Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The rest of the dichrophane saga

OK, so it's not "tomorrow" in terms of the last post. Things take more time now. And we're at the other end of the resin-setting spectrum, when it's so chilly in my workshop that I have a really long working time with the mixed resin...and a really long period of waiting for it to set up. A nice incandescent lamp over the stuff would speed the process; maybe I'll set one up before the cold weather ends. Anyway, I've been fooling with that polymer-clay-and-dichrophane piece. First thing needed, obviously, was to tone down that brilliant background. The bezel had a watery feel to it, so I poured a thin layer of lightly tinted blue-green resin.

A lot better than the initial look, but it still wasn't as dark as I wanted it. So when that had set up, I added a tiny silver fish and covered it with seriously dark blue resin.I wanted the value to shade from light at the top to very dark at the back, so while this was curing I deliberately didn't lay it quite flat. Two little pieces of paper towel lifted the top just enough to encourage a glacial drain towards the bottom. I think the cold weather and long setting time helped here; in summer I might use just one piece of paper towel. Or one piece of copy paper. A little unevenness goes a long way!

I'm happy with the colors now, so in a few days...when that pour was finally set up....I added the swan charm and covered everything with clear resin. The clay bezel is resin-coated too, to protect the layers of paint and patina and dye that I used to get the color I wanted.

Does this last photo look just slightly better than the first two? I finally broke down and bought a tiny little light box. I've spent several days fooling with lights and angles and have finally decided that there's no way I can get the Great Big Photo Flood Lights that I bought for photographing quilts to play nicely with the light box, not when it wants to sit on the work table and the floodlights want to stand on the floor. It's just too darn hard to get the lights at the angle I need. This is the last photo I snapped before dismantling the whole apparatus,and it's not as bad as the others; all my test pictures were of more difficult pieces that came out either all shiny and glaring, or sunk in deep shadow, or half of one and half of the other. So I've ordered a couple of tabletop photo lights, and we will try again after they arrive...which should be just after Three Kings Day.

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