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Tag Archives: mixed metal jewelry

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This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend.  As usual, the Peoria Heights Art Fair is on Saturday along with Race for the Cure.  I hope to see all of you local folks there!  I have some lovely goodies I am in the process of photographing so check back over the next couple of days for that also!

I updated my gallery and upcoming events pages.  Lakeview Museum Store is currently relinquishing all local artist holdings in preparation of its big move to the Riverfront location.  I will renew this relationship when they reopen in the fall.

I will be at the Moss Avenue Sale on Saturday from 8am to 3pm.  I have been exploring some new techniques recently and am working furiously to finish up a number of pieces in time for this event.  I have been etching hand drawn patterns on copper.  Also, I have made a number of bimetal pieces with steel and bronze.  I am very excited to work on new processes and hope to show you pictures very soon!

Patricia Weikersheimer took this photo of our workshop

I took a workshop with Hadar Jacobson over last weekend.  It was jam packed with fantastic information and I feel empowered in so many ways.  I thought I understood what went on inside the kiln during a base metal firing before.  I mean, I have a chemistry degree so I should be able to figure this stuff out.  I realize that Hadar has done so many experiments with kilns all over the world.  So she has a lot more figured out than I had even started to wonder over.  The amount of trouble shooting information she gave us is priceless.  She also gave us some great information about various techniques she has been using to create great patterns using multiple metals.  She is very generous with her information.  If you ask a question you get an answer.  I highly recommend to any of you who work with metal clays that you take a workshop with her.

Patricia Weikersheimer took this photo of Hadar with her bracelet that explains how sintering works

She has written self published text books.  You should check them out at her on line store.  My mind is still racing with all the possibilities for ways to use what I learned so I will try to hit just the high points.  She has already published the technique that we learned first.  You make a deep texture in copper or bronze, dry the piece and then fill the texture with the other metal.  Sanding removes any overfill so you can be generous with the fill metal.  Using metal clay instead of sheet metal makes this easy as can be.  She also showed how to finish the result and what she shows works really well.  Next we learned a series of different things you can do mixing metals and extruding them, then slicing and laying out or squidging together.  These techniques will form the basis for a book she has been working on and will be publishing soon.  There were so many variations and each one gave radically different results.  She also showed how to blend two or even three metals into a smooth gradient.  We did not have time to use that technique.  She had several pieces to show us that demonstrated the power of each and every technique.

Another thing that was fantastic about that workshop was the source information for various firing options.  We also had an in depth discussion of extruders, parts for extruders, what is wrong with pretty much every brand and kind available, why we might want a different size and so much more.

I came away with a pair of earrings and a pendant that were fired and finished.  I also retrieved a pendant from one of the fiery furnaces itself moments before I had to leave.  I have a few other pieces in the clay state to work with and two of those are in my kiln right now.

Some of my pieces from the workshop after finishing

I feel most grateful to have had the opportunity to take this workshop.  All of the information and inspiration I gained was incredible.  If anything can trump that, it would be meeting other people that I share an interest with and getting to know them.  I met and got to know some great folks over this weekend.  I also got to spend some time exploring Chicago with my niece.  The whole trip was like a dream come true.  It was everything that I had hoped it could be and much more.  I want to thank Patricia Weikersheimer for allowing me to use a couple of her photos of the class.  By the way, the back of my head appears in the first photo above.

Tonight is the last edition of the 4th Fridays event on the Junction City Boardwalk.  I will be there from 4 to 8pm and the weather today is fab so come on over.  The folks from the Washington Fine Arts Fest were prolific picture takers and I found this shot amongst all their posts on facebook. My booth is to the right of the blue one.  My husband fixed my computer, it was crashing repeatedly.  Looks like its fixed completely now.  Yay.  And to round out this hodgepodge post, I will have lots of things at this fair made from bronze, copper and mixed metals as well as my usual fine silver.

This weekend is the Washington Fine Art Festival and since I have this lovely pdf that gives all the details about locating the fair I thought I would toss it up here.  There are even driving directions.

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I have been scurrying around like a mad thing finishing up weeks of started jewelry.  This seems to be my way.  Make a few things with every precious tidbit of time.  But make really means start.  Then eventually I start firing things but nothing is ever given its final patina, setting, linkup or what have you until a day or two before I go to a fair.    I would give you some eye candy but my ailing camera chose earlier this week to give up and cross that barrier into the after life.  I have to slow down and look for my warranty stuff and see what I do to send it back.  We got it in the spring.  It has to still be covered.  Well that is a job for next week.

I have made some truly spectacular pieces recently, if I do say so myself.  Two bronze necklaces have the most gorgeous kiln colors, one of them is a wild drum bead and the other is an oval box bead with a stone fired in place.  Also some cute copper earrings with silver flowers and leaves mounted on them.  If you folks do not snap them up I might just keep them for myself!  I am also still finishing a silver rectangular box bead that will have a lapis set in it soon (which probably means 1am tonight!)

Hope to see some of you at Washington Park this weekend.

There is something wrong with my new camera now.  I have been quiet here on the blog because I cannot get the camera to focus like it used to.  I think we bought it in April or something like that.  During June it started to be sort of flaky at focusing.  Of course there is no true manual focus on it and even if there was my eyesight is probably an issue with that sort of focusing.  I am unsure what to do with it for right now.  I did manage to take a picture of a new pendant I made using copper and bronze.  It has the most fantastic kiln colors and I have done nothing to the surface yet because of it.  The bulk of the piece is bronze with a copper leaf motif.  The method of doing this was to press a very deep impression into a slab of bronze clay using the leaf motif.  After the bronze was leather hard the trenches were filled with copper clay.  There is some sanding back to remove excess copper to reveal the design.  After this point I attached a bail and did some other edge finishing etc.  It was fired in carbon and the beautiful teals came from cooling down inside the carbon filled container.  The copper has picked up some orange to brown color.  There is nice contrast between the two metals this way.  I may buff it down and use baldwin’s patina on it to make the copper dark brown and leave the bronze blonde as there are some spots and whatnot in the kiln colors but the teal is so lovely!  Hard to decide.