Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adjectif Charms

The new Adjectif charms have been fired, and I must say that I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I followed a new firing schedule - made possible by the new digital controller that Ed installed on my kiln yesterday (YAY!) - and the results are  like night and day when compared with the schedule I was using for the manual controller.  In the photo above, you can see the fired charms ready to go into the tumbler, and also some of the descriptive words already cut out of the hand painted paper.  And in the photo to the left is the kiln with my new friend the digital controller.

Yesterday was a fun day for me... Ed had a chance, finally, to install the new controller, and it works!  Thanks Ed!  I got the charms fired and ready to finish, and UPS delivered my new printer.  Woohoo!

After the charms have been tumble polished, the final step is to set the words into them and cover them with the epoxy resin.  This step seals and protects the paper, and makes the charm waterproof.  Tomorrow I'll show the process for finishing the charms and setting the epoxy resin.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Try, try again.  After last week's metal clay debacle, I decided to give it a few days rest, and put it aside for a while.  And while I was mulling over what went wrong, an idea began to form: what if there were a way to create silver charms alive with color, and personalized in a unique way?  Well, guess what?  There is!  And thus was born my new line of charms and pendants: Adjectifs.  In these photos you can see the very first ones in their infancy.

 This one is for me with the date of my surgery.  These will go into the Survivors category of my Etsy shop, where, of course, the profits all go to cancer research.  However, the charms are not just for survivors; I will also be creating anniversary charms, birthday charms, and any other commemorative charms I can come up with or receive requests for.

In addition, I'll be doing some creative writing with these: it's a tell 'em how you're really feeling kind of thing.  You may notice that the charm in the following photo says: Creative.  There will be lots of those, with a number of different adjectives, describing all kinds of states of mind.  I've hand painted some watercolor paper in some beautiful colors, and will be adding the descriptive words in a couple of days, as soon as my new printer arrives.  They won't all be nice; some will be just for fun like: Diva, Sexy, Offbeat, Silly, Trippy, Smart and Funny.
What you're seeing here is the metal clay in an unfired state.  Looks pretty dull right now,I know, but once it has been fired and polished it will take on a beautiful silver shine.
Tomorrow after firing, I'll be posting some photos of the charms in their unpolished state.  Since I am planning a whole line of these charms, I thought that you might like to see the process from start to finish. 

Of course, Boone and Sunny like to help.  Their input during the creative process is key.  Lots of woo-wooing, and tail wagging makes me think that they like my ideas with a doggy version of: "Way to go, Mom!"
Please note: all designs are copyright Savoir Faire Creations 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Am Still Learning...

 Some days it just doesn't pay to try to work in a new-ish medium.  Inspired by a new book with all kinds of fun projects in precious metal clay, I decided to sit myself down and create some new masterpieces.  In reality, the only thing I ended up creating was a big, sticky mess!  I guess I should read the directions again...

However, all is not lost, because I discovered something important about working with precious metal clay: unlike chain maille, which I can work on for a short time, and put down when I get sick of it, metal clay is a medium that demands your complete attention.  Put aside all other endeavors for a while; you'll need to concentrate on this one thing, and nothing else.
So far, working with the clay has been a bit hit or miss for me.  Sometimes everything goes very smoothly, and the pieces turn out just the way I want them; other times (like today!) not so much.  I'm not prepared to give up on it just yet.  For one thing, I have a pretty fair amount of money invested in it - there's the kiln, the packages of clay, the molds, stamps, cutters and assorted equipment that I have stashed away, but the most important thing (I think) is that I can't allow this stupid, stupid stuff to defeat me!

I've managed to make a few pieces that I'm pretty happy with; these are the most recent ones:

In the immortal words of Michelangelo: Ancora imparo (I am still learning).  I guess I'll try it again another day...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy June to all!  Can you believe that it's June already?  Summer is almost upon us!

Ed and I spent most of the Memorial Day weekend planting a new flower garden.  I've never felt that I have much talent in this area - most of my houseplants wind up as pathetic brown things, but we did our best, and I must say that I'm pretty pleased with the results.  The scent wafting up from the garden when I stepped out on to the deck this morning made all of the hard work worthwhile.  I wish I could get this amazing perfume to you - somebody please invent smell-o-vision!

I love all of the colors, from bright, lemony yellows to orange, pink and salmon, pale blue and the deep royal blue of  Lobelia - a veritable rainbow!  Many thanks to Prisco's for all of the wonderful flowers.  Someday, I hope to make this small space a garden we can walk through, and install a gazebo for summer gazing, but for now, I'm content just to have this little splash of color and scent in my own little backyard.