Monday, August 30, 2010

Blog Carnival - Texture in Metal Clay

According to the dictionary - one of the definitions of texture is
  1. the arrangement of the particles or constituent parts of any material, as wood, metal, etc., as it affects the appearance or feel of the surface; structure, composition, grain, etc.; or
  2. the tactile surface quality of a work of art, resulting from the artist's technique
This is particularly relevant to my work when I create pieces using metal clays.  Each of the clays I have used, Precious Metal Clay (more commonly known as PMC), Bronze Clay and Coppper Clay are all different in how they absorb stampings and textures whilst being sculpted into jewellery.  I found that I have to ensure that the stamp or carving is defined with PMC and will often use LOS to bring define the piece.  However, Bronze and Copper clays are kinder and "love" stampings and textures - they absorb the picture and mould wonderfully to whatever shape you wish to create.

Below is an example of a pendant I created using PMC syringing (like you would piping icing onto a cake) in which I syringed the PMC around a cork moulded into my desired shape to create an uneven texture to complete the formation of this pendant. 

 Back of piece

 Front of Piece

In the picture below is a mixed media pendant using PMC and Copper Clay.  When pressing the stamp on the flower copper circle, it was with minimum pressure - however when texturing the larger silver (PMC) ring, I rolled the texture mat over the piece to ensure that the stamping was visible after firing.  The pendant was completed using a rough textured opal and a lovely ameythst to bring all of the pieces together.

Lastly, I am highlighting some Bronze Clay earrings in which I used different textures for each of the rings.  It was with pure pleasure watching these evolve after firing.  When all of these pieces come out of the kiln, you never know how the end result will turn out until you have finished burnishing and polishing each piece.

Have a look at how some other artists from my team SATeam utilise Texture in their work!


C-My Designs on Etsy

Northern Girl

The Familee Jewels

Nicole Hill

N Valentine Studio



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stone Review - Onyx

Onyx is a stone that I'm using a lot in the work I'm doing and is a very popular stone.  The onyx is black in colour with a fine texture.  Onyx is a banded variety of Chalcedony and the bands in the most common specimens vary from white to all shades of  tan and brown. The layers within this stone range from translucent to opaque.

Onyx is derived from the Greek work Onux which means nail or claw.  There are a few stories about this stone and the legend is one day whilst Venus was sleeping, Eros/Cupid cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground.  As no heavenly part of the body can die, the Gods turned them into stone which became known as Onyx.  The Romans also wore Sardonyx talismans engraved with heroes such as Hercules (God of War). Sardonyx is a variety of onyx that is reddish brown with white and lighter reds. Onyx was more valuable in ancient times then it is today.

Onyx has a 6.5 scale on the Mohrs* scale of hardness and is a commonly used for carving. The main sources of Onyx are from India or South Africa but it can be found in other countries such as Italy, Mexico, USA, Russia and Brazil.  

Black onyx is believed to be one of the most powerful of the protection stones.  The onyx generally does this by absorbing and transforming negative energy.  It is also known to sharpen the wits of the wearer, bringing spirtiualisation - the onyx is associated with many metaphysical properties.

Some of the physical properties onyx is associated with is that it can also be used as a heart, kidney, nerve, capillary, hair and eye strengthener.  It has been said that this stone can eliminate apathy, stress and neurological disorders.

Onyx is the birth stone for February, but is also known as the mystical stone for December and a lucky charm under the astrological sign of Leo.  Onyx is recognised as the tenth wedding anniversary gemstone and is the first root chakra grounding stone. 

*The Mohrs Scale of Hardness  measures a substances hardness or how resistant it is to being scratched.  The scale ranges from 1 to 10.  For example a diamonds hardness equals 10 on the scale and will scratch a garnet (hardness equates to 6.5-7.5) however a garnet can not scratch a diamond as a diamond is harder.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sundays Treasures

Here in Australia, spring is in the air - there are signs that spring is close - the skies seem to be extra blue, the days are warmer, the air is crisp and clean - buds are blooming (I know as the neighbours tree is dropping pollen all over my car!!!) and butterflies are in the air!

These artists have captured some of these butterflies in all their glory!

Click on each picture to see the shops.

Friday, August 13, 2010

August Challenge

Feel like a challenge?  I did when our team (Starving Artists Team on Etsy) posted the question for the challenge for the month of August "What does the month of August make you feel?". 

August means so many things and there were many words that came to mind when I anticipated the question:
  • anticipation - spring and warmer days
  • windy - for the August winds
  • Ekka - our annual agricultural show
So what does August mean to you? 

Here's my design challenge piece  - the stone is a lovely agate that epitomises spring colours (showing both front and back of pendant). What I love about this stone is that when you hold it, it seems to change colour in your hands - this reflects to me the changing seasons.