Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yep, it's Autumn

The leaves this year have been downright gorgeous and the change took place early.  There are still some beautiful colors out there but they'll be gone soon.

The last few days have been very productive for me.  I didn't get into the studio until after noon each day and worked until seven every night.  (I need to get out of bed earlier and put in a nine to five workday........ as if that will happen.  Sleeping in is one of retirement's perks.)  

I was working on my National Transit Jewelry series.  (Can't share any pictures though as I'm planning a scavenger hunt to see if people can find the pieces of architecture that inspired the jewelry.)

But, while I was waiting for the pieces to fire I decided to try out alcohol inks to add color.  Awhile back I took a class with Tim McCreight on adding color to metal clay.  I posted about that class in January of 2010.  That class involved using enamel, resin, colored pencils, flocking, and liver of sulfur among other things.  

Lately though I've been seeing a lot of metal clay pieces that are colored with alcohol inks.  One of the metal clay artists to use the ink is Janet Alexander.    

And, since this post is about autumn (and color)......... I felt it was appropriate to work with some metal clay leaves I had laying around.  

Real  leaves can be coated with multiple (and I mean multiple) layers of metal clay paste.  Each layer is completely dry before the next layer is added.   The leaves can not be waxy or hairy.  The leaf is left in the clay and burns out during the firing process.  The Gatlinburg TN leaves are from the geraniums that adorned the flower boxes on the street.

The other leaves were made by rolling the clay over the fresh leaf and peeling the leaf off the clay.  I use this method often with my favorite leaf, the gingko leaf.   I like it because I can create a nice shiny border around the edges.  Or, as is the case with the weed, cut out a shape around the piece. 

Alcohol inks can be found in the stamping/scrap booking section.  They are permanent (although they can be sanded off the metal.)  And, they can be used on a variety of surfaces.  They can be applied with the thin applicator tip (if you have deep, concise depressions) or applied with a brush.

I used a brush for these pieces.  The brush was necessary to paint in the variegated colors in the Florida leaves.  As I was painting and blending the colors, I realized how much I do like to paint.  Maybe I'll do a painting too.  Damn, I just like to do it all!

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