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Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot here in the middle of the country.

This is a piece I call Summer Love . It comes from my college days when I was between a 5 year old relationship with a young lady I expected to marry and a non realised relationship with another young lady I fell for after the breakup. That summer was hot like this one. We were taking a sculpture course with outdoor exhibitions and I asked a classmate to be part of my one day sculpture...we were making temporary large scale sculptures from found objects and displaying them one a week for one day on the quad. Then they were destroyed. Mine was a foam rubber mattress from the Goodwill cut into the shape of a piece of toast. With a square plastic inflated yellow pillow for butter it was called Breakfast in bed. While I had high hopes she had a different idea...from me hearts and flowers and in the end she like the raku doll on this piece ran into the sunset. The metals represent the heat of summer with the sun shining down on the clock that spun too fast.  Ah well the summer of 69 is what fed the image on the pendant. I put it up for sale at Etsy www.oscarcrow.etsy.com this morning.

This is a German head from about 1860 painted with a bronze metallic surfacer and given a blue patina. This material seems to work best on semi porous surfaces like this bisque head. Immediately after painting you spray with the activator and the blue/green develops. If you wait too long the reaction is minimal. Spray while its fully wet and it will turn solid blue or green. I may repaint this one to get a better color.

These are some of the littlest dolls ready to go up to Etsy tonight barely 1 inch tall, there were 50 in this batch.

I have been listing so many parts I almost forgot to put together a full doll. This is a partially frozen Charly...his arms and legs will need to be wired on. He goes to the shop as well.
I am still waiting for MLSJEWEL to contact me about the spoon...if you know this person tell them to get to me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Forged flower and winner of the spoon.

I got some of these copper colored flowers from Bsueboutiques a while back and after cleaning in my workroom a package of these surfaced.

I decided to texture it with a cross peen hammer and then heated it with a torch while watching the surface. As the copper cools it begins to discolor in this case leaving a metallic iridescent color.

After texturing and adding the patina it was time to add the backing piece and a center. I chose to rivet it with a 3/32 copper rivet.

When assembled the tip of the rivet protrudes too much. about 2 thicknesses of playing cards is enough to make a proper head. No more than the diameter of the rivet itself should protrude above the surface.

I chose to use a nail set to set the rivet. It has a concave tip about the diameter of the rivet.

Clipping it off with side cutters gets it ready to round up with a hammer and the nail set.
Four or five taps with a hammer and we have a nice round rivet.

I was ordering some raku from my favorite potter  DG Midkiff better known on Etsy as wondrousstrange. This little woodland fairy matched the color of the copper and so was glued down with E-6000. The next installment I will create a wire bail for this piece.

Now to the winner of the drawing...drum roll please...My daughter picked from the entries and came up with Msjewel. If you will contact me at harrywood1@msn.com with a mailing address I will send you the spoon. Thank you all for entering.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Any one need an arm or a leg ? Update on the Spoons.

My most recent shipment from Germany had lots of arms and legs. Some little ones about 1.25 inches long up to 3.5 inch in arms and legs varied as much. What to do with such treasures? Well of course I will sell them to others but for my self, I will pick some of the best to use for beads. Also for multi-media constructions. And of course that next bowl of blood ring will get a pair of legs...

This is a set of 12 pair plus one in the 1.25 inch size headed to Etsy next. I scanned a piece of 1/4 inch graph paper and printed the grid on charcoal card stock for a good toned background that can give a hint of size.  That often helps when selling supplies.

A typical pair up close. The wire hole in the shoulder is large enough for cord or ribbon up to 1mm. Perhaps a bird head in dark brass and this pair on a necklace? With a few bright red glass pearls?

Some 2 inch legs with shoes. For jewelry use I might recommend a bead cap over the top to both protect and to support the leg.

Now to the spoons...most responders have said keep the spoons intact with one dissenting vote. Wednesday at midnight(or really Thursday AM) I will put every ones name in a box and have my wife select the winner. This is an American sterling silver in a lily of the valley pattern.

This spoon is much older , from Great Britain, Birmingham, England according to the hallmarks...right facing lion and anchor plus a year mark that looks like a g It also has .950 silver?

This last one has the Native American markings and a Steel Pier engraving. I've decided even this early to send these to my shop on Etsy.  Someone else can be the steward of the silver...if they don't melt it for cash...probably they wont do that for less than 5 dollars...that's all a local "gold"buyer offered...I think most of these gold guys are ripoffs...or geniuses. Thursday's blog will have the winner of the flower spoon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A New Bowl of Blood Ring and spoons for jewelry.

Here is one of the broken dolls emerging from the red surface in the bowl. Or is she sinking in?

In this shot you can see the bowl is tipped by off setting the rivet hole to one side. This plays balance against tension...we expect the bowl to be level creating a kind of action in a static piece. Its almost as if the doll is rocking the bowl as she emerges. Perhaps the next one will be a pair of feet sticking up as if the person had just dived into the bowl. A little like a magicians trick, caught in stop motion or a frame from a film.

I was cleaning my work room and came across some spoons that were purchased for making rings...a long time ago..kind of gives away my age when you think of it...I was about 25 when the spoon rings were in vogue. Now that I have shuffled these around for so long and not cut them apart...I find it getting harder to destroy the silversmiths art for my own...my contribution to this lovely would be to cut away the bowl and bend the stem into a ring. While it would be pretty I think someone may value the spoon for its complete form.

The flower is very pretty and the leaf is also well done.  Perhaps before I sell it I will make a mold...or ?

This one has a Native American and corn and a canoe with paddle... and one other has English hall marks before 1895.another has lilies of the valley up the handle..Even though they are sterling I'm torn between re-purposing and preserving them. Let me know what you think...spoon or jewelry?  In fact lets make it a contest...post a response here for 1 week and next Wednesday I will draw a name from the responders and send that person their choice a flower spoon or a ring made from it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How an HBO series and a handful of brass parts become jewelry.

I was watching the  marathon of True Blood just before the new season debuted and a package from www.bsueboutiques.com arrived. In it were seven little  brass bowls about an inch across. As I was watching the shows one after the other and looking at these bowls an idea surfaced in my mind. I like theme jewelry. Its fun to pretend a piece has magical properties...take a steampunk time machine necklace as an example...it really doesn't takes us forward or backward in time but it is like a license to dream.
This piece is created along those same lines and will be part of a series of 3-5 rings with blood and white body parts as a unifying theme. Sort of vampire chic meets steampunk...The construction is simple...rivet the bowl to the ring and fill with  Ice Resin into which is added Pearlx Super Copper and scarlet oil paint. The result is a sparkly red with copper highlights...a good stand-in for vampire blood. And since some vampires are alabaster white a ceramic dolls arm is set in the center. Seen up close the bowl is set at an angle to appear as if tipping over and the blood is cast to another angle and appears to be sloshing out. The arm seems to reach up as if emerging from the blood.
The next installment may have a bowl of skulls or a face emerging from the blood...we will revisit this as the story of the Blood Bowl Rings continues.