Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Car Problems, More Copper

Another day home with no car, another post. Lucky you!

First off, I finished the hanging star thingy. I'm still kinda undecided on it - I don't know if the thicker chain on top makes it look top-heavy or not. But, I'm sure I'll find something to do with it. I'm not sure if it's in the 'sellable' category, but I might save it and see.

Next up on my list, a copper corner hugger for my mother (hopefully to be done by mother's day). It's going to be based on viney nasturtium flowers, which are a favorite of both of ours. One bad thing, I'll need to get a soldering iron and learn how to use it for this project. Erf! I can add burns to the scrapes and cuts I get. Right now, it's just in the 'cutting out' stage. I'm giving the hacksaw a try, to cut out the middle part. It's slow going, but seems to work well.

Last but not least, I got some sea glass as a gift for Christmas, hand-picked from the beaches of Maui. It came with one caveat; I need to use some of it to make something for the person who gave it to the person who gave it to me (the person who picked the glass has now passed away, so it's sentimental value). Well, as I sorted through it, something jumped out at me right away - two pieces that would make a wonderful necklace.

I think using silver wire instead of copper, wrapped around a couple times, then through a hole drilled into the top of the white piece to make a hanger. Hang it on a silver box chain, and it would look very nice. It'd capture the feel of the ocean and Hawaii and still look modern and almost professional! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

But first I'll need to buy silver wire. And I need another copper sheet, soldering supplies, a new glass-drilling dremel bit... And before all that, I need a working car. Will this need of stuff never end??

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Silver Lining (Is Copper)

Well, due to car problems, I've been stuck in my apartment the last couple days. I've been playing with my metal more than that, I just haven't been able to take good pictures what I do. And I just don't feel right posting without pictures!

I have roughed out my next suncatcher - one with stars. The hanging stars were relatively easy to cut out. I actually cut out a star-shaped hole in the lid of a peanut-butter jar, and used that to to get them the same size (more or less). The top swoosh was just done freehand. The tricky part was cutting out the star shapes inside the swoosh. (I know you can't see them very well in the picture, but they are there.) They're about the size of dimes. The hacksaw that I got won't cut it (haha) for something that small. I ended up using the etching tool on the dremel, which worked ok to rough out the shape, but it left rounded points. So they look more like starfish than actual stars. *sigh* I can't have everything.

The texturing and coloring went better. I think I'll need to buy more sanding disks soon, as they give a wonderful swooping swirling shiny texture to the metal. And I'm getting better with the blowtorch too - that really is my favorite part of the process. I'm not sure if you can see in the pictures, but I'm getting some brighter colors, especially orange and magenta. And one of the stars is almost all green! Now that's fun!

Not EVERYTHING went well, though. While doing some etching, my dremel slipped and jumped into my hand. I was suddenly very glad I was wearing gloves. Even though it tore up the rubber coating and even through some of the knit, my fingers weren't bloodied at all. I was very thankful for that. I've managed to get this far without any serious injuries! A couple nights ago, I did have a bristle from my brass brush fly into my mouth as I was polishing some pieces. I guess I sit there with my mouth gaping like an idiot when I'm concentrating!

With any luck, my car will start tomorrow (with or without a jump from a towing company). If I have less luck though, I'll finish up this suncatcher. And perhaps I'll try my hand at photographing my works in some daylight. Wish me luck!