Tag Archives: catalin

Inspiration…

15 Aug

Apple Juice

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

These were my first vintage plastic purchase.

These little vintage catalin/Bakelite cabs are why I stopped beading and started hammering and melting.

I bought these, early last year, from a seller on eBay… The purchase was the ultimate decadence to me then. And I had plans . I was going to set the little cabs in silver bezels that I had found when experimenting with PMC3/Metal Clay…Easy enough.
When they arrived I found that vintage catalin/Bakelite is not a precisely calibrated material. Each piece was just different enough that the die formed bezels, that came with my little PMC starter kit, were of absolutely no use.
So I put them aside.
I melted my first PMC piece. Purely by accident. I was captivated by the mirror shimmy that the liquid silver danced under the flame of my little butane kitchen torch.
I had some wire, so I melted that too. I must have melted a hundred little balls on my soldering block. My husband sat with me and watched while I teased the metal into perfect little orbs and tiny kisses on the ends of wire.
A brief search of the online card catalog for our county revealed a few books on the topics of silversmithing and metalsmithing. Some of them were fairly new, most of them were long out of print and some even rare. I had my husband borrow one for me and I read. I didn’t understand a word of McCreight’s Complete Metalsmith so I found a book by Jinks McGrath that offered a nice cross-section of information- it assumed little-to-no knowledge of metalwork and tools and provided many photographs.
And then I got to work making bezels, and I haven’t stopped since….

Advertisements

Scottie…

15 Apr

Scottie…

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Finally finished this piece….

This spirited little guy took awhile- I made the setting (which was a bit more challenging than simple round settings, I admit) and then let him run about my computer for a bit (he has been resting against the screen)… Finally, eureka!

Vintage bakelite/catalin in a sterling silver setting (bezel and solid backing)….

Two types of chain (one for the collar, one for the leash/chain for your neck)….

Every few pieces I wind up with one that I don’t finish and share right away…. Usually, to someone else’s eye, the piece appears done and usually just needs some sort of length of chain to finish it….But not for me. When pieces are truly complete I get this amazing feeling inside- this sparkle… I feel like I’m sitting on one of those carnival attractions- where the person (or teacher-sometimes they are rented to schools) is sitting above a vat of water and the participants throw baseballs at a target-when they hit it just right the person plunges into the water….But in my version the water is a slightly cool temperature, and it’s seltzer water.

That’s how I feel when I piece is reaching completion and then ready to really share with the world.

There’s a little nervous anticipation, a little bit of a panic, and I feel so joyful- like I’m surrounded by millions of tiny little bubbles and laughter.

Ok. Now I sound a little more nuts than usual.

But that really is the only way I can describe it….

Hugs all around,

B

I heart Fridays.

21 Mar

Heart (and soul)Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBekI heart Fridays. No schedules(to a degree). No drop off at school, no trips to doctors (usually…I do have one doc who only sees patients on Fridays, at least at the location closest to us)….Boy and I spend a few precious minutes as partners in mischief… Working on some project ideas to do with him but I’m nowhere near the point where we can just hunker down and do them… Soon though. Very soon.

Finally…

1 Oct

Midcentury. Earrings

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

I’ve had these buttons forever. I’ve also had these fabulous steel retainer rings for awhile now and the two finally wound up on one of my many work surfaces (I’m a sprawler) this past weekend and EUREKA!

I’ve made many, many, many earrings. I think these are my favorite as I think I worked the buttons at least a dozen times into various designs but they didn’t feel right. Finally they just fit. With another component (the rings) I have been obsessing over but not finding a unique place where they felt right. The rings have probably spent at least 50 hours in my tumbler over the course of the summer just getting a bit more worn and developing a lovely dark patina…

____

I’m still a bit uneasy and off this Monday morning… Seems the universe could use a trip to the chiropractor…Things are just crooked and off-kilter. I think it’s adjusting to the empty space in our family. I also think part of it is a huge transition into being a gwown-up that J and I have avoided for a long time…

I think a ton of it is that I’ve been given my wings, and I need to jump, but part of me wants to procrastinate. Part of me is so excited I don’t know where to jump first.

*hugs*

%d bloggers like this: