Thursday, January 20, 2011
Today, I made all of these pieces using the new tool. I know, they look a little like cookies but they are not. They are bronze clay pieces that are tucked away in the kiln right now. It's the new fast fire bronze and I am hoping they will fire fine. I've never used it before and it's a lot different from what I'm used to.
Yes, I know you are impatient. I know you are tired of the suspense of waiting to hear about the new tool. So without further ado, here it is.
Cool, right? All sort of high tech and sci fi looking. It's a UV exposure lamp just like the jobs they use for acrylic finger nails. You are not supposed to look at the light. And I didn't, just my camera was looking. If you did look at the light all sorts of nasty things can happen to your eyes and things will look strange when you look away. But I have no personal experience of blue halos and blurry vision from looking at the light.
It's an off label use for this type of lamp and I'm using it to develop photopolymer plates. I've been wanting to this for a long time. These photopolymer plates were first used in the printing industry and the technology has been picked up by metal clay artists for use in making texture plates and shallow relief molds. I thought it would be way too complicated and expensive for me. But as it turns out it is neither.
Let me show you how it works.
You start with a drawing that you make into a transparency (top left). Then you make a photo negative from the transparency (top right). There's a special word for this negative but I can't remember what it is. I'm visual you know and words tend to slip out of my head pretty quickly. This all gets developed in the ubeaut new tool. Then you use the negative to develop the photopolymer plate (bottom). There are some scrubbing steps in here too. But you get the idea. Tonya Davidson made a video of the process for Whole Lotta Whimsey. You can see that here and it's a lot more iteresting than me describing it to you. This is just the nutshell version.
Oh and guess what? You can even get everything you need at Whole Lotta Whimsey. Or you can build your own equipment. But I am an instant gratification kinda girl and didn't want to fiddle around with that. But if you did want to do that, you can find some information here at Silver Clay art in an article written by Maggie Bergman.
Here's a close up of my new key design. Look at that fine detail. I am in looooove! I may also be in love with the new fast fire bronze clay. But we've only had our first date and I think it's way too early to declare undying love after the first date.
And, hey, if none this works out in the long run, I think I will open a small, exclusive nail salon. You've seen my hands and nails. I'd be good at this.