Sunday, 15 March 2009

Mainly Metals

I confess I'm an Earring Addict ( well it's good to support other artists......) and for Xmas a couple of years ago I got a Precious Metal Clay kit so I could make my own. I hadn't actually got round to using it ( mainly as I was scared of using the blow torch supplied for firing pieces) so I bit the bullet and on Friday went on a workshop with Sarah Lamb at Art Van Go studios. It really is alchemy! We practised first using paper clay to work out our ideas and then modelled pieces in 'Art Clay' which is not that different from fine porcelain clay in texture. After placing in the kiln (or fired in the flame of a butane cooks torch), it remains white but feels heavier and more dense. Then using wire brushes and cloths the bright metal is revealed. Magic! I meant to take photos as I went along but it was too exciting. My preference is for fairly simple 'rustic' pieces. I was really pleased with these 1 3/4 inch textured earrings ( particularly the slightly crumbly edges where the clay was beginning to dry out while working)
I also think there's potential in these tiny thumb pots modelled round a thimble and my fingertip. They look quite dynamic worn as they move around on the handmade silver wires that Sarah kindly made. Everyone produced something interesting ( those pieces that worked best were those that made the most of the organic quality of the clay) and I've now got the confidence to have a go at home.

Meanwhile, in the garden, we've decided that the plum/greengage tree has to go and invested in a sculpture to take its place. We bought it on ebay (where else) but the artist has some interesting pieces on his website. Not only is its shape reminiscent of the recently clipped bay tree but when the pieces knock against each other, it sounds like wind chimes. We haven't yet put it in it's final position but it looks great against the Forsythia and next doors Camelia.

Tomorrow we are going to Wickes to choose paving and gravel for the next stage of 'Mediterrean-ising'. In order to work out how many paving stones we need, I cut out mock flags from newspaper and laid them out weighed down with stones ( I'd already laid out the hosepipe to work out where the borders are going to be). Not the final design but gives an idea of what it could look like. While I cooked lunch , I asked Ian to collect the paper up - when I looked out the window he was intently reading a section he's missed - wish I'd had my camera to hand

1 comment:

pattynubs said...

Love the sculpture! What text did you use when you did your search on e-bay for such a treasure?