In the middle of projects

I’ve been trying to finish some pieces for the shop but I think I’ve been distracted by a new found interest in metal smithing — particularly working with hammered wire. It’s been very interesting.  While I had been experimenting with working with my tiny hammer and seeing how the metal wires react given the different gauges, I’ve since progressed to filing open edges which should make it safe to wear.  (You don’t want the sharp edges of the wires scratching your skin.

Hammering wire has a different design effect from just looping the wire or handling it to take this or that shape.  Flat wires can also provide a good base finding for necklaces and maybe bracelets, although I haven’t gotten that far yet.  I’m learning that I have to count the times I hammer a particular area and the direction my hammering moves also affects the shape of the flattened wire.  While I had thought that hammering wire would thin it, it does so in a way but the expansion of the wire in a different direction actually makes it harder and sturdier.

I’m hoping to finish and post a piece or two over the weekend as I am starting to get back into polymer clay.

This time, I’m going beyond simple hand conditioning and actually rolling out the clay in the pasta machine’s thickest setting.  I’m going to “punch out” beads from these.  I’m also trying to create some bead molds.  (One of two – not bad.  The second that didn’t quite work out will become a bead pin cushion when I bake headpins.)

Work in progress: The Thank You Postcard ProjectI’ve also been busy doing postcard backgrounds and flower embellishments for a postcard project in the works.  It’s something that is taking shape very slowly but requires quite a volume of pieces to take off.  I have over a hundred postcard backgrounds and maybe almost a hundred flower embellishments for starters, but this projects involves more than just my favorite pieced paper flowers.

I’m gathering my stash of background papers, bought from the store and made from prints and watercolor and other inks.  I am thinking of different ways and means to create, using up gorgeous paper napkins as backgrounds, and gathering other graphics I had created during my short stint with other art for swaps.  I’ll write more about that later.

Meanwhile, time to get back to the wire and the hammer and hopefully get a post or two up at the shop later.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Crayons and my iron

I signed up for this “crayons only” ATC swap and then a “crayons only” PC swap on Swap-bot which I decided to give a go last night.  I had originally thought of trying my hand at crayon coloring when I signed up, but I had this idea that came to mind last night after dinner.  I wanted to experiment with crayon shavings and melting them by using my clothes iron.

I’m sure you’d be as surprised as I am about how the whole thing came out.  Ta-da!
ATC and Postcard: Abstract melted crayon print

These are my first pieces which I’ve decided to keep for my personal album. I need two of each for the swap and will be doing them later. I did three pieces last night but I had to discard the second because the colors didn’t quite “meld” well and it came out a dark grey in some areas.

All you need are crayons, paper labels/wrap removed, a blade or paring knife to shave the crayon, parchment paper, paper towel, and an old magazine. What I love about this is that it gives me something new to use those discarded crayongs from Angelo’s old sets. I also almost always keep the crayon sets given with the kiddie meals in restaurants.

I’m still trying to figure out how to do a video using my cam of choice (my blackberry bold) but I will do a tutorial once I get that figured out. Unfortunately it’s hard to do the tutorial in pictures but if I can’t do the video, I’ll it the old fashioned way.

I was so amazed at the texture that pulling the protective parchment paper on top produced as you can see in the postcard upclose below.
Mail art: Postcard with Melted Crayons

More on this later!