Oscarcrow's Page on FaceBook

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What to do with broken doll heads? A creative solution.

As you know I buy large quantities of doll parts that are damaged. Sometimes I get a face that is broken diagonally like this one. It is always a challenge to find something good is hiding in a piece like this. I actually was thinking of some other design and handling this like a touchstone or talisman. It worked its way around my hand and ended on top of my ring finger.

You can see it is deep and thin and probably would not make a great ring top.

But add a little two part silicone mold compound and we have a perfect mold to cast a solid replacement. I choose to use ice resin with an addition of titanium white paint and PearlX macropearl

Here is the second head with the white Ice resin on the top and a second layer in a slightly different color.. I poured the first layer and let it cure then positioned a ring shank in the mold and poured the second layer.

Here you can see the first head with a silver plate floral ring http://www.bsueboutiques.com/item/Floral-Ring-5276 embedded in the second layer. This makes it a permanent part and no connectors are needed. This also reduces the height so it seems to fit closely on the finger. I made this one to fit a left hand with the face looking up at you but you could do it for either hand or make it straight on. If the object you would like to use is not broken...just make your mold at an angle by inserting the head into the mold compound at an angle...or tilt the full mold to one side when you fill it with resin.

The edges are a little rough and need to be sanded down so they are comfortable. An emery board works well for this.

Before and after...a little paint was used. Matte Neo opaque white first then Pearl White Lumiere for the hair...looks like a pale platinum blond. You could color the face and hair to be whatever you like best. Acrylics like the neo opaque have little body and go on smooth with a soft brush. I used a stiffer bristle brush to give some dimension to the paint.

Another view with the shank showing.
This is a little garden sprite made from a broken doll and wings from a dead cicada. Yes I pulled the wings off a bug! He was already dead so no guilt...Next time I will talk about the adhesive choice and show the piece complete...its still a work in progress at this point.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wire Heart-wrought iron style in copper

 I was at a cemetery recently and was fascinated by the wrought iron gates. The patterns reminded me of a heart and when I opened my wire box today I saw some square copper wire in two different sizes,10 gauge and 12 gauge. I also picked out some square silver filled and gold filled in smaller sizes. Using the pliers shown her I put some spirals on the ends after annealing the copper which is quite stiff.
The large size copper bent more smoothly than the silver and gold filled.

I textured the wire with hammers and then flattened it and ground some surface texture in with a diamond wheel.

Here the textures are easier to see. I textured the edge of the smaller 12 gauge and the face of the larger 10 gauge.

Next the wire pieces were sprayed with a patina generating solution and left to change. Then some 22 gauge wire in half round half hard gold filled was used to bind the upper sections together.

 The bottom was bound as well with the half round wire.
Using ring bending pliers a large jump ring is made from 12 gauge wire after annealing.

 Holding the jump ring in a ring clamp makes filing the ends of the ring a snap. This is a must have tool for working with rings and wire.
And here is the final result with a rollo chain in brass ox from www.bsueboutiques.com
The heart will be listed at my shop www.oscarcrow.etsy.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Heart Necklace finished and a wire necklace with Raku

As I was trying to find time to finish this necklace...life reared its busy head and kept my creativity worn out. Last week we moved one daughter back to school. Out of one apartment into storage then into another apartment all in another city. Then this week cataract surgery for my wife....all the trips to doctors,clinics,surgery and recovery...all I had to do was sit and read a book...but it wears. I took my sketch pad and drew designs for the necklace. The first attempt had a screw eye on the lower lobe of the heart. This was hanging on a rack where one of my three cats could swipe a paw and knock the heart off the screw eye. So I took some 16 ga silver filled wire and rolled up a simple bail and epoxied it in place.

To keep the mixed color/metal look going but in check I added some large rings in copper and bronze. Some double link copper chain and a toggle completed this piece.
I had originally though I would make a silver link necklace for the heart, but it became too busy for the design of the heart. I kept the side pieces and added a beautiful raku orb from my friend www.wondrousstrange.etsy.com and this is the result. 

A few silver components and a new piece was born. Its all headed to my shop on etsy. www.oscarcrow.etsy.com
Please come take a look at all the new items. Over a thousand doll parts are being shipped from Germany...I cant wait to share. The postman left the first box a few minutes ago...legs..how about next time we make a simple necklace with a leg and see where it goes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A wooden heart

I have tried several times to make a wood heart and each time I have gotten this far I got distracted and made something else. This time the end has been visualized and the techniques were well practiced. I have been wood working for 35 years or more so making a wood heart shape and carving round edges was easy. Anyone with a coping saw and a block of any wood can do it. Trace the shape from a cutout or pattern or even a cookie cutter.I rounded over the edges with a belt sander and smoothed the face of the wood to 320 grit with a series of sandpaper sheets.
All of you I think are familiar with Guilders Paste from www.bsueboutiques.com . I applied some Pinotage then rubbed it in, applied Aztec Gold , then Silver, and rubbed it in and applied some more...well you get the idea. The holes were drilled after that through some metal I chose to apply over the wood.

