Thursday, February 23, 2012

Innovating the Chain, Part 4

I also made a chain during class...I have a hard time making my own work while I'm teaching. My focus is different and I can't seem to motivate myself to think about my own work, only the work of my students. I had a great conversation with fellow instructor, Jane Wells Harrison, during a meal early on in the retreat in which I mentioned this problem. She said she thought it was good to make one's work while teaching because it's good for the students to see their teacher working. This simple comment made a huge impact on me and I committed to making a chain just as I had asked my students to do. Plus, they were all working so hard I felt I should follow suit.
I began with a teardrop link I made during a demonstration where I showed how to create large oval links with two mandrels and a vice. Instead of using the same size mandrel to create equal curves on either end of the oval, I used two different sized mandrels quite different in diameter. I was thrilled to create a new teardrop element! I made lots of these in different sizes, scoring and folding each for added dimension. Then I linked them together, but felt the chain needed something more. Since the chain was all about line, I decided to add a solid teardrop, also scored and folded.
Finally, when I was preparing the piece for patination in a liver of sulfur bath, I wondered what would happen if I left the copper plating that builds up during soldering intact instead of sanding it away. I honestly don't have much experience using brass so I didn't know. I was hoping to get a stained affect and happily that is exactly what happened. There was lots of variation in color all over the chain and great detail in the scratches I created with my wax file.

Thanks to Jane AND my students for inspiring me!

And since I writing about being inspired I thought I would share some pictures of things I like that I took during my stay.

fishing bobbers at the hardware store
 the ceiling of the hardware store
 the floor of the hardware store
a hush of graffiti
 drywall paper on the floor of Pocosin Arts
my room 
(I inadvertently took this picture as I put my camera away one night before going to sleep. I love it.)

More on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.


FoFum said...

Amy you inspire me! Thanks, it was great sharing time with you. And I have a terrific new brooch too. jwh

patrick said...

amy, it Patrick from Penland. i really enjoy your blog. thanks.