Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Recycling, Caviar, and Dragon Skin (and Possibly Bacterial Culture, too)

Firstly: because this is the summer of R&D, I'm going to be adding a couple of new sections to the Artfire Shop.  One is going to be for experiments, one-offs, and oops, since the thing about R&D is that sometimes it doesn't pan out.  The other is going to be for very-limited-edition pieces, since a number of the things I'm doing involve finite, non-reproducible materials.

So I had a very interesting experiment day with the kiln on Saturday.  I started with making a few sets of buttons and a pendant with my recycled enamel bits technique.  I've refined the procedure enough that I think I can start pricing/selling them. These will definitely be in the limited-edition section, since each particular color blend can't ever be exactly reproduced. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do about these once I'm done taking apart the larger pieces I currently have.  Maybe spend some more time on illustration so I can have some more screw-ups?  Making color blends specifically for this purpose seems counter to the point of "recycled".
recycled mosaic pendant

recycled mosaic buttons

After that, I got down to experimental business.

I've been thinking a lot about these recycled mosaic pieces, and how I might get a more precise color distribution or maybe even pattern from the same basic idea of little pieces, and also how I might do something similar with a less-limited material.  Then I remembered that last year, one of my classmates figured out that you could melt glass beads in with your enamel if you're careful.  She used it for making precise points and individual bumps because she had a very structured style.  My style, especially with enamel, is not very structured, and so I wondered what would happen if I treated the glass beads the same way I treat the recycled bits.  The results were awesome.

This one was made with larger beads...

And these were made with smaller ones.

 I LOVE the bumpy texture, and I think, with dark beads, I could effectively start making little dishes of glass caviar. :) The blue/green piece made me think of dragon skin (water dragon, of course), but made the roommate think bacterial culture.  I'm not sure what I'm officially going to call these yet, but they're definitely going to be part of my product line!


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