Saturday, 29 January 2011

Silver Saturday

After a somewhat stressful week I had the urge to crack open the silver clay starter set I had been given (4) years ago.

Inside I found
well plus a few other bits like instructions and such. There is a burnishing tool, double sided file, the cutters and mould are mine anyway. The metal mesh is for gas hob firing the clay, metal brush for finishing the piece etc.

One of my lore stone moulds, incidentally its quite large would have needed at least 20g of silver clay to fill it!

a ginko leaf texture plate that I purchased, I think this one is from sculpey studio range.

I got all excited and forgot to photograph the bit inbetween but esentially I rolled out one piece and textured it with the leaf and then cut it into shape and made the hole. The other I rolled up all the scraps into a ball and pressed into my mould and then reshaped into the rough triangle and made the other hole.

I dried the pieces in my clay oven and then used a file and microfibre sanding pads to refine the shapes. It occured to me the edges were a tad pointy and once transformed into fine silver may be a bit jabby!

I was then baffled by my kiln instructions and then realised that had been my excuse for the last four years. Yes I have had a lovely kiln for four years and not used it, much to my shame :(

There the little fella. Its dead groovy with a bead anealing door for when I eventually start lampworking :)

After firing there is a fine white residue left on the silver clay from where the binder burns off. The metal brush in the kit is very handy for getting rid of it.

Hopefully in this pic you can see the difference from where the silver is starting to emerge after the vigorous brushing.

This is the oxidising solution which you mix up with warm water and a chemical from the kit. It is supposed to be a translucent ochre colour, so evidently I mixed it too strong by accident! It smells like rotten eggs so I am guessing its a sulpher solution.

The pieces are supposed to take about a minute to oxidise but mine were ready in seconds...perhaps I did mix it super strength!

After being oxidised the pieces are washed in clean water :)

Then buffed and scrubbed with silver polish and a fibre cloth to take the oxidisation off the upper surfaces. This highlights the texture :) and makes the shiny bits uber shiny

Voila :) I am really liking the leaf texture and the 'aged' look of the other piece from all the cracks.



Added to a sterling silver snake chain (the jump ring is too big and will be swapped) and the flash was too strong so you cannot see the patina sigh lol!

  and the other piece!

I am pretty happy bunny with these bits and pieces. I of course have mounains of ideas and want to try enameling the finished pieces and adding fused glass and all sorts of fun stuff.

thanks for reading and will post again soon


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday has arrived.

Heya, its a bit murky in Purky Towers at the moment but I promise that I am doing my best to keep making things.

You see I have had this big box of plaster whites that I cast up in October last year and decided (with some poking) that it was high time to get them painted up.

They are pretty much all from ice cube moulds I have found in cooking shops, homewares, skips and charity shops.

I dug out some lovely paints including the pearlescent and glitter paints as well as some brushes and set to work.

I gave everyone an undercoat of either gloss black acryllic or metallic silver and gold.

I like the blingy hearts. Initially I was worried about the brush strokes but I think it looks sort of charming.

Here is a 'goth-berry' :) I will drybrush it at somepoint.

These are hearts which have been black glossed then painted with different colour glitterpaints. Also they have been sealed with lacquer :D

Purple :)

Gold :)

Green :)

and Raspberry :)

 I tried giving a more aged look to this face and think it looks kinda swish.

A group shot for luck showing off my 'golden-berry' to the left.

and finally a very blue and silver strawberry :)

Painting these up cheered me up briefly. I have been listing an item a day on etsy in my 'purkyproducts' shop which is yet to bear fruit but my listings are far from perfect methinks.

My DH is sulking with me at the moment so I believe I am in trouble because the agency hasn't phoned to offer me a £35k a year job. We shall ignore the fact all the cooking and washing up has been my department for long? Sigh. I am probably being unreasonable, though I have taken up any days the agencies have offered and the well seems to have run dry. I am temping as a carer this week, its only twenty hours but its got to count for something?

There are some great jobs in the Blackmore Vale Magazine but I just don't have....I don't know. The urge to apply? Is this a lack of confidence or laziness? All I want to do is make things and then sell them. Unrealistic? Probably in this economic climate with the minimal investment cushion available to me.

