Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fine Lines

As promised here are some photos of the finished Keraflex jewellery pieces. As I expected its been a steep learning curve with a fair amount of problem solving on the way, mostly because the pieces are so thin I felt they needed some kind of backing to add strength. In the end I used some clear flexible acrylic which doesn't add any weight and is comfortable next to the skin.
The origami pieces are just a bit of fun at the moment, it would be good to make them into jewellery too but I don't think they're quite strong enough to wear, and I have to work out how to place holes for findings without them filling with glaze.
The Jewellery will be on display at Urban Cow Gallery in their Mini Showcase Cabinet from 1st March 2011 for a month

Monday, February 14, 2011

Porcelain Origami

I have been making some work for a small exhibition at Urban Cow Gallery, each month they feature a different artist in their jewelery cabinet and I'm in there during March. This particular show is a bit different for me, mainly because I'm not a jeweler. However I often make ceramic brooches and even pendants sometimes but this opportunity has allowed me to do several of the creative things that I enjoy most...i.e trying a new material, challenging my skills and thinking outside my comfort zone. The material in question is a form of porcelain called Keraflex, it comes in 1.0 and 0.5 mm A4 sheets, yes its superfine and as the name suggests, flexible. I ordered their trial pack and when it arrived by mail my husband couldn't understand why I was excited about my new clay when all I had in my hand was a large envelope, even when I showed him the sheets he gave me a very sceptical look, and suggested that I may have fallen for some kind of scam targeting gullible potters and all I had bought was 4 very expensive sheets of blank paper. Undeterred I set to work on seeing what I could do with this 'paper'. I was quite timid at first and simply cut shapes and layered them but as got used to it and became more confident I found that I could cut fine detail, bend, roll and even fold it, in the end was happily making origami shapes from it.
Here are some images of the unfired work, I did try a few pieces in my last Cone 6 (1220 C) firing and sure enough they fire up into superfine porcelain, however the manufacturers recommend that it be fired to Cone 10 (1300 C) for optimum strength and vitrification, so I've just loaded them into the kiln and am hoping that she doesn't object too much to going to that temperature. I plan to put a clear glaze on some of the pieces to bring out the colours so will refire them to C6.

and of course I'll post some new images when they're done!