Thursday, February 25, 2010

felt things

Here are photos of the two brooches I entered in 500 Felt Objects. I figured I should put them on my blog cause they aren't likely to make it into the book.

Both of these are made from 1/4" thick industrial felt, anodized aluminum, and sterling.

I dyed the felt on this piece with fast blue anodizing dye. The aluminum is also fast blue. I did another version of this piece with a sort of brown/black piece of felt and orange aluminum, but I didn't like it and took it apart.

I dyed the felt on this piece black using Rit dye. The aluminum flowers are all slightly different shades of fast blue. I scraped the felt with a scribe to make it all fuzzy.

I didn't take many pictures while I was making these pieces because I was finishing them the day before the deadline for the book. One of the things I like about things like entering competitions and books and things is it give me a deadline for pieces I might otherwise drag out.

I really only took photos of the flowers I was carving for the black piece. I like how they turned out and I will probably make more of them for something else in the future.

I carved them primarily with burs, then used rubber wheels to smooth them. Carving the front went pretty quickly. The back side took much longer only because they were so difficult to hold on to. Next time I will have to come up with a better way to hold them than just trying to hold them in my fingers.

After anodizing, still attached to the wires used for anodizing:


I like the look of the felt, but I don't really like working with it. It's too soft, and it doesn't have the feeling of durability that metal does. Metal will last a long long time. Materials like felt don't feel that way. Why would I want to spend much time making something that isn't going to last? But I'll probably make some more pieces involving felt and aluminum. I have some ideas, I just need to work out the details.

Monday, February 15, 2010

triangular earrings

I finally finished those triangular earrings I was talking about in a post last month. I put them in my Etsy shop the other day along with my 1 yen bracelet.

I had finished these not long after I wrote about them last month, but some how one of them got scratched, so I had to remove the anodizing to re-anodize them. After I removed the anodizing I got distracted by something else and they sat on my bench till a few days ago when I re-anodized them. I redid both of them because it is difficult to match the color if they are not anodized at the same time.

I have a couple more pairs of earrings that are almost done that I will put on Etsy later this week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There was an earthquake here in Illinois a few days ago. It shook the house for a few seconds. There were two earthquakes while I lived in California, and this felt the same, so the first thing I thought was that it was an earthquake, but then I thought no, there's no earthquakes in Illinois. Apparently this is the 3rd one since 1999. It's the first one I have been aware of.

Progress Tool has closed down. That sucks. But I rarely ordered from them and I only went there once or twice when I lived in California.

Thursday I dropped off three pieces at the Lill Street Art Center in Chicago for the CMAG members exhibition. The exhibition opens February 19th at Lill Street and is up till March 13th.

The exhibition is not juried and is open to all CMAG members so I am really curious about what the overall quality will be. I would really prefer it be a juried exhibition. I'm probably not going to go see it. I hate driving up that direction.

This year's CMAG swap meet is March 6th at The Art Center Highland Park. I haven't decided if I will participate or not. Last year I sold a lot of tools I don't use anymore, but I don't know if I have enough stuff to make it worthwhile this year.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

1 yen bracelet

It's been a while since I last posted. I have been working, I just haven't been in the mood to write about it.

Somehow I have managed to sprain 3 fingers and a thumb in my martial arts class. The fingers are not sprained bad and I usually don't even notice it, but my thumb hurts to grip things in a certain way. It's not preventing me from doing anything, it's just annoying.

I finished a bracelet last night. Its made of anodized Japanese 1 yen coins linked together with sterling silver. The coins are aluminum, so I am able to anodize them.

I had the idea for this in Nov 2008, but never got around to doing anything more than putting a few coins together. I was using green, but green is not the most consistent color, and when I anodized some more coins recently they didn't match the ones I did in 2008. So I decided to use red. I thought it would be more appropriate since they are Japanese coins and there is a red circle on the Japanese flag. Right now 1 yen is worth a little more than a penny, so making mistakes doesn't really cost anything.

The coins for the bracelet have holes drilled in them. But I also anodized a bunch of coins without any holes. I took those with me to Japan last year to try to get them into circulation. I put most of them in the donation boxes at shrines and temples.