Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finished Pieces

I know it is rare for me to finish many pieces but here are two. One is a pendant the other a wall hanging. For the pendant I tried to give it a look of a framed masterpiece. I worked up some intricate caning for the "gilded" frame. The other is my "end piece" mosaic. I added it to a canvas that I covered with clay.

I just got back from a class with Kathleen Dustin. It was in Santa Fe and it was wonderful. She was trying to help us all find our own voice with our art. I came with an idea of doing an organic piece but after talking with Kathleen I had renewed vision of my mosaics. I only had a small section of my latest cane with me but I worked on some new shapes and designs with it. I left with a new plan for more mosaics. To tell you the truth it was hard working in Santa Fe because we were on this lovely porch overlooking the mountains. I know... life it hard sometimes.

I am back home now putting the finishing touches on my book and my class for Yes there are still boxes to unload but I figure they aren't going anywhere!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Another SLICE of Heaven!

If you have been following my blog you have read about my trials and tribulations over slicing one of my canes. Well you can see by the pictures that I have finally found a solution. Last May I met the Caner Extraordinaire Carol Simmons at a retreat. If you haven't seen her work you should crawl out of that rock that you are under and Google her. Her canes are amazing. Her technique is one that you want to slap yourself in the head over. (But you'll have to learn that from her. I was lucky that I heard her speak at Synergy this year.) Anyway, I was happy to be invited to her lovely home in Colorado. (Did you know that Denver, the Mile High city, is really flat??? I need to get out more. ... I know I digress.) Carol has been working with a friend and engineer on a new slicing machine. Well I almost slipped on my drool while using it. It is hard to explain how thin these slices can be. In fact, Carol kept asking me why I was dialing them up to be so "thick". I told her my brain just couldn't handle the really thin slices. Actually the makeup of the mosaics meant that they need to be a little "thicker" so as not to come apart. And by "thicker" I mean really thin. We put the largest cane I had with me which was my first mosaic cane. I'd say about 4 inches high. It sliced thru it like butter. Thin! Even! Easy! Drool! Drool! I have signed up to buy the first slicer. Now I don't think that this will be the must have item for all clayers but for me it was invaluable. Nothing worse than working three weeks on a cane to have it fall victim to crappy slicing. If you think about all you could do with thin, even slices you took will fall in love with this machine. Think of the things that you could cover. If you don't have equal slices when you go to apply them to an object you get distortion when smoothing them in. Or perhaps Mokume Gane is your love. Get your hanky out because I see drool coming. So far there are only two or three of these things in existence. I know we came up with a few modifications that need to be made. Ok now you have come to the end of this commercial... you know the part when you hear the bad news. I think it is going to sell for around $700. I bet that stopped the drool in mid-spit. For me it was worth it. Keep an eye on Carol's website for more information.