Monday, August 25, 2008

New Product Announcement!

A few weeks ago, while toiling away on my leather masks, I had a flash of inspiration. I had a sudden vision of a glowing, jewel encrusted wire mask, that would mold to the contours of you face, enhancing not hiding your natural beauty.
It took almost a week to construct the first one, but here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what this new product line is going to look like:

I have a really unique feature that I have never seen done before: instead of wearing this mask with ribbon ties or elastic, it is worn like a pair of glasses, with adjustable arms that hook around your ears. Being tie free, it will not interfere with your hair style or other headdress items.
This mask is woven non-tarnish artistic wire in three different gages and accented with tiny clear irridecent seed beads, fire-polished and swarovski crystals. It is also light as a feather, not feeling much heavier than say, a large pair of sunglasses.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Silicone Rubber Mold Making Tutorial

I am working on a nifty new project that requires me to create something I never have before-icicles.
After doing some research, I decided cast them out of a clear resin epoxy, such as Easy Cast, which was available at my local craft store (Michael's).
I dusted off my mold making knowledge from sculpture class in college and snapped a few pictures along the way so I could share it with you.
This method is for making casts of small items. Bigger objects would require a plaster "jacket" for support when casting!

-The item(s) you are planing to cast.
Silicone Caulk and caulk gun-available at your local hardware store, usually in or near the paint section. Make sure you purchase 100% silicone-not the white latex adhesives, they will not work.
A plastic bucket half filled with warm water
Liquid dish soap
Cooking Spray (Pam)
Saran wrap and masking tape (to protect work surface)
Vapor breath mask


Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a protective mask: the fumes of the silicone are very noxious. Cover a section of your work area with the saran wrap and edge with the masking tape. This is to keep the silicone from sticking to your table.
I made my icicles out of microcrystaline modeling wax, built on 14 gage wire. Make sure your item(s) are clean and dry, then spray a coat of cooking spray. This is a inexpensive but very effective mold release.

Using the Silicone
Pour some liquid dish soap into your bucket or bowl of warm water and swish the soap around to dilute it. You do not want tons of bubbles, you want to make the water feel super slippery.
Cut the tip off your caulk cartridge, puncture the inner seal and load it into the caulk gun according to the manufacturer's instructions. Squeeze a clump of the caulk into the bucket of soapy water. Using your vasaline-coated hands, reach into the bucket, scoop out the silicone and gently squeeze out the excess water.
Place the wad of silicone on your prepped item, smoothing into the cracks and crevices. Repeat until you have well covered your item(s). Check for any holes or gaps that need to be plugged. This will be a reusable mold, so I made made it about a quarter inch thick all over with a little extra on the bottom and sides for strength. I used about 2 1/2 cartridges of silicone for this little project.

The silicone will dry rapidly in the air. I usually let it cure for 24 hours, which also gives a chance for some of the fumes to dissipate. After it is well dried, remove your casted item and wash both with warm soapy water.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Such Goings On

First of all, the FAEteam has a new exhibition going on called Visions of Atlantis. Please stop by and check out all the fabulous watery themed handmade art by the Fantasy Artists of Etsy!

Second, it is time I introduced you to my new baby: my beautiful Sony digital SLR. It was a surprise present from my dad-he thought I needed to take better pictures of my work.
It is a marvelous new toy-I love being able to make minute and huge adjustments on the fly instead of spending a ton of time in Photoshop afterwards. I didn't realized how much I missed the chink-chink of the shutter snapping open and closed. It brings back nostalgic memories of photography classes in college, a slightly happier but no less stressful time.

And lastly, I finally finished the new leather masks I have been working on for the past month. Note to self, keep the mask runs to 10 at a time! Here are a few images snapped with my nifty new camera: