Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Metal Collage

When I first started working with the pewter and didn't know a lot about it, I wanted to combine components together to create a sort of metal collage, similar to designs I had been making in polymer clay.

I found that it didn't work as well as I originally thought. The pieces were sort of heavy, and combining pieces wasn't so successful. It was hard to get the pieces thin enough after casting, and the combined units didn't work well together.

So I shelved that idea for the time, and kept doing R&D on how to use the pewter, the temperatures, finishing methods and all that, to get better with using the metal.

Last weekend I had a sort of brainstorm. It came because I have a beautiful french medal medallion that I wanted to reproduce. But there are many undercuts in the design - those are areas where the underneath is lower than the top and it would be difficult to mold and to cast - and so I couldn't do the casting in one piece.

I started playing with armatures, using wire and pieces of copper, to see what I could come up with. This is often how I make many messes and break many things. But I always learn something.

Finally, I decided to try creating two pieces separately, finishing and grinding both of them, then mounting one on the other instead of trying to cast all as one piece.

This is the prototype, the first one I tried as a test of the theory. I think it's very workable. It resembles a collage type design I tried to make a while back. It's lightweight and very detailed, both pieces. The key sits astride the shield medallion, but they're one unit.

Now I'll make a cast of the two parts of the french antique medal and try to reproduce the same setup. I'm a lot more confident about making that work this time.

Kind of fun. Always thinking about things, I have a little notebook I carry around, and I make shortcut notes to myself of things to try out. This came from one of those pages.

I never know if anyone else is interested in this trial-and-error process I go through, but I thought I'd share, just in case you have had a similar breakthrough sometime - Right?


TesoriTrovati said...

Lynn, I think it is fascinating to read of the process. It gives me perspective on all that goes into it and I really appreciate it so much more. I think that it is important to keep evolving and trying new things. You never know where that next aha moment will come! Thanks for sharing your insight and inspiration. It is always so fun to come and see what you are up to! Enjoy the day! Erin

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Erin, thanks for letting me know it's not too boring, just because I think it's facinating doesn't always translate to anyone else, I know.

SummersStudio said...

Lynn, I love process! I know in my own work that if I didn't push the envelope once in a while it would just be stale and boring. It's always wonderful to hear about your 'voyage of discovery.'

missficklemedia.com said...

This is a beautiful piece!
So many trials and errors end with something brilliant, it IS fascinating to read of someone elses!