Sunday, September 26, 2010

Please come and see me!

I am so excited about all the wonderful things I have been making these past few months. I am ready for the fall shows and holiday gift giving season.  I have a few great shows coming out starting with a trunk show at Essential Elements October 13, 14, and 15.  I am about to send out a postcard with all the show dates for this fall, if you want to be included on my mailing list, please email me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mezuzah project-september

Here is the completed September mezuzah.  The Moorish tile Jewish star texture looks very different after the piece is fired and the patina is added.  It's interesting to me that the hexagons around the dark stars takes on it's own presents and a star shape too.  I didn't anticipate this, but I'm delighted with the result.
I nixed the funky shin idea for a more geometric modern star.  I think it related better to the texture and modernizes the design.  I'm very pleased with the way this month's mezuzah turned out.  Right now it is not in the shop, but you can inquired about it by email to me if you are interested.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inspiration and possibilities

Labor day weekend was a wonderful time for me.  I was fortunate to spend some quality time with an old friend, Andrew Raftery, whom I went to college with at Boston University.  Andrew and I were both painting majors and although I went on the fashion design, Andrew perfected his skills and went on to study at Yale.  He is now a master engraver and Professor at Rhode Island School of Design.  There are many things that I love about Andrew, but what I admire about him is that he is always true to his heart and passions. Watch Andrew create a master engraving of a 16th Century drawing.

Having time with an artist and print maker like Andrew gave me the opportunity to discuss process like I haven't done in a long while.  It was so inspiring to me.  He really encouraged me to explore making more of my own texture plates.  I have been carving textures in the past, but the possibilities of making textures with photo polymer was intriguing to me.  And Andrew explained to me the process and connected me with some high quality suppliers. 

But for my first attempt I decided to go low tech.  There is no point in investing in a technique if it will not work for me.  I purchased a basic photo polymer kit from Cool tools, which allowed me to expose the polymer with an ordinary 60 watt bulb.  The hardest thing for me was creating the artwork.  I wanted to create a Moorish tile pattern that utilized a six pointed or Jewish star.  I could find the pattern I wanted anywhere so I had to draw it out and then copy a repeat the pattern (if I only knew how the use my graphic software).  I then scanned the pattern into the computer, made it into a negative and printed it (twice) on a transparency.  The process of making the plate this way was fairly easy, although I did tear the plate once while scrubbing out the polymer.  I think my second attempt will me even better.

With the texture finished, I moved on to creating a mezuzuah in silver metal clay.  Unfortunately the polymer packs that come in the kit were not quite long enough for the whole mezuzah.  I do think the texture came out pretty nice, although I would love to try this pattern on a plate that was not so deep.

Now that I have begun to construct the mezuzah I realize I have absolutely no plan of design.  The texture is very nice,  but different then I expected so I have to think about this for a while and decide what to do next. 
I made a funky shin for the piece which I think may be a nice contrast to the geometric pattern, but I'm not sure yet. 

I will post the finished mezuzah for the September mezuzah project.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

fast fire bronze-success

I have struggled with bronze and copper clays in the past.  My mezuzot never could withstand the firing process with out falling apart or changing shape.  When fast fire bronze came out I checked out the blogs of my fellow metal clay artists and was encourage by the success they had.  Last night I made a test piece, a very narrow and tall 3 sided box (like a mezuzah).  The result is perfect and the form did not contort.  Although the clay feels and acts very differently then silver clay, I do think it is worth my time to pursue.  I'm very excited and motivated to create mezuzot in this medium....stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

mezuzah project-august

Ok, I'm late again.  This time I'm just late about posting because I finished this mezuzah in August. 

This design is like one I made last year, but better now, beacuse one year means more skill.  I love the modern texture and the non traditional approach to a mezuzah.

This month I have been very busy preparing for fall shows.  I'm having a trunk show at Essential Elements in October and the Best of Missouri Show is in November.  There are some small venues in between, I'll keep you all posted.