Month: October 2010

A Happy Accident

My first try w/ Fast fire Bronzclay seems to be a success. To be completely honest, this is my second firing of this load since I accidentally used the acid-washed carbon rather than the coconut shell. Also bumping up the firing temp to 1545 rather than 1525 seemed to help, too.
The colors were quite a surprise! I figured they would be dull and maybe slightly gold-toned. The first ones out of the firing pan (the 8 bead caps near the 5 o’clock position) were not too colorful, but still have some interesting patterns on them. It wasn’t until I swirled my stainless steel hemostat around in the medium trying to fish some out -with my respirator on- that I noticed a flash of color change. The bright orange was a complete shock since I’ve never gotten such vivid color from the coconut shell carbon. Another thing that seemed to help was almost fishing it out and then re-submerging it in the carbon. That’s how I got some of the raku looking pieces. The far left are the ones that were on the very bottom and so they stayed in the longest. In case anyone is interested- I fired at full ramp to 1545* holding for two hours. I had my pan up on kiln posts, and the lid was not fully covering the container. After it was done firing, I removed the kiln lid around 1300* and left the pan- still covered w/ the lid- in the kiln until the temp read ~230-250. Can’t remember the exact number now, should’ve written it down. After removing it carefully from the kiln, I searched for my hemostats and started digging for the bead caps soon after. Et voilΓ !

Beads and 100 Followers :)

This past week has been a whirlwind of travel, meeting new people, and trying to get ready for the show next month. Just noticed that I have 100 Followers for this blog!- thanks for your interest and here’s to showing you work that continues to grab your attention. Met up w/ some wonderful beady people over the weekend and look forward to our next Carolina Firefiend meeting. One member generously let me borrow her Jim Moore press since my Impress Bead Liner was too slim to fit my big beads inside to core and cap. (these three beads above are a few I’ve done so far, before running out of bead caps) Another is going to tumble etch some of my hollows to see how it compares to my usual acid etch method.
Thank goodness my wonderful cousin is nearby and willing to babysit my little man, making it possible for me to go to these meetings.

Bead Porn for BABE! 2010

Since BABE! 2010 is only a month away, it seemed like a good time to take stock of what I have and what still needs to be made. There is a LOT of etching that needs to be done- oy vey, that’s going to take a while. The first shot appeals more to me visually but the last two are just keeping it real since that’s what it normally looks like in the studio πŸ˜‰

Looking forward to the show and getting to enjoy Cali again, even if it’s only briefly.. if you make it to the show, be sure to stop by and say hey.

Post Firing- BC Hollow Forms

Just a quick shot of the fired bronzclay hollow forms- my free form number hollow bead on the right developed a few fine cracks and must have had a weak spot of the back since it has the most damage. It was fired on its side, so maybe I sanded it too much- can’t say as I really remember since the forms were made more than a year ago.
I’d like to get a nice patina on them that is a little more permanent than what the firing medium gives. Any suggestions?

Gearing up for BABE! 2010

The blog has been woefully neglected (again) while I’m trying to get as much done as possible during my short spurts of free time, i.e. nap time. As my dad loved to say, “I’m busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.”
Not sure if the slip-painted pattern on the left is too weird- the inspiration came from two different sources: the grease trail in my frying pan and one design from a book of quilts.
Oh, and these are some of the bronzclay hollow forms from more than a year ago that I’m finally getting around to using. Good thing they don’t go bad- although they’re hard as rocks to try and carve..hence, the slip painting.