Thursday, November 11, 2010

Casting with Jennifer Stenhouse

I just finished taking an 8-week workshop on wax-carving and jewelry casting with Jennifer Stenhouse, and here's what I have to show for it. Not much in terms of sheer tonnage, maybe, but weighty proof of new skills and ways of thinking. After years of cautious wood carving, it was so liberating to work with a more back-and-forth material. If I carved too thin or snapped off a finger or flubbed a detail, I could just dribble on more wax and try again! Total revelation. Plus, unlike my one-of-a-kind wood pieces, each of these is reproducible.

Compared to the rest of the students, I worked at a glacial pace, but by my own standards, I was on fire. Here are some of the fruits of my labor...

A sterling version of the wooden "Generous" ring I carved earlier this year. The wood one needed to be considerably larger and thicker for strength, and I found it hard to break out of that mindset. The sterling version is smaller, with a lower profile and hollow spaces on the underside, but a workout nonetheless. Before I cast any more copies, I'll have to work on digging out more of the excess weight.

Two tiny hands holding tiny books; too heavy for earrings--pendants, maybe?

Three tiny pelvises, for sculpture and jewelry projects.

Five tiny peaches, each about the size of a pea, also made with both sculpture and jewelry in mind.

Even though there's still a lot of cleaning up to do on all these pieces, I feel like a kid with a bunch of new toys!