Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Up to date

 The studio is now up and running!  In this post I will be talking about the first few projects to get turned out, what I am working on currently and some new pictures of the studio. Let’s start with the studio pic's and move on from there. 
Looking in through the door. 
Different angle (still through the door). 
Here is the sheet rolling mill, magnetic tumbler, ultrasonic cleaner, vulcanizer and clothes iron. The vulcanizer is only open in this picture because I was getting ready to use it; not to make a mold but I'll get into what I'm using it for later in the post.  
The propane and oxygen tank strapped down and hooked up.  
I love these tools... Draw plates for different wire types and tubing as well as a small anvil collection. 

The soldering, casting and annealing area. Off to the right you can see the crock pot full of pickle.  
Bless this mess. (Where the magic happens... well not all the magic) 

Kiln on its stand, wire drawing bench, tool chest and tanks.  
So this is what happened to the first wire I made in the studio. An oldie but a goodie, I've been playing around with the "Egyptian spiral" and having a lot of fun.  
Some new "Monetary Bondage" pieces this is 1 of 3 "Twelve Cent Pieces?", Starting to play around with some old school money, shells and beads soon to come I am also looking forward to getting my hands on some cool feathers and we shall see where that goes.  
I'm not sure which side to consider the front and which side the back so here is the reveres.  
Here is the grouping of all three pieces; each piece has an "Indian Head Penny" from 1900, a "Lincoln Wheat Penny" from 1956 and a silver dime from 1957. The pieces are made from a brass plate, copper bezel for the key hole limpet (shell), and silver prongs to hold the coins.  
Another addition to "Monetary Bondage" I call this one "One Troy Ounce" 

Brass plate, 1986 Liberty Mint 1oz coin, gold keum-boo, copper bezel, copper tube rivets (bifurcated on one side) and flattened silver wire 

This is the best picture I have managed to get of this piece so far and it really isn't a very good picture at all but oh well. It's been really tough to get the color of the silver and the stone, and not have weird reflections going on. 
I like this picture even less but it shows the lay of the necklace quite well. So this is me having fun with my home made wire and some agate. I really enjoyed making this piece and plan to make more of them just need to get my hands on some more agate.  

This is the current stuff I'm working on, trying to make more bills for "Monetary Bondage". The image transfer onto the metal is always a bit touchy and tricky so I am constantly trying to find new ways to get consistent results. Usually I go low tech with the clothes iron but I find it's hard to get enough heat from the iron when doing these larger pieces so I'm starting to use the vulcanizer and iron to get the results I want.    
Here is an action shot of everything getting a last wipe down with alcohol so everything is nice and clean. 
Here is the toner image face down and taped to the metal. This is another little annoyance, the paper the print shop uses here is different than what I am use to and doesn't work as well so more trial and error going on right now to figure out what works.  
Here I am using the vulcanizer, the first few tests didn't work out to good but I'm getting there.  
Low tech for the small pieces still works just fine and will work for the bills but I really want to figure out how to have it come out perfect every time which has not been easy so far.   
After the image is transferred the paper has to be dissolved off the back. Many people use "PNP paper" for this process but I have never had luck with that stuff and glossy paper is much more affordable and will give the same results, just requires a bit of practice and patience.   
A little further along. 
And here we are ready to etch. Which brings me to another pseudo problem, I haven't been able to figure out where to get ferric chloride in Costa Rica so I have had to try and find other ways to etch my copper; for now I am playing around with muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Its been working ok but I haven’t gotten the deep etch I desire yet so more trial and error till I find what works well for me.  
Results may vary on the left is a good example of clean it off and try again. On the right just a few little touch ups and into the acid it will go. Looks like its more tests for me to figure out which paper will work best and how to get the transfer 100% every time. So this is where I am at for now more to come soon... 

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