The Green Fairy necklace is almost done. I just need a few more little things, the green ribbon and a good clasp. I also need to varnish the pieces, the oil paints look good, but they’re rubbing off. The varnish should fix that.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Next part of this, I wanted to give it a bit more of color, so I took some smaller wings that have a silver color and stuck them to the back of the larger wings which gave it a very nice dual coloring and a more 3D look. Still need to think how to work with it more, but we’ll see what I come up with.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Just started on a new piece, while I wait for the filigree to dry, which will take a bloody week. This is another idea I got from one of my books. This piece is a pocket watch interior with a set of wings and a few other things. Not fully sure on how it’ll look, but I can say it was a huge bother getting the wings attached. On the first try I soldered the wings on the back, which was a huge bother. Need to get some better flux, no question. The next try is going to be drilling holes and wireing it in. It’ll be easier, but might not look as good. Anywho, off to work again.
Just got some new chains, but they’re very very shiny, not quite what I wanted. So I had some Liver of Sulfur, and decided to finally use it. Had to clean it up with some ammonia and soap. If you try to put a patina over it without cleaning it, it’ll won’t darken on the parts you touched.
I put a few pieces in, the copper wire I’ve been using and the chain, the chain actually darkened up very nicely, but the wire didn’t. I think the wire had some kinda polish overlay, so the patina didn’t effect it. The cut off edges were darkened, but the body was not. Now just need to do the rest of the chain and wait for the bloody other pieces to arrive.
Doing some painting work today, then some more work on my first finished piece. I’m painting some Filigree to give it a nice shade. How I do it, which is probably not the best way, is to take some oil paint, smear a bit onto a paper towel, rub it around there, and then rub it on the metal. The smearing nature of the oils lets it give a very nice hue, and it turns out great.
The downside, however, is that it takes forever to dry, as I may have mentioned before. I should get some acrylics, see how those work out for me…can’t wait a week for this stuff to dry…
Monday, July 25, 2011
Damn! Had some slight problems with the vials. First, one of them apparently had a hole in the bottom, and the resin leaked out. Problem two is that the others, for some reason, have little bubbles all floating inside of it. The first one I did was fine on that front, maybe I didn’t let the resin sit enough or something…But it still looks pretty good. Also, I got another order in, tiny little shields with a fleur-de-leis on it, so that may turn out well for something. Now just have to wait for the wings to arrive and get some acrylic paint. The oils look great on the metal, but it’s STILL not dry. I don’t know if it’ll ever dry, so we’ll see how the other paint looks.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I filled the tiny little bottles I had with resin now, which was a bit of a tricky thing. The thing with resin is that you have to make enough of it or the chemical reaction could end up wonky, either not set up or sticky or something. So it’s always a good idea to do a lot of resin stuff at once, mix up batch and then separate it out if you want to do different colors or anything.
This is the bottle I got, I thought the handles might look good when the interior is filled with green, and we’ll see how that works. Now, first, after you mix the resin, give a bit of dye. I use oil paint, but you can use whatever works for you. Next is the hard part, actually getting the resin inside the bottle. My method was to take a toothpick, which I use normally to mix the resin and paints. You dip the toothpick inside the resin and smear it around the inside of the neck of the bottle. This’ll let the resin flow downwards and not get caught up in the neck. Just go really really slow and do a drop at a time. It’ll take a while, but you’ll get it.
Once you’ve got one filled, take a disposable cup filled with something like salt or sand, and stick it inside. This’ll keep it upright. After that, just wait for it to dry and glue the caps on. Next up, the wings, if they ever bloody come. The problem about buying stuff from China is that, while it is a tenth of the cost if you buy it here is that it takes forever to get here.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Today I’m gonna start work on the Green Fairy necklace. Absinthe is a Victorian drink, a bit of a underground one, mainly used by artists and whatnot, heh, or so the mythology goes. One of it’s nicknames is “The Green Fairy” so I’m gonna be making a necklace with some of that inspiration, and a few ideas I got from one of my Steampunk jewelry books.
First step was to have a filigree backing, and stain it with a green patina. I did this by using green oil paint, getting it in a paper towel, smearing it together and then rubbing the filigree on that. It gave it a great light tone, not overstated, and it looked metallic. Only problem is that oil paint takes weeks to dry, and green is one of the longer ones. So that’s a downside…
Second step was to make the bottles. I’m doing that now, I just got some tiny glass bottles in the mail, and going to fill those up. I’m not sure with what though…Either resin or water with green food coloring. The resin would be more sturdy and less likely to break, but with the water it would look more dynamic. If I was feeling really adventurous, I could even get some real Absinthe and pour that in there, but something tells me the color won’t be that good. Anywho, I’ll keep you posted on the results!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Well, trying to get the charms finished well, I decided to go with the glue and the plastic wrap. It worked…ok. Some of them are sealed well, but others not really. Tomorrow I’ll see how it turns out. Worst case, I can pop out the resin and try it again. I’ve mixed oil paints in with the resin which gives it a nice shade and coloring, just a tiny little bit gives it a great tone. I need a more consistent way to get this stuff sealed well though…One idea I had was to get a large sheet of poorly mixed resin which will give it more flexibility. We’ll see how things work. Tune in tomorrow!
