Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Enough is Enough

I believe I mentioned that one of my challenges with these new techniques has been to learn when to STOP piling on the various treatments.  Not everything needs...EVERYTHING.  So, I thought I'd share some of my boo boos as a learning experience and for fun :-)


This was actually more a case of equipment failure and my stubborness and not being willing to stop and acknowledge that and wait to fix it before moving on.  As you can see on the red/copper butterfly, the top left hole is perfect.  This was done with the screw punch before it broke.  The top right hole is where it broke and I tried to salvage the situation and was not totally successful.  To be fair, the screw broke off IN the hole, flush with the edges and acted like a plug and I thought there was no way I'd be able to get it out, but after some poking and prodding, it came out - it just did damage on the way.  The blue butterfly is where I tried to take over doing holes using the Dremel...without practicing on any test pieces first or allowing for the metal to heat up while being drilled such that I couldn't hold it in place with my fingers (which I shouldn't have been doing anyway for safety's sake).  So, I ended up with wonky holes.

Because of the wonky holes, these became my test pieces for trying out the addition of mica pigments to the finishing process of torched pieces.  I used some copper, crimson and interference red on the top butterfly and I used interference blue and a color called "sparkle brass" on the bottom butterfly.  I liked the addition of the subtle shimmer and it helped punch up some of the torched color - especially in areas where I had sanded/polished away a little too much.

This was a case of not testing out a color scheme first and then overworking the surface in an attempt to fix the blech color.  These were coated with gesso and then I applied alcohol inks.  The top area was supposed to be a lighter purple and then a deep teal along the edges.  I accidentally painted the purple down too far so when I applied the teal over it...it just turned darker purple...no teal.  I tried to work with the blending solution that comes with the inks to lighten things up or blend better and discovered that when you use too much of that, it starts to soften up the gesso layer which then mixes in with your alcohol inks and you end up with the more the consistency of acrylic paint and the color turns chalky from the white gesso.  Then I thought I could fix it by sanding off the high areas which worked on some spots, but created a weird, smeary mess in others. 

Trying to cover the mess with gold Rub 'N Buff didn't help either, but I did take a picture in the sunlight to try to show how the gold areas sparkle so nicely LOL!
Okay, I'm STARTING to get the hang of things.  The holes are drilled perfectly - I just need to get my reamer and do some slight filing to make sure they aren't rough.  Gesso base/alcohol inks went well although I'm not 100% into the color combination, but I was trying to go for something outside my blue/green/teal/purple safe zone.  Sanding to expose the gold raised areas went well.  The only thing that was a bit of a boo boo here was the application of the Rub 'N Buff.  It got a little more distributed around than I really wanted and covered up some of the color instead of just staying on the raised areas.  I probably should have just skipped this step and left them as they were and just put sealer on.

These are better.  I did a little more sanding on the top pair than I really wanted to, but I think they are still usable.  The bottom pair I left alone.  Both have been sealed with Renaissance wax. 

I finally got it right with this pair.  Prepped with gesso, applied alcohol inks, used the blender solution sparingly and then I dry brushed just a TOUCH of the metallic gold ink in a couple of spots.

These components were pre-drilled so I didn't have to mess with that part, either.  Just sealed this with the wax to preserve the color and they are good to go.

Now, I just need to develop more color combos that look as good as this one LOL!  I can't make EVERYTHING teal/green/blue.  Well, I could...but that would get kind of monotonous after a while even for me.

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