The first project of the year has commenced! It is for my mixed metals class. I am working on a headdress that consists of a cap with microscope slides attached. The microscope slides have been soldered together with a piece of printed organza in the middle. n The organza has been printed with the chemical structure of serotonin (pictured above). The piece references the imbalance of serotonin in the brain that can cause anxiety disorders and depression. The image (which is printed in dark blue) fades into the darker portions of the organza and stands in stark contrast to the portions of the organza that are undyed.
I am excited about the piece, but it hasn't been smooth sailing. Technically it is supposed to be due today, but I am no where near finished. The fabric cap of the headdress is made from pelltex, the thick interfacing that I was working with at the SDA conference workshop in April. But, having only used it that one other time, I have not yet learned the nuances of the material. Additionally, I have not soldered anything since junior year of high school, which is much longer ago now than I care to admit. So, I have had to get back in the groove of using an iron and hot metal (needless to say, I have burned myself more than once now). So, progress has been very slow. I am hoping that the deadline for the piece will be extended until Tuesday, which will give me enough time to finish it, IF I don't run out of materials, which is also highly likely at this point.
This past week, I have learned several things. For instance, wasp spray is evidently just as good as mace. But the most shocking thing I learned is that some artists have a very limited knowledge of different mediums beyond their own. I think that it is important, no matter your area of concentration that you know a little about a lot of different art medias. We were in class last week discussing our ideas, and when I told the class mine, they were dumbfounded and I was immediately met with a chorus of protests trying to tell me that what I wanted to do couldn't be done. According to my classmates, I couldn't solder two pieces of glass together. Obviously they have not looked at stained glass as a process, merely an art form. There were other concerns about the fragility of the piece, the risk of catching the fabric on fire (which won't happen since I have been using a soldering iron, not a torch), etc, etc. I was just baffled that no matter how I described my intended process, they just didn't get it. Now, I don't proclaim to be a metalsmith since their is no way that I could even begin to do what they can. However, I understand enough about the nature of metal and the process of metalsmithing that I could understand the production of a piece. I suppose some people just live in sheltered environments.
Until next time!