Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Certifiable Weekend

This past weekend I taught the first class in my (not so) little, private studiolo here in Richmond Virginia and I'm pleased to report that it went swimmingly. It was so nice to have everything I needed right at hand, without the muss, fuss, and struggle of lugging all my tools and equipment to another location. I have two small rooms that border a larger conference room. One is my working space where I have a table for metal clay and a bench for hard metals fitted out with a Foredom, soldering station, and bench pin. The other room holds bookcases of supplies and a lovely table from Harbor Freight supports my two kilns (an SC2 and a brick Spitfire One). The conference table is large enough to accommodate 7 students with me at the head. I had 4 students this weekend, so they could all spread out while still being close enough to bond as they worked.

The projects were a three stone ring, woven PMC sheet,
Pillow bead with carving and syringe drawing.

3 of my students were very experienced, and one was a total newbie! I was so proud of how well each one of them did in this very fast paced class. A certification class is not really the place for a beginner as Kathie discovered. Certain skills were difficult for her to master, and learning the idiosyncrasies of the material was a bit more challenging than she had imagined. To her credit, she decided to think of the workshop as a learning experience and opted not to try to finish the projects. The lentil bead and one stone ring she made were really well done for a first timer and she's determined to become more proficient with metal clay. Each of the students learned a new skill, and Pam found that she liked drawing with syringe!

Jane Stark, Pam Duska, Kathy Kennedy. Syringe Drawing.

I'm really looking forward to working with them again in November's Level 2 and am excited to be working on other advanced classes that I'll offer here. I like this teaching in my own space! I think I'll do it again. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eye Candy - Patina

A selection from my 'Wonderful World' board

Oh, the beauty of patina! I'm known for my use of pure, black, patina's in my work. I use a hydrochloric acid type solution, like Black Max - often applied with a toothpick to get into tight spots. I've found that if I apply patina to fine silver and then use a polishing pad to remove it from high points, the pad may take off too much color, but the porous metal clay retains enough under the skin that it looks more like sterling than fine silver, making the surface more uniform than I intended. Because I love high contrast, I apply patina only where I want it so that the polished fine silver stays as 'white' as possible.

How do these images inspire you? Isn't the black lion spectacular? His coloring is due to a condition called 'melanism' - the exact opposite of albinism. Nature never ceases to amaze me.