Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ode to Rainy Days

Puddles, that is what I have been calling them.
Just as every other student that has put a torch to metal I created some small domed earrings with a post...
Those are my "Puddles"...
I've never tried to make them perfectly round, perfectly textured, that's just not my style. My style? I call it more organic, less refined. Since the start of my Puddles they have progressed with Patina's and copper but now I am introducing a full line of Puddles and heading in another direction.
Unless you are a Silversmith that is the type that "casts" silver, every fabrication artist has the same situation, lots of "scrap", most of us send it out for refining. We all have silver dust from sawing and filing, bits of wire and plenty of cuttings. (Not to mention those entire pieces that just didn't work...)
The current state of my catch drawer...time for some capturing...
I often find myself sitting and looking at all of this valuable silver and wind up picking through it. It's a great reminder of just how far I have to go when I see those larger pieces that didn't make it. A number of times I have found myself rolling across to my soldering bench to try to create something, anything from all this scrap. (This is where I got the first little pieces that made my original Puddles.) I've come up with a couple of rings, small pieces that I have run through the rolling mill (waiting to be turned into pendants) and recently some very cool earrings.
Since today's weather denied me the privilege of attending the farmers market I stayed in to finish some projects. Last night I worked with Ceramit, (a polyester coloring product) that was introduced to me by my co-conspirators at FDJ. It is a coloring agent much like enamel but does not need the high temperatures of a kiln, it can be air cured or placed in a small oven at 250 degrees!
Here is my first attempt!
This is a much better result than my first try with enamel! I'm so happy.

The instructions say "shake gently" I will take that more seriously, I'm guessing that is the reason for the bubbles but I'm happy none the less!

Now obviously these babies will not make it to the Silver Lining shop but hold on I'm working on new stuff.
In the meantime you will have to settle for these creations:

headed to the shop this evening!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Throwing in the towel! (For Lois and Willard Scott.)

I've have yet to post a blog with no photos but here it goes...
I'm sure some of you are tired of hearing about Florida's COLD weather when most of you are suffering much more than we are.
We've suffered through low 20 degree weather here in central Florida.
For us down here that is downright crazy.
Unfortunately all forms of citrus, strawberries and those delicate "Babies Breath" and ferns that usually adorn your Valentines Day roses are going to be very expensive shortly.
We have just gone through the longest, coldest spell in more than 100 years.
For those of you "up north" (dear friends on the metric scale; anything with a minus in front of it...) this all seems rather silly.
But you see we hold our Farmers Markets all year round. This means loading up our vehicles anywhere between 5 or 6am sometimes 2 or 3 mornings a week and heading out after scraping the ice off windshields with our credit cards.
(We have discovered they work much better than a scrapper, which you cannot find anywhere in the state anyway.)
For the past 3 days we have been back up to the 50's and 60's but we are about to get another "cold front".
This one will be much milder, we are talking 40's thank goodness, but we are also talking another day of rain and wind.
I was planning on heading to the Market tomorrow morning for the first time in about a month but I just looked at the weather, never mind. It's not the rain, cause it's supposed to clear up by 10am. It's not the temperatures, it's the 20mph winds that are causing me to stay up late and keep working in the studio.
No, I am not up for a day of catching my displays before they all tumble to the ground.
What does all this lead to?
I am hoping at least 12 hours of uninterrupted time in the studio.
This also means I should have some photos tomorrow...
Thanks Lois!