Monday, November 14, 2016

Enameling jewelry class

Sunset over the airport

It has been a tough summer for working on jewelry, but we are getting back into the swing with a 7-week class on enameling at the Indianapolis Art Center.

The first thing I learned was I didn't know what enameling was.  I thought it was paint, but it is really finely ground glass "powders".  And you adhere this glass "powder" to metal by heating it with a torch or kiln.

And there are a few safety have to wear a mask and goggles when working with the glass so you don't breathe it in or get in your eyes.  You need to use tongs and large forks and leather gloves when working with the box kiln so you don't get burned in the 1500 degree F. heat. And you have to clean up your work surface of glass particles so the next person doesn't get them in their hands and arms.  Think about the feel of fiberglass insulation on your hands and you get the idea...
Opaque green and yellow enamel earrings with fern design. 

We are working with copper metal and first learned about opaque enamels. Basically you sift the enamel powder on the copper and then fire it in the kiln.

I tried my hand at a pattern by placing a small fern leaf on the metal before I applied the powder.  Ok, I need to work more on this technique!

The next thing we learned about is transparent enamels.  One key difference here is that you add water to the transparent enamel and paint it on the copper.  After firing the piece, you can see a very different type of effect:

Transparent orange and yellow enamel copper disk

Anyway, Mike and I LOVE this class.  It is a very new technique for us, and the creative possibilities are endless.  Here are a couple of pieces Mike is working on:

Opaque guitar and transparent green and orange disk.

Friends Pat and Kay (also a Ronald McDonald House volunteer), Mike and me.
This is also the time of year when various organizations hold their annual dinners.

We attended the Ronald McDonald House Volunteer Appreciation dinner at the Children's Museum.  It was a lovely event where volunteers are recognized for their service to the two Ronald McDonald Houses that serve Riley Children's Hospital.

A special treat for me  was meeting Ronald McDonald!
Woohoo it's Ronald!

Last week we attended the annual Indianapolis Zoo Nussbaum dinner for donors.  It's always interesting to learn what the zoo is up to and about their great conservation efforts.  Plus it's a rare occasion to dress up for a fancy dinner.

Yes those are blue toes and a green foot...

And by now you realize I am a klutz!   On the Saturday before Halloween, we were getting ready for our annual Halloween Party, and I sprained my foot coming down the stairs from the attic.

Yes, this is the same foot with a sprained ankle in August.  I am annoyed and ticked and a few other choice words.  It has been quite swollen and green and blue over the past two weeks. And if I stand or walk much, it hurts!

I have been wearing a boot and started physical therapy last week.  Since it's my right foot, I've had to rely on Mike to drive me places.  I have been hobbling about for two weeks now, and this is getting very you might imagine I'm a terrible patient!

And even though I can't get outside and enjoy the great Fall weather, I have been enjoying watching the beautiful leaves in the yard.
Yellow leaves covering the yard and park bench...

I hope you have a great week and can find time to get outside and enjoy this amazing weather.  And don't forget the "huge" moon this week.  Seems close enough to touch it...