Sunday, August 02, 2009

Studio Immersion, Final Day

Although I like to pride myself on being a quick study, learning things the hard way has its merits.

Things I've learned the hard way over my four-day studio immersion, in no particular order:

1) Carved copper must have large enough "ties" to keep the parts of the design intact unless the copper is very thick. If one of the ties breaks, the only repair that I've found that works well is to peel the copper off the bead and start over. That's a painful lesson.

2) Argentium sterling wire (or regular sterling, for that matter) cannot be embedded in silver clay and then fired at 1650° for two hours. It leaves an interesting black bubbly mess. I'd read this repeatedly, but obviously I could forget what I read. I'll be less likely to forget the visual memory.

3) I have trouble with back bends in yoga; I tend to avoid up dog. Yesterday, we did it in class repeatedly, and I followed along. As ususal, it seemed OK at the moment, but by the evening I could hardly move. Obviously, this lesson is YET to be learned: don't cave to peer pressure.

4) Art Clay Silver is not as flexible as Precious Metal Clay. My bracelet now has parts made from both clays, because I couldn't get the ACS to form over my tile molds without opening tiny cracks along the edges, even with repeated conditioning. PMC3 bends without issues. I'm unsuccessfully trying to be able to work with either clay at will. Someone have a hint?

5) Argentium sterling wire beads beautifully IF the torch flame is adjusted properly. It is possible to mess it up, though, by having the flame too low and oxidizing.

6) Micron fine polishing paper will abrade enamel off unprotected glass, duh!!!

7) When you want to make photopolymer plates in the Texas sun, the extreme drought will produce an overcast day.

8) Silvered ivory has a lovely brown crackle pattern, which sounds perfect with electroformed copper, BUT it doesn't offer a lot of contrast, especially if little of the glass is exposed, as in this Two Birds in the Bush bead.

Time to go pick up the boys from the airport. Studio immersion is over!