Arting for 365 Day 116: Cut Outs Turned Jewelry

Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

As some of you may know, from time to time over the past few months I have been creating paper cut outs. The detailed, flowing pieces are nice and I generally like them, but I have felt like I need to push the work in a new direction.

For day 116 I tackled the cut paper again. I chose to slice into an old, not-so-fabulous watercolor. This go-round, though, I challenged myself to do something different with the finished piece. I thought about keeping it whole and manipulating it to create a new form. But as I looked at the design more closely, I realized that many of the details would make really great individual pieces for necklaces. I sliced up the original and got prepped to dive into the resin again.

I really like this idea. The shapes are intricate and interesting, and each is an original.

My issue – surprise, surprise – seems to be execution. While I didn’t have near the mess on my hands as I did my first attempt with the stuff, there were some uneven areas and drips. The good news is that every time I take a whack at this resin thing I learn a little bit. So drips be damned! I’ve got a few more ideas up my sleeve to help me figure this process out.

Until next time.

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Arting for 365 Day 112: Nature

Day 112 (8/18/12): NatureGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Yesterday our friend hosted a gourmet camping party to celebrate her 40th birthday. It was about as far from hard core camping as you can get, but was oh so lovely! We had delicious food, paired with some amazing beers – thanks to the slew of home brewers in the group – and wine. If the shindig wasn’t awesome enough, we topped it off with some forest croquet.

Being out in nature is always inspiring. And as it came time to create my day 112 project, my friends suggested I use a bit of nature. -A brilliant idea. We pulled out some pens and got busy drawing on leaves.

I love the simple designs. I also love that the leaves started out flat, but as they dried overnight, curled. Because I like the new form so much I decided I’d take a crack at resin again – coating them before they got too brittle.  I feel like I’m going to turn them into necklaces.

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Arting for 365 Day 104: My Art/Craft Project Felt More like a Science Experiment Gone Awry

Day 104: Art/ScienceGoal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days

Yesterday, after spending a big chunk of my day on a painting I’ve got in the works, I once again turned my attention to coasters. But this time, instead of painting them, I thought I would use my x-acto to cut out patterns and shapes which would then be used to make earrings. -A clever idea, I thought.

I cut out about eight different versions. The boyfriend asked how I planned to finish the cardboard earrings. I quickly and smartly informed him that I would be using a resin to keep them sturdy and protected. I just knew the resin would look super cool, it had to be pretty easy to use, and would be a great finishing touch to these lovely little accessories.

I went to Home Depot and picked up a jug of the stuff. As soon as I began mixing it, two things crossed my mind. 1. The resin was a bit brownish – not at all clear like the resin I’d seen other people use. 2. Holy crap its fumes were toxic smelling!

As I dipped the earrings in the mixed resin, I realized I had nowhere to hang them. I grabbed a cardboard box thinking I could hook the metal hooks from it. Wrong. The earring hooks were too flimsy to pierce through the cardboard. No problem, I thought, I’d just lay the pieces on the cardboard for now and pick them up to hang as soon as I was done dipping.

This is when I encountered my next problem. The resin, whose label told me it dried in 15 minutes, seemed to be drying much, much more quickly. I got through dipping most of the earrings, but forced a set into what had become a snot-like substance (see result below).

It suddenly dawned on me that if the resin was drying this quickly in the little container, the earrings had to be drying and sticking to the cardboard. Sure enough. My attempts to peel the little guys off were relatively fruitless. Many tore and as I worked to peel each off, I could not help but get my sticky, grubby fingers onto every metal hook thus making them not something you’d want to poke through your ear.

All was not lost though! While I don’t see myself wearing these particular earrings beyond the picture taken below -due to the horrible fumes, I do have plans to make more. Perhaps the second go round I will implement some sort of a game plan prior to jumping in. I’ll be sure to share the results.