Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Technique Re-Visit #2: Tattoos & Other Decorations for Image Transfers

A few posts ago, I shared several photos of pieces made from color image transfers.  The technique is not difficult, and there are several small tutorials and directions online. After some experimenting, I found a method that works for me, and had a lot of fun making several pieces of jewelry.  Some of the images were basically "stand-alone." However, some of my color images were more like backgrounds, so I had to try a couple of ways to embellish them.

So far, I've only done 3 simple "decorating" techniques.  The first decoration I decided to try was to use non-permanent tattoos.  I found some fauna-looking small gold colored tattoos, and placed them on image transfer pieces.  Because the tattoo process requires water, the pieces had to be baked first to avoid damaging the transfer image.  I really like these pieces and the sparkle the tattoos provide.  A Magic Gloss finish added depth and shine.

This third photo (below) shows a set with a steel-blue damask-type image transfer.  Before baking, I used a small stencil and blue Pearl-x powders, and created a simple design on top.  After adding a Magic Gloss finish, the powder design looks as though it is floating above the surface, making a nice 3-D effect.  The photo does not show the amount of shine the powder has.  It's a very nice contrast against the matte transfer background.

For the third decoration, I tried using rubber stamps and stamping ink. The stamps were applied after baking since pressing the stamp into the wet clay would have distorted images.  I tried using colors that complimented the background image.  However, I think these would have looked better using black ink.  The contrast would be greater, and the images would stand out more.  On the green piece, especially, the black shading on the transferred image interferes with the stamped tree image. Next time, I'll give black a try.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Technique Re-Visit #1: Using Leaf Skeletons

Sometimes, when I work on pieces incorporating a technique I've used previously, I try a slightly different twist.  I was working with leaf impressions with Pearl-x powders. I've used a technique from Michael Buesseler in which the powders highlight the outline of the leaves and another approach from Diane Villano in which powders are applied directly to the leaf.  There weren't any leaves to use here, since the ground is covered in snow, so I ordered some dried leaves online. When they arrived, there were some leaf skeletons in the batch.  I decided to see what would happen using these particular leaves.
Because the leaf skeletons have open veins, the other techniques did not create clear impressions.  I tried a couple of different approaches, and found one that worked.  The best effect resulted when I used a small mop brush, with most of the powder tamped off first. Then I dabbed with the brush instead of drawing it across the leaf. This allowed the powder to go into the open spaces and not behind the thin lines of the leaf veins.  The samples here show the results.

I started with the red, heart shaped pieces. This is where I discovered the need to dab rather than wipe with the brush.  The heavy gold along the bottom piece is a result of too much powder on the brush close to the edge of the skeleton leaf.  
The blue and gold pieces above turned out the way I wanted because I used very little powder on the brush and used a direct down and up "dab" motion for application.  Now I just need to find more leaf skeletons. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Little "Somethings" New

Hello and best wishes for a special 2016!
Although I don't tend to get deeply involved in New Year resolutions, I did find myself trying a little something new for me with polymer and some crystal points I've had for a while.  
Each crystal point is encased in a polymer bail.  I've also included a brief description of the meaning of each crystal attached to the necklace chains.  The crystal points above include a clear quartz,  amazonite, citrine,  and milky quartz.

Here are two more little points of carnelian and sodalite.  I think these crystal and polymer pieces should be fun to wear.  The points themselves are really lovely and smooth.  The combination of stone and polymer makes a nice contrast.