Friday, October 26, 2007

Printmaking: first two assignments

Here are my first two assignments from printmaking: one linoleum print and one wood cut. Both of these pictures are of my proofs (my Professor still has my editions), so the finals look a little more polished, a little more saturated.

The black/white print is the woodcut. It was my first assignment, and it was required that it was a self-portrait. I like it. It was not really so easy to make, the wood was difficult to carve... but I'm happy with the product.

And the linoleum print is of lightening strikes... I was a lot more concerned with playing with color than carving in this one, although I will say that the linoleum was much easier to carve than the wood. I like this print less... although I had more fun making this one than I did the woodcut.

Overall, though, I have to say that I'm really enjoying the class... good times.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Weirdest Thing

Okay, so at the moment, I'm (re)reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Love it! But that's not the weird part...

First, a digression: there is a movie based on this book aptly titled Ella Enchanted starring Anne Hathaway. AND, there's a part in the movie where Anne Hathaway sings "Somebody to Love."

All right, the digression is over. NOW, for some reason, because I'm reading the book, I can't seem to get that song out of my head, which is strange because besides having the title, the basic premise, and the character names in common, the book and the movie are not very similar.

I must confess that although I like the book better, I do like both the book and the movie. But it doesn't matter that the two are so different, I just can't stop hearing the song. When I wake up in the morning, I sing it to myself; on my way to class, while I'm working, while I'm reading, while I'm getting ready for bed, while I'm falling asleep, I hum it to myself. I just keep hearing it.

Is that crazy or what? I swear, living in my head is the weirdest thing sometimes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Casting: lost-wax rings

Alrighty kids, here are the rings that I made in my jewelry casting class from a technique called lost-wax casting. Meaning this: I first carved these rings out of wax, exact in every detail. Then, said rings were invested in a metal flask... the rings were attached to a flask using wax wire, then I mixed casting investment (special kind of plaster) and poured it into the flask around the ring. Oh, and I should mention that a casting flask is not like a whiskey flask... a casting flask is basically a hollow tube of steel.

So, the rings were invested... THEN, you put the flask into a kiln over night... the kiln goes up to 900* for about six hours... then up to 1200* for another 6 hours or so. During this time, the wax melts out of the flask leaving a ring-shaped impression in the now hardened investment. The flask must be cast while it is still hot... so, using tongs, the flask is taken from the kiln and put directly into a centerfuge where the metal is melted and cast.

Viola! Rings! Okay, not exactly... there's still filing and polishing involved. But that is the process in a nutshell.

The first ring was just kind of a swirly type ring with open spaces... I just kind of just playing/experimenting with that one. But the second ring... I'm very pleased with the second ring. I call it my "Prayer Ring." The outside is my version of a feather, a Native American symbol for prayers and wishes; also, one would make offers of feathers (and food and beads, etc) to the spirits to help these wishes come true. AND on the inside of the band, I carved more symbols... Things that I want for myself. I'm going to wear this second ring as much as I can.

Overall, this is definitely a process that I would turn to again.