17 August 2009

water etching troubles

i do so love to do water etching.
something about painting the wax on and then washing away the layers of clay.... i really enjoy the process... wax, wash; wax, wash...
i am currently having a problem with the process. because i do the waxing and washing steps over and over the water seems to be washing away some of the wax and then it also bites into the clay that i thought was covered. so the geometric forms end up a wee bit on the organic side! not really a problem with florals, but it makes the geometrics looks a bit....well, wambly. you can sort of see it here in the unfired picture and then the results...not to mention the gigantic crack!! it's funny, i had attributed that big crack to anxiously cooling the steel container too quickly at the end (i heard a funny pinging noise coming out of the container after i removed it from a 179 farenheit kiln). but i mentioned that i was having some technical problems to my wonderful spouse (who doesn't always listen exactly 100% when i start talking about jewelry) and he said "oh, is it too thick?" to which i said "OH!". stopped me right in my tracks! i have another similar one i'm going to run at the slower ramp for thicker pieces.
it's also kind of a mystery to me how to get realiable, smooth, unblemished surfaces in bronze. this is a tear-away circle pattern. it's VERY subtle, so if i went at it with sanders, i'd ruin my tear-away. so i burnished the circles before i fired. the next is deceptive because the circles are shiny, but i burnished them after they came out of the kiln and i couldn't see ANY evidence that i'd burnished those circles the first time.
more to come....

5 comments:

Write Right Where You "R" said...

Stunning! What a pleasure to look at!

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

What I meant to say, These are beautiful! I love your water etching every time. The detail is amazing to me.
I wonder if the crack had to do with the piece not being 100% dry before it was fired? So much to learn about this base metal clay.
Your work is inspiring me to get my bronze clay back out. I still have no idea for SB. How are your designs coming along?
xoxo

holly k said...

well, my experiments with bronze are going awry, so my ideas are not really jell-ing....the water etching really only seems appropriate for florals (at least the way i'm doing it)..and my last submission was a water etched floral and, y'know, i want to place a bit higher than 6th!!! so last night i started in on another idea, but i'm running out of time...
xoxo

Barbara said...

I smell Saul Bell for you this year!
Crazy busy few weeks here. I hope to get back in the studio tomorrow!
xoxo