Friday, October 12, 2012

Third time's finally a charm

Well, it's finally finished.  (I'm not 100% satisfied with the way it turned out but some of that may be due to the fact that I've spent way too much time with the piece and I see all it's flaws.)

The belligerent teenager is finally caged and hanging on my neck.  I spent eight hours in the studio yesterday working on it and six hours today.  Nothing cracked in the firing, which I expected.

Yesterday I made the backing and embellished the backside.  Then I pasted on the bezel and added to the lower two sides of the bezel a line of syringe work (for extra strength and as a design element.)

Today I scraped and cleaned the syringe line.  To eliminate the rounded edge I carved (I like to carve) the line into an angular shape and carved out a notch on each side.  (The syringe work was not needed for strength and I'm not sure I even like it on the piece.)  It was fired for the second time and the final thing to do was add the stone.  I was worried about getting the stone the right height in the bezel.  (In the past I think I didn't place the stone high enough.)  Since the bezel was taller than the stone, I raised the stone with saw dust behind it.  (Learned that from Linda Kline at the PMC Conference in 2008)  Voila, this time it all came together.

The pictures are not the best and don't do justice to the piece but I'm done ..... literally.  Now on to my next bezel set piece........ a round stone in a simple design.  (I'd better keep at this while my experiences are fresh in my mind so it doesn't seem so daunting.)

The left bail slid during firing.  I should have done what I did with Mother Earth, (see picture in the right column of pictures)  grouped them two and one.  To me they look off-centered but I laid it on graph paper and they are basically the same distance from the edge.

At first I gave the entire piece a high polish but that wasn't pleasing to me.  Then I tried a variety of ways to give the front a brushed finish.  I finally used one of the fine sanding sponges to give it a satin finish.  The piece also was given a patina with LOS which was done before the satin finish was applied.

I used the sanding sponge around the edges of the back too.  The satin finish around the edges highlights the shine in the center (believe me it's there...... the photo just doesn't show it.)

(I think I need to clean my mirror!)

While my piece was being fired today I had company in the studio.  I was expressing my frustration with what I was working on and showed them the first two backings.  They laughed because they just assumed that everything came together easily.  Oh little do they know!


Zoe Nelson said...

Wow! It turned out fantastic. Congratulations!

Alice Walkowski said...

Thanks Zoe. I wore it all day today and have decided I do like it. I was just too close to all the stress during the creation to appreciate it right away.