Sunday, May 2, 2010

Well, here is the finished Conversation with a Fairy from my new series about childhood fantasies. It's about 12" x 18", which is fast becoming a favorite size.

Thanks to Barbara Matthiessen, who talked me through the process of cold-forging copper tubing for an interesting hanger. I convinced the "helpful hardware man" I could punch holes in the flattened tubing, if he'd just show me which punch would go through the copper (he was doubtful!).

The embellishments are incised clay, made with rubber stamps and clay cutters. (Note to self: two holes keep the elements straight!)

The fairy has a crown of tiny gold beads, and is surrounded by a corona of gold metallic paint, made with my new recipe (using Earth Safe Finishes Colorant, Fabric Magic, and metallic powder).

I love the gold paint on top of the rust-dyed fabric! It's translucent enough that the subtleties of the rust variations show through the paint. I got carried away with the paint for her diaphanous clothing and it's a little too opaque, but that can't be helped now.

This is a close-up of the flamed copper tubing. In some places there are more green and purples, making the patina similar to raku (I LOVE raku)!

Controlling the shape of the tubing is still a challenge. Bending with pliers isn't bad, but the contours change as you forge the tubing and I haven't figured out how to compensate. It must have something to do with rolling the tubing as it's bent and then "unrolling" it as the tubing is pounded.

At any rate, the first three of 16 pieces of the new series are finished and in the copper frames. As with any art technique, it should get easier with practice.

Any tips? I'm open to suggestions!

The opening reception for the show is next Saturday at the Langhinrich Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 6:30-8:00 pm. You're invited!