Moxy Metals

Enameled “Ms. Tiff” Pendants
January 5, 2010, 12:30 am
Filed under: Fall 2009 | Tags: , , ,

This fall, our morgan mare Ms. Tiffany died at age 27.  Tiffany had an unfortunate condition common to her breed called cushings, which is a body regulatory disorder that operates sort of like diabetes – in this case it effects the metabolism, temperature regulation and coat growth.  Tiffany has been an important part of my life for some time, so I made 3 enameled pendants as Christmas gifts for the people that were closest to her.  I wanted each pendant to be the same image, but with a different effect that I figured would suit each wearer’s taste.  Each pendant is a 2″ copper disc, which has been etched with an image of Tiffany in profile.  I also etched  a smaller circle around the outside of each disc.  Then, when it came time to enamel, I applied an opaque black enamel to the backs as counter-enamel, and wet packed black enamel into the etched image.  Then I covered the entire face with a transparent enamel, and traced around the image with either a second coating of transparent enamel or an opaque color.  For the green pendant it was transparent in the middle, with a little blue around the outside, the purple is simply a second coating of transparent violet (though it came out more maroon than I had hoped) and the blue is two coats of transparent cobalt.  I wanted to partially obscure the image, but make sure it was still clearly a horse.  In this way it would appear ethereal and ghost like.  I think they do her justice, and the recipients of the gifts really appreciated them.


Spine Study 1
December 16, 2009, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Fall 2009

This pendant is the first in what I hope will be a series of studies of spines and vertebrae.  Inspired by an exhibit on mammals in the Natural History Museum here in NYC, I started thinking about the spine and vertebrae as forms and as links.  We’ll see where it takes me.  This pendant is hand cut, formed, oxidized copper.  It rests on an 18″ sterling ball chain.  It is approximately 1.5″ x 2.25″, with a height from the body of about 1/2″ (as seen in the photo on the right).  I really enjoy the shadow cast by this piece.

Moon Pendant
December 16, 2009, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Fall 2009

This pendant was made using a process called Cuttlefish casting.  That’s where the sort of wavy, pitted texture came from – the natural striation of the bone, along with the cooling process of the metal.  I carved a circular divet into the backbone of a cuttle fish and cast molten silver into it directly by pouring from a crucible.  I include this process in an Organic Sculpture class I teach.  This pendant is a gift from my grandmother, who, in her new apartment this fall discovered that her fine silverware kept diving down the garbage disposal.  This pendant was created by melting down one of her mangled spoons.  I also soldered sterling tubing onto the top, and hung the piece from at 16″ ball chain.  It is a gift to my grandmother in thanks for her metal donation (though I have not yet made anything from my Dad’s gold teeth…).  It is approximately 1/2″ in diameter, and includes sterling and fine silver.

Lilly Pads
December 16, 2009, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Fall 2009

Here is an enameling experiment from this fall.  Eventually, a small glass bead will be linked through the central holes and the piece will be hung from 2 sterling chains.  The challenge, for me, for this piece, was to create droplets and veins on the surface of the enameled lilly pad.  We just got our enameling kiln at 3rd Ward this summer, and slowly but surely, we are becoming friends.  I have since made a second version of this piece to create with transparent enamels,  which has been etched, and includes a sterling lilly cut out – look out for that one to get done sometime in the new year! This piece includes sterling silver, powder enamel, glass rod and glass beads, and is approximately 1″ for the top, .5″ for the bottom.