Its like my life is enveloped by an extensive feeling of 'meh' and nothing is shifting it. There are lovely people around me and the house is pleasant, my cat is ....well a pain in the arse but brilliant with it.

Also in a bizare twist an abusive figure from my past has reappeared and I am not keen on that frankly. Lets see how the rest of the week goes.

Ta ta for now x

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Studio Saga

I am messy..... well, I like to think I am untidy rather than dirty. Healthy clutter?

Anyways I and my friend the FutureRobot took on my studio earlier this week so that I had space to actually do some creating rather than just mulling over Purky past. It started like this....

Entering from the stairs of doom, the studio is the middle room out of three. We live in a maisonette which is a posh way of saying two storey flat. I hate clutter and mess but it seems to love hanging around me.

From left to right we have half used milliefiori canes, colour samples, scrap clays, inks, powders, a corner full of crackled metal leaf projects, a partly completed lamp project, chemicals, boxes of beads etc. Urgh. Note Pasta machine location as well.

 From right to left we have canes, unbaked projects, disorganised sheleves of mediocrity, a fleeing Ikea lamp that cannot take the mess anymore!

 Plaster, baking racks, resin scales, commendeered food processors and my baby clay oven.
 And a pile of stuff in poorly stuffed drawers...eeek!

 But then my friend FutureRobot said 'Have no fear, we shall sort this out!'

 He waved his dual function wand / sculpting staff and my powders, clays, inks, foils, leaf and tools became magically organised.

 The work surface was restored to white shiny-ness. Although the fractured leaf project is still in the corner... My pasta machine moved itself to a better location.
 The task specific lighting breathed a sigh of relief and cast their gaze upon the newly discovered table tops.
 The food processors and ovens stopped their territorial feud realising there was space for all of them to co-exist happily.

And my tools had a massive gang bang in their new drawer. I mean seriously, every time I look there seem to be more. I swear they are breeding.

The new view from the stairs of doom :)

There is the saga of the Purky Studio, deep in the Purky Tower, in deepest, darkest Somerset.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday Blog Time

I hate dust, really do. It makes me sneeze, turns my eyes funny and even my lips start twitching. I do not mean dust in the Hayacinth Bucket sense but actual, 'this room has been abandoned' dust.

My DH has decreed that the house must become immaculate and I actually completely agree with him. Its just that artists (even the tidy ones) generate more mess than they are inclined to clear up. Or perhaps its just me. Oh that has to stay there while it cures, oh thats there becuase I am about to use it!.....four months later guess where it is?

This time I mean it though. I want to sort out a proper office space in the spare bedroom so I can photograph and pack items ready to sell via the magnificence of etsy. I have put several people on to etsy in the last month or so and they are all selling things. I am not as I have not listed anything, although my shop is registered. ARGH.

I am so demotivated its not true. I am back in my glass cupboard looking at all the possibilities but trapped and unable to act upon them. The frustrating thing is its my cupboard. I am gonna take a hammer to the bastard sometime soon.

This week, I have had three jobs...Whooo! One was part of a pyramid scheme ripping off the elderly, so I left after the second day of training. I am unfortunately burdened with a strong sense of ethics. The second is some minor ongoing agency work in a cheese factory. Nict Fun. The third is the saddest. I qualify in every way for the job except I have not been registered as unemployed for six months. What?

So, in order to keep up the AsboApseys, I did some funky prototyping for a range I was hoping to release for valentines.

It is using my classic technique of embossing powders and texture but unlike a lot of folks I apply the powder directly to the texture rather than stamping onto smooth flat clay. I really dig this effect and wish I more types of powder and texture.

To this end I have started carving some lino to make texture plates. :)

Plus this one was a free formed texture using a needle tool and some pen lids to create the rings.

The original idea was to create the look of aged metals with a patina but that has sort of shifted sideways into a more abstract form.

Yeah, I am addicted to verdigris powder.... I am wondering if I can mix in some sand to create a more textured effect.

I love swirls inside hearts. Got a sort of motif going on methinks.

Interestingly (to me at least) Gold tinsel powder has a really gritty texture when its cured. I don't know whether I just put too much on though.

Anyways, I had best finish my cup of coffee, finish checking out other folks blogs and then go to some tidying up to create my dream (ish) workspace :)