Thursday, March 27, 2008

Casting Round One!

Day One of Casting!

Molten Momma Amy and Meticulous Metalsmith Taylor
are first up in the flinging of metal this morning.

Enough alliteration?

Our wax models have been burned out.
The flasks and crucible are to temperature.
Metal had been weighed and flux added.
Time to light the torch!!!

There is nothing like the smell of acetylene in the morning.

This is the metal in the crucible.
The crucible is pointed toward the flask.
The flask contains a hollowed model inside investment.
Investment being a fancy-pants word for plaster.

And now: Fire.

Erinn is kindly stirring my molten metal with a carbon stick.

The hand switch in progress:
Swapping the torch to my right hand to lower the lid of the casting machine with my left.

The lid being lowered engages the machine.
Cheers to centrifugal force for whipping my metal around and into my mold's vacancy.

Quenching the flask after the machine has spun down.

Finally the big reveal as to if you have a metal object d'art or a giant blob o'metal.

Darth Erinn is calmly applying heat to her crucible.
Erinn had much success in not casting blobs of metal.

Sherri has no comment.

Two of Megan's successfully cast spheres.
Two of Sherri's blobs. I mean two of Taylor's blobs.

Wax Studies: Proof Before Casting

Wax Studies: 6 and 7

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resin Casting

I cast my teeth in resin over spring break.
Here's a play by play on the process.

Check the objects you are
casting to make sure they fit first.

Make sure your resin is warm but not hot.

This is epoxy resin. Please note it smells like death.
Be sure to ventilate.
I would have done this outside
but it has to be 75 to 85 degrees to cast.

I suggest having gloves,
a respirator,
a syringe to poke bubbles,
a plastic measuring cup that you don't want to see again
and disposable plastic containers.

My mom said the only way she was going to wear teeth
was if they were diamonds.
I added a little bling to one just for her.

Mix the resin according to the instructions.
Be very clear as to how much time you have to mix and pour.
Use a needle or syringe if your sister is a clepto-nurse
to poke any bubbles.

While casting, use your spare time to boil teeth.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

She's Crafty

For those of us that enjoy fiber art check this out:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ralph's Dental Hygiene

I checked my deer teeth today.
Everything is going well.

<- I've named him Ralph.

Clorox is my new best friend.
Ralph doesn't reek quite so much and my teeth are fairly clean.

I've decided to give polident a shot and see if I can get a nice, white gleam on my teeth.

Apparently deer and cattle are not big on dental care.

I'll get back to you on the results once I have invested in more latex gloves.

Note: super cool hat - check


Monday, March 10, 2008

How To Get Dead Animal Teeth part 2

Got Teeth?
Ok, so for those of you who have a burning desire to have teeth but can't find a deer cranium floating around, I have an answer.
Call a butcher.
The really creepy ones will give you bits of cattle.
Now, here is an obligatory warning that:

No really: These images are all different kinds of disgusting so if you're the queasy type I would motivate onto one of those sunshine and flower blogs.

So when you go to a butcher (namely Larry in this instance, Thanks Lar!) you can request that they save you a few this and thats. Now, they did charge me ten bucks to remove the jaws. Worth every penny if you ask me; I don't particularly want to see what the rest of the cow looked like. I wasn't exactly expecting it to be so fresh mind you but ol' lar delivered the goods.

My box o' jaws.
I felt like I was smuggling diamonds myself seeing as how I had to walk by the very popular restaurant that is affiliated with said butcher carrying an open box of raw teeth.
I bet the cheeseburgers were really good today.

The next step in acquiring bovine teeth?
Select the appropriate tool.
Their gums are like hard rubber so I had to whip out the trusty leatherman. Best tool EVER. You can slice, dice and do your nails.

I strongly advise you wear an ipod and of course a stylish hand-made hat is necessary for all teeth extraction.


Hack at it a while...
Hack some more...
and some more.

Eventually you find out that a cows tooth is
flipping 2 inches friggin' long.

Do NOT try pliers.

I found out quickly they break the teeth.

Do NOT splatter blood on your face.

Cows have bizarre spiky skin on the inside of their mouths.
Interesting texture.
That's all I will say about that for your benefit.

For the exceptionally long tooth I suggest sliding the knife
down the tooth to dislodge it from the gums.
That or buy a mechanical saw.
Then rock the tooth back and forth.
I found bovine teeth have single roots so they're not as delicate as deer teeth.

This is truly where the ipod is handy.

