Saturday, November 17, 2012

New adventures

This year is one of renewal and discoveries. As you probably know I love metal and glass. I have tried various techniques already, but I kept trying to learn more metal smithing techniques like: soldering, etching, bezel making (soldering, really), precious metal clay and the likes.

I probably read more about metal smithing and glass making than about anything else before (I am the empirical trying person: I get a feeling of how things are done by doing them), just before it was impossible for me to get the toolbox needed for all these and just try them. And I couldn't find a place to try otherwise (not that I didn't try, I did: classes have been cancelled twice this year!)... until I finally got in contact with the lady who was supposed to teach the metal smithing techniques at Burlington Art Centre. And  I finally found out her studio is about 10 minutes away from my house... and she teaches there too!!

I went for the first time about a month ago and I have never been happier! I got my first lesson is soldering - just enough to allow me to understand what it involves and to realize I can do it at home, by myself! I got lessons in other techniques too, and I keep learning. The best part? I validated what I subconsciously knew for a long time: metal *is* my thing. Nothing, absolutely nothing so far makes me happier than having a piece of metal or wire in my hands and tinkering along. Sometimes I get the results I want, sometimes I don't, but with everything metal-related I keep trying (which doesn't happen often). I see possibilities, I see beauty even in the ugly ducklings, and I keep trying.

Point in case: etching. I did etching about 25 years ago, one summer, with a couple of friends: we made bracelets from brass sheets, we would 'paint' them with tar, drop them in acid, clean them, form them and... sell :) They were both university students and selling to the girls at university. I do remember a summer of fun, complete fun (which is rare, especially for that summer - when all my friends were away and I was stuck in our small town doing pretty much nothing).

Fast forward 25 years, a cold and ugly fall (really ugly this year): I got my tools from a trip to Lacy's in Toronto, I got my metal sheets and acid from a trip to Sayal's at home (a store for electronic supplies :)) and I got some brass blanks from the CBC de-stash events. All set - ready - Go!

Etching adventures in brass :: All Pretty Things

Don't you love them? And look at the transformation:

First, 'bathing' in acid:

Etching adventures in brass: Step #1 - acid bath :: All Pretty Things

Rough out of the bath:

Etching adventures in brass: Step #2 - first clean-up:: All Pretty Things

They are ugly ducklings, aren't they?

Etching adventures in brass: Step #2 - first clean-up:: All Pretty Things

But you must be able to see the beauty that's hiding inside (cleaned and waiting for the patina):

Etching adventures in brass: Step #3 - cleaned and ready for patina :: All Pretty Things

With patina, and glazed (now we're talking some):

Etching adventures in brass: Step #4 - patina-ed & glazed :: All Pretty Things

As a pair of earrings (I found the perfect matching lampwork!)

Terpsichore: brass, sterling silver, lampwork, etching, OOAK earrings :: All Pretty Things

 Now you can see the swan!

A few more samples:

* a beautiful turquoise butterfly:

Aponi: brass, sterling silver earwires, etching, OOAK earrings :: All Pretty Things

* Noel in gold (it is gold, I just can't convince my camera to show it! it insists on this strange green)

Noel: brass, sterling silver, Swarovski crystal, etching, OOAK earrings :: All Pretty Things

* a pair of leaves with carnelian (they are beautiful in real life and I need to figure how to take nice pictures of them - today!)

Sylvana: brass, sterling silver, copper, carnelian, etching, OOAK earrings :: All Pretty Things

So there you have it, my first adventure in etching :) I have more to show you - maybe next week, etching and not only. Some I love, some I just like (and some I threw in the garbage :)). But overall I am happy that I am trying and loving the techniques :)

What have you been trying new lately?


  1. SWOON! you have a calling here my friend! These are absolutely stunning, gorgeous, yummy! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! keep going!

  2. So beautiful! I mean, really really beautiful! We want to see more :-D

  3. Thank you, Cynthia & Christine! Your words means the world to me in this moment: I do value your opinion and to see someone else liking my results means **a lot** to me!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


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