September 16th, 2006

anvil, ring

(no subject)

More progress on my plique smiley today: I got the enameling done on the yellow- and indeed I am getting stress cracks but I knew I would and it's technically Not A Problem since more plique does have them in a few spots- and have been working on filling in the smile. Again. The black I'm using melts pretty low, so my theory is to fire it low and pull it out of the kiln fast, which ought to keep it from pulling to the sides again. Today I added more black enamel to it, and fired it several times low- right now the enamel has fused together but not yet quite flowed, so I'm getting there; I took it up to 1360F, and I think 1365F would do the trick. Then cleaning and a quick fire-polish (this is a technique for making glass shiny again after grinding it: grind using successively finer grits, clean it well, and at the end throw it back in the kiln for a firing that just heats the surface and allows all the scratches to heal and make the surface shiny. The alternatives are going with a matte finish overall, or mechanically polishing the glass to shiny, and I don't have the equipment for the latter at the moment.).

I sawed out the pierced parts of a second lotus plique blank. I'm not sure I can fire this pair in air, since the metal is 20ga! I have no idea what I was thinking when I cut out the first one several years ago. I do have a substrate on which I can fire them, though. I've done one earring pair using this design, though I don't think I've posted them. The lotus pattern is based on an ancient Egyptian artifact, and for the earrings I had them drop from a lapis oval, with a coral bead between the lapis and the plique. They're pretty, and VERY mobile which is fun! They'd look fabulous on someone with short hair, or someone who wears their hair up.

I used my new antiquing substances to add blackness to the lower parts of a commission piece. It's white gold, so patination won't work- but it NEEDED to be darkened in some spots. This stuff was a bit hard to get the hang of, but seems to be pretty effective.