Saturday, April 9, 2011

Play Time

What a fun week!  This course was Surface Decoration III, and we made many many samples.  The five techniques we focused on were multi-wire lamination, roller printing, etching, multi-metal lamination, and inlay.  Some were quick to do: roller printing and multi-wire lamination.  Others were time consuming but easy: etching.  And the most labor was spent on inlay and multi-metal lamination.  Lovely results all around.  The ring above was the jewellery project I designed and made for this week.  The surface of the lentil bead is taken from my heat treated multi-metal lamination sample (seen below).  The metals I incorporated into this sample are brass, nickel silver, copper, sterling silver, and bronze.  A very exciting technique, but as I've said, time consuming, and certainly dependent on having a rolling mill.

The samples below are an exploration of the textures I achieved with different fabrics when I did roller printing.  Many fabrics that looked exciting were in fact disappointing when rolled through the mill.  The result was often just a plain weave impression, rather than the interesting surface texture present on the fabric.

I've done etching on silver a little bit, but this week we used ferric chloride to etch on brass, nickel silver, bronze and copper.  We also enthusiastically explored photoetching.  This is something that gives some really dramatic textural results and I can definitely see myself using it more in the future.  Below are the samples I made.  Some will evolve into earrings.

Michaela is an excellent teacher, the depth of her knowledge is immense, (did I say this in my last post already?!), and I wish we could have had her for one of our weeks where the emphasis was less on personal exploration and problem-solving, and more on learning very technically specific skills.  She demanded a very high level of performance from us in these last two weeks and it was rewarding to step up to that challenge.

My activities in Haliburton are starting to overlap with the preparation for events when I get home.  I've placed a moderate order for some new items from Gesswein jewellery supply, and a scary but necessary order for sterling silver before the price climbs much higher (over $39 an ounce on Thursday!).  Someone wondered to me if things were starting to wind down in Haliburton, but no, the pace remains the same, and I'm trying to juggle the last few courses here as I anticipate my commitments when I leave.  I must say it is nice to try and maintain some momentum in jewellery making as I leave Haliburton in a couple of weeks.  Next week's course is casting, which I'm really excited about.  It may open some doors for me in terms of the possibilities of wholesaling my designs, we'll see.  This weekend is a last jaunt to Toronto to spend some time with family, and pick up some new items I've purchased to freshen up my craft fair booth display.  We have our school Show and Sale next weekend in Haliburton and I'm participating in the MayDay YayDay fair at the new Rocket Bakery in St.John's on the first weekend after I get back.  I'm hoping to have a few new items for that, as well as some of my popular regular stock items.  Busy is good, busy is good.....


  1. I've enjoyed reading about your classes and will be anxious for future posts! My husband and I did a cruise several years ago and stopped in St. John and Halifax(and some other place). We loved the area and were really impressed with the warm and friendly people.

  2. Your ring is spectacular, and I totally enjoyed hearing about your learning. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Susan, I love, love, love that ring! Thanks for sharing your process. Sure wish I could take that class!

  4. I looooove the etched pieces. Can't wait to see what you make when you come back!

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