Thursday, 30 May 2013

Opening my eyes to the joys, and woes of Sterling Silver

"Failure is not falling down, failure is not getting back up again"

This is what I am trying to live by...but not the easiest thing to do or so I have found.

I decided to try some new techniques and some new (to me!) products.  I have never played with Sterling silver clay before and have just started using my Silhouette Cameo. 

This is a pendant in progress.  It is a labradorite cab set in SS bezel wire on a piece of SS that I have textured and engraved on the back.  As you can see there are holes where I plan on adding doodads and hanging a chain.  What did I learn from this?  I learned how small I can go with the engraving as the saying on the back is a tad too small to be legible (at least I know what it says! lol) 

Now this is the piece that I have to remind myself not to see the cracks, the mistakes here and there but see what I learned and did well.  This is a ring that I made after taking Wanaree Tanner's class on Craftcast.  She taught us how to use the Cameo to make texture plates, how to use it to engrave and how to construct the ring.  What do I love about this piece?  First off I love how well I soldered the bezel and the ring shank.  I have to pat myself on the back for that! I love how well the engraving of the Chinese symbol for hope turned out on the inside of the ring panel.  I did learn how to do so many different things with this, and I can't wait to start another.  I did have a b$%#@ of a time firing this sucker.  For some reason my Magic Carbon refused to work...and after refiring in my original carbon some pieces sintered and some just would not sinter no matter what I did!  The band that was supposed to go with this ring panel didn't sinter so I used another ring shank that I had made to make another ring.  I am going to have to allow myself to have the learning curve that is necessary and not judge myself by my mistakes but rather learn as much as I can with each and every piece.

Something I read in Vickie Turner's blog really impacted me today.  She was talking about her painting and how she had to remind herself that yes, she is good enough.  If I only take what other people think as what I am worth, then I will only be disappointed.  I have to remind myself that yes, I am good enough.  So everyone, give yourself a gentle reminder today that you ARE good enough, no matter what others think!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Many firsts...

This pendant pictured above is the result of many firsts for me.  First time ever using COPPRclay, first time ever making a sized bezel for a specific stone, first time firing two separate moving parts together and first time ever taking a pretty good pic! lol

I have no clue what kind of stone this is so if anyone has an idea, please feel free to comment on it. 

I have been very nervous about doing this kind of pendant for awhile but after taking a class from Wanaree Tanner (the MOST amazing teacher and metal clay artist IMHO) I decided to go for it.  It turned out so much nicer than I had hoped for.  It took a lot of time and many different steps were involved but it was a lot of fun.  Since COPPRclay has a large shrinkage rate I made a much larger polymer clay blank to use to fit the components around.  I was worried that I made it too big but it turned out perfectly.  My local business shop had quite the giggle when I took a bag of stones in to get photocopied and enlarged on their machine...but it was worth it!

Here you can see how the pendant moves freely on the bail even though it was built and fired together.  I wasn't sure that would work but it did and has really opened me up to a lot of ideas I now have to try!

Here you can see the textured back of the pendant.  The COPPRclay really takes texture well and the colours on it are gorgeous.  Only thing to do now is seal it so it stays like this!

Overall I have to say I absolutely love COPPRclay and can't wait to work with it in the future.  I have a project in the works that I hope to have done by next week, a torc bracelet that I think will be awesome!

Thanks for checking this out!  Off to the studio (aka my closet) on this rainy muggy day to keep the creative juices flowing!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Why do people carpet their ruts?

Now that is a title eh?  lol!  You must be wondering what Lisa is on these days.  Read on and all will be explained!

Woke up to a beautiful rainy day today and decided to get off my butt and do something other than waste time on Facebook games!  Well, at least waste a little less time...

Why does it seem that when something goes wrong, EVERYTHING has to follow?  Over the past few weeks we have had both cars in the shop (one is still there!) and a couple of days ago our water heater burst.  While that was being fixed sure enough, our garage door busted as well.  I am so done with this month....can't it just be June already?

So, back to the title of this blog....why do people carpet their ruts?  Let me clarify the question. I want to know why it seems that not only are people stuck in a rut seems they love their ruts so much they have carpeted them, made a really comfortable home in them. They don't leave their comfort zone, they don't think outside of the box....and they don't acknowledge those who do.  They seem shocked when someone wants to go further.  And if you aren't one of the rut carpeters then we are back to the whole high school scene of the "cool kids vs the nerds".  I happen to fall into the "nerd" category. 

You might be asking where is this venting coming from?  I have been fortunate to be involved with a great group of people since the beginning of my polymer clay experience.  Over the years I have learned a lot from some very special people who have gladly shared their knowledge and experiences with me,  and I have grown and progressed in so many different directions.  But I guess I failed in not kissing the right behinds as I went along....

I happen to know an amazing polymer clay artist who shall remain nameless that does spectacular work.  This individual does techniques and colourways that are new and exciting.  She reinvents herself on a regular basis and shares everything she knows with anyone who wants to learn.  She is totally about the whole community and not just selfishly focused on herself.  But she will never be included in the "cool kids" group and I have wracked my brain to try to figure out why.  She is never on the teaching list which is shocking as I for one, would take her class in a heartbeat.  But no, it is the same old group over and over again, teaching the same old stuff over and over again.   And if there is a newbie added to the list?  It is the bestie of one of the original members.  And then their bestie gets added....and so on and so on.

What happened to wanting to grow, to change, to see where art will take you?  Why do people get so afraid of change, when change is life? 

This whole realization has afforded me the clarity to realise some changes I needed to make in my life.  I can't change people, the only thing I am in control of is how I react to them.  And since I value myself and my time, I won't be wasting anymore of it trying to figure out why these people are the way they are and what I must have done wrong to upset them.  I realized I didn't upset them, they are just so self involved that I never even entered their radar in the first place. 

Okay enough blog will be about my first experience with COPPRclay and sizing a bezel!

Feel free to leave a comment on how you feel about this subject, good or bad.  And if you are really daring, look at yourself and ask "Am I in a rut?  Do I want out or am I just too comfortable here?"