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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Junk Drawer Art

This past weekend I was treated to a fantastic 2-day workshop called Junk Drawer Metalsmithing, taught by artist Stephanie Lee. It was a great experience to indulge in such creative play in the pines at the beautiful Idyllwild Arts Academy campus. I learned plenty of new techniques I've never tried before and instantly became hooked on more than a couple! I only wish the class was more than two days...

One of my favorite little pieces I made beginning with a brass
plate I cut & prepped then flooded with solder, followed by a
simple stamp while still molten. Eyelets added for a more finished

The class was actually for creating jewelry, but I (along with a few other participants) had other applications in mind as well--like found art assemblage ;) The etching and solder-stamping techniques I learned will definitely show up in future art pieces of mine. I REALLY need to practice some of the other techniques she taught (like flooding solder for bevels, to hold resin pieces), but either way I will be exploring and tweaking metal, junk and resin in a whole new way for a while as I came home completely inspired to try several ideas, and to continue creating with the tricks Stephanie shared with us!

Below are a couple of pictures showing our starting materials (along with rubber stampls, etchant, patina solution, a mini-torch, soldering, hammering/filing and resin) and the little pieces I created. The junk-drawer items I ended up using were a small toy dinosaur (skeleton), a piece of ball chain, a glass pebble, an art coin, and a Sharpie:

Our starting metals and scrubbies for burnishing. The second
image shows my cut and shaped pieces along with my first
attempt at creating a piece for casting resin (I also patina'd).
The little dino-skull was made from creating a mold in Sculpey
clay & dripping solder into it, then removing.

My first piece with patina & now a resin pour,
the clay is there to protect my seam.

My haul! This is what I was able to complete during the two days. Half will end
up as jewelry pieces--particularly that etched rabbit! The rest will find homes
in assemblages. (Click photo to enlarge for better details)

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