The "something interesting" is my article in the latest issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine (well, I hope it is interesting ;) ). Some time ago I made this dragon pendant with a moonstone as a custom order and took a lot of photos of the whole making process. I decided it would be nice to write something about this. Originally I showed it only to the girls from Etsy Metal Clay Team, but Joy Funnell told me it would be a good material for an article. Thanks Joy! :) So here it is :). If you haven't read this MCAM issue yet, check it out. There is a lot of interesting things in there. My personal favourites are Michael Sturlin's article on time management, Wanaree Tanner's "how to" on sterling silver clay ring and an interview with Evelyn Pelati Dombkowski.
And as for "something weird" - this is a longer story ;). A few weeks ago I was invited to a free metalsmithing jewellery workshops organized by Wytwórnia Antidotum (jewellery making school based in Warsaw). I chose a class on casting and it will take place this weekend (can't wait!), but the fun began sooner ;). The official invitation I got by mail was everything but ordinary.
As you can see in the photo, it was a lovely wooden box, with a few weird things inside: a piece of aluminium mesh, a circle made of plexiglass, a cinnamon stick, playing card and a glass cabochon. There was also an instruction saying that I should choose at least two of these things, add anything I want and make this way a wearable piece of jewellery :). Just for fun!
I immediately had a few ideas, but finally I drew this and decided to use the cinnamon stick and aluminium mesh. The cinnamon stick because I liked it the most from the very beginning and the mesh, because it was so ugly I just felt I needed to do something to make it easier on eyes ;D. This project was totally not "me", but I just wanted to have some fun, so why not? :)
I chose to work with Goldie Bronze ™, simply because it's relatively cheap (so I wouldn't feel remorse that I'm wasting materials just to play) and I needed something warm-coloured for that project.
I constructed a few cuboids, that I planned to put together in three segments that would form three parts of the pendant. I wanted them to be rather rough and slightly irregular.
Later I removed excessive clay with a file, added some texture and granulation. I also chipped them a bit...
After firing and some finishing they looked like this. I decided I would try something new for finishing touches and finally test Vintaj Patinas I bought some time ago. I used three colours - moss, cinnabar and rust. I used them for the first time, so I didn't do it really "professionally", but I guess I can say something about this product. Generally I like these patinas, but to be honest I wouldn't call them patinas. These are just cool semi-opaque paints for metal, that stick really well to its surface, are water resistant and generally durable. They look really nice and I already can see that it is possible to create very interesting effects with them, but this never will be a real patina look. They don't react with metal, they just cover it, so the look always will be different. But I still like them very much! I just wouldn't call them Vintaj Patinas, but Vintaj Metal Paints :).
Then I began assembling the whole thing. I cut the cinnamon stick into two pieces (I used a piercing saw for this) and put them in the right places (yes, I used epoxy glue for this, and yes, I'm very ashamed of this ;) ).
I needed two more cuboids I planned to make of aluminium mesh, but finally I decided I would also use the playing card from the wooden box. As you can see I just folded it and scotch taped it from the inside. Later I made the same shape from the alumium mesh.
And here you can see the finished pendant. I used Vintaj Patinas again on paper and mesh cuboids. I painted the inner surface of the mesh with "rust" and the outer with "moss". It looks quite interesting when you can see orange colour peeking out from behind the green. I applied the same colours on the surface of the playing card cuboid. I just irregularly layered them one on top of another. When patinas dried I covered them additionally with glossy decoupage lacquer to make the cardboard cuboid more durable and harder.
So here it is :). I would never make something like this normally, but I have to say I had a lot of fun, I learned a lot and I got inspired! I will definitely make something else with cinnamon sticks (this time something more consistent with my aestethics ;) ). This is a wonderful material. Its texture and colour is so beautiful and the smell is heavenly :).