Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Final enameled pieces

These are my two final, and probably most ambitious, thin-metal enameling samples. Not to be content with the only relatively unstable pieces I had made so far, I decided to do a ridiculously flimsy one out of painfully thin metal, and fire it about ten times.

This first one is all of my sketchbook scribbled fantasies come to life, namely, me on my future lyra. My class notes are messy with sketches on me on a hoop, it made a lot of sense to turn it into an enamel piece.

This was the last one I did, yesterday. Again, born of idle sketching and figures that tend to crop up in my drawing. I'm not thrilled with it, but it felt good to get one final piece out before I had to say goodbye to enameling forever.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eye Teeth- Final

Eye Teeth, in its final, completed iteration. I put the last coats of enamel on the mask on Friday, and created the barbed wire choker/title today. I vacillated a lot on how to display it, but I think having two white styrofoam heads on either side of the full mannequin is going to balance my final show well.

I wound up doing the nose bridge and the head attachment with braided wire (Claire's idea to braid it, mad props to her). I tried to keep it wild and organic, leaving some loose ends to curl around the sides and back.

I mimicked the wild feel of the mask with the choker, braiding it loosely and wrapping bits of wire around the connections like barbed wire. I hammered out the title piece with thin copper, so the letters are really deeply recessed. If I had had the time I would've enameled it the same colors as the mask, but I just hit it with some liver of sulfur and called it a day.

Side view- there are layers and layers (17, to be exact) of subtle greens, browns and reds in the mask, but they're mostly lost in the picture. I enameled the spikes of the eyes and ends with opaque black, which is again, too subtle to be really picked up by the camera.

Close up to give some idea of the colors that went into the mask. I built up more enamel in this piece than I ever have before, mostly because it took that long for me to be satisfied with it.

I'm really happy with this one as my final major piece of metal working. Tomorrow's the last critique of the term, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else's been up to.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Enameling! You're probably sick of it by now, but I'm sure as hell not

Following my tentative experiments with enameling thin metal onto pieces yesterday, I threw myself into it with absolutely no thoughts of how cut up I was about to get today. Octopods! Sparrows! Other iconic images that are easily sheared out of metal! The list goes on.

I initially approached it like cutting out stencils, but I quickly realized that because metal /= paper, there was no need to avoid going into negative space by cutting through connections. Which is good, because piercing and shearing out metal that thin would have been a hassle.

Doing the colors on the octopus was entirely too fun. I almost made it purple, but I restrained myself.

This one I made with my aerial teacher, who goes by Sparrow, in mind. The wing tips got a bit banged up because of the fragility, but it's holding together surprisingly well for being so delicate.

The Medusa is the first piece I did with two layers. I wanted to distinguish between the snakes and the profile, so I built up the snakes with a few layers of wetpacked enamel. I even left my transparent enamel comfort zone and touched it with some opaque to get the depth.

Tomorrow- this madness, in its finished enameled form. And meditations on the end of my relationship with the fine metals studio.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Enameling samples

New enameling pieces! I've been working non-stop in the studio because this is the last week we have open hours before it shuts down until fall. I was too sick to put these up yesterday, so today I'm posting the first and second layers of these two little sets.

I made the freaking cool discovery that I could enamel pieces of thin metal to a base when I was messing around, so all of these are experiments along those lines. I cut the tree out of 22 gauge, and fluxxed it to the base.

Same for this one- every subsequent layer of enamel adheres it more strongly.

And this was mostly an excuse to use up my leftover scraps of thin metal.

Day two! I've done about 5-10 layers on each of these pieces at this point.

The tree turned into an experiment with painting on klyrfire in patterns and tapping off the excess enamel.

I wetpacked the fishy to give it some dimension, and messed around with creating a blue gradation.

And with this one I just kept fluxxing it to build up dimension.

Apologies for the brevity, my sinuses are interfering with my writing-brain. Possibly I will cast myself a new nose in studio today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eye Teeth Mask- Work in Progress

This is my final mask for class, in all its eye-eating glory. I've been wacking at it (read: smithing) to try to get the shape right all today, and I'm fucking wiped. Also, thanks to all my work doing masks this term, I really hate noses. Useless, pointless facial mistakes. I tried to avoid the Nose Problem with a little piece of chain mail, but that still didn't totally solve it. Ideas, world?

It's still very much unfinished- I have the rest of the week to pour into it- and the way it sits on my face needs to be tweaked. Right now I've got a single-link chain attaching at the side spike and in the back, but that's not doing what I need it to.

The one element I really like and am running with is the bowl-shape goggle look. The eyes are very recessed behind the teeth/spikes, and it makes for a nice deep shadow.

One last profile shot because my eyes look creeeepy underneath this piece. All my work thus far in the term has involved on putting dangerous things by my eyes (sharp pointy metal, broken glass), but I think this is the only one where I've deliberately made spikes that came IN towards my ocular cavity.

I'm planning to enamel these, probably with a dirty, fluxxed white-to-red color gradation. I like the idea of red coming down the points, because my work clearly isn't disturbing enough without those implications.