#10 Take art class and learn something new

On my birthday I took the day off and spent the morning with Amy Reeves at her new business the Tacoma Metal Arts Center.    I wanted to learn some new techniques, want to fully support her new business and completely respect Amy as an artist and instructor.  So hello, private lessons.  I wanted to learn casting, electrofoming and etching.  Her electroform machine wasn’t set up yet so that will have to wait for another day.

Etching was a simple yet very chemical dependent process.  So we did a few samples on brass and copper and in different solutions and let them sit and etch while we did other stuff.   Amy did give me a solution reciepe that doesn’t require disposal through hazardous waste,  so one of these days I’ll try it again.

Then onto casting first casting into a cuttlefish bone which just requires the pet-store variety for birds to sharpen their beaks on, cutting it into two pieces and carving out a shape, and pouring in molten metal.  Mine has much to be desired, and would still need to have the big sprue cut off if I wanted to try and use it but the texture of the cuttlefish material in the metal is very cool.  In hindsight, should have done a cool shape and not tried to do details – but lesson learned.

The last thing we did was wax carving in which you carve a wax blank and then do a lost wax cast method.   I carved and attached to the sprue and then left it in her shop which she then cast as during a weekend class on casting.  It’s fabulously chunky (although when I wear it I usually scratch my kids) and I can’t wait to get another wax blank to try and do another that is more organic and flowing.

It was a great way to spend my 35 birthday and love casting.  I am completely addicted to melting things.