So fired!

I found a place that could fire my piece for me: Art Clay Studio in Nashua, NH(http://www.artclaystudio.com/index.htm)went there today and met the owner, Carol Babineau. She’s fantastic! Had a great time chatting and exploring her studio. She offers all sorts of Art Clay classes and you can also rent her studio for a day. I would have been drooling over her set-up, but I didn’t want to cover everything with coffee dribble…

Now I just need to assemble the pieces of the necklace and voila! I’ll be done!! I wish it were that simple, but I haven’t finished attaching the leather to the collar yet. Hell, I haven’t even finished the hole punching, much less sewn it together in any way, shape or form. Uggh. This part is just so tedious… grrr…

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“…Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–“

I have been filing, and filing, and filing… lol I finally finished smoothing(and filing) the piece I was working on. I now have to fire it so I need to find someone with a kiln I can use. This piece is a little too big to fire by torch, but I did some other pieces that I have already fired. They were so easy to smooth, now that I have the proper tools! Joy!

I have also been working on the collar to support this insanity I designed. It’s woven sterling silver beads and I really want to use some soft leather for the ends. I finally had to buy a pair of gloves to get the texture and colour I want. I have found my leather needle, but I can’t find my leather punch! I am reduced to making the holes with a sail needle. Incredibly inefficient! Oh, well.

They have ARRIVED!!!

My new files arrived today! 10 new 150 grit and 10 new 180 grit needle files. They work SO nicely. They DON’T clog. They sparkle and shine!  Oh my, oh my, OH MY!!! I would be drooling, but I don’t want to get the clay wet.  I have to go file something…

Shhhh. Be vewy quiet….

My new mold has worked nicely and I tried a different way to press the clay in. It seems to have worked well and the newest piece is rather strong. Thankfully. I accidentally whacked it with a file last night, and it survived! A tiny chip that I could sand out. Whew.

I am now awaiting a shipment of new files(diamond-coated needle files. The metal ones clog too easily and there’s no really good way to0 clean them) to finish up this piece. Before I sand it. To get ready to fire it. And then hand-finish and polish it. So that I can be done with it. Why? Why did I start this???? I’m going to bed…

ARRRRGGGHHHH!

So, I made the NEW molds and they worked nicely. But just as I was starting the finishing sanding after removing the mold-over, I BROKE ONE! “Not a big problem” I thought. “I can repair this.” So I grabbed my clay paste, jammed the two pieces together, and put it to one side. “Well, I can start cleaning up the other one.” I took a small file and started to work. What do you think happened? YES! I BROKE IT! IN EXACTLY THE SAME SPOT!! AAARRRRGGGG!!! So I pasted IT and was going to do some other clay work(the pieces have to sit for 24 hours) but the bunny stole my foot-warmer pad. I decided that was a sign and quit for the day.

Continuing saga…

Well, my last attempt at molding did NOT work… thank goodness the clay is savable! I’m not too happy with how the mold came out anyway. So I made ANOTHER and will make yet another and see if it will work better. Here’s hoping!

In other news, I received my bead/supplies shipment and can finish the collar for this creation. I am trying a new adhesive to secure the knots in the weaving and I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it traveled 3,000 miles in an unheated cargo hold and was probably semi-frozen and squeezed the tube too hard… Thankfully it’s a gel with a micro-tip applicator and it just oozed for a while!

Hello world!

Ahh, Art Clay. What can I say?(Ooh, that rhymed! I’m so neat.)  So anyway, I wanted to make a pendant in silver that I’ve never seen. So first I have to carve it, then create a mold, them mold the silver. “Simple!” you say. NOT! First I tried carving the figure in soap. No go. Of course, when I think about it now, I probably shouldn’t have used a serious moisturizing soap. Too soft and squishy. Then I tried straight polymer clay. No again. It doesn’t have the strength and stiffness(no jokes, please) required. So next I used Sculpey Firm, especially formulated for the artist with the ability to be carved. I tried it three different ways: created the piece in toto, then baked to cure. Too large and a little flimsy. Carved the piece out of a block of clay then baked. Good size but not enough detail and kind of a weird consistency. And finally, over-cured(by accident) a block of clay to carve into and create a stamp. I was bummed at first because the over-baking create a solid block that little would carve. But then, EUREKA!!! I thought of my Dremmel! It worked and I am now the possessor of  a carving AND mold of my pendant. Stay tuned to find out if the silver set properly and picked up the detail, because attempt 1 didn’t work…