Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009
Puzzled Titanium

Titanium brings to mind all kinds of things - hard, metal, 'austere'... but then I discovered Crystalized Titanium from Holly Gage ( As I posted yesterday - it's terrifying to have something so special and then try and use it in a way that suits it.

A few months ago I ordered two "you pick them for me" crystalized titanium pieces from Holly. I gave them an idea of what I was going to create and she and Chris did a great job finding me two pieces that would work together with the design I had in mind. (Note: that the photos do NOT show the gorgeous colors well on these pieces.) Then the hard part started....

I needed puzzle pieces. All the pieces I found on the internet were too 'thin' or didn't connect in the manner I wanted it to. So I pulled out my old nemisis "polymer clay" and started playing. I created two pieces that fit together and then cured them. I used 2-part molding compound to make molds of the polymer pieces and then created the silver pieces.

I spent a good amount of time trying to make the edges smooth but still puzzle like (rounded on the top straight on the bottom) and then worked to carve the hearts into the center of where the titanium would sit on the pieces. The hearts were made so that a little bit of the titanium could show through the silver. I added 24K gold to the pieces - the recipients wear gold... and I think that the 24K gold and the gold chain helps bring out the pretty yellow-gold in the titanium. All in all I'm excited at how it all 'fits'.

As you can see I still have a hard time working "thin" I think these puzzle pieces are probably close to 8 cards thick. Which makes for a medium heavy piece. I was concerned that the titanium would need the thickness but then after doing some more research on Holly's website last night I discovered I could probably have gone thinner with out any problem. A quick trip to Kohl's brought me such luck! Two matching 24" flat chains - about the width of the 24k Gold stripes on the pieces. So excited!!

The pieces were fun to do. I played with them for a couple of months from start to finish working on them in between the other projects.

I only wish I could have shot them to really show the gorgeous titanium! :o)

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