Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Archive for November, 2013

Impromptu Show!!!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/11/16

I’m having a show at my studio later today!! Given the wee hour of the night at which I am writing this, assuming I make it up and over there in time, it will run from 11 am to 5 pm. (I definitely plan to stay until 5 pm; the question is whether I can get a show open by 11.)

Why? Well, Friday evening I learned that Indie Knit and Spin will be having their annual show in the building where I have my studio, on Saturday from 11 to 5. And, not just in the building, but actually upstairs where my space is, in rooms on either side of me. How can I not take advantage of all those shoppers just walking past my door?! (My aerie’s hallway does not normally see much traffic: most of the “events” in the building are held downstairs.)

Now, the thing is, I wasn’t supposed to be in town this weekend. I’d had some clay-play time planned with a friend who, due to family constraints, had to change that at pretty much the last minute. Not to worry, thought I, I need to sort and check tags and confirm prices and do inventory for several upcoming shows, I’ll just take advantage of the “found time” to do that. I’d earlier retrieved some unsold items from various places and had left those at home; last night I’d just finished packing up every remaining item I could possibly want to sell when I got the news.

So I’m up way later than I’d planned checking that everything is in the spreadsheets and priced accurately. Not everything has a tag yet, but maybe I can spread it all out and work on that in studio tomorrow while shoppers browse. I’ve also made up some little flyers (not as creative as I’d like, but this is last-minute) listing the other local events where my work will be available.

If you’re in the area, do stop by. (And, if you’re not, but get a chuckle out of my last-minute planning here, please at least send me a few words of encouragement to keep me going on not-enough sleep! Thanks!!!)

I will close with a quick snapshot (on borrowed camera since I’ve still not sorted out the problems with mine yet, and its colors are off a bit for some reason) of just a few of the pieces I have on hand. Each of these has a little stone (lab-created corundum or spinel) that will glow in the winter’s light….

Posted in Events, Studio | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Double Double Duty

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/11/15

I love it when I can save myself some time, effort, and / or money by getting “double duty” out of something. It’s great whenever it happens, but it’s a special treat at this time of year. (That is, as anyone in any aspect of retail sales know, during the time when the holiday-sales season approaches, schedules fill up, and spare time simply evaporates!)

So the reversible fine silver pendant with a lab-grown pink corundum stone shown with this post was a real treat:

  • I made the “base” piece as part of my demos during a recent beginner’s workshop. I fired it with the student pieces, which got that out of the way quickly too. Then, I added the bezel cup and “sapphire” as my part of my demos during a session on adding a stone to a finished piece. Two classes that were lots of fun and one piece that worked for both. Double duty.

  • But the double-double comes from the fact that the piece is now done, and into inventory for one of my pre-holiday shows! It’s going out to the H*liday mART at Sweetwater Center for the Arts (November 30 – December 8). I hope it will go home with someone else who falls in love with it there. But the timing is such that, if it ends up coming back with me, I can offer it again at my studio, with all the other pieces I’ll be saving specifically to offer there during the Art Buzz Tour (December 14-15).

While the making and placing of tags is nowhere near as much fun as is the making of these pieces, I’ve found I can overcome the boredom of that by imagining the people who will attend such events, and imagining those who may connect with one (or more) of my creations. I hope you’ll be among them, for real.

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Who knew?! Colors, polishing, etc.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/11/12

Back in August, I wrote about one of a series of “pillow” beads I’d made using Hadar’s Quick Fire Bronze powder. In particular, I ended the post with a photo of the amazing colors the kiln provided that time, and a comment that I knew they were somewhat ephemeral.

Well, yes, after only a short time (and despite having tried to “protect” them with several layers of acryllic spray), they became rather dull. Still there, but no longer jump-out-at-you vivid. So I proceeded to do some polishing (moderately aggressively in the center-design area, and more gently around the edges) and then re-coated everything. This provided pieces with clearer bronze-yellow center-designs, while still maintaining a trace of the kiln-colors around the edges. I didn’t really think the vivid colors would last, but the subtle ones shown here have remained much more stable ever since. I’m pleased with these results.

The thing that did surprise me, however, was something that had not been at all obvious with the vivid coloring, but did jump out at me (peering closely through my bifocal safety glasses for magnification as I worked): my straight pencil-lead “registration” marks — ones that I’ve come to use often (to align parts or holes or … ) on silver clay that is fired in regular air — do not simply burn off when you bury bronze in activated carbon during firing. Who knew?! Did you? It was a surprise to me, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.

If you want to give your piece a bright, shiny polish, it’s very easy to grind (sand) the marks off. (I did that with another piece, just to be sure, though I didn’t think to grab a before-photo to use here.) But I didn’t want to do that with the pieces shown above, especially not to the one towards the right (on a brass chain). I liked its aged, colored look. So I’m just leaving the straight-line mark. I showed the piece to a number of people (metal clay artists and otherwise) and, in person, it didn’t seem to jump out to anyone (until I pointed it out to them). I’m now just calling it a part of this piece’s design.

These are now ready to go off for holiday-season sales. I hope they find good homes!

Posted in General Techniques, Technical Details | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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