Monday, August 30, 2010

hot fun in the studio, episode 1

I get very determined when an idea has grabbed me demanding to be made manifest. The current enameling project, which started out with one XP*1 design challenge already (which will be dealt with later), rather suddenly demanded an additional almost previously untried embellishment...

There are various technical issues with certain colors on different substrate metals. Since I have no chemistry, my guess is that the atoms interact somehow at the 1500F temperature, and some colors change in happy ways, some less happy. The requested background colors for this commission are purple and yellow. Since there is NO good opaque purple, that meant using transparent purple. Which meant that the layer of enamel at the very base would be transparent purple. Which meant the the yellow pelican nest must needs be opaque**.

Okay, I've a good reliable opaque yellow. But that is also the same yellow that is used for the Pelican beak. My design sense thinks that looks less than ideal, and somehow woke up this morning with the idea to cut "twigs" from cloisonné wire, fuse them to the yellow nest background, and then cover them with the beautiful precious Tea Rose enamel, which in the presence of pure silver, changes color to vivid transparent golden yellow.My near-sighted eyes and child-sized hands are in their element, and now there are tiny*** pure silver twigs waiting to be overlaid tomorrow with a layer of vitreous enamel that should look just splendid...if it is successful...

Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of Hot Fun In The Studio.
≈ : ♥ : ≈

*"X-P" was the name of the small stuffed cat that was the result of my repeated attempts at soft sculpture as a college student, trying for something that looked catlike rather than toylike. There were, if memory is correct, at least four attempts prior to relative success. XP5 is still around, I think in the child toy box up at the Menagery in Olympia.

** can have transparent purple or transparent yellow, but not both; purple + yellow = ugly brown

*** (largest twig is 1mm wide, entire nest is 4 cm long)

1 comment:

  1. That will be beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures when it's finished! =)