This and That Before Leaving for Australia

On Monday, September 28, I will be on my way to teach in Sydney and Melbourne. I will be gone for two weeks, but you can place your orders for books and clay as usual. Everything will be taken care of. For my local students, if you feel that you suffer from withdrawal while I’m away, you can place your orders online and choose the “No shipping” option. You will then be contacted as to when you can pick up your order.

A lot of beautiful work has been done here lately and I’d like to share some of it with you. My book has already gone to press so these pieces did not make their way into it. Some work is currently being done that I know I would have loved to include. So I’ll just keep showing it on my blog.

Janice still has just finished a bracelet she has been working on for six weeks:

This elegant bracelet feels like it hugs your arm. The dimensions of its links are about 3″ x ½” x ¼”, and we prefer not to think about its cost in materials.

Hope Weiner has made an inlay bear and perfect inlay beads from copper, silver, and bronze:

She has also finished this gorgeous dragonfly, which I have to show you in different views:

It is made from bronze and copper, and the little tube on his belly is meant for a pin.

As for myself, I have been experimenting a lot with patinas on bronze and copper. Here are some of the results:

You can click on the earrings photos to enlarge.

I’ve found a good source for patinas: They sell two sets of sample patina in 2 or 4 oz. The service is quick and the shipment is cheap (no extra charge for hazardous materials). The one I bought is Sculpt Nouveau – Traditional Series Patina Sample Kit. It includes 9 bottles.

Another kind of patina that I had good results with can be found at craft stores like Blick and certain hardware stores like Ace, and on this website. It’s from the “Sophisticated Finishes” series, and the ones I like best are “Patina blue”, “Patina green”, and “Rust”. Remember my corset? Here is her new relic look:

I used rust on the corset and ferric nitrate (from the sample kit) on the body, which yields bright orange and yellow colors.

Since the metal is so porous, I found that the best way to apply it to small objects, like the rocks, is to soak them in the patina for a few hours. When you take them out, you can’t see the patina yet. Put it on your heating pan and see the colors emerge. This is how I got the blue and green colors.

Some of the rocks are orange/red/brown. This was achieved by heating the rocks with a torch until red-hot, then immediately quenching them in cold water. Surprisingly, when I did the same thing with the disk earrings on the right, one side of the disc turned orange and the other one purple.

The patinas need to be coated with several layers of lacquer spray. I used “Working Fixative Spray,” available from art and craft stores.

I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this, but I sure got it out of my system.

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