Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Again, sorry for the lack of communication. I'm still busy making stuff, I just haven't been in the right frame of mind for blogging about it yet.
In fact I'm still not. This post is about creativity.
EEP! Better put a picture in so people don't get bored!
Anyhoo, there are two ways to tell someone their creative. You can say "Wow! That's so creative!" or you can say "Hmm. Very... creative." I'm the second one ("creative" and "interesting" are interchangeable). It's not that people don't like my work (they very much do), but think that people have trouble figuring out where my inspiration comes from. Which is understandable because I have the same problem.
When I was in high school, I studied Art for my senior years (11 and 12 for the Aussies out there). We had to do a Visual Diary, telling the story of how we developed the ideas for our artwork. I totally sucked at it. In fact, I totally sucked at the subject. I got a C and I swear that just because the teacher liked me. See, it's just not how I roll. I don't plan. My inspiration arrives and I just go with it. Structured courses and me don't mix when it comes to creativity.
I'd really like to hear from others about where their ideas come from. Is there others like me out there who can't tell you what their doing until they've done it? Is structure the only way you can finish? Let me know :)
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I've just posted a new item in my etsy store. It's a steampunk necklace with a pendant made from a watch casing and a swallow charm. The chain is Japanese 8-in-1 chainmaille weave.
Check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31460214
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I apologise for not posting sooner, I kept leaving my photos behind!
I started my resin pendant making tutorial by going through the materials needed to get started. In this post I'll be demonstrating how to cast them.
- Measure out your mix.
As I said in Part 1, please be careful to measure the correct proportions for the 2 parts. Some brands have a catlyst to mix with the resin, others have two types of resin. I'll be demonstrating with the Aldax resin that requires equal amounts of 2 resins to be mixed.
- Pour the 2 parts into a single container and mix thoroughly with a popcicle stick. I prefer to use a completely seperate cup to mix in, that way I can reuse the measuring cups without ruining them.
The resin should appear shimmery (is that a word?) as you mix it.
- At this point you can choose to add things to your resin to add color or texture. It's totally up to you to decide what to add (refer back to Part 1 for some ideas). For this tutorial I've added some pink pigment. This will remain transparent, but pink :)
Note: This is not when you place a solid item in the resin. That is a different method which I will cover in another post.
- Spray a layer of release agent onto your mold.
- Pour the resin. That's it. No fancy tricks. Just make sure you get it in the mold. Or if you can't, make sure it doesn't hit anything that can't get ruined (like your new black work pants...).
- Lastly, place the mold in a dry, warm spot where cats, frogs, other humans and any other curious creature can get to it. Don't touch it for 48 hours. Seriously. You will look at it after 24 hrs and think "that looks done" but it isn't. 24 hours after that you'll realise what finished looks like. Trust me. I still do it.
So that's Part 2. I hope it was worth the wait. The next part will cover the variation in the method that is used for casting objects, and the last part will cover finishing your items.
Thanks a lot for reading (and referring... hint, hint) and I shall leave you with a picture of my warm place away from cats, frogs, humans and especially me :D
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
One of the things she does is feature work from other etsy artists who follow her blog. My Tree on Chainmaille has made this feature list :D
Check it out at http://cbcrafter.blogspot.com/2009/09/thank-you-to-my-followers.html
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Casting resin is a great way to make sturdy, attractive, and original pendants. You can make them in different colours, float different things in them, mold them in any shape that you can find a mold for (or make a mold for) and some other things I can't think of because I'm blogging at 10pm.
So that this isn't a massive post that goes on forever, I've also decided it do it in parts :)
Today I will start off by going through the various supplies required for casting resin.
No point mixing up some resin without something to put it in!
There are varieties of moulds available specifically for resin casting. Furthermore, so long as you can pop the resin out once it's set, you can use just about anything! The face mold shown is technically for plaster. Technically-shmechnically...
Well duh, but I just have a note to add here. Resin comes in 2 parts. Always. The reason is because if you didn't need to mix it then there'd be nothing to stop it setting in the bottle! The thing is that you can't nececarily swap brands. Each brand has its own ratio. Pictured below is 2 different brands. One is from a resin casting online store (Aldax). The 2 parts should be mixed even-stevens. If the amounts are uneven, the resin won't set.
The second set is from an Australian hardware store (Bunnings). The resin in this case is mixed with a catalyst agent at 3%. That means 200 ml of resin with 6 ml of catalsyt. Big difference, huh?
- Measuring cups
You need 3. Two for measuring out each individual resin and another for mixing then into.
- Popcicle sticks
- Mold release agent
Some molds are ok, but you're better off having it than not. The release agent is sprayed onto the moulds before the resin is cast.
The fun part. This is whatever you want to cast into your resin.
A few examples shown here are glitter, transparent dye, and marble dust (face up top used marble dust).
Stay tuned for the next post where I'll demonstrate (via photos) the mixing and casting.
I know I can't wait :P
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I realised that in the previous post I mentioned the hordes of chainmaille resources but then didn’t provide any. The reason for that is that the post was written for a jewellery website and links to sites providing tutorials aren’t allowed. But I can post them here :)
- Urban Maille - A good site where you can buy chainmaille and kits. It also has some beginners information and a few weave tutorials.
- cgmaille.com - One of the best sites around. This one has clear images of the process on the tutorials.
- M.A.I.L. - Maille Artisans International League. Has a range of tutorials but not very focused on jewellery.
- Chain Weavers - some free tutorials and some paid.
- Bijoux de Terre - A great site. Look under "For Our Students".
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I'm very interested in chainmaille. I developed the interest when I found a store that sells jump-rings at a stupidly low price. As soon as decided to look into chainmaille jewelry, the first thing I did was Google it. Now I'm a full book on what resources are available, free and for sale, book and e-book. I've tried the beginners weaves, discarded them as too simple, hurt myself trying the more complicated weaves and finally found a nice balance.
From the very start of my research into chainmaille jewelry there was one resource that taunted me. Culture Jewelry (http://www.culturejewelry.com) sells an e-book called "Chainmaille Jewelry Patterns". Unfortunately its $37US and I live in Australia. The first time I saw it, the exchange rate was so bad it was going to cost $60AUS for something couldn't pick up!
But I was patient. I made use of the free resources , continued to learn the basics and attempted a few of my own designs, all the while monitoring the exchange rate until finally all of the pieces fell into place, and I bought it.
Don't get me wrong, the weaves are lovely, the tutorials are comprehensive and it comes complete with videos demonstrating each weave. In fact, if I'd bought the e-book back when I first found it I would have found it incredibly useful. It comes with beginner information, descriptions of the tools you need, instructions on opening and closing jump-rings, and a couple of freebies thrown in (But wait! There’s More!). For someone with no wire jewelry making experience who just want to make some chainmaille, it’s a worthwhile purchase.
The problem is that by the time I bought it, I already where to find 90% of the tutorials and information for free. Most were just as comprehensive and some even had animations demonstrating the weave!
However, all is not lost. There is one thing that is very useful for the intermediate chainmailler. The e-book also comes with a jig design to make chainmaille making easier. Much, much easier! The design is simple and inexpensive to make and will save so much time that I wonder why I didn’t think about it before. It's not quite worth the cost, but will make use of it all the same.
So that’s my story. I’ve written this article in an effort to let people know exactly what is in the "Chainmaille Jewelry Patterns" package. If you’re going to buy it, do yourself a favour and don’t look anywhere else. If you have successfully made a chain on you're own, it's probably not worth it.
I just wish you could buy the jig design without the e-book. For less than $37US.
I also wish I could have read this article before I was inspired to write it.
You live and learn...