Jul. 5th, 2010

ferrumaeternum: (concerning hobbits)
Hopefully this will be the last school-related post for a while. :p

I’m still having nightmares about this metalsmithing class. What was supposed to be a four-hour jewelry class four days a week, turned out to being anywhere from 6 to 9 hours of nonstop work each day and on the weekends. This was the first (and coincidentally last) summer class the teacher taught, and it felt like she tried to cram in too much work for the time we had. In addition to two projects, we also had to make 12 samples on 2 x 2" squares of metal of each metalsmithing technique we were taught in 3.5 weeks. Here is the cuff/bracelet I made for the first project, where the topic was wearable sculpture:

+ 7 photos of the bracelet on and off the body )

The bracelet is made out of two pieces of 18g nickel that are soldered together at the center. The knot design was created with etching and chasing. Rivets were required for this project, so I attached the flattened piece of wire using two of them. The entire piece was soaked in nickel oxidizer to turn it black, and then buffed in certain areas with steel wool to bring back the silver and give it an antiqued look. I was inspired by late Medieval-era jewelry as well as nature – particularly the ivy that grew all over the parking structure near a beautiful garden and woods I walked through everyday on the way to class. I got a lot of criticism for not having the knot design stand out, but I wanted the sculptural piece on the end to be the focal point. Some also said that it looked unfinished because mine was one of the few that didn’t have nickel, brass, and copper all slapped together in some kind of steampunk clusterfuck. God forbid I make something subtle and actually wearable! :p I’m getting really sick of these people in art school who seem to make art for other artists instead of things that everyday people can also appreciate and understand.

I also made a little soldered nickel and brass box that looks like a treasure chest and holds a seashell, but the lid got all botched up because my teacher made a mistake when telling me how to construct it. The pieces didn’t fit together, so they couldn’t be soldered, and I ran out of time when I started to drill holes for the rivets. I had to super-glue it the night before the critique just to hold it together! I also accidentally superglued my hands (and my mother’s table) in the process, and the only way to remove it was with sandpaper, which wasn’t fun. The piece ended up unfinished, though the teacher only took 10% off my grade for it and I still got a B+ in the class! :D I’m just happy I passed because I don’t like 3D art much at all. I only have one more 3D studio to take, which will be ceramics this fall. Hopefully that will be easier, since I’ve worked with clay in the past. I simply didn’t have enough upper body strength to control some of the tools and machines we worked with, which led to craftsmanship problems. It’s good to fail once in a while, though, because it keeps you humble. I can still use the box without the lid, since that turned out well and has a wood grain etching on it that gives it some character.



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