Monday, February 15, 2010

Flat Rusted

As those of you who subscribe to my flickrsteam will know, I've been smashing things with a hammer. I have never had so much fun in my life! Well I probably have, but I can't remember it.

I bought a small anvil and a ball pein hammer in the junk shop ages ago, and put them away neatly with my other things to be seen to when I took up metalwork. Which is now! I think I have everything- just flux and a torch, and I'm ready to rock. I'll buy the flux next week when I go see my Dad, who's lending me his propane torch and his Dremel! Life doesn't get much better than when you casually say to your Dad you want to start metalwork, but you're saving for England and you don't know if you should spend the money on a torch and Dremel and hope you make it back in what you produce...

...and he says oh have 3 of both those things, you can borrow some. Hooray for Dad!

Anyway- so I've been smashing stuff because that's all I can do right now. And punch holes in things with this amaaaaazing hole punch I got from Etsy.

Now I know alot of you probably know all about this stuff- hammering and holes and whatnot- but I don't. All this experimenting with finishes and using heavy's all new to me. I've always HAD tools though, I've always believed women should have tools- everyone should have tools- and a shed. I think there'd be a lot less grief in the world if people were able to retire to their sheds to make things and think about the world (but not too much).

I'd started to get slightly depressed recently because I look around and see all this amazing chain jewellery that all you chaps out there make, and there's holes drilled and rivets and wire-wrapping (I'm only just getting the hang of wire-wrapping) and hammered things and soldering and resin and I think all I do is open and shut jump rings, I want more!!

I'm so happy to have this hole punch, and to be getting patinas and anvils and solder torches, because I think there's a big part of me that's just not getting dirty enough with my art. I think that's why I sew so much, because there's alot of experimenting involved. I can't just design a cuff in my head and then make it, I just have to sit down with the fabrics and mess around till something comes together. And it's no easier now than when I made my first!

The little c-shapes were large jump rings that had a finish I didn't like; the ankh was just a bit too well-formed for my liking; the silver ring had a central crest but it fell out (you can see it above it), the pins were just shop-bought headpins from ages ago that I've never used- I hammered the end and now they're fantastic.

This button came up great- it's antique but it was very gold and shiny. I wish I'd take a before shot (I always forget those!) but essentially I've just hammered it, rusted it, drilled a hole in it then sanded it back a little bit so the lion stands out.

Some things in their include an amethyst point that I rust-dipped the top of, cut steel buttons, a thimble, bone beads, plastic rhinsetone buttons, paper mache beads and metal mesh ripped from old disco handbags.

This gin piece is my absolute favourite. I think I'll have to keep it. It used to have more rust but the rusting patina recommended sealing the pieces, so I tried PVA and water, but it seems to have removed half the rust. What can I use that's a good sealer? I want a total matt finish, an invisible sealer.

Tomorrow I'm going to try pressing buttons into polymer clay and then painting them with rust paint to duplicate the look of Roman lead seals.

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