Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dichrophane and resin and polymer clay, oh my!

So....this summer I finally overcame my fear of two-part epoxy resin,thanks to Carmi Cimicata's wonderful blog Resin Crafts and all the juicy, sparkling things she makes.

For a while I went through the stage of putting anything stable and shallow enough into a bezel,containing it in resin,and usually dropping in some glitter or pearls or AB crystals,and that was very satisfying. Then it got to be mid-July. In Texas.

Two-part resin likes two things. It likes to be stirred for 5 minutes to get the resin and the hardener well and truly mixed. And it likes a nice warm room to help it set up faster. Well, by midsummer the my studio was so warm that my resin was trying to set solid while I was still mixing it. O kay. I can take a hint. God doesn't like people trying to mix resin in the height of the summer. So I put the equipment and supplies away and decided this would be a good time to organize the studio,throw out dried-up glue and paint and moldy sponges and alien life forms trying to crawl out of the bucket of soda solution I was saving in case I suddenly needed to dye anything.

It was a slow process,even with my Organizer daughter's help; we spent a lot of time languidly reclining with our Diet Cokes and discussing the utter discomfort of being in the last month of pregnancy during the hottest month of the year.But we got it done. And two days after that,she produced the First Grandkid. And two days after that,I got out of bed and screamed in surprise at the lightning bolt of pain running down from my left hip.

Everybody's body starts falling apart eventually,and the details are not really interesting to others,so I'll try to keep it short.After rounds of appointments with orthopedists,spine doctors, X rays,an acupuncturist,and pain management specialists,the consensus of opinion is that my lower vertebrae are crumbling like a Roman ruin, whenever I move they pinch a nerve,there's no obvious surgical fix,and how about some nice hydrocodone to help with the pain?

I loathe taking opiates;they make me slow and stupid. I'll take one at night,because I'm not planning to use my brain anyway,and Steve was finding it disconcerting to have me move in my sleep and wake up screaming.And I'll take half of one in the morning to help get through the morning stiffness.

The rest of the day I chew rusty nails and grind the enamel off my teeth.

So what does this have to do with ART? Well...just that my life has grown smaller all of a sudden.Working through pain,whether it's Art or merely laundry,is surprisingly tiring.I've shaved my housework to the minimum,and I find myself attracted to small,quick projects that don't require much stretching and bending.Alors,back to the resin pendants.Except now I want more space for my mini-compositions,and more depth so I can create,well,a sense of depth.A study of supplies online convinced me that I'd either have to do some serious metalsmithing or pay through the nose for pendant trays that were not even what I really wanted.

Enter polymer clay.I'm not sure how this will work out in the long run,but I've produced several pendant trays that aren't half bad.The example at the top is textured black clay brushed with Pearl-Ex,with a square of dichrophane pressed into the back layer.It's too much; it's too glitzy; I need to tone it down some so that the mesage of the piece won't be,"Hey,Ma! I got me a big new sparkly thing to wear with my pole-dancing outfit!"

Solutions, possibilities. I'll try something today (if I wake up in time)and report on the results.

1 comment:

  1. I am SO sorry to hear about your health issues! I hope you're able to investigate some other alternatives for care and pain! I'm sure they're out there!!! But I am glad you are looking into an alternative 'art' form. Your talent will keep you & us! (yes, I'm selfish!) motivated!! Happy Holidays!

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