Friday, April 29, 2016

I am not a wire whisperer: AJA Classes #3 and #4

With over 20 different classes, there are bound to be at least a few where I have less-than-spectacular results. Notice I avoided the word failure since that might imply a lack of learning. Such was Nicole Hanna's wire weaving class, which was the third class this year in my Art Jewelry Adventure. This is absolutely no reflection on Nicole. Her tutorial - both written and video were perfectly clear and understandable. The problem was with the student - moi! I don't have a natural affinity for wire and it's taken me years just to perfect a technique for making my own ear wires. And wire weaving is like ear wires on steroids. Just take a look at Nicole's beautiful design - stunning!

Nicole Hanna: Pocket Watch Design

I faithfully followed the tutorial but my wire weaves were sloppy and catty-wompus. Finally I threw in the towel thinking there are a zillion other creative techniques I enjoy and will focus on them. Here's the point where I called it quits. I call this Pocket Watch Ugh.

Pocket Watch Ugh
But not to be deterred, next up was Laurie Mika's Crowned Amulet Class. I am in total awe of Laurie Mika's work. And this class exposed me to two media I had never touched before: polymer clay and Shrinky Dinks. Now the name Shrinky Dink just brings a smile to my face and does nothing to conjure up the beautiful objects that Laurie makes with them using nothing more than a rubber stamp and some ink.

Here are the beautiful stamps I found by InvokeArts on Etsy. I will definitely use these again:

You stamp the images on the Shrinky Dink plastic, pop it in your toaster oven (only used for polymer clay) and watch while magic occurs. They curl up and frighten you half to death thinking they will never straighten out but once they bake for about 25 minutes, here's what you get:

Then Laurie talks you through building a frame for the image which you paint and adorn like so:

I just loved them. And then (cue scary music) I baked them. I guess my oven was running too hot because the sweet little wings on the left piece just curled up and melted, as did the frame itself looking like something out of Halloween15! Not so fantastic....

I think the Dream piece is salvageable - at least for wearing by me - and will look interesting on a ball chain or Silversilk. The frame did warp a bit but I'll just chalk that up to part of the dream motif.

So, in summary, I give both Nicole Hanna and Laurie Mika high marks for instruction and give me DNF/average scores for the final results.

I will share a bit of disappointment in the Art Jewelry Community. Although the web site has a general discussion board as does each class, not many students post pictures of their work or discuss their experience online. The online friends you make is something I have enjoyed with blogging and other challenges but we may have an especially small or shy class!


AntiquityTravelers said...

thank you for posting and sharing your process ... agree that not many do share what they learn, and we can all learn from each other. I have tried wire weave as well, and lets just say it is going to take a few hundred more times before that wire feels confident in my hands. But hey, I did give it a try! I would never guess that your frames were Shrinky Dinks?! who knew? but it did turn out wonderfully for a focal

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