But before we get to that, well, this round of classes has been canceled because Bob is having some serious health issues I won’t get into here, and he’s going into surgery soon. (Hope he’ll be OK!)
Apparently, though, there’s going to be an open studio situation, so I’ll have to figure out what I want to do. Actually, there is one thing I have to do: my sister-in-law requested a dragon pendant, something like this sketch I made that’s a bit like something she showed me (but not too much):
This is going to require a lot of sawing, with a few interior cuts I’m not sure I’m good enough to handle. So last night I worked on some scrap silver, just trying to make different squiggles and shapes:
So, after cutting that up, drilling some holes, cleaning and polishing, I had a weird bit of silver I didn’t know what to do with. As I also have a ton of base metal discs I also don’t know what to do with . . . hey, why not put them together?
I kind of liked it with a brass disc I once textured with a very coarse grinding wheel, and a big copper piece with some random hammering around the edges. I realized two of the holes in the silver disc were close enough to make a sort of slightly-off centered button. I drilled everything carefully to accommodate a piece of 14-gauge scrap copper wire (U-shaped, to look like rivets on the front and a shank on the back) and sandwiched it all together. Wedged a bunch of rods in the shank for support, and clamped it in a vise to do the riveting. That went a bit easier than I thought it would. The only thing I wish I had thought to do was to maybe hammer the shank a little flat, so there would be absolutely no give, no layers slipping down (the copper one moves just enough to annoy me.) Also, I’m tempted to put a brass tubing rivet in the remaining hole, because on the big screen it just looks empty and dumb.
Eventually I’m going to make a cowl or something with some green/blue yarn handspun by my friend Kristi, but until then, the button has no home.
And speaking of sawing:
The lotus is a holdover from my sandpaper-copper-rolling mill days, a faint impression in the protective brass sheet that I wanted to do something with. Unfortunately, the lotus impression was just a bit too faint to make sense, so I cut out the shapes and did my best to sand and polish without losing the sandpaper texture. It’s going to be a pendant soon.
And of course, the other thing up there is daruma. I cut him from the backing and now I need to make the oval a bit better, as well as a lot more grinding and polishing to make everything smooth and shiny. It’s like that never ends, and I never get it right in the end anyway. Suppose I’ll learn.
Edit: Now I’m sure I’ll learn! I found this video from beaducation.com that’s a pretty thorough explanation of different polishing bits and how to use them properly. Let’s put it this way: any time the narrator says “I see my students do this all the time,” well, that’s me.