Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 4, the adventures continue

Here we are at day four already, where do these summer days go?  Sorry I didn't post sooner, my kids called me from upstairs.  Yes, on the phone and no my house isn't that big.  They were both hiding in their bedrooms from "something freaky flying around in the hallway, HURRY!".  It was a bat, and it took me about a half hour to get the poor confused thing to fly out an open window.  All are safe now, the kids and the bat.  Hey, one bat in 17 years living in an 1880's farmhouse isn't bad.  For those who are squeamish about bats, no fear I didn't take any pics of it to paste.

Today I worked on more stamping with enamels.  I hammered old pennies, punched the middles out and hammered some more.  I love whacking all that metal almost as much as playing with the torch.  Next I laid down base coats of enamels, stamped, sifted and fired up again.  Kind of an assembly line process but still a bunch of fun.

Here are all 11 of the discs I did today. Maybe washers would be a more appropriate term?  I really like the way the came out and can't wait to reveal them in a necklace later in the week.  I wish the picture showed the stamping better.

These are some of my faves in the batch.  i wish you could see the colors better in the pic, the one on the right is actually robins egg over elk brown but is reading sort of white in the picture.

While I was having all this fun I decided to multitask.  I had some double headpins I did awhile ago that needed to be cleaned up.  So they hit the pickle for a bit, and then I tossed them in the tumbler with steel shot.  This was an experiment too, I wasn't sure how the enamel would hold up to tumbling.  The result...
They held up great!  The tumbler did it's job and brought the shine back to the copper wire.  The chipping that you see occurred pretumble, some actually happened in the pickle but I suspect they were already cracked.  The chipped ones can be refired just add a little more enamel to fix.  I don't always tumble, when I'm in a hurry to move on with a project like the discs I just brass brush after pickling.  Tip of the day:  When enameling headpins I fire directly on the first couple layers of enamel, then I fire further up the wire on subsequent layers.  Firing on the wire rather than directly on the enamel the colors stay more vibrant and true.

The next experiment started today but will continue tomorrow.  I LOVE the look of alcohol inks on copper.  The debate is how to use them and then seal them so that they never transfer to the wearer's skin.  So I tried it under transparent clear enamel.

Results as you can see were not exactly stellar.  This is why the experiment will continue tomorrow and report back.  I think I know where part of this went awry so hopefully I can make it work like I want it to.

So what are you working on this week?  Any new techniques you haven't tried before? 

1 comment:

  1. Love the copper disks - can't wait to see the finished project. Go Sister!


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