Friday, June 26, 2009

Metal Clay

To say that Helen has been busy is an understatement! Most of use think that she has a rock factory going, lol! Here is the result of her "experiment" using Hadar's Metal Clay in both bronze and copper.

When my friend, Aja of Wandering Spirit Designs, decided to take a one-day workshop with Hadar, she wanted to learn all about hinges. Her first project was a tile bracelet and I decided to make one too. Side by side we started and I finally finished mine:

A few things I learned in this process:
• use an extruder for the tubing
• use a mini mitre jig and jeweler saw to cut the hinges
• use a low-speed bench top drill to assure all the holes are uniform
• use thinner wire for the hinges - 20 ga instead of 18 ga - so it balls up easier
• use sheet metal (I think it's 24 ga) for the clasp

I have learned a LOT but not sure if I will be making another one anytime soon! ;-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Double Helix Newest Silver Glass - Ekho

It's official! TE-265, the Double Helix test batch we wrote about last month, will be released as its regular production glass under the new name Ekho!

We may sound like a broken record for we wrote these words before . . . There isn't anything in the current market quite like Ekho. It both strikes and reduces - and the result is glorious iridescence in hues of the entire color spectrum! From golden hues, palest pinks and lavenders, rich purples and magentas, to opal-like blues and greens, AND it retains the mother-of-pearl opalescence under encasement. In addition, you can also use it as a purely striking glass OR a purely reducing glass. It's that versatile!

Now all we are waiting for is the official release date!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ginormous Beads for Serving Set

My good friend, Sheryll, got married last week! When I told her that I would make the handles for her cake serving set if she didn't have time, I never thought to ask how large the holes needed to be. Imagine my surprise when the beadable knife and spatula arrives and the steel rod required 3/16" mandrel . . . and the beads almost 4" long!

All my 3/16" mandrels are only 12" long! At 4" long and 5/8" thick, those monsters emit a LOT of heat, and so does the thick mandrel. I made three beads and two of them turned out "good enough" ...especially since cake cutting was done outdoors after dark! ;-)

Here is a quick pix of the set:

Here is one of when they were in use!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gorgeous Patina on Hadar's Clay!

We would love to share with you our latest pieces using Hadar's Metal Clay in bronze (not to be confused with Rio's BronzClay which doesn't have the same wonderful working characteristics)! Hadar's clay is so easy to work with and look at the gorgeous patina we got!!!

Enameling on Hadar's Clay

I had the amazing opportunity to submit to Thompson Enamel a few pieces of my work using Hadar's copper clay for testing by Bill Helwig. Unfortunately my inexperience with enameling created a few issues - thus only a couple pieces were of acceptable quality to be used.

My failure, however, proves to be an excellent learning experience for all of us who may be interested in pursuing enameling with this new and exciting new medium. I have transcribed some of the notes to share with you so we may all be better prepared when we decide to try again!

These are the overall assessment:
• Hadar's clay can be enameled but certain considerations and preparations must be made
• Metal clay in general is a porous material so the surface must be worked so it's highly compressed
• Methods to compress the material include – burnish, chase, engrave, and/or tumble with steel needles
• Metal must be of a uniform thickness
• There should be an edge for the enamel to stop against
• Recessed areas should be 0.012 - 0.016 inch / 0.3 - 0.4mm
• No undercuts
• If a mirror finish cannot be achieve, use gold/silver foil with transparent or use opaque enamel

Packed with 2020, 2510, and 2110. Dried overnight on top of a furnace and fired for 3 minutes at 1450F.

This piece was tested for enameling on the back since the surface turned out to be more appropriate (compressed and mirror finished) - 2020 was dry sifted and fired for 3 minutes at 145F, some red copper oxide appeared.

This piece was not used in the enamel testing because the outside edge of the inner form has a second depth which could create a problem.

This piece was not used in the enamel testing because the crude surface would show.

This piece was not used in the enamel testing because for the basse taille design to show, the metal must be compressed and the enamel clean and thin. Also the C and S curves were too deep and of two different depths.

This piece was not used in the enamel testing because it was too deep.

I hope you find this information helpful.