Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Once again Halloween arrived early this year. Much to my surprise I was able to complete Caden’s costume in time for him to go to the Halloween shindig at KUA last night. But before he partied in his furry best, I brought him to Saint Gaudens for a photo shoot. Here is Caden in his Satyr costume:

If you can’t tell from the over abundance of photos, Caden and I had a blast! Apparently I’m just mad for my new stinky goat boy muse. The weather was perfect, the sun, the setting – all absolutely gorgeous! And most importantly, Caden! I’ve never seen a Satyr with those moves, that drama and such attitude! It was hilarious! Caden had great pose ideas and totally got into the part! My 7 year old son truly was amazing to work with; he lasted an hour and a half, through 300 photos, and I only had to pay him one chocolate bar for his most excellent modeling services! He also didn’t seem to mind the celebrity treatment he received by all who witnessed him in his goaty garb! We had a fabulous time!

Hope you are enjoying your little critters this beautiful fall weekend!
Have fun Trick or Treating!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Costumes

Here is a look at the Halloween costumes I have created for Caden:

2007 Ghost (Age 4)

2008 Goblin (Age 5)

2009 Rotten Rocker (Age 6)

This year Caden wants to be a Satyr! I have to admit that I’m really struggling with this concept. The goat legs, fine, horns, ears, and hooves I can probably figure out, but really, how does a creature with a bare chest stay warm on Halloween? Do they grow a winter coat? Oh my, who knew this was going to be a requirement of Motherhood? Wish me luck!

Empress: Color Chart

After days of mixing and contemplation, these 30 delicious shades are the new colors I’ve chosen for the upcoming Empress Collection:

Now that I have all of these beautiful colors to play with I’m very excited to begin the “Enamel” portion of my faux Champlevé process.

Here all 300 Empress Medallions set up in the studio, awaiting color:

However, now that I have your interest, I have to step away from the Empress collection while I honor the annual Mother Son Halloween tradition of hand sewing Caden a Halloween costume.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Empress: Antique Copper

The new medallions will now be referred to as: The Exalted Beauty Empress Collection.

Here are a few examples, still in progress, now with the addition of bails and triple coated in Antique Copper:

Here is a closer look, giving a better perspective on the depth and detail from the side:

Obviously these are still very much a work in progress, but I have to say, despite the mega hours of labor involved in this 300 piece project, I am thrilled about how these are coming along! The next step is color! Stay tuned!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Medallions In Progress

Remember my Hand Carved Flower Molds?

This is how the final flower shapes turned out:

Each flower was created by stamping polymer clay with the hand carved molds seen above. After the impression was made I carefully removed the clay from the mold and cut around the general shape of the flower. The flowers were then fired. After, I went back in around the rough edges with a knife and carved each piece, creating a smoother, rounded or beveled edge, depending on the design.

Believe it or not, I was so thrilled with the results that I ended up making 300 of these! I guess I was afraid that I liked so many of the designs that when they were finished, I’d want to keep them all for myself and wouldn’t have enough left over to share with my medallion junkies!

After the 300 flower carvings were completed I added my standard bail, also previously referred to (by me) as the bead head. A bail is generally a hoop-like attachment for a pendant that allows a pendant to be worn on a chain or necklace. In my case it is a wooden bead encased in clay which involved a second firing and additional carving. I was very happy with the results of this step as well. Still thinking I’m going to want to keep most of these…

Anyway, at this point, 242 hours into the project, I’m happy to report that I am finally ready to start working on the finish. I’ve chosen an antique copper base for these faux Champlevé medallions. I’m still thinking about colors. I’ll keep you posted about this work in progress. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Medallions

After a long hiatus I have decided to pursue a rather ambitious medallion concept that has been plaguing my brain for ages. I’ve been inspired to create a floral collection with a Champlevé look. Champlevé is the French term for ‘raised field’. It is the technique of enameling in which enamel is placed in stamped or cut recesses of a metal form. I wanted to combine various design aspects from the Tapestry collection, the Amulet collection, and the Flourish collection to create a bigger, bolder, more detailed flower collection in a Champlevé style. But in order to do so, I had to rethink how I normally build a flower medallion…

I chose to approach the construction of this collection with an Intaglio technique that has probably been around since man discovered clay. Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Intaglio is commonly used to make engraved seals, where it leaves a raised design on the material being stamped. In my case I plan to use the carvings as molds, casting a relief version on the clay, creating the wells or recesses in which to place the colored enamels.

Here is the first look at my Hand Carved Flower Molds:

I have created the 42 flower designs above using simple tools such as a nail to draw the image into the wet clay and then an X-Acto knife to carve and clean out the nail groves after the clay is fired.

I plan to cast 5-10 of each design. After the flowers are cast, and cured, I’ll need to carve, clean and bevel the edges, then add the bead heads and eventually I hope to finish this collection with a faux bronze or copper base with acrylic glazes in place of enamels. However, this is definitely a work in progress so I’m figuring it out as I go. I’m really excited about the process and I hope it turns out as I’ve imagined it! I’ll keep you posted!


Check out the Action! The Joy! The Adventure! of Plainfield Soccer:

Caden has been having a blast at soccer this year. We are so proud of his effort, interest and enthusiasm in all that he does.

Vole Hunter

Remember Max the Fox? He’s still around, making us proud as he’s grown into the best Vole Hunter around. Here is Max, expertly catching breakfast:

To learn more about our friend Max the Fox see these previous posts:
Fox Rescue
Fox Kit
Fox Kits
Night Watch
Garden Fox
Max the Fox
Hunting Fox