Tuesday, August 11, 2009
When the Singing Bee was on TV, I had a good time calling the host Joey Fat One. I knew his name was Fatone, but calling him Fat One makes me giddy and laugh like a high schooler. As I near my forties, I am still silly.
While I had fun playing with the compound “ fatone,” I wasn’t sure how to feel about the 2009 Fall Color Report as presented by Pantone or as I like to call them: Pant One. But because I don't design just for myself, I went on a shopping frenzy choosing faceted crystal and resin beads for the Fall months, guided by my Pantone Fall palette. Autumn - it's my favorite season. While I was choosing these new electric hues, I was thinking, "Where are my Earth tones: greens, burnt oranges, dirty yellows?" Mmm, colors that would make me want to roll in dirt and get crunchy leaf bits caught in my hair.
But the 2009 Fall colors are not the earth tones I love. How could this be, oh Pant One? Is it because I pick on your name? Pink. Purple. Teal. Really? These are the colors of Orlando rental cars, not my beloved autumnal hues. These are not my comfort colors, Pant One. Unlike a nice bowl of mashed potatoes, which I know will be delish, I’m not sure if I can fill up on these blues and pinks, so I went hunting for something new, yet familiar– a new something I’ve never worked with before. As if drawn by some magnetic field, I entered the closet. A buttery soft Anne Klein black leather summer flat with a hole in the right shoe. Like a falling pine cone from its tree, this shoe literally fell on my head. I opened the seams, deconstructed the pieces, and was surprised by the amount of usable leather. I fashioned a nice smooth cuff for my new pink, purple, and teal bead clusters. I like it. And I can like these Fall colors. You’re all right, Pantone. In case you are wondering, these gorgeous bead clusters were made from metal "catapillar"(spelling error intended) components from Midwest Beads. A while back it was rumored they were not going to carry them anymore and I shuddered, but they are still in their catalog and they are awesome as ever.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I use a hot head torch for all of my lampworking. Some call it a “beginner’s torch” and when at the Arrow Springs booth at the Milwaukee 2009 Bead and Button Show, two workers said, “You should get rid of that torch,” but I think anyone who says to get rid of something without knowing a person’s skill level or finances is an ignoramus. Sorry Arrow Springs. Right now the hothead serves my needs, and I make very beautiful beads with it. There are many talented artists who belong to the same lampworking forum as me and many are super satisfied with their HH and have no plans to switch to a dual flame set –up. I understand its advantages, but not until I get so successful where I’m able to afford lots of Double Helix, and an oxygen concentrator will I consider switching.
Well, I made no beads today because I am out of gas, and this is driving me nuts! I called the design center last week to order a 20 lb tank which was supposed to be ready for pickup today, but due to a death in the owner’s family, the tank won’t be available until tomorrow. While I’m bummed, I feel bad for her loss which is of course greater. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have goodies to share.
Monday, July 27, 2009
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Friday, July 24, 2009
I did another copper etching, but while clichés are often disappointing, in this case they fit: practice makes perfect, and I spread myself too thin. So I decided to start something else while the copper sat in its lovely lil acid jar, but I got super sidetracked and let it sit acid bathing for three hours (WAY too long… unless you’re trying to dissolve a human being) and my lovely lil copper treasures partially disintegrated! Serves me right.
But I do recommend this: try using cutouts of contact paper as the resist instead of ink; it gives much crisper lines. I printed out a flower template and traced the contact paper over it, then cut out my new flower decal and had some corners not dissolved from my own lack of supervision, there was a lot of promise there.
I learned through trial and error that steel does NOT etch, it flips the bird to liver of sulfur, and IS darkened by Novacan Black Patina. Novacan is serious stuff. It seems more dangerous to handle than the acid etchant. With Novacan (and pcb etchant too) do not forego the mask and gloves. Safety is key. Don’t inhale it either. If you’re clumsy, wear safety glasses. Then again, if you’re clumsy, I recommend not using any chemicals and choosing the store-bought-finished-product route. So the black patina is this light blue thin solution. It darkened the steel, but it was ugly. I used a brass brush on it but then it turned shiny gunmetal, not a fan. Live and learn…
My copper bird find from Metalliferous; I love him. Why didn’t I know about that store when I LIVED IN NEW YORK? Like Oedipus, the gods were against me. But at least I didn’t sleep with my mother. Now THAT would be awkward and logistically complicated. Back to the bird, I used a swirly punch on contact paper and the etching came out quite nice. I used a color wheel to guide my palette, and the wood beads complement the copper and clay tones nicely. I added the cage (from Ornamentea) so he could safely relocate his babies (tumbled rhyolite). Lots of natural elements included, and I love that. I ordered some stone connectors from Etsy studio, Stones Studios Too, and my drilled stones should be arriving this week, and ooh the excitement!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
And then finished a pendant I had been constructing in my head for weeks now. But I finished it in the material world today and although some will think it's ugly, I know the hours I spent with vinegar and sea salt for that elusive blue patina. So I love the piece. It will be added to my growing Chopard line.