The wiggle method:

When deer teeth won't cut it and that stingy tooth fairy won't cough any up for you, drive on down to the local eatery and have at some raw cow-flesh.
You will not only have some delightful teeth but a feeling a pride that you manually removed the teeth and managed not to toss your cookies. Hopefully.

Friday, March 7, 2008

How To Get Dead Animal Teeth

How to Get Dead Animal Teeth:
step by step instructions for
the girl who wants teeth but
can't seem to convince a dentist
to give up the goods.
Silly government regulations...

I'm pretty certain I could corner the market here with dead animal teeth but I am a giving sort and thus willingly giving info on how to get your very own corpse with dental accoutrements.

Step One: Find a friend of a friend that has a dead animal carcass.

Step Two: Tear apart said carcass until you have skull bits

Step Three: Recruit strong-stomached friend to help extract teeth

Note: I find snips to work best.

Start at the gum line and snip the bone around the tooth.

Otherwise you will end up breaking the roots!

You so totally cannot have that.

Step Four: You may also want to remove all
brain matter and dried tissue. It kinda smells.
It's a smell that lingers and it's not in any way delightful.
That's all I will say about that.

Step Five: Wear an ipod. Bone cracking noises haunt my dreams.

Hopefully, you will get intact teeth
and still have a lovely skull left over.

Good Luck! More to follow on teeth and
proper handling!

Where am I going with this?

So, I've decided to search for teeth to make jewelry with. How I've come to this is more than a little bizarre and far-fetched but that is justifiable considering my random methods at brainstorming. I was basically driving down the road the other day thinking about what I was going to create for my Blood Diamond/Casting project. A 2 hour commute is always a refreshing way to start the day. Nothing like a little road rage to get your blood pumping for creative thoughts. I was thinking about how I was more engaged with the concepts I'd come up with about dehumanization, death tolls and unsympathetic reaction to death relative to involvement. I passed a rather rank road-kill and began to question why no one is bothered by the corpse and who removes them? What do they do with them? Teeth seemed aggressive and personal. I wanted, no strike that, needed teeth. I feel like they get across my point of this conflict being so personal to the individuals involved and completely ignored by those who weren't. Also, I wanted to see how many people would wear dead animal teeth. There is that.

Wax Studies : Proof b4 melting!

Here are my first four wax studies to be cast!
Look at those beautiful sprues. ooh ahh.

Out of Order is coming up!

The Maryland Art Place or MAP's Out of Order Exhibit is coming up. I do this show every year and it is really fun and a great place to network with local artists.

Hanging Dates/Times: 24 Straight Hours (That’s right—24 hours nonstop!)
Beginning 9am Wednesday, April 9th, ending 9am Thursday, April 10th

Silent Auction and Gala: 8 pm-1 am, Friday, April 11, 2008


I finished reading the entire IDEO book during my hour wait between classes. I had a hard time putting it down after the first few chapters. I can see why it was suggested we read about successful brainstorming and prototyping since we will be using these skills in class. I have never been to a brainstorming session before and expected that this way just a nice way of saying critique. I was a little surprised when classmates actually came up with ideas and helped you think a concept through. It was all so helpful..and weird. Not your typical bash-fest of a crit. I like that IDEO fully operates with this kind of brainstorming and open ideology that a group can do what one might not be able to.
I also think the descriptions of new technology that they came up with was also one of the reasons I just couldn't put it down. From gearing to a specific audience to engineering a lighter or faster product, I found it fascinating listening to their logic and seeing how the final products came out.
I found it interesting too that they condone stalking people, ok not really, but they suggest watching people use the item you're designing. I never really thought of that, to me it may be a pendent but does that mean everyone knows that from looking at it? So, IDEO says: spy on
I can almost envision the inside of IDEO, it is probably a lot like Apple was when I worked there. Laid back and ready to go...I often wore my pj pants to work but at any point you would see me doing 5 things at one and asking the cubicle across the room about how to start a WDS network if they have a third party router. It was awesome and makes me wish all of corporate America would stop being so damn uptight. They might get things done, and well, they might even be innovative and functional.


It has taken me long time to try and come up with a way to define my creative process.
I still don't know that I have one, process seems too rational and organized a word for me. Generally when I am trying to come up with an idea I start shredding innocent magazines and cut them to bits. I google images and then proceed to shred those.
Doodles line the margins of whatever I may be working on and I start listing ideas and concepts I want to look up.
Thats when I start sketching. I am not going to lie to you, I work in just about every medium out there but I don't feel like drawing is one of my strong points. Most of the time I work in 3d and I never feel like you read what I am trying to accomplish through my sketches, that of course leads to when my real creativity begins.
I start to make the object...
generally destroy it at least twice, I've been know to burn through, blow up and melt. opps.
But then I know not to do that again and I usually change my methods at least twice again.
Then I'll see something and totally redesign the whole thing because I saw a squirrel last Tuesday run off with an acorn...
That's how I work, scary but true.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Project Runway Finale!!!

