While the last entry about memories that flit by was quite figural, today I’m thinking of fluttering in a different way. There are things that flutter too.
I’m ready for the fluttering of Spring when the birds and butterflies show their colors and the weather is warmer. I want to see them out my studio window and feel this would help me get in a better humor for creating the Spring jewelry designs. Yet, one has to get started; so I did.
The first photo shows two doves that I torch enameled with multiple layers of blues and white. The bottoms of the doves rest on round beads giving them to illusion of being in flight. The copper wire armature joins with a handmade chain to go around the neck.
I also torch enameled this second piece. It is cloisonné and I used sterling silver wire to mimic the markings of the butterfly wings. Then I wet packed various colors of enamel. It takes many layers and firings to build the enamel up to the top of the sterling wire and the wet packed enamel must dry each time before firing. I had to learn to be patient on this one. Once complete, I smoothed the surface with an alumdun stone and then added a clear layer of enamel.
I’m just hoping that soon these flutterings aren’t just in my mind and on my work bench. I want to see Spring here at the ranch in the very near future.
Whimsy. . . an excessively playful expression . .
I think the title fits the fun I’ve been having making woven copper branches and adorning them with depictions of nature.
The woven branch idea happened quite by chance. I was meeting a friend and knew I would be too early for our appointed time; so, as usual, I took along some wire work. Yes, I’m worse that a compulsive knitter! I planned to work on a bracelet like those shown in a recent blog. I cut the wire strips and copper sheet before leaving the house and stuck them in my bag. Unfortunately, when I pulled things out in the car to work on the bracelet, I had left the sheet out of the bag. So, there I sat in the Academy parking lot wondering what I could do with four 9 inch lengths of heavy copper wire and a spool of 26g weaving wire.
Yes, I could have just sat there and waited patiently, but creataholics don’t do that! I put those four heavy wires together like a column and started weaving around them in a circle. The pattern was rather addictive and fun to try. Later, when I returned to the piece, I realized it resembled (in my imagination) a branch and I added leaves here and there.
I had already made couple of little torch enameled butterflies and they lit right on that branch. Whimsical?
The next day I tried 5 base wires in the column and liked it better, although it took longer to complete. I used an owl bead on this one.
Now I’m filled with ideas pertaining to other things that need to go on these branches. Yet, I guess I’d best see if anyone else likes them first. Even if they aren’t winners, it good to go out on a “whim” once in a while!
Isn’t is wonderful how a few truthful and positive words can provide a great moral boost? When I show my work to someone, I’m really just sharing and not necessarily looking for accolades. I think my family should just know what I’ve been making. Luckily, they’ve learned to accept my “show and tell” without feeling any real obligation to like what they see. I’ve tried to encourage them to view my process and growth rather than just the art.
Today, I spent a good deal of time trying some new torch enameling techniques.
I’ve been working in my comfort zone for quite some time following the class that I taught and decided that today was the day to stretch. (sometimes stretching is hard)
First, that little bird pendant gave me fits. It’s difficult to tell the details on her from this photo, but suffice it to say they are there. It takes numerous firings on this type design and several times after I applied the enamel and set the pendant on the trivet for torching, the whole thing fell off on the floor. Then I had to start anew. I think it was a test to see if I really wanted to persevere. I worked through the frustration and when I brought the pendant to my spouse he actually knew what it was supposed to be. That provided a positive stroke. He even told me that it was an orange tanager. (If I had been on the ball, I would have said that was what I planned – but I wasn’t on the ball.) His remarks made me forget my frustration.
The final pair of earrings for the day was the orange and purple pair which I designed based on a piece of fabric called dimples. I thought they were really ugly, but when I showed them to my husband he said “great colors”. That helped me see them differently and I accepted another positive stroke. I guess they are rather funky.
My adult piano students used to say they always knew when I was going to correct something in their playing because I started with a compliment. I think some of them secretly wished I would just get to the correction. Yet, it helped me to find the good in what they had done rather than just searching for something to fix. I now need to find the good in my own work before worrying about what went wrong.
I wouldn’t want to hear “fake” positive comment, but once in a while a sincere one is really welcomed. Focusing on what turned out well can help me retain that part of a piece while seeking to improve the part that wasn’t so good. Oft times I only see the problems in the piece and need someone else to point out what worked well.
I am thankful for a supportive spouse who is always truthful and helps me see the good when I’ve missed it.
It isn’t even February, yet, I’m making heart shaped pendants. It just seems like the thing to do! I prepared the two in the photo because I wanted to experiment with making bails for an upcoming meetup of designers.
The bail for the heart on the left is made from a small piece of copper sheet soldered on the back. The one on the right utilizes a bail made from wire, also soldered on the back. My grandson told me that this heart has heartworms! Hmm, I really didn’t see it that way, but I’m not three years old. I used my new leather sand bag as a base for creating the doming effect on both pieces. I dimpled them with dimple pliers. By the way, thanks to a talented friend, I was able to saw the heart shape from the middle of each piece. Thanks Adele!
Following is another photo of a heart pendant made for the same meetup. I torch enameled the copper rectangle and riveted the heart, cut out of the center of a piece shown above, to the metal. I used a tube rivet which gives it some dimension. The back shows the small piece of tube I soldered to the metal for a bail.
The photo below doesn’t seem to fit with this blog entry . . . yet, it is the essence of “heart”. It was commissioned by one adult sister for another in remembrance of their girlhood when they watched the cardinals together. I’ve shared this previously online, but wanted to repeat. Wouldn’t you say the giving sister was “sharing heart”?
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I hope that commercialism doesn’t remove the heart from the giving. It often seems that men, in particular, are harassed by the advertisements to a point where they feel they must spend a good deal of money for their sweeties. I hope the men I know will understand that this woman just wants a little “heart” in one form or another.