Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ken Bova in Wilmywood

So! Ken Bova will be teaching his chopstick hammers (and more) workshop for Cape Fear Community College's Metals Guild on Saturday Nov 5th from 10-5pm. It is open to current metals students and I will have a 5 extra seats for non CFCC students at a nominal fee of $60 for the day. If you are interested email me and I will sign you up. It will be first come first serve so don't wait! Ken is a wonderful teacher and it should be a fantastic day. We will work and then break for lunch and then work some more! Fun will be had by all!

Ken is currently teaching at ECU and you can view his site here.


Sorry for the confusion about the comments with the "Destination Creativity" book giveaway. I have to publish the comments. They come first into my email and sit there until I publish them. I was away all day yesterday doing an enameling demonstration at a festival. When I got home and, finally unpacked the furniture and tools out of the car around 7pm-ish, I was just too pooped to even open the computer. I ate, drank some "Shotgun Betty" hefeweizen(nice bottle cap btw), watched an old Steve McQueen movie ("Tom Horn" it was so-so), and my habitual episode of Star Trek Enterprise and fell asleep. So I have published the comments now and draw the name out of a bowl.

The winner is: JB!

JB email me your address so we can send you your book! Or if you prefer email Ricë Freeman-Zachary on her blog as she will be sending it to you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Give Away!

I have raved about Ricë Freeman-Zachary on my blog before. So, many of you may have visited her blog. I met her over a year ago. It was quite a treat as I have been a fan of her writing and her art since I first saw it in Rubberstamp Madness Magazine back in the day. I always thoroughly enjoy talking with her and treasure the times I have been able to socialize with her and EGE at retreats. Her new book "Destination Creativity: The Life-Altering Journey of the Art Retreat" is a wonderful journey to nine of these UBER inspiring art retreats all over the US. You can follow along from your cozy armchair! Today I will be choosing a winner to receive a copy of Ricë's book. Just comment on this post by midnight on October 8th PST to be entered.
I have a necklace project in Destination Creativity. I thought I'd share a little secret! This tip was brought to my attention by one of my friends Kathy James who joined me in San Diego this summer to make the little charms on this necklace. Kathy found out that her disc cutter will cut the mica perfectly! Now why didn't I think of that! Thanks Kathy if you're reading!

A bit about disc cutters. I now have a Swanstrom disc cutter from Rio Grande (though other folks sell them too) after going through a Harbor Freight one (don't bother!) and a Pepe tools (it's fine if you can ever get one!).

There is a video on the Swanstrom cutter here.
I ADORE my Swanstrom. I would HIGHLY recommend you skip the crappy ones and go right for the top. You will never want for another! Normally you will want to wax the cutting punch but the mica might get all gummy, so I didn't when cutting mica. I also normally use a brass hammer and I hold the punch in place the first two or three taps. This is to prevent the punch from possibly bouncing up and down in the shaft and potentially getting stuck. It's really more of an issue when cutting metal. a colleague of my thinks one should just whack the heck out of the punch, VERY hard so it cuts in one blow. That seems harsh to me but, he's a burly guy... I like firm hard taps until the punch cuts through. With the mica it'll probably cut in one hit. I have not noticed the mica dulling the cutting edge. Also don't forget! Once your punch has cut through, you will feel this, revert to very gentle taps to push it to the bottom of the shaft. Then lift the entire disc cutter up and off the punch which should still be sitting on your table. Don't try to pull the punch backwards out of the shaft. You may jam things up and have a terrible time getting it dislodged. And another thing, I prefer a very hard, firm sub-surface under the cutter for resistance and optimum cutting. In other words no bouncy card tables. In fact, if your work table is not very thick and sturdy put the disc cutter on the floor. It will cut WAY better with a firm surface under it. I use mine on top of my 70lb anvil with a couple of pieces of thick leather under it to protect it, the punches and my anvil's surface.

Well, happy mica punching! And be sure you visit the other artist's blogs who are all participating in this blog hop. Then you may become eligible for a grand prize!
Sunday, October 9th: Deryn Mentock
Monday, October 10th: Jen Cushman
Tuesday, October 11th: Jill Berry
And don't forget to visit Ricë's blog here.