Woo! Princess Puffy Sleeve WINS!

I am so happy, I even teared up with him.
Not really.
Although I am thrilled that the best
designer won. FIERCE!
His collection was amazing.
Through out the show his textures and designs were impeccable. From soft buttery leather, flouncy organza to sexy feathers Christian rocked it.

Project Runway

I'm just going to skip the whole fiasco with the WWE wrestlers design challenge. Frankly I think they all looked like hookers, alas even poor Christian's design made the girl look like see was turning tricks down on Broadway and 29th.
Moving along to the Metropolitan Museum of Art...totally logical jump of course.
The designers had to create a look inspired by a piece in the gallery's given. The galleries included Greek and Roman sculpture, European Paintings or an Egyptian Temple. So, this is looking to be good right? Not so much.
Rami's piece looked like it came from Kohls, Sweet P's in no way looked anything like the inspiration piece and Chris' model looked like she was going to tip over on the runway. I guess it goes against the nature of the show for the designers to critique the others work in the shop. I wonder how some of them keep a straight face seeing some of the other work. Jillian managed to make gold lame appealing, a task I wouldn't think possible so cheers for that.
And Christian of course was fierce as usual, chastising Jillian with his unique flair:
" Ew, don't get bitchy.."
It's hard not to when I see Sweet P's garish colors and unflattering lines. Would she actually WEAR that?

Project Runway

Project Runway is addictive. Really, I meant it. I can't help but watch to see the latest fabulousness and disaster!
Next in the line of fire: Weightloss Challenge!
So each designer was given a person who had lost weight and their old clothes to redesign. Of course, Christian pulled off a fierce outfit that was totally wearable and I completely coveted. Steve, however, made a maid uniform. It was laughable.
I loved that Ricky took the initiative to put on his models clothes to check the fit. Work it!
I did get the notion that as an artist there is a certain level of color sense that is required to create beautiful art. Several of the designers seem to lack this sense of color, or perhaps sense of imminent failure. Generally, when you make crap you should be able to recognize it as crap and modify. Unfortunately for them that didn't happen.

This could be my favorite episode purely for the best Tim Gun quote ever:
"I've made more bad decisions at 3 o'clock in the morning than I can list."
So true Tim, so true.

and not to omit my favorite designers little witticisms:
" the judges might die over it, ot they might die because of it." -Christian

Project Runway

Ok, so I decided I would continue watching the PR to see if it got any better...and then came the retro-look challenge. A group project where the designers had to take three outdated looks and make three pieces that didn't look terrible. Two words: Shoulder Pads. I don't think they ever looked good in the first place and I feel for Chris. Steven and Sweet P for having to deal with them. I didn't understand the whole let's watch Kevin flounder routine that Rami and Jillian pulled either. If your team mate needs help why don't you HELP them. I have to admit it was amusing to watch the design "teams" falling apart and it does make for good TV but grow up already.
and of course my Christian quote of the episode:
" all right bitch can you just make a fucking dress!"
-motivational speaking at it's finest!

Project Runway

My first encounter with Project Runway was the men's wear challenge. I couldn't say that i was terribly excited to watch more after seeing this episode. Watching the majority of the designers butcher a suit and then piss-whine over it didn't seem like something I needed to squeeze into my busy schedule. Take for example, Carmen, even if she had used time management better and made a shirt, that blue cloth was umm, not so good. (In saying not so good, I mean garish, unattractive and it didn't fit the rest of her design. The redeeming quality : Christian.
Christian Quote of the episode... " There are so many things that are JACKED UP" So true.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Randy Pausch Quote

I find if I just keep repeating this in my head it makes
me feel quite a bit better about life right now.

" Bricks Walls are there for a reason:
they let us prove how badly we want things"
-Randy Pausch

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Blood Diamonds Outline

1. Mining Process
2. Africa
3. Myanmar'sRubies
4. Political Impact
5. Not Just Diamonds
6. Kimberley Scheme
7. DeBeers
8. Dehumanization
9. Terrorism
10. Mercenaries
11. Smuggling
12. Individuals
13. Death Toll

Saturday, March 1, 2008

ACC artists

These are all images from the ACC Craft Show distributed by various artists that either caught my eye, were exceptionally friendly or had beautifully crafted jewelery.