The last five weeks I've been in my workshop, like the elves, making pretty presents for my customers. It's been an adventure. Each time I work with bronze clay I develop a deeper love and appreciation for its versatility. To give you a better idea of what I mean, I have to explain my work process...
When I sit down to create at my bench, I don't often have a clear picture how something is going to look. I allow myself to get inspired by the clay. I love working with Hadar Jacobson's clays. They come shipped to you dry. You must add water, mix, and roll out until the proper consistency is met. The texture is lovely, smooth and sleek. It's inspirational. I just roll with the punches and see what comes.
After firing, all my little pieces sit on my bench until more inspiration comes. This round, it was about three weeks. I had such a large pile of unfinished pieces. It was completely insane. Then, the muse grabbed hold. I sat in front of my beads and started laying out the designs. Another day or two passed and I started assembling the designs. Funny thing is, hardly any of the pieces turned out how I laid them out.
As I stared at the bronze pieces and the beads I started feeling like the designs were flat - so much for that muse. Each of the bronze pieces were meticulously finished, golden and gleaming. I should have been happy... But, I grabbed a pair of earring charms and put them on my fireproof block. I wanted to see what would happen. I applied heat from my little blazer torch and watched the miracle of fire. One pair led to another and another and another. Not a pair was left untouched by fire. Some are more colorful than others.
Bronze can look like gold, silver, or copper. The colors that form in the presence of fire provide the versatility that I love. I can make the same design in bronze a dozen times and no two pieces will look alike. What I do with that is where the creativity exists. That's what I love about this medium! Do I sound like a dork? I hope I don't! I just feel very fortunate to have found a creative outlet that I love!!!
This patina looks a lot like those possible with fine silver. I was so excited to see it appear.
These earrings get their blotchy patina from moisture that was sitting on the surface of the metal when the heat was applied. This makes them look like they are much older than they really are. I love this well worn look.
Very little heat was applied to this pair. I let up on the torch as soon as I saw the gold color appear.