14 April 2013

concrete observations

it does seem that concrete, if mixed a little on the liquidy side, will make a reasonably-detailed reproduction  of nature objects pressed into a 2-part silicone mold. these have cured for a couple of weeks and they are quite sturdy...only the thinnest of edges snap when pressure is applied.

on the other hand, after curing for about a week i subjected the concrete pieces i made with black drawing ink to a little washing with soap to see if i could get rid of the ink-coming-off-on-my-damp-hands problem.

the 2 that were made entirely of ink and concrete powder just simply started to disintegrate at the edges. and then eventually crumble. that black color with the aggregate showing is REALLY nice though...glad i have some black pigment powder on it's way to me as i type!

the good news is that after the wash-up, this little guy (who only had 1 drop of ink added to the water at concrete mixing time) made a nice color concrete, the embedded jumpring is holding,  it didn't disintegrate, and it's not leaking ink onto damp hands. 

09 April 2013

concrete color experiment

after taking robert dancik's EXCELLENT "box pendant with concrete" class i have found myself madly sketching a million ideas for using concrete with metal clay and by itself for jewelry.

i REALLY like the texture and look of the concrete in it's natural white form but i thought i really wanted some gray or black. and i wanted it immediately.
the way that concrete is tinted is with pigment powder but i, unfortunately, didn't have any. what i did have was some non-waterproof drawing ink. i was hoping it was water-based, but it smelled just like alcohol when i opened it. 
i tried it anyway. i used the ink in place of all the water in one batch (the 2 back domes) and just tinted some damp concrete with a single drop in another batch (the one with the embedded jump ring).
guess what? it worked just fine in both cases. 
it took MUCH longer to set-up...i watched it for 30 minutes and i still was able to move it around and change it's shape before i finally went to bed. when i got up -ta da!
solid, and not any more likely to break than white pieces of the same size.
the color came off all over my hands when i handled them. i will try to soak and/or wash them to see if it's possible to get rid of the unbonded ink pigment on the outside of the pieces.

what i think i like best about the experiments last night is the fingerprint pattern i made with my inky poking finger on the back of a white concrete disk i had!!!!!

05 March 2013

annual father daughter dance

my girl, her big bro, her daddy and her best buddies............

08 February 2013

silly update

the last time i was GOING to do an update i brought my camera to the salon with me to snap a quick pic of my hair before i got a bunch of the yellow snipped off. it was december 16th. when i got out of the car and took my camera out i realized that right behind me there was a line for a wake for one of the sandy hook victims going into the funeral home in my town. boy, did that snap me right back to reality.
my house is 8 miles from sandy hook elementary school, about 6 as the crow flies. when they thought there might be a second shooter i had to go home to get my kids off the bus. there is a police officer at my kids' schools almost all the time. i teach in a classroom by a back door made entirely of glass.
i've been a long time trying to learn to live in a post-sandy hook world. maybe the fact that i can put up my frivolous hair update means i'm slowly finding my way....

07 February 2013

baby audley

my nephew - he looks so tiny for a 9.5 pounder!

the crazy thing is, he was born about 3 weeks ago, but he's not even my newest nephew!!! 
i have a grand-nephew who was born a week ago. no pictures of him yet because he's spending a little time in the NICU, learning how to keep himself warm and eat...born at 4 pounds, 5 ounces, i suspect he's going to look VERY tiny!!!

04 February 2013

happy birthday, dad.

i think i always pick this picture, but i don't care, i just love it.

12 November 2012

a coupla shoula-known-betters

i put aside my afternoon for some studio work. i spent a few hours, but it ultimately came to nothing except lessons to 1. pay attention and 2. trust my instincts.

this started as a bracelet. i strung and re-strung garnet, labradorite and silver beads and knotted and re-knotted leather. alas, nothing seemed to be nicely asymmetrical AND laying on my wrist right. then i started conceiving of it as the front part of a necklace...i suspect this decision was in part made because i could justify making it symmetrical if i knew it was to be a part of a necklace. so i went along, tra-la-la, liking the look of my beads and leather. but then i realized....

that i has started this as a bracelet and it had a single loop on one side...and no tidy way to make a single loop on the other side....grrr.....

and THIS honker, that i've been working on for (literally) years? i knew a single strand of leather would be visually way too thin for this large piece, yet i went ahead and put it on anyway. not to mention the weird doubled up middle section.

part of the problem is that i had decided that these would be finished today. so i went forward (willy-nilly) with that plan, even when it became clear in both cases that today was not a finishing day.

on the positive side, i think these are both going in a positive direction...i guess another day will have to be finishing day.

my helper