My obsession continues! It’s most recent manifestation is this dancing mermaid and dolphin necklace in sea-foamy greens and beryl blues. The beads were torch fired to match, and this time I even enameled the headpins to match! I think that one little detail makes for a very lovely pair of earrings.
I decided I wanted to share more pictures of the process with you. Unfortunately I relied on my camera phone for convenience and I didn’t get many well focused pictures. I will likely redo a series of pictures in a future piece to get better quality pictures, but for now I’ll share these with you.
Step 1: BUILDING THE DESIGN: After preparing the base with a counter enamel and a base coat of foundation white on the front, I built the design using fine, flat cloisonné wire and literally glued the wires into place using blu-stic.
Step 2: FIRING THE WIRES INTO PLACE
Step 3: BREATH! The first time I used the blu-stic to hold the wires in place, as I fired the piece started to look dirty, and then BAM! It started to turn black. I panicked! I thought I had done something wrong and ruined it. Foolishly, I almost stopped. Ultimately I decided to fire forward and as I did it began to clear up. My pulse and breathing returned to normal and I wiped the sweat from my brow. 🙂 I share this with you to now so that if the day comes you are in the same position, your heart won’t stop like mine did. 🙂
FIRST the blu-stic burns black.
NEXT as the organic material in the blu-stic continues to burn the black begins to recede and breathing and pulse return to normal.
Step 3: WET PACKING. This is the stage where you select your colors and begin painting or wet packing your design cells. I failed to take a picture of the wet packing before I began firing, but I do have a blurry pic of the piece firing in the flame in the first round of torching. A better picture of this phase can be found in my previous post ‘Fabulous Fire and the Quantum Carp’. Here I include my very blurry phone pic.
Step 4: FIRE! Multiple layers are fired upon the surface to fill in the cells of the design until it is flush across the face of the piece. Here is a picture of the piece after the first firing balanced on the trivit.
Step 5: SHOW AND TELL. And finally, full pictures of the piece after the final firing. I even created some torch fired beads with color coordinated enameled head pins for the matching earrings. I love the extra detail that the enameled headpins add. When I first started torch firing the beads with Barbara’s technique I didn’t know what to do with the beads as they were larger than I was used to working with. I finally found some that were a size that fit nicely into my comfort zone for designing with, just in time for my cloisonné fever to strike. I have to say that being able to create torch fired enamel beads to match is PRICELESS!
And now a week of withdraw as I impatiently await the arrival of more cloisonné wire …