Saturday, January 23, 2010

GUINEA PIGS, PART 3 (yes, part 3)...

(start reading GUINEA PIGS from 2 posts up... I posted these in reverse so they read from the top down, like the book that they are!)

I mentioned in the first Guinea Pigs post (of 3, LOL) that the weekend w/ the girls (Robin & Carol) was a weekend of learning from eachother.

Day 2, Saturday, brought more creating! On the agenda... electroforming prep & metal etching!

We prepped our work (glass acorns!) for electroforming... masking, etching, epoxying in a copper loop & painting w/ conductive paint, which needs to dry for a day.

Robin teaches copper etching classes at a few local stores & at her home. Her basement is jam packed full of work stations & awesome equipment. Her rubber stamp stash is enormous... her husband, Rob, built her a wall full of shallow ledges to display her stamps so you can easily view & select what you want to work with. We spent the rest of the day stamping away, preparing copper sheets, bracelet blanks & washers to be etched. Oh man, I loved this! At first I figured I was there to learn how it's done... absolutely no need to be the perfectionist that I am... but as I got more into it, the more I wanted to continue. Also, I didn't have all of the supplies needed to continue on at home (yet!) & Robin said that we had nothing else planned for the day, so I continued on. Carol stamped for a little while (she's quick!) & then headed home to take care of her dog. (Carol, hiding from camera or concentrating on stamping... can't decide which.)
Robin sat there & just watched me work. She'd wander off & then come back to watch some more, LOL. I would stamp & stamp & scrub it off & stamp again. I tried this & tried that... I'd stamp a section & then scrub away a portion of it & stamp something different in that space. Layering & layering... it was just amazing to me. I asked Robin why she wasn't stamping & she said that she just wanted to watch me watch my creative brain in action & that she was learning some stuff from me that she would be able to take back to her classes. She watched what stamps I went for & said that it would help her pinpoint what she should take to her classes (she certainly couldn't take her entire stash!!). I thought that was really cool. I was learning so much from her & she was learning from me in the process. (my finished etchings, pre patina)
I brought these copper oak leaves w/ me... I'm trying to come up w/ some sort of element to hang my acorns from... whether for a pendant (or clasp!) or even for ornaments... I just loved how these turned out. Shared a few w/ the girls so they could do some, too... who doesn't love oak leaves??

That's what's really cool about working w/ other artists....even if you're teaching someone something that you know inside & out, their artist's brain will come at it @ a completely different angle that works for them... that makes sense to them, once they've gotten the gist of the process. When they were watching me work w/ the EMS @ the studio the day before, they would notice things & ask questions that I hadn't even thought about & the whole process of it all was so helpful to me as I form the base foundation of teaching.

Robin showed me the ins & outs of metal etching... the safety & disposal issues of working w/ acid, etc. I learned so much... she's a fantastic teacher. We stayed up until 1am while our pieces etched... hanging out, eating a fantastic meal that Robin made while I was still down stamping away, LOL, watched the final Monk episode & just spent time getting to know eachother better. We missed having Carol there in the evenings, I said she should've come for the slumber party, but she has a dog @ home that needs care, so she couldn't. :o( She says I have to come stay w/ her next time!

Day 3, Sunday, I showed them how to put together an extended electroforming setup like what I use at home so you can electroform more than a few pieces at a time.
Robin sells electroforming kits & supplies, so we had everything on hand. How handy is that??? :o) We talked about how it works & more importantly WHY! Robin said it was completely different than anything she had ever learned. I'm not an electroforming pro, not even close, but I know what works for me & why & was able to share that info w/ them.

We put our pieces in to begin electroforming & then we spent the afternoon dunking etched copper in liver of sulfur & also doing some torch patinaing, bringing our copper pieces to life!
We also put together copper display branches/trees like I blogged about last summer. Barb gave us a variety of copper wire in various gauges (thank you!) & we struggled our way through putting some together. I've only ever made two of them & they were different from eachother, so I didn't have defined steps in how I did it, so it was kind of a fly by the seat of our pants type of thing. LOL. Carol took her tree into a completely different direction than my original & it was great!!

Robin makes her copper branch...

Before our evening was over, the girls helped me rivet a few of my disc beads to a copper cuff and a leather cuff. This was one of the big reasons I wanted to learn how to do the metal etching... I need to add some bracelets to my jewelry & envisioned combining my disc beads w/ copper or sterling and leather. They're fantastic. Too bad I don't wear cuffs. :o)
On my final day there the girls took me to my go-to glass supplier, ABR Imagery, who is located about an hour south of them. Great to see the facility & meet more of the guys who take care such good care of me.

What a fantastic long weekend!! I had so much fun. It was awesome spending time w/ Robin & Carol, getting to know them & learning from eachother. I can't wait to do it again! :o) Robin is the ultimate hostess, I really enjoyed my time in her home. She spoiled me rotten, that's for sure. Thank you for taking such good care of me, Robin....

& thank you both for being willing to be my guinea pigs. :o)

Till next time....


Jenny J-V said...

I'm so jealous! A total bead-art-fun weekend!!!

And, now I know the secret with these awesome little copper bits in my "soup" kit! I was staring at them and touching them and I thought it was probably etching, but wasn't sure. And, I wanted to make some of my own copper components for my big party project. So, I broke out my washers and hammers. I even got a new, cool textured hammer. They aren't nearly as cool as your etchings, but I love that they'll add another textural dimension to my little copper workshop world!!

Julie Nordine said...

It was so fun, Jen... nothing better than hanging out w/ artsy girlfriends learning from eachother!

& yes, your little bead soup copper bits & pieces are etched. Aren't they awesome?


Tammie Lee said...

the oak leaves are wonderfully creative and fabulous~

Julie Nordine . Credit.River.Art.Glass said...

Thank you, Tammie!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Amazing! I am in awe!

Chris in Oz said...

As a teacher of more years than I care to remember, I was fascinated by your story (don't tell anyone, but I usually just look at the pictures, I actually 'read' your posts). I'm so glad that you've found the confidence you needed to be able to say "I can teach". It is such a wondrous ability and I just know that it will help you to 'be' the best you that you could be.

Now I'm off to check out your creations, 'cos I just know I need one!!! LOL


PS Sorry, I can no longer teach and I just get so excited when I see/hear/read about stories like yours.

Julie Nordine . Credit.River.Art.Glass said...

Thank you, Lavender Dreamer!!

LOL, Chris. I won't tell. I'm all about pictures, too. Can't believe you read the whole book...glad I could entertain you & keep your interest! I still have those little doubts in my head that say "what makes what I do so special that others will want to learn from me?" I'll get over that, I'm sure. :o) Thank you for leaving such an encouraging comment. I appreciate it. (& if you head out to my Etsy shop, you'll notice it's pretty pitiful right now... I have TONS of stock, usually saved for shows & such, but am trying to find the time to get some pieces listed in my shop. If you see something pictured in my blog or in my website's gallery, please feel free to contact me! Thank you!)

~ Julie

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