Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thoughts to Share

It has been quite a while since my last post and I do apologies for my lack of posting, unfortunately I have been preoccupied with other activities but, I will have a lot of new things to share soon, I promise.
In the mean while I came accross a video the other day of some really great quotes, many of which have inspired me in the past and I figured I would share this video with you.

I hope you find some form of inspiration or insight within these quotes and I promise to be back with more posts soon.
Until Next Time,
Peace and Love 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Last of the First Batch

As promised here is the last crown ring I have made to date. (More to come soon I hope)

"Crown No. 6 " (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina

I feel that this crown has a bit more of an oriental, architectural aesthetic than some of the other crowns I have made.

"Crown No. 6 " (side), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
I am really quite happy that such a wide range of different aesthetics can be achieved even when using the same technique.

"Crown No. 6 " (back), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina

Even though this ring reminds me of a Chinese temple there are, (as always) many little animals I can imagine within the design.

"Crown No. 6 ", Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina

The animals that stand out the most in my mind are frogs and dragons. Maybe you see something completely different though?
I guess that does it for this post. I officially need to make more pieces hopefully I will find the time soon.
I´ll be back with more news and things to share as soon as possible.
Until next time.
Peace and Love

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Covert Crown Post (DON´T TELL)

Hello every one out there. I am blogging from work today.... Shh... I won´t tell if you don´t...
I have managed to squirrel away a little extra time to share this with you very briefly.

"Crown No. 5" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
Here is the newest addition to the collection of "Crown Rings".

"Crown No. 5" (side), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
 As usual I had a great time playing around with my materials and coming up with this design "on the fly".
"Crown No. 5", Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
Although there are several animals I can imagine within this design, the ones that pop out the most to me are cat/s and bear/s. I would love to know what you can see...
I guess that does it for now. I hope you enjoyed this new "Crown Ring" I have one more of these rings to share before I need to make more so I will try to share that one soon.
Until next time.
Peace and Love 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life for Now: Living in the "ART DEPOT"

Life has been a little more hectic than usual.
Besides making "art", finding inspiration, making sure everything is good at home and taking care of business in general, I have been working at the "family buisness" the past few weeks (which is great).

Unfortunately since I now split my time, I haven´t had as much time to work on my art. It´s a little tricky to balance the "real work" and the "art work" especially since the "real work" is selling art supplies to other artists.

It is really difficult to spend the whole day surrounded by wonderful art supplies when you can´t use them! On the bright side I have more inspiration than I know what to do with as a result. Now when I do have time to make art I am so overwhelmed with ideas, techniques and materials I have a difficult time figuring out where to begin and what to focus on.

I have also been very busy helping Kaylee establish her new studio space. Over the weekend we constructed two large 4 foot by 4 foot work tables.

I was also able to take advantage of all our wood working endeavors to begin construction of the wooden crate that will be taking my art work to the Chianciano Biennale in September. For more information on the Biennale please CLICK HERE.

One more weekend of wood working should do it for the few remaining projects we have. Hopefully I will be able to make some new stuff to share with you soon. I still have a few "new" crown rings that I have not posted yet; so if I find some time before the weekend I will try to share them with you as well.
Until next time.
Peace and Love

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sixth Entry: How to Fabricate a Hinge (Creating a Basic Hinge)

Welcome to the sixth entry in this series of articles. In this article, I will be demonstrating how to fabricate a very basic hinge. You will need to know some basic metal working techniques to construct your own hinge. Please feel free to CLICK HERE and read my other articles leading up to this entry in order to gain a better understanding of “how metal works”.
Necessary Materials and Tools:

-Small Paint Brushes/ Tweezers/ Soldering Picks
-Quench/ Pickle Rinse
-Scissors/ Snips
-Soldering/ Annealing Area
-File/ Sandpaper
-Measuring tool (caliper or gauge plate) 
-Compass/ Divider

There are an infinite variety of hinges that we can make. The type of hinge I will be constructing in this article is one of the simplest hinges to make. Although this hinge is quite simple, its concept and design can be easily modified to meet a variety of special needs. In order to build this type of hinge, you will need two telescoping tubes (or a tube with telescoping wire) and some sheet metal.  

Telescoping tubes (one tube fits perfectly inside the other) CLICK HERE to learn how to fabricate your own tubing.

Once you have your materials ready you can begin to decide how big your hinge needs to be. What is it going to be used for, what should it look like and so on? I don´t particularly need a hinge for any specific purpose at the moment. For this reason, I am simply going to construct a basic “blank” hinge to give you the main design and construction ideas. 

As I mentioned before, once our materials are prepared we need to decide on the scale/ size of our hinge. The hinge I will be making is roughly one inch wide. I start the construction process by cutting two equal sized sheets of brass and a length of tubing (the larger tubing) the same width as the sheets. 

After our pieces are prepared we need to create the “knuckles” of our hinge. The amount of knuckles you wish to use is entirely up to you and can be aesthetic, functional or both. I will be implementing the standard three knuckle approach. Two side knuckles on one side of the hinge and a slightly larger central knuckle on the opposite side.

It is usually advisable to have one side of the hinge contain two side (or end) knuckles as these will provide structure and support throughout the hinge. When making a three knuckle hinge, it is also common to make the central knuckle slightly larger than the sides, as this will provide additional strength and support to the side of the hinge with only one connection. If you are making a hinge with many knuckles it may be desirable to have all of the knuckles be equal in size.

