Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Black Calla Update, Molds & PMC Paste

Nine days ago [yes, I've been counting], my crazy bat-eared, six-toed cat Kali chewed up my Edge of Night Calla and sent it crashing upside down to the floor. Oh, the trauma! Apparently it didn't think so, because it's been doing great! It has sprouted an entirely new leaf, and I'm pretty sure I see a touch of black inside way down at the base, so it's looking like it will bloom this year! Here's a little comparison shot between how it looked exactly two weeks ago and how it looks today:

Nature is amazing. That was my brilliant understatement of the day. The little sprouts don't seem to have done much, but I'd say that's because most of the plant's energy is being diverted to the main growth. It even appears that the Blue Butterfly Delphinium may be trying to grow a new shoot. That one lost all of its leaves in the cat attack, and it's been such a tough one for me to get started from seed that I'd be very surprised if it picks up. Although not one of the plants assaulted, for those who may be interested, here's a pic of how the Purple Oxalis has developed over the last 6 weeks:

In jewelry news, I was able to get some molds made yesterday using the Mold-n-Pour compound I ordered! It's pretty cool stuff and very easy to use. You just grab an equalish pinch from each of the two containers of compound, quickly knead and roll them together until the color is even, then press your item into the resulting mixture. It's a self-healing material, so you can't use it for making a negative/positive mold, but I'm really happy with the results so far for one-part molds! 

Along the top of the photo, you can see the beginnings of my experiments with painting a homemade PMC paste onto a couple of things. I made the paste by mixing my scrapped Chauncey earrings with water, but you can also purchase it at Precious Metal Clay suppliers such as Cool Tools. Buying a premade paste will initially give you a bit more control over your results because the mixture is standard and shrinkage percentage is already calculated, but I really love experimenting! Also, that's a lot of money for me to spend right now on something I have no idea I'll even be successful at. Better and more fun to see if I can work out the kinks with what I already have. The items I used are two pieces of Eris' most recently shed skin [from the night before last!] and one side of what I think is a locust tree seed pod, which Chris and I collected on our walk yesterday. I painted the shed on each of the sides to see what looks better. All of them are about halfway done, which means they require three or four more layers of the paste before I can fire. I may end of with a melted pile of fine silver, but maybe in that case I can hammer it out, shape it and use it to begin my next experiment - riveting!

Lots of Etsy convos to reply to today after more than a day almost completely away from the computer. In addition to that, I have a very long [for me] list of projects, including setting up my profile at the Handmade Artists' Forum. It's all still quite overwhelming to me, and I need to take many breaks throughout the day, so I'm not as productive as I'd like to be. A break usually means sitting down with Chris and/or the rats [Helen and Magda], cats [Kali and Subra] or Eris. Sometimes it means doing some plant work or just laying down for a nap or to stare blankly at the TV [not a preference]. Still, in comparison to all those years of depression and physical and mental inactivity, I really am getting so much accomplished! Hope everyone has a great day!


kwkmjk said...

Very interesting post !
Glad to see the plant progress - that the Calla is OK and the flower on the pretty.
Molds looks great; opens all sorts of possibilities.
See you soon...

Val's Dragonfly Whimsy said...

OH the poor Calla - she got knocked about but looks like she will recover! My mastiff decided to eat my Frangipani plant and he did, left me with a tiny stump and some roots - I tried so hard to bring it back to life but in the end it was useless. Now my new Frangipani plan lives in my bathroom where its steamy and hot as it loves the tropical heat and she is thriving :D

Your molds look great, wow, something I haven't tried yet, oh the possibilities!

Have a great week hon, cheers Val xo

Naomi said...

Hi Kim, I'm bowing my head in shame!!!
I was looking for your blog and realised I hadn't followed you yet. Finally got my act together though and am here now and am grovelling:0)
What a great blog..
I'm afraid I only have green fingers when I've been painting! My dad keeps on buying me plants, and each time he walks in with another one I feel as if he's signed it's death sentence... not good :o(
The PMC projects look great! I love the idea of using Eris' skin shed. She really is beautiful.
Hmmm, as usual I could go on forever :0)
Have a great day honey, Naomi :o)xx

Mortira said...

I like your approach to trying new things and experimenting. I wish I could just dive into my bead stash that way without worrying about using up too many beads.

I'd like to invite you to play the 6th Photo Game with me!

ticc said...

So glad to hear your plants survived the cat ordeal, and are starting to sprout new growth. :O)

The PMC progjects looks good, and you're doing wondeful with it. Such nice things are coming about.

Have a wonderful day!!!!

Kim said...

Thank you so much for all the kind comments!
Maman - walking today I hope. If your oxalis doesn't pick up, there's another! :)
Val - your poor Frangipani! That would be Luther right? Silly dog, good thing we love these pets of ours & I'm glad your new plant is protected & happy! Funny, just yesterday I was looking at a Frangipani flower mold. :)
Naomi - haha, you're forgiven & it's great to see you here! I'll remember not to bring you any plants if I ever get to England again... ;)
Mortira - I do go back & forth, but in the end my curiosity takes over. :) I'll stop over & check out the photo game, thank you!
Susan - thank you so much, your encouragement about my projects is so appreciated & I know you understand about the plants!
I really hope you all enjoy your Friday!

ticc said...

Kim, you're so welcome. :O) Plants I can definitely relate to. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!!

Vee* said...

Cool post. I LOVE seeing what you are working with and figuiring out and think it's totatly kick ass to try new things!!
BEAUTIFUL plants. I wish i lived near you...
I need to look at joining the same team as you also.. i keep putting it off.. just like it took me till the LAST day i COULD sign up (they give you a month) to join the owl team... it's a good team, but i think i'd LOVE the one with you and kris in it..

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