Wednesday, February 20, 2013

First Bezel

Here is my first bezel setting.  There were many steps involved with making it.  I started with a piece of brass and two piece of copper. This particular piece is inspired by the cosmos representing the moon, stars, earth and the universe.

I dapped a copper circle into a dome. Then I used salt and ammonia to create the patina.  I cut my copper and brass shapes, sanded the edges of both and added texture to the brass. On the copper I soldered a strip of copper that would become the bezel. I created tube rivets out of copper and brass tubing that were used to connect the moon and star/sun together. Finally I placed the patinated copper dome into the setting and sanded the whole piece.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First bronze casting

 Based on the premise of childhood events and the idea of awards badges, the next project was to teach us about casting.  Our specific casting would be made out of bronze. Below you will find images of my initial sketches, my wax carvings and then one final piece. I did work on and finish two pieces during this project although upon final reflection I think trying to make two pieces worked against me.

 This ER broccoli badge is an award of bravery for my son.  When he was about 3 years old, he reached up onto a counter trying to get hold of a basket of fresh picked broccoli.  He accidentally caused a glass canning to come crashing down.  It shattered and he got a deep cut in his foot.  I washed his foot and bandaged the cut.  However, at bath time I noticed the cut was deeper than I thought and I began to worry about the possibility of glass being stuck deep in his foot.  So, worried as I was, I took him to the ER where he was patient and calm and got him all cleaned up and glued shut.  They suggested the possibility of giving him one stitch but I thought the super glue sounded like a far easier solution.

 The second piece, which was more focused on me and some unresolved issues is pictured below.  It wasn't my original idea but I ended up sort of working through this idea that many people are like alligators.  In this I mean that they seem steady and docile on the surface but they are deadly dangerous and simply lying in wait to take advantage of those not paying attention.  Of course I do nit believe all people are like this but I did have some unpleasant childhood experiences that involved some people who were like this.  Also, having grown up in Florida, I have a deep respect and love for alligators.  These two feelings about alligators came together in this project.

Here you can see the broccoli and the alligator all sprued up and ready for investing.

These enamelled copper pieces, which are on the pin plate for the alligator badge, represent the innocence of childhood.  For many young girls, dolls and teddy bears and bows are quintessential.  For me they evoke a sense of hope, happiness and joy.  You can see that the enamel is cracked on some of the pieces, this can give clues to the meaning behind this piece which deals with loss of innocence.

The final piece brings in my love of beads.  I made the netted ribbon with glass beads from Murano, Italy, that were gifted to be my Aunt.  She is someone I have always felt close to and when I am with her I feel safe, even to this day.  I am lucky that between innocence and loss of innocence I had not only her but a "net" of people around me to remind me how good life is.