NOTE/TIP: The divider/compass is my favorite tool for making sure my knuckles are the same size. 

Now that we have our knuckles made (and our metal is clean), we can lay the pieces out on our soldering station. Very carefully position the knuckles along the edge of the sheet so that once they are soldered into place, the two halves of the hinge will fit snuggly together.

NOTE: The knuckles of my hinge do not rest perfectly balanced on the edge of my sheet. This means that this hinge will rest flat on one side and the tube/knuckles will create a bump on the other side. If you want your hinge to lay flat on both sides (or be symmetrical), you need to use a tube the same thickness as your sheet, or position the knuckles perfectly balanced on the edge of the sheet.  

Once everything is properly set up to your satisfaction, solder the knuckles into place; after soldering, pickle and rinse your newly soldered piece. Now examine the pieces to make sure everything is properly connected and fits together well.  

Take the tube or wire that telescopes with the soldered knuckles and pass it through the knuckles to test your hinge. If your hinge does not come together correctly or does not articulate well, it may be necessary to file the pieces to a proper fit; or in difficult cases re-soldering may be required. 

Once you are satisfied with the function of your hinge you can prepare to join the two halves with the telescoping tube or wire. To join the two halves, cut a length of the smaller/ telescoping tubing (or wire) which will be used to connect the two halves together. Make sure the length is slightly larger than the width of the hinge. Typically the left over length should be around a millimeter or so, on each side. 

Once you have a tube (or wire) that is the right size for your hinge, we can place it into position. Notice that the inner tube is slightly longer than the width of the hinge (also note that it has the same amount of excess material on the other side.

After the telescoping tube (now a “pin”/rivet) is in place we can finish joining the hinge. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are infinite ways to construct a hinge and there are an equal amount of ways in which the “pin” can be placed.

NOTE: In this particular example I am using a tube/ rivet as the pin in the hinge. I am also choosing to set the pin as a rivet but this is not the only option. The pin could also be soldered into place or melted at the ends, just to give a few examples.

To set the pin as a rivet, lightly hammer the extra material on the top of the pin. Be sure to do this slowly and carefully as to not deform your rivet head. Also make sure to hammer both sides of the pin equally as you want both sides to be riveted (closed) as to prevent the pin from slipping out of the knuckles.

After both sides of the pin have been riveted (or “shut” somehow) your hinge is ready to go. 

Test the articulation of your hinge to make sure it has the appropriate movement now that the pin has been shut. It may be helpful to add a drop of oil to the knuckles to lubricate the hinge.

Since I am not sure what this hinge will be used for I am going to stop here.

Whenever I do find a use for this hinge I might decide to carve it, shape it, form it or decorate it in a specific way. The hinge can also be perforated and punched so that it may be attached to another object like a wooden chest for example.

And there you have it a very basic hinge ready to be used in whatever way you can imagine.  

As always I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful. And I hope you come back to visit and learn more in the future. You can follow this link to read the next article: "How to Rivet (Basic Rivets and Their Uses)”

Until next time,
Peace and Love

Daniel Icaza 13/7/2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Head Décor for your Finger

Thankfully it has been a productive weekend and I have managed to make a few new "Crown Rings".
I have also started this months article for the "How Metal Works" section of this blog. This month I will be demonstrating how to construct a very basic hinge. The article should be posted on the 15th of this month (July 2011) so come back then if you want to read it.
In the mean time, here is the newest "Crown" I have made...

"Crown No. 4  (skull)" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
As always I had a lot of fun creating this ring and its design.

"Crown No. 4  (skull)" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina

Since the designs are never planed out ahead of time I am always excited to see what the final design might remind me of.

"Crown No. 4  (skull)" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina

In this case, Kaylee mentioned that it looked like a skull and I tend to agree with her.

"Crown No. 4  (skull)" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
Although I also see lots of birds, snakes and other animals in this ring, I will go ahead and stick with the "skull" nick-name as I feel this ring does have a bit of a "dark" and "ominous" aesthetic.
Well that is all I have for now but I plan to be back with a few more rings soon.
Until next time,
Peace and Love 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Owl Crown

I apologize for the lack of posts recently but I have been busy with other duties lately and have not had as much time to dedicate to this blog and making art in general. Thankfully I have been able to produce one new piece and now have a bit of time to share it with you. 

"Crown No. 3 (Owl)" (front), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina  
This is the newest addition to my "Crown" series.  I am really happy with the way this ring turned out. The big swirls in front remind me of a pair of giant owl eyes. 

"Crown No. 3 (Owl)" (model), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
 I never design these rings before making them, I simply sit down and let the wire/s create the designs for me. 
"Crown No. 3 (Owl)" (back), Daniel Icaza, 2011, Sterling Silver, Patina
Since the design process for these rings is very serendipitous, I am always anxious to see what, if anything the design might remind me of. 
I hope to be back soon with more happenings and I plan to get a lot done over the next few days, so I should have a lot of different and interesting things to share.
Until Next time,
Peace and Love

The "Zero/None" is Done!

The conclusion to the Monetary Bondage/ Exchanghibition Bank colaboration has just been posted to the Art As Money blog. CLICK HERE to read the article and view more images of the final piece. 

"Zero" (Money), Daniel Icaza & Dadara, 2011, Fine Silver, Filigree, Exchanghibition Zero Bank Note
I'll be back with a real post soon I promise, until next time.
Peace and Love