Friday, June 25, 2010

Stokesay Ware and 14K Gold Flatware

For some unknown reason to me, my camera never gets colors right. The blue in these plates is a bit darker then what you see here.

One of my favorite things in miniature is china. Having looked for a very long time at Stokesay Ware I decided to order a few plates, to use either on the walls or displayed in shelves in the kitchen or a dresser/hutch.

To say they exceeded my expectations doesn't begin to express it. They are indeed perfect in every way. There is some sort of magic for me about them. Maybe it is because they are kiln fired and so thin. This certainly won't be my last order! I am alrealy working on my wish list.

To my blog friends that may think they are too English for their love of French accessories. Look at the Fleur- de- lis design. They are not solid that is a tiny outline of that shape.

This is the Chrysnbon flatware I cast in 14K gold. I think I need to put it back in the tumbler for a couple of days for a good polish now that I look at these photos.

I didn't want a matched set for some reason. I like the fact they are all different but still alike. LOL

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roll Printing. Almost Like Using A Pasta Machine

Please click on photo. Even though I didn't polish this it was very hard to photograph because of the shine issues.

I found some copyright free black and white designs and took them and had them photo etched on Magnesium plates. I cut those apart to roll print them onto copper.

You can think of roll printing in metal almost the same as what you do with polymer clay using a pasta machine. The rollers for doing the same in a metal shop are heavier and made of iron. The crank is very long with a handle to turn the rollers. I basically make a metal sandwich, then adjust the rollers and then crank through the copper or sterling silver against the etched Magnesium plate. Now I have the design (in reverse) on the metal.

I thought this might be a better solution than the rubber stamp etching for miniature use (see post below). The trouble is, after one or two rolls the Magnesium Plate is too distorted to use again. Still I like the results. So I am going to be exploring it further to make some fancy copperware or silver pieces in miniature.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Etching Copper And Brass

This was an experiment I tried not long ago. The idea being to make sheets of copper or brass with decorative designs etched into the metal.

I decided to try rubber stamps, ink and heat gun set embossing powder and stamp directly on the metal. Using the ink and melted powder as a resist. I knew it would have to be a positive negative stamp. Meaning there could be no shaded areas at all in the design. Then I used Ferric Chloride to etch the metal. I bought the Ferric Chloride at Radio Shack. Apparently there is some use for that chemical for working on computers. This is not like using some dangerous etching solution like Nitric Acid which has to be used on sterling silver to do the same thing.

It took about 30 minutes to get the etch as deep as I wanted it to be. Then I wanted to know how far I could stretch the etched sheets before the design started to distort. So I decided to die form the etched sheets. This one into a shield shape reflecting the medieval theme of the rubber stamps. This was not intended to be a serious piece, it was just a test.

I can see lots of possibilities for miniature use but I will have to have the rubber stamps made so the designs are in scale.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ladies English Riding Boots

Please click on photos to enlarge them.

My last post inspired me to make these English riding boots yesterday. Actually, I already had it in mind and had ordered the leather quite awhile ago.

The leather is very smooth and very thin. Still I had to use a razor blade scraper I bought at a leather shop to make it even thinner. The first thing that had to be made was the polymer clay shoe forms so the leather could be stretched and formed over them. There is a right and left form but a separate one for the calf of the boot.

I am really pretty happy with the results. They are not stiff they are as soft as leather gloves are.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting There Little By Little

I have gotten the rest of my order from Bill Helmer (IGMA Fellow). It is three beautiful Elephant Ivory bowls. The source is legal and obtained from old pieces. The bad news is it cannot be shipped to other countries from the USA. However his Wooly Mammoth Ivory pieces can be. Mammoth Ivory is much harder to get he tells me and I like it as much if not more.

The big bowl I hope to use for a fruit arrangement. I thought the tiny bowls would be good accessory pieces on dark furniture. Those little bowls are close to being egg shell thin.

Finally I found a teapot on Ebay that would be nice with the china I bought twenty years ago. So in celebration, I cast eight place settings of the Chrysnbon flatware in 14 Karat gold. Which is a better match then silver for my china anyway. Those are two of the Chrysnbon 14K gold teaspoons in the photo.