Now I need to get these wire loops I made into the copper pipe I cut. I drilled two small holes in opposite sides to fit the wire and I’m gonna put the wire through the hole and solder around it. First the tools that I use. I have a mini BenzOmatic, which is one of the best names for a blowtorch ever. I’ve also got solder, a third hands device and a metal pointer to spread around the solder if it gets out of control. Also, in the background I have Futurama playing, which is completely vital for the proper soldering method. Next up is to place things. I normaly hold the ring and the wire loop in the third hand. Now this’ll be hard to explain since soldering, holding the ring and taking a picture would require four hands, and I’ve only got three.
Anyway, here’s how I do it. First, light up the blowtorch, and gently apply heat to the wire hoop. Touch the solder to the inside of the ring till it starts to melt and let it flow around the wire. It may bead up and not flow down, in that case heat the wire more, that should make it flow down the wire and seal it. You don’t need much, just enough to seal the hole and get some on the curl of wire on the outside. You’ll be sanding down the interitor anyway, so don’t waste the solder. After than, just let it cool, and you’re done! Easy as anything.
Well, resin turned out ok. I had three set up, one with just foil, one with glue and plastic wrap, and one with clear packing tape. The plastic wrap one worked best, no question, it was clear and there was no leaking, so I guess that’s going to be the way to go forward with making lots of em.
In other news, my sister called me up today and asked me to make her tiara for her wedding. Her wedding colors are orange and brown, so copper would fit in well. I’ve got some ideas thanks to Devon (my friend who’s an artist) and hopefully I’ll have some basic designs to show you in a day or so. In the meantime, I’ve got copper pipe to cut and wire to solder into it. Next time, my How-to on soldering.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Well, I got a new drillbit, thought it would make it a lot easier to cut a hole in the copper rings, but nope…gonna have to get a different one which sucks. I have been cuttting the 1 inch copper pieces into bits, which works ok. I get 4 untill the piece gets too small for me to cut em with that hand wheel cutter that I’m using. Now, to mix up some resin and fill a few of them, see how that looks and works with the different backings. Gonna use Aluminum foil and plastic wrap, see which works better.
My latest project is another resin one, with some other clay and paint accents. I got a piece of copper pipe and cut it in a short length, then drilled a hole in the top, putting a coil of copper wire though it. Soldered it in there, and then sanded it smooth.
Then I mixed up a little bit of resin and stirred in a tiny bit of green and blue oil paint. Didn’t mix it as well as I should have so you can still see specks in the resin. Next time, mix it up more. Also, when I poured in the resin, I put some, as the book I was going by said, “Sticky Tape” which always confused me. Is there another kind of non-sticky tape? Maybe slippery tape? Anywho, this did not work as you can see…The tape make the normaly clear resin have a matte finish, which is not quite what I wanted. I’m gonna go out and get some celophane, see if that makes a good seal on the bottom of the ring. Hopefully it will, but dunno, may not be a good enough seal. I’ll only put a tiny amount in, and I’ll wait a while before dripping it in so it gets harder. Also need to make sure to get it totally smooth. We’ll see how it goes.
Some of my first attempts at making things….
I made the two clock piece by layering them with resin and putting the bits on there to make a nice layered effect. I also used copper foil on the back for the small one, and gold leaf for the bigger one. Pained the Scorpio symbol on the back with high gloss enamel paint, turned out very well.
It’s pretty simple for now. Few basic tools, a mini-blowtorch, some plastic shot glasses for mixing up resin, lots of bits in the drawers. Dremel drill, always useful. Also have a pasta machine for rolling out polymer clay and some epoxy. Also goggles, always important, heh for both style and protection! Lastly, a fan facing outwards cause a lot of this stuff will have fumes, always need a well ventilated workspace.
Ahoy all, today I start a new blog, detailing my efforts and struggles to make Steampunk style things. I’ve been interested in it for a while, but only recently have started actually building things with any kind. Eventually I’m hoping to open a Etsy store so you’ll be able to see all the trials and tribulations that involve that as well. A bit of background, I’ve done some electrical work, and have always liked taking things apart, but this is my first attempt at really building and making things for sale. We’ll see how it goes!