Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just Dug Up...

Earlier this year, as I was just beginning with enameling, I was talking to a friend who is an artist about the process. He said that he likes stuff that looks like you just dug it up out of the dirt. I thought that enameling might be the perfect way to create this grungy look.

It gives you the ability to layer color, leaving metal uncovered, using fire scale left after high-temp minutes in a kiln. You can sand, scrape, hammer, dent, file, punch, bend and shape...just to name a few techniques.

I created this piece last night. It doesn't totally capture the recently unearthed look, but I think it kind of has that quality. On the other hand, it also looks aquaticish, like some kind of shell that has been attached the bottom of a boat for a year or two.

Whatever, it was fun to work on...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little Bluebird

Last night, I spent a some time creating this little guy. I ordered a set of enamel water colors and was anxious to try them out. What fun!

I cut a little bird shape out of copper, put down a base of white enamel on the front and transparent on the back. Then I brushed on a coat of blue enamel water color - it took on a feathery look. I did several coats and firings to achieve the opacity I wanted.

Now, I can't wait to try something else.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Away

To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
- Francis Bacon

Emily and I spent the weekend at The Wilds near Brevard, NC with our church family. The weather was beautiful and unseasonably warm. We had a great time. I did things I haven't done in a few years, like ride the giant swing, play 9 innings of softball, and walk up and down hundreds of stairs, multiple times. I must admit I am paying for it a little bit today, a few sore muscles : )

The food was great. The messages interesting, thought-provoking and convicting. We got a chance to spend time with friends and drink yummy frozen coffee drinks in Cool Beans!

Below is a series of pictures of me and a friend getting hooked up and riding the Giant Swing. I think they pull you up about 70 feet in the air before they release you.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Valentine's request

At the show on Saturday a guy came up looking for a Calla Lily pendant for his wife. He said it was her favorite and the flower she carried on their wedding day. I didn't have a Calla Lily pendant, in fact, I had never done anything like a Calla Lilly, but I promised him I would give it a try.

I guess I'm a sucker for romance : )

So, Saturday night after the show, I attempted three versions of the flower for him. Below is a photo of them in the first/painted stage.

Next, they went into the kiln for firing. Here they at 1550 degrees, fully fused and flash cooling.

Here is the finished batch...a little bit cooler.

He chose the first one above. He came to pick it up Monday evening. He emailed me the next day, with a nice note to tell me she loved it!

Here are a few other of the limited edition 2011 Valentine's pendants created in the past few weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blooming Steel

Here is the cool steel flower sculpture that I traded a piece for at Saturday's show. It was created by Tim and Donna Frady from the Brevard, NC area. His job at a plant up there ended a couple of years ago, I think he said the plant closed. So, he decided to pursue his part time hobby all the time. He and his wife travel around close to home and do shows. They also get to scour thrift shops and yard sales to find things that he later transforms into a variety of creatures and found-object sculptures.

He told us a story about creating and installing a dragon stair rail for a lady who wanted something unusual to help her down a tricky set of stairs in her yard.

If you would like to see more go to

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Saturday Show

I was invited to be a vendor in the Greater Greenville Master Gardeners Annual Symposium this past weekend. Special thanks to my dad for coming out on Friday afternoon to help me setup my area. I had a limited amount of time to get this done because of obligations to my real job, and I couldn't have finished without his help.

On Saturday, Tim and I were at the Carolina Center, bright and early on Saturday morning, and had lots of fun with the Master Gardeners. They were all so friendly and the event was well organized. It w a little different than most of the things we've done. Instead of a steady flow of traffic, we'd have rushes between seminars.

We had a great show, one of the best I've done!

Some of my new copper pieces. This was the first time I've had them at an event, and they sold pretty well.

Tim mans the booth. We met a nice couple among the vendors. He does metal work (quirky sculptures from found objects). They have been doing this for a while, and gave us all kinds of great suggestions. I traded the yellow flower artwork in the photo above for one of his metal pieces - a flower constructed from some type of gear with pieces of horseshoes for leaves. I will try to take a photo and post a picture of it tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Some more of my recent enameling pieces. I am learning a little more about how to work with the copper, the enamel powders, etc. I really love the ability to build up opaque and transparent layers. I like the kind of distressed look of over firing - so the underneath layers come to the surface. I also love to use transparent over the bare copper or copper with some fire scale left in tact.



















Sunday, February 6, 2011

Copper Heart

The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. Agnes de Mille

I cut a shape out of a piece of copper and then file down the rough edges.

Punch a small hole in the shape for hanging later.

The shape is placed on a trivet and goes into the kiln to burn off any dirt and oil from my fingerprints.

Inside the kiln.

The shape comes out black with fire scale. I clean the copper before the first coat of enamel powder is sifted onto the piece.

Covered with transparent enamel powder.

Back on the trivet and into the kiln for several minutes until the enamel is smooth.

The piece comes out of the kiln to cool. I flipped the piece, cleaned the back and repeated the process with transparent enamel.

Another coat - red enamel powder is sifted onto the heart.

The red coated heart goes into the kiln.

Finished heart - front

Finished heart - back