Thursday, August 12, 2010

Childhood Meets Metal

I was raised spending Sundays attending the Episcopal church. In fact, my family roots (on my Native American side) go way back in time through this church. (My brother and I were raised by my father) Dad introduced me to this book a few years back, it's a riveting tale of a man on a mission...and he succeeded. If you are curious about the time when reservations were changing and would like to read about an amazing feat of a man who wanted to make a better place for his family and loved ones, then you might like this book. Keep an open mind about what you know and might not know about the plight of the integration of Native Americans.  This is just one story...and it's a bitter sweet one.

There are photos of my grandmother's grandparents, and her cousin (whom the book is about). The book was borrowed and I did return it to Dad, it's time for me to order one to keep.

My grandmothers cousin was raised by their grandparents, he is shown standing on the left

Many of the pieces I smith are from sweet memories of my grandmother. She was "salt of the earth" and so loved by everyone in the family. (I miss you Grandma) She was definitely my constant mother figure. She wore lots of chunky thick silver cuffs and necklaces. (I'll try to find some photos of her to post)She took great care of my cousins and she never let us leave the house without being fed.

This lead me to think about making this piece. (I had something else in mind when I started and then I changed my mind) and as I worked with it my past in all its pieces and flashes came back and it felt right to make this for my shop.
Religion and politics are 2 subjects that can turn into a frenzy of opinions of fire and ice like no other.
I keep my religious beliefs private and am a very open-minded person.

With this mingling of the past, the reservations of the Dakota/Lakota Nations, and this part of my past  (and all its mysteries I still yearn to unreel) I offer this

it's got a surprise on the inside

She's 22 1'2 " long in all. Her chain is 20 1/2 "
(this does not include the heart charm that trails down the back of the clasp)

She's adorned with Red Jasper and Blue Turquoise.

These are my Cactus Bloom Earrings

Lots of etching and more pieces to come. I've enjoyed 2 nights of swimming (water aerobics) and despite the icky air its been a fun, colorful, productive week.

We all have fascinating pasts. It's a blessing to be able to integrate some of mine into art.

Non Sequitur:
 Jodi's brownies, we're expecting more t-storms- or maybe banana bread?

Hope everyone is safe and dry!


Willow Branch said...

OMG!!! I absolutely love that necklace!! You're moving right along with your etching. I really, really do love that necklace. The earrings are just wonderful, too. Is that repousse (sp?) or is that etching too? I so want to try etchinig, but I'm skeered.

more hugs for you!!


CarolynArtist said...

(((Pam))) Where have you been? I've missed you. I hope everyong is doing well! Etching yes, and you can see the back to see how the front was affected. (LOS used) Glad you like it :-)The next pieces are sure to wow - i hope.
As far as etching, it can be daunting, I first did it in class, a while back. Jodi bought the ingredients for her studio and together we tried it twice. The first time took some experimenting and in the end our instructor was spot on about a couple of things. We're looking into heavy duty masks, and ONLY use the mordent outside of her studio (see pics below below) and even then we worry about what we're breathing. There's a stop-bath of baking soda and water right nearby. If you ever end up doing it at home and want to email me I can answer any questions...and I'll tell you if I don't know!!! *hugs*

Willow Branch said...

Aaaw, I've missed you too. I have caught up on your posts & actually posted a comment on your last vlog. It's so good to see your face & work again.

It'll be a while before I try my hand at etching & I'll probably start with copper because it's cheaper & the chemical can be found locally. Also the process doesn't seem as involved. Have you etched copper??


CarolynArtist said...

Only silver, but Sal has (copper) There were some people in classes doing it. omgosh the results were so beautiful because of the colors you can get with copper post etch, and I'm guessing it's great for etching and enameling. The only drawback I've seen is how long it takes. I know there's a kit out there where it's more eco-friendly, and it takes overnight?

Willow Branch said...

I just found a great tutorial on etching copper. I can convo the link to you, if you want.

All you need is ferric chloride which can be ordered for about $6 online or maybe found in an electronic supply place (it's used on computer stuff). You use a resist, then suspend the copper in the solution. Neutralize with ammonia when it's etched enough, then clean up. I think I'll try that first. I have a big sheet of copper & it sounds like fun. I'm going to check out DickBlick for the ferric chloride to see how much shipping would be.


CarolynArtist said...

Neutralize with ammonia? Are you sure? I was wondering...Yes I think it's what Sal is doing...where is Sal??? Does it take overnight?

Willow Branch said...

That's what one of the comments said about the ferric chloride. Scrub it with ammonia because it could continue to etch. I remember reading somewhere that said you could scrub it, then soak it in the ammonia for about 15 minutes.

The technique with the ferris acid is supposed to take anything from 30 minutes to 3-4 hours. The ferric acid can be used on copper or brass.


I checked & DickBlink has a pint of it for about $6 & $6 shipping.

thebearaffair said...

Hi everyone - I've never heard of using ammonia.. I use the baking soda and water to neutralize. I'm still experimenting with processes. I only leave my copper in the solution from Dick Blick for no more than 1 hour and I use 26g and 24g copper. The thinner copper will almost disappear if you leave it in too long. The new unit I just purchased from Sherri Haab takes much longer to etch copper and I haven't tried doing silver with it yet. Good luck and it is soooo much fun and you can really be creative with the oil pens and make some beautful pieces-right Care:O)

Willow Branch said...

I only have 18 gauge copper, so I shouldn't have a problem with it disappearing long as I don't forget it. LOL I've seen the until from Sherri & it looks interesting. I can't afford it right now, but I'd love to be able to do silver as well.

Thanks for the tips!!! I've got someone scouting to see if there's a place to buy the copper etching solution around here (for computer keyboards). If not, I'll just order from Dickblick. I just hate to order from there because I'll add things to my order to take advantage of the shipping. lol


Kirsten said...

Beautiful post! Touching words about your Gramma....will look forward to seeing the pictures of her. :) And the best creativity comes from that driven by our passion and love from our life influences. The piece you made is just exquisite! Kirsten

CarolynArtist said...

Pam! We need to find out more about that ammonia, did you find if that's the right solution???
(I wish we could all have a studio weekend together!!!!!!)
Kirsten, thanks, we all have that special person in our lives, or hopefully we have had...:-) :-)

wildgirl said...

Great that the Native American lives in you! Now I understand your palette. Love the Dakota Cross - that's made with your head and lots of heart. The Cactus earrings are pure joy!

CarolynArtist said...

Thank you!!! :-) I've kept the catus earrings and wear them (almost) daily, they are fun.

tamara denelle said...

I will order and check this book out. You have so much info on your family and that is priceless. (I have uncovered minimal at best and I am at a standstill with mine.)
Your jewelry is gorgeous! I adore the necklace.