Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Experimentalizing

Hi! Hi, everyone! Guest blogger Dr. Frankenstein here. Along with my trusty lab assistant Igor.

Say “hi”, Igor.

What? No, they can’t understand you when you’ve got a mouth full of dead rat. Quit playing with that thing and get over here. We are guest blogging for Silver Parrot today and you need to be on your best behavior.

Speaking of which, don’t worry about KJ. She’s going to get better and be back soon.

And if not, I’m sure I can always come up with something here in the lab to re-animate…er…get her back on her feet again.

So, now, where was I? Let’s see, greetings, Igor, dead rat, re-animation…ah yes! Here we go. The subject of today’s post is experimentation. And who better to talk to you about experiments that I, the great Dr. Frankenstein?

I know, right? So, let's get to it.

Here in the lab, we do a lot of experimenting.

No, Igor, they don’t want to see our work in progress. No, I said! Wait – don’t pull that sheet off! And definitely don’t flip that switch…

Umm…’scuse me for a sec. Be right back.

Crash! Bang!

THUD!!

Whew! That was close…er…I mean let’s get back to our subject, shall we? I’m afraid Igor won’t be with us any more, but I’m sure we can proceed anyway. Good lab assistants are so hard to find, you know.

So, KJ asked me to explain about her recent experiments with metal and a hammer and a wonderful solution made of sulfurized livers.

(Just on a side note – I wish she’d come to me sooner. I could have offered her quite a deal on the livers. I’ve got tons of them just lying around waiting to be used).

Following project instructions from an article by Gaea Cannaday in a recent issue of “Step by Step Wire Jewelry”, KJ used 20 gauge copper wire to create large wrapped loop links and then she hammered texture into them using a ball peen hammer.

Hammers are ever so useful, aren’t they? Why, you can put up pictures or Halloween decorations with them or even use them to get rid of annoying lab assistants.

But I digress…

After hammering the links and connecting them together, it was time to patina the metal.

Using both sterling silver and copper wire, KJ created a few test subject clasps.

Test subjects – always a good idea, however, not always easy to find willing ones. Unwilling ones can often be had quite cheaply by bribing prison guards or, in a pinch, digging up graves.

Just a suggestion.

Here’s a picture of the initial results:


This picture shows the original wire color of the copper, the patinated sterling silver wire clasp and two copper versions – one left in the solution much longer than the other.


And a close-up of one of the copper clasps.

And here’s the finished necklace.




The patination of the copper resulted in a rich red finish with hints of blue, purple and green.




A polishing cloth was selectively applied to add shine and highlights in a few areas.




Another close-up look at the patinated metal links.




And one more look showing the texturization of the links by using the hammer.




The clasp was given the same hammering and patination treatment as the rest of the necklace.





A final look at the entire piece.

KJ wishes me to impart several of the lessons she learned as part of this experiment:

1. Don't be afraid of the wire...after all, you can always hammer it into submission (much like lab assistants)

2. Plan your experiment carefully and make sure you have ALL of your supplies on hand before you start.

Oh, you know, that is just so true. I can't tell you the number of times I've started to work on something only to realize I'm missing a femur or a big toe or something. How many trips to the graveyard can one man be expected to make in a night, I ask you? It's not like it's Home Depot or anything!

Oops...didn't mean to make this all about me. It's just that, the mad scientist business is not what it used to be, you know.

3. It is not necessary to make an entire VAT of sulfurized liver solution. A small amount is all that's needed to do quite a lot of pieces.

Well, that's it from here in the lab. KJ will either be back later or she'll have another guest blogger. I believe she was trying to get in touch with Dracula, but he's nearly impossible to talk to during daylight hours. The Wolfman is always up for anything but there's the whole "hard to type with claws" thing plus someone has to clean all the drool off the keyboard later. Yick!

Happy Halloween, all!

Dr. Frankenstein

P.S. This post on metal experimentation should be followed by a further post sometime in the next week or so on Lorelei's blog about her adventures in metal. Tag, Lorelei! You're it!

8 comments:

TesoriTrovati said...

hiLARious!
Dr Frankenstein was a delight to hear from, although we all wish KJ good health soon (or the good doctor might get some ideas!).
She hit the nail on the head (pun intended) with the LOS. Great tips! I plan to buy some of that gel LOS from Fundametals soon. Good for spot patinas and tight spaces. Best tip I ever got was to keep the LOS a constant temp...bought a small dip/potpourri sized crock pot to keep it in all the time. Just keep adding to it as needed to keep the color a very dark yellow.
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Lorelei said...

Well! Your necklace turned out beautifully! I am afraid my post won't be so witty. Maybe Dr. Frankenstein can help me out too with my experimentalizing. lol
thanks KJ for such an entertaining and educational post!

SueBeads said...

Nice job!

Kristen said...

What a great post! Excellent job on the wire, love how the necklace turned out! :)

SummersStudio said...

Dr Frankenstein, please do not alter our KJ too much. We really quite like her the way she is. Your experiments, however, are much appreciated. It's very nice work and I love how you've interpreted Gaea's loopy links. Good stuff!

Marie Cramp said...

Fun!! I love how everything turned out, I can not find any Liver of Sulfur out here, not that I have tried that hard. Plus there is no way my hubby would let me use that stuff in the house. Well, maybe next spring ;)

Marie

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

Beautiful necklace and your wire work looks very good. Nice rich patina. Tell Dr. Frank he did a great job!

lunedreams said...

I love this necklace! Love your color choices--I have a terrible time with choosing stones to go with copper; but you nailed it! Love the yellow/citrine colors. And I love the huge links/eye pins you did--I've never thought of that. I've wanted to use something like that but thought I would have to just make huge oval jump rings (I don't solder so I had shelved that idea)--never occurred to me to just make huge eye pins! It's so nice to have clever people to copy. ha. I like the way you hammered the wrap on your clasp too. (Incense is a great way to get rid of the LOS stink!)