In this case I took some scrap from a folded piece of aluminum and beat it to fit around the base of the heart.

 Then a piece of beaten copper was drilled and tucked in next to the aluminum and the wood was drilled through the metal.
Bronze rivets were glued into the holes with E-6000 and a screw eye put into one lobe of the heart.

To finish off the piece I found a silverware plated bird at my favorite seller www.bsueboutiques.com and glued it down with E-6000. A forged wire bail was formed from 16 gauge sterling wire . Next time I will show  how to make a necklace to match and finish this up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Follow up on wire ring.

I love wire! Sometimes I even take it out of the package to play with it. Truthfully it intimidated me at first. Then I got smarter and bought a DVD from wire sculpture.com and learned a great deal about what is possible with wire. I suggest you go to their site and look for the beginners series of DVDs. They cover tools,materials and have wonderful projects you can make in little time. Start with craft wire or copper or brass and practice. That's the key...follow the directions on the DVDs and make the rings or bracelets or stone settings in inexpensive materials a few times. Then buy some good wire and make a real fine piece.

These are the kind of labels you will encounter in wire...lets take one and dissect the secret codes..14G RD DS ARG looks like the secret squirrel code to open a walnut. but it really says the wire is 14 gauge round dead soft argentium silver. This is a tarnish free silver wire in a fairly large size. OK lets take another 22GHR HH GF its 22 gauge half round half hard gold filled. Its fine flat on one side and great for wrapping shanks made of square wire to both hold the shape and make it look nice. The Egyptian jewelers of old used this type of wire in the rings they made for the pharaohs.

The bottom one is 18G SQ DS GF  18 gauge square dead soft gold filled.  The main thing to remember is the hardness,dead soft,half hard and full hard; each has a use...for intricately bent pieces use DS for shanks and prongs and general wrapping HH and for pins and very strong items full hard or spring hard. The sizes are obvious and if using beads match the size of the wire to the hole in the bead. The use determines what shape is best..round for casual,half round in small sizes for wrapping,in big sizes for shanks,and square for formal applications where multiple wires need to lie against each other.

 Here are three wire wrapped rings from yesterdays work. on the left is a casual nest ring with a square stone  and to the right yesterdays offering and in the middle a more refined square wire version.
I made the wire ring in yesterdays post starting with a design from Wire-Sculpture .com. This is one of my favorite places to get wire,gemstones and findings in silver,gold filled and now silver filled. That's right silver filled wire. Its silver coating is hundreds of times thicker than plated wire and just like gold filled it can be worked in lots of designs. I just ordered 10 feet in 16ga round to begin with. Try wire wrapping, its easy and when done just right deserves to take its place along side cast and constructed works. Its the historical base for most gold work.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Simple wire wrapped ring...5 minutes to make.

Start with about 18 inches of your favorite wire. I am using 16 gauge copper rose gold colored craft wire from http://www.wire-sculpture.com/16-gauge-silver-plated-copper-craft-wire . This seems half hard...I will use dead soft on my next one. Wrap it around your ring mandrel a little smaller than your desired final size leaving equal amounts on each end. Grip the wire close to the mandrel and bend up at a right angle on each side.

If you measure the distance between the holes in your focal...in this case a raku button by www.wondrousstrange.etsy.com and wrap your wire to match the approximate width the button  will slide directly onto the band and rest properly. 

Make a bend at equal distances above the surface of the focal and cut the wire with your side cutters.

Then curl up the wire into a fern frond like spiral. Since I used 16 ga half hard wire this was a bit tough and the marks from the pliers show.

When you curl the second piece..other patterns are ok..make it your way; make sure the spiral goes in the opposite direction.

Then carefully flatten the coils to the surface. This is where I discovered why dead soft wire would be best. A better spiral or other pattern could be made with soft wire.
All that's left to do is wear it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Finishing the bail and a wooden ring

Here is the fairy flower focal with a piece of nice chain I would like to use. When making a bail this is the first choice that should be made.The size of the chain shall indicate how big the opening in the bail should be. To do it by finding a chain that fits the bail after its done may limit your design choices.

I used some 14k gold filled wire about 16 ga round half hard to make the bail. Using the rod from my jump ring tool, I made 5 coils about 2 mm bigger than the chain.

The chain slides through with ease and doesn't bind up.

To attach the bail I bent the petal forward and inserted the wires through, trimming to a short length and bending them at a sharp right angle to hold the bail firmly.

Folded against the filigree and nearly invisible, the wires are secure.

And when you turn the pendant around the bail is secure and hidden from view. The flower seems to float in front of the chain. Next I will use Renaissance wax to seal the copper , add a closure to the chain and send it to Etsy. Hopefully it will find a home.

This is another on going series of rings...houses. This is made from Cordia wood from Mexico and Andaman Island Padauk for the roof.Next time we will return to the doll box and search for the right foot for a necklace(or will it be a left foot?). See you then.