, the flake foil box allows the kiln temperature to permeate the piece, better than the steel pan, so it sent the prescribed firing temperatures out of whack.

Most first time FastFire Bronze clay users according to their blogs, found they had to increase the ramp, or holding kiln temperature to ensure the test piece is fully sintered

My problem was the reverse.I fired the test piece at 1525 F/830 C, holding for 2 hours, as recommended. This resulted in a very blistered, deformed thing emerging from the kiln, as you can see

I lowered the holding temp to 816 C, and the blistering was still present, but to a lesser extent

Finally at 800 C, the same temp as I fire my silver clay, the piece came out fine.This temp is significantly lower than most of the anecdotal reports I've seen on blogs

So I thought I'd document the blistering time I had, in case it comes in handy for someone else.(Btw, the kiln is a Paragon SC2 and the piece was fully sintered, no breaking or cracks even at that low temperature)

I'm now looking forward to finally getting to play with bronze, yay!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ebb and Flow Fine Silver and Pearl Pendants

Click the thumbnails for full size images...

These three pendants were inspired by the concept of turbulence, or disruption to your natural flow. I like the idea, that the way we overcome our obstacles, can make for a more convoluted journey through life. However the outcome maybe more beautiful overall.

Hopefully this is something many of us can identify with

Hope you like the pictures :)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Fine Silver and Freshwater Pearl Raindrop Pendant

I made this piece while swotting up on enamelling. Its only 15mm wide and 40mm in length, a delicate pendant that sits at the base of the throat

I really enjoyed making the "snakes" out of metal clay, and the blue pearls are so pretty. Anyway, I hope you like it :)

Friday, 4 February 2011

Enamelling Inspirations

I haven't made anything since my last post.
A book on enamelling landed on my doorstep this Monday, and I haven't been able to put it down!

Its called the Art of Enamelling by Linda Darty.
I have been dying to do some enamelling on my silver clay creations for ages. Its the perfect combination, of painting, sculpting in metal and wire work - my three great creative loves. So it's kind of tailor made, but always seemed so out of reach

Anyway, I'm going on a course next month, and have read up on so much, that it feels achievable now. So yay! a happy camper today :)

The slideshow is of a few gorgeous pieces by inspiring enamel artists

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Venice Mask - Forest Queen

I made another Venetian Mardi Gras mask, they take a few days to complete but are addictive to create.

This one is inspired by forest foliage, all yellows and greens.
The background "faded wallpaper" was made by painting layers upon layers, in acrylic paints. I love the effect.It is framed in embossed gold, with polymer clay moulded art deco pieces.

The mask of her highness itself is a riot of yellow/green gradients. I couldn't settle on a particular colour, so I kept overlaying more shades on.

Both masks I've made so far, are sitting on my studio wall, in full view when I'm working. They are very inspiring, and will hopefully act as my muses :)

Hope you liked all the pictures!
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