Friday, February 12, 2010

Trying Something New

Today, I want to give a bit of backstory on how I picked the name of my blog/hobby/business/whatever you call all these pieces of copper messing up my apartment. Don't worry, I'll have a couple pictures of current projects too. In fact, let's start with a picture that should have been my last post, but it didn't quite make it.

Another rock pendant thingy. I'm not as fond of this one as the last one. The wirework seems to be off a bit, but I like the shape. I really wish the shores weren't all iced over, as I'd love to get out and look for some more rocks. Sadly, I'm guessing I've got at least 4 months before I can get out searching again.

But onto my story. Why 'Living Copper Art' and 'Fire and Spice'? Aside from sounding cool, there is a bit of reason behind them. I decided to go with living copper, as I don't want to seal any of the pieces I do. That means the patina on the copper will change and evolve as the piece gets older. Everyone knows copper gets green with age, but depending on the climate and conditions its in, it will be a gradual process. And I think that's part of the fun of working if copper. If I put a coat of lacquer over something...sure, the colors will stay put. But it will be much less interesting! As for the 'fire and spice''s both referencing some good writing and the two unique materials I use. It's the name of both a poem by Frost, and part of the title of one of my favorite books (A Song of Ice and Fire). And I use fire (coloring copper) and spice (in jewelry, you haven't seen much of that yet). So, there's that. In fact, I should really take a picture of a couple of my 'spice' creations. I don't think I have yet.

So, there are those. I've made one for myself before. It smells awesome in the sun in the summer, warmed up. Ok, it kinda makes me smell like a hippie. But in such a good way!

The other new project I've been trying was a picture frame. On my personal journal, I participated in a meme where crafters offered up their services for five random people, for free. I thought it'd be a good idea to give me more of a reason to make new things, and stretch. The first 'real' thing I've made is a picture frame.

Ok, ok, I didn't actually make the frame. I picked that up cheap from Michael's. But I have been decorating it. First up was my first experiment with copper leaf. I made the viney designs around the left edge of the frame. I used a glue pen; in retrospect, I wish I didn't, as the lines came out too thick. It still looks like vines, but not what I wanted. Next time, I think perhaps a toothpick dipped in glue will be better.

After the leaf was applied, I made a patina solution of liver of sulfur. Now, everything I've read about using the stuff says you dip your copper into it, but I figured what the hell, I'll paint it on with a paintbrush. Because really, can't dip the whole picture frame into a bucket of stinky yellow stuff. (And yes, that stuff stinks like, well, sulfur.) And it worked! It dulled the copper down darker, much closer to the frame. When you're looking at it head on, you can barely see it. At an angle, though, it catches the light in an oil slick of blue and purple and gunmetal. I like that effect!

I'm also making some copper wire vines and flowers as an additional embellishment. It'll make it look more 3D, and of COURSE I need something to blowtorch on everything I do. :) They're simple, but they work. I might need to make one or two more. I also need to figure out how to attach them to the wood of the frame. I'm thinking superglue at the thicker, twisted points of the wire...

I think to complete the frame before I send it, I'll add a photo of mine. That way, the recipient can use it for their own photo, or just throw it on a shelf somewhere, and have it he an art piece. I'm thinking either a waterfall picture (this one? or this one?) or a sunrise picture. I really wish my violet picture was the right orientation to go in this frame - it would otherwise fit perfectly! Ah well.

That's it for today. Next on my list is cutting out that complicated tree. I was able to find stencil material the last time I went shopping. I managed to cut it out without slicing myself with the exacto knife. Not even once! Now let's see if I can cut it out of the copper without getting a boob squished in the backend of the tinsnips. Yes, this is a real concern.

It hurts.


1 comment:

  1. I vote for the first picture!!! That's a fabulous picture and I think the green in it will help make the colors in the copper pop!

    I think I need to pay you to make me art like that! I love that frame and then your pictures are amazing! :)