Thursday, April 02, 2009

Covered in Copper, Electroformed or Not

Thank goodness that I use a water-based copper paint for my electroforming and not the solvent-based stuff. This stuff is pricey, but worth it, I always say. I guess that means even more now.

Monday night I was working away at painting and carving new electroformed beads. I finished working on a new lovebird and decided to zip out and clean the bead release out of the cactus bead you'll see soon. Silly me just set the lid on the plastic jar of paint, thinking I'd be right back.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. I routinely shake the copper paint because it separates. So I shook it, all right. The lid and copper paint went EVERYWHERE. I was so shocked by the drenching that I dropped the rest of the jar, too. I covered the beads I was working on, much of my table, every stitch of clothing I was wearing (and not my regular jeans and tee, of course!), my shoes and a wide swath of tile floor.

Because of the price, I took the time to collect as much of the puddles as possible before starting the cleanup. Eventually I tiptoed up the stairs, trying not to leave copper footprints everywhere. I peeled out of the clothes, handed them to my husband to take directly to the new washer for an isolated wash, and hopped into the tub to scrub.

So my "lifetime supply" of copper paint is suddenly looking to have a short future. The clothes did not come completely clean. The brown leather Sketchers are partially metallic. And a bunch of beads needed repair work. What an expensive lesson!

I'm learning a lot about trouble-shooting elelectroforming, that's all I can say.

This lovebird is one of the beads that was drenched in its formative stage. Recovered, as you can see.

The carving along the edge is a bit of "innovation by necessity." I decided I wanted to stop hiding so much of the painting. So I tried making a cushion base bead and just wrapping the front side with a tile. The trick is in where to start the application. This was the first experiment, and the bird came out way to one side. Hence, the creative solution of carving down the side front.