Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why CAN'T I be the Kumkwat Haagendasz?

I've had the materials for the Precious Metal Clay for almost a week without touching them. I got quite clear that I was acting crazy: as long as you don't _start_ a new craft, you have infinite potential.

And silver clay is made of _silver_. It costs money to play with, and once it's fired that's it (although apparently you can sell it to Rio Grande as scrap silver). Before it's fired it's recyclable as clay, just smash and mix with water. And you save and reuse your filings, which is amusing.

I finally (after a nice nap) opened the packages. Asterix was fascinated. Dave Barry has some nice remarks in his book on DIY about the Time-Life Series of DIY books about the man kneeling next to a pipe with a wrench in his hand, smiling slightly, and how Dave Barry had knelt there with a wrench _for hours_ and nothing happened. They sent me a lovely DVD with tranquil music about making little silver leaves out of real ones. I went out into the garden and picked tiny leaves. First I rehydrated the bottle of slip. I removed Asterix from the work area. I laid out the non-stick work surface,and I removed Asterix from the work area. I put a thin coating of slip on the leaves, which tried to shed the water-base. I repainted them, and I removed Asterix from the work area. I got a slightly thicker coat of slip onto the leaves, removed Asterix from the work area, fed Asterix, took the afghan off the couch and put it on the far end of the dining table. Asterix lay down on the sheet of parchment paper I was using as an adjunct work area (you can't use tin foil and I didn't want to try Saran Wrap. Parchment paper is not a good substitute for Teflon; it soaks up water and wrinkles. Next time, polypropylene).

I became emotionally involved with the violet leaf and and after about five thin coats it cracked the whole way through. Would it help to press the leaf and coat it on the other side with spray varnish? The tiny Lady's Mantle leaf and the dandelion are still holding up.

I also started a flat pin sort of thing that looks like a really bright 10 year-old made it (apologies to the real 10 year-olds who might well do better). It has a folky charm but I wanted Stark Beauty. I want to be Hadar Jacobson, is that asking so much? She can't have been doing this medium for more than about ten years, tops.

ON the plus side, I am now so old and so drugged, I mean successfully and appropriately medicated, that I stopped before I became discouraged and ate dinner. I find myself thinking, "You know, it took a while to learn to spin. Or knit, and you're pretty competent now."

Nothing is ready to fire, but next time I won't have to put off starting to try it till so late in the day.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Next time, give Asterix a shot at it. The hints were broadly and boldly given.

Yes on the learning curve. New neural pathways take time.