Friday, June 25, 2010

Einstein stones and enameled bowl

In February, I worked at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show for a Swiss company, and I purchased these pendants from their Einstein collection. They are cut from paving stone from the road in front of the building where Albert Einstein used to live in Bern, Switzerland. So cool! It's the road he walked on every day! The city of Bern decided to repave the road, and the owner of the company bought these from the city to make jewelry out of! I thought it was a really interesting idea, and many of their clients thought so as well.

I've been meaning to set stones in them, but I haven't had the time yet. But I finally got the diamond burs to be able to drill holes in them! I went to Kent's Tools for the first time on Wednesday with my friend Mayra, and had a lot of fun buying tools!

I finally photographed the bowl that I finished in May (in the photographs below). I raised the copper from a flat metal disk to make the bowl shape, and then made a design inspired by my herb garden with cloisonné enamel. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I wasn't sure at first if I would like raising, but I definitley want to do more of it in the future. All that hammering is tiring, but it's also a good way to get out any aggression or stress. Oddly, I found it to be quite meditative.

The enameling part was even more of a challenge. The bowl just barely fit in the kiln, and and I had to make my own custom trivet (with help from a fellow classmate) to accommodate it. It was also extremely difficult to keep the silver wires in place once I put the bowl in the kiln. Because the surface is curved at such an angle, they kept slipping right off when I shut the door. I discovered that by wet packing the enamel around the wires before the wires were fused was very helpful. The wet enamel acted as a glue to hold the wires in place long enough for them to fuse. It took a lot of enamel, and many, many firings, but I was happy with it in the end.

Have a good weekend!

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