I’ve been donated a pile of these beautiful choral & organ scores to work with, now they’re unfit for use. Really looking forward to starting off on them. First up, a set of jewellery using sheet music from Handel’s Messiah.
I’m still trying to decide what to do with the cover of this one, though – it’s such a gorgeous design in the beginning, and the years of wear from use look absolutely amazing. Any suggestions?
I was asked a while back if I’d donate something to a raffle in aid of Special Effect, who specialise in adapting console and computer controls for physically disabled children and adults – that’s everything from making a 360 controller a bit easier to use, all the way to tailoring eye-tracking software for the otherwise utterly paralysed.
I’d been planning to experiment with masks in any case, so here’s the results! Done using Fabriano pastel paper and Robeson metallic ink.
Also, this pendant, made using laser-cut pieces and ceramic wash.
I’ve accidentally put a couple of pieces through the wash before, and they’ve been fine. However, I just found this in the pocket of a shirt I put on, which had been through a 90-degree white wash.
So that’s a really useful data point!
I’ve been making quite a few of these lately, from an old copy of Midsummer Night’s Dream rescued from the recycling. It’s the same technique I’ve been using for pendants, layered artists’ mountboard sealed with acrylic & varnish; the colours are Talens Ecoline watercolour inks, which I’m really falling in love with. The cheap paper (it’s a Wordsworth Classics edition) takes the ink really nicely, it turns out. Bare trees echo the play’s message that time is out of joint, and each one tries to respond to the partial quotation highlighted on it. Most have been going to friends, or as auction pieces for good causes (speaking of which: if you have a good cause, and are holding an auction, drop me a line) but I may be selling a few as well.
Not all of these are pendants – I’m experimenting with a new design of choker as well, with page fragments laminated onto ribbon. Still haven’t had them properly tested yet, though, so I won’t be putting them into proper production for a while. Always need more testers…
This has now found its proper home, and the lucky winner has very kindly given me a photo to post.
Sounds like a silly idea, but it’s actually a really good material—tough, lightweight, and durable. That black & silver choker is made from Fabriano Tiziano pastel paper, folded & laminated, and then very thoroughly varnished. It ends up very like thin leather, but it’s entirely vegan. (Not all papers are; most art paper uses animal gelatin for sizing. Fabriano use acrylic sizing, though.)
I’d made a couple of these already, without having had the time, or a model, to show them off properly, but these two were done (and put into my intermittent prototype giveaway bonanza) as an experiment to see whether I could attach a D-ring to the underside in a secure and decorative fashion. The answer, it turns out, is “yes”—the knot at the back isn’t going to be proof against a hard tug, if any of my customers were prone to do such things, but even if I’d put a buckle in the D-ring and strap would still be quite strong enough.
I’ve also been making more of these pendants—they’re artist’s mountboard with a ribbon loop, very light (barely a gram each) and rather tough. The design is Roberson liquid metal ink, done with a No. 6 italic nib.
Permanent acrylic, works well with a dip pen. Much less flow than Daler-Rowney FW, so I can get much thinner, closer lines, and doesn’t separate out—the pigment loading on the paper is much better. This is their dark silver, on DR Murano Holly paper.
Here’s the first of the pieces of epoxy jewellery I posted about recently, modelled by its happy new owner. The image links to a larger closeup view. When I’ve passed over the other two to their final destinations, I’ll see if I can get pictures of those to show off too.
Here are three of the pieces I was experimenting with at the beginning of February – I’ve been working on them on and off, coat after coat of paint and then varnish, and now they’re sitting on my desk waiting to go to their new owners. They’re all prototypes – I’m happy with the look of each of them, but there are lessons to be learned from them all too.
Pendant, 45x65mm, weighs 21g. Ultramarine swirled panel in an epoxy setting, with an antiqued bronze finish. One of the advantages of using two-part epoxy over polymer clay is that it cures at room temperature, rather than having to be heated in the oven, so I can use acrylic paints and (as here) inset rectangles of artist’s mountboard, without worrying about what that sort of heat will do to it. Next time I do one of these, I’ll drill a larger hole (or two holes) to loop cord through directly, rather than trying to bend a jump ring threaded through that thickness of solid material.
Brown & gold choker slide, 35mm square, weighs 8g. Sits a bit lower on the ribbon than it does in the picture – next time, I’ll centre the slide on the back a bit more. I actually made three others using the same paper, but didn’t clean the work area quite thoroughly enough and got flecks of epoxy on the front surface. So that’s another area to be careful with.
Aventurine & bronze choker slide, 20x30mm, weighs around 12g. Aventurine cabochon stone in an epoxy setting, with an antiqued bronze finish. I need to be a bit more careful about moulding the epoxy around the slide – this one ended up weighing a bit more than it had to, and I had to clear the slide holes with a scalpel after it had finished curing.
Whilst I’m only about 20% pagan at the best of times (most of the rest is Quaker) I still like to keep the High Days, and today was Imbolc. Or, for the Christian side of me, St Brigid’s Day – patron of poets, blacksmiths, and healers, and always one of my favourites.
My normal artistic practice on High Days is to try and make something new – the rule is that anything I make has to be kept or given away, rather than sold. That’s partly just to make sure that I remember why I’m doing this, and as a reminder to try new things or go back to techniques I haven’t used in ages.
Today, I started out by playing around with some two-part epoxy putty, and there’s some jewellery hardening across the room – a stick pin, three brooches, and two choker slides. The brooches I’ve done before, but that was years ago, before I acquired a Proxxon drill for sanding and buffing. (Vorsprung-grade German engineering, slightly better than Dremel in its class.) There is almost no craftsman’s task I hate more than sanding things by hand, and consequently I’m not very good at it. Late tomorrow, or in a few days, they’ll be ready to paint & varnish, and we’ll see how they turn out.
After that, I started playing around with some colour/paper/glaze combinations I hadn’t tried before, and this was the result. It’s Ara dark bronze acrylic on Gmund bierpapier (Boc), with three coats of lightly gold-tinted Rheotech gloss gel glaze. I was rather impatient, and put the second & third glaze coats on when the first was touch-dry instead of properly clarified, but I rather like the clouded effect in this case – it looks like a faux-nori finish, which entertains me.