Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cut from the same mould - sexy texture plates!

Very happy with my sexy new texture plate!

This lovely mould/texture plate is awesome with its flexibility, curvy lines and promise of great creations to come...but as seductive as this is, its mass produced and unfortunalty I'm sure I'm not the only one in love with this sexy little baby! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The ring that didn't fit (These big hands!)

I have big hands....seriously lets get real! I have really big hands. And now that I sitting here looking at them, I'm wondering how it is that they manage to do the really little fiddly things that I have them do...and dear hands I must say that you do them so well, mostly you execute that which my mind dreams up with relative ease! In fact I'll take this moment to thank and pay homage to my hands! Hard working appendages that so often get taken for granted.

Arrr yes, the ring that didn't fit! Not that this is such a big deal really, rings NEVER fit me...and even when I try to get them sized I'm often told that the little silver band just cant do it, it just wont stretch that far...sorry love! 

Well hoo har to that I say, let make some big arss rings that can adorn these hands! And so with much excitement I set about making was one of the first things I wanted Pam to teach me.

Teach how to make rings, rings, please lets do rings!

..and so the ring making begins...I do the measuring, then taking the shrinkage into account, I made it two sizes bigger, I used a correctly sized investment and still after all of this.....the little beauty doesn't fit...Waaaaaaaaaa!

You know that dog like creature from the dark crystal... called fizgig? when he cries,his mouth, in fact his whole head opens up to let out a wail...I'm doing that right now!


Friday, July 8, 2011

To invest or not to invest?

So the question is invest or not to invest?

Why is this even something to question, I hear you ask? Clearly the Investment has many benefits; your stone 'will' indeed fit into the house you have made for it, and the ring will 'mostly' fit the finger it is made for, so what is the problem?

The problem is that casting investment is made from a blend of gypsum and crystobilite.  The little research I have done into this product recommend wearing a suitable dust mask to avoid inhalation as well as stating that studies have shown that silica-bearing products can cause lung irritation and silicosis over time if breathed repeatedly without protection.

So even with protection, what are the risks? 

Yes girls we have all heard the stories about the protection that was not protection enough, some of us may even be living proof of this. lol! 

But seriously, I would love any info, feedback or comments about the safety of this type of casting investment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't discard the doodle!

Yes, gals, I know that its tough out there and we have all at one stage or another vowed to pack it in, give up on the men and some have even gone as far to consider batting for the other team.....but I'm here to tell you don't discard the doodle so quickly!  ...get your minds out of the gutter, I am not here to talk about men's anatomy!

I'm talking about doodles, you know the ones we do unconsciously when we are gas bagging on the phone, in a boring meeting or if your like me whenever you have a pen in your hand. Often there is gold in these unconscious creative scribbles.

Today we are making photopolymer plates using our own drawings to ultimately make texture plates to use on the silver clay. Being put on the spot my brain hurts as I search through my internal archives for an image to with writing blocks, I find the best way to deal with creative blocks is to just put felt tip to paper and go for I did, and out came the doodles. The same little shapes that always come from me, my munted paisleys came out.

...check out the sequence from doodle to awesome patterned silver. Woohoo!

Some quality doodle!!

The doodles are reduced and printed onto a clear film like accetate 
and placed onto of the special light sensitive plate.

After making a test plate to get the timing right, the plate and 
design on the clear sheeting are placed in a little light machine
(the same machine used to set acrylic nails infact) exposed to 
the light, then the plate is washed with warm water and a soft 
bristle brush to wash out to parts of the plate that did not get 
exposed to the light. You will then see your design in 3D on 
the plate. Woohoo!

The final result, I've used the finished photopolmer plate 
and pushed into this piece to create the pattern.

Woohoo I am loving the potential of this process!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Creating an investment.

As with all metal clay, silver metal clay shrinks when its fired and the organic binder burns away, depending on the type and brand of clay the shrinkage varies from 8% - 30%. So obviously this is something that needs to be considered, especially when making rings or bezels (out of paper clay sheeting). One way to ensure the bezel or ring does not shrink beyond the size required is to create a replica stone out of a casting investment.  

  • Firstly you need to make a mould of the stone or for rings you can buy purpose made moulds for the size of ring you require.
  • As above this can be done by pushing the stones into polymer clay.
  • Remove the stone and then bake the polymer clay.

  • The powdered Investment is mixed with water to create a paste.
  • The paste is poured into the mould and allowed to dry.

  • Then the investment in removed from the mould and placed into the dried silver clay piece that is ready to be fired.
  • Once the piece is fired and cooled, the investment can be removed by dissolving it in water.
  • Now, in theory, the bezel or ring should be the required size.

The investment and ring after firing!