Saturday, September 17, 2011

productive days

Ocassionally, I have bursts of speed and creativity that completely engulfs my day. I love days like this. I have more ideas than time, so I try to work as fast as possible. The benefit is all the work that gets finished, which feels pretty satisfying. The downside is that everything else kind of falls to the side. The house is a wreck, emails are piling up and I loathe leaving my bench. The idea of leaving for a few hours is almost painful. Sessions like this require a lot of time management, breaking up chores in chunks so things get finished and my family doesn't rebel.





My friend Bob Burkett helped me design and construct this little slider turtle, showing me tricks with wax to get clean results. Its really small, about an 1 3/4" long and 1" wide. The shell is cast in shibuichi, the body in sterling, set with onyx cabachon eyes. I love it.



After completing the turtle, I couldn't seem to get enough of wax, so I started this doll. She's about 5 1/4" tall, perfect for 1/12 scale dollhouses. I'm planning on making her into a little pixie, dressed as if she found her outfit from items found arond the house. Maybe I'm influenced by 'The Borrowers" from my childhood!



I'm really happy with how she looks and especially her jointing. It was a real challenge to get the elbows and knees to bend, with a full range of movement, but also look like accurate human joints. We're in the process of molding her now, so hopefully she will cast well in resin.



I made this ring while working on the turtle. Its a study in setting cabachons, using a large rose cut sapphire and two rose cut garnets. I really enjoyed learning to use wax to make bezels (thanks Bob!). Now I can use all those stones I've been hoarding. I told Bob he should make videos to teach his innovative techniques in wax work, but I don't think he thinks there's enough interest.










I have another 5 - 8 pieces on my bench that are in different stages of completion. I usually work in groups, shifting between carving in tight detail to loose, gestural lines. This gives my hands and eyes a break and its also good to step away from a piece, to really see it. This mermaid pendant is destined to be cast in bronze, shibuichi and sterling. Hopefully we'll have some ready to send to Andrew to debut at his store and a few to sell in Hawaii next week. This time it will be just me and my friend Jessica Wiesel, which will be fun, but probably hard since I've never been away from little family. I'm looking forward to soaking in the ocean and eating loads of tropical fruit and masubi (teriyaki spam on rice- love it!) not to mention all the other hard to find asian foods I grew up with.




If you're on Oahu next week, come down to Honolulu for the SoftFlex Bead Show! Stop by and say hello, check out our limited edition pieces (I'm working on some mechanical owls and another mermaid!) and maybe give us some tips on where to eat. Show starts on Friday, see you there!

11 comments:

Regina said...

Love the turtle and the ring. Good luck and have fun in Oahu. Wish I could visit!

mairedodd said...

everything looks incredible - i am always in awe of your talent and ability... as to interest in bob's techniques - i would be very interested to learn... the ring is gorgeous...
how lucky to love one's work so much...

Kathy Van Kleeck said...

WOW! busy busy girl! The doll is amazing and your jewels ever so lovely. Okay, so when you get back from the islands ... we must have a rendezvous and wax tutorial! Hi to Greg ... xo

Sharon Driscoll said...

I'd love a few lessons from Bob - maybe you need to set up a class.

taralinda said...

How amazing! Can't wait to order a mermaid queen pendant!! ;)

Heather Wynn Millican said...

Cant wait to see your new pieces!!! I LOVE the mermaid!

Jean said...

Came to see your doll especially!!! but am now entranced with everything!!! You amaze me, as does Bill Burkett. What a charming and unique selection of things you have created. if I ever get a chance to have one of your dolls, I shall jump on it instantly! Well, I won't jump on it, but YOU know what I mean! :)

PS: I sent you a flickrmail to show you a friend of mine's little dolls.I hope you get a chance to see them.

jean xox

Shel said...

wow - way cool! Have fun in Hawaii!

Nancy Moore said...

My husband and I met Bob in New Mexico many years ago and we think a video on wax work would be perfect! Bob never fails to surprise - we have quite a collection of marvy creatures and try to acquire a new one every time we see him.

Beyond EMF said...

Your work is always wonderful!

Met Bob in NM as well and have a few pieces. Would love tutorial videos!

What is the red sculpting wax that you each use?

Cynthia Thornton said...

The wax is a combination of blue and red jewelers wax from kerr, available from Rio Grande jewelry supply.