Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Getting a Finer Finish on Polymer Cuff Bracelets

If you have read my first entry, you will see that my work is very diversified. Subjects will change depending on what type of work I am doing on any given day and sometimes more than one medium is working on the same day!
For this post I would like to share an experience I have had in trying to get a really fine finish on a wide polymer cuff bracelet.
Several weeks ago I purchased a large bulk of very wide blank brass cuff bracelets. These make fantastic bracelets when covered in custom blended or ornamented polymer. I made a couple in the past two days. Using "Future" liquid floor wax is pretty much a standard for getting a very durable protective sealant coat on polymer. The finish is very strong when matured and never yellows, lending to long enduring beautiful finish. Usually this is applied in mutiple layers with drying time between each coat. I was using a broad soft brush to apply the sealant to these new bangles and ran into all kinds of trouble getting a beautiful even finish! Mind you, this brush is very similar to what I use on all of my smaller polymer work with no difficulty at all! Here is the problem:
The bangle is large and oval. Future dries fast! By the time you are half way around the bracelet with even a large brush, your sealant is beginning to dry before you can finish your coat full around! This leaves uneven lines of demarkation where your first sealer went down and where your new sealer started, and if you try to go back and touch up, the situation becomes even worse. I was working very fast with my broad brush and still couldn't get my coat down fast enough to beat the drying time and distortion dilemma.
After an hour of putzing around trying to get my coat even and never achieving the beautiful finish that I was trying for, I finally dug out a bag of sponges from a drawer under my desk and chose the largest one that had a
fine, even, texture. Next I poured some future into a demitasse saucer(very small saucer) next to my work station, dipped in the sponged very slowly and dragged it against the edge of the saucer as I came away to remove any bubbles clinging to the sponge. This is the good part! With one smooth long stroke, the sponge applied a perfect even coat of sealant over the surface of the bracelet.. The layer of sealant was perfection. No bubbles, no running, and delivered a glass-like surface finish. I have eight hours of drying time on these babies but will post pictures tomorrow evening! The bracelets are very different in every way except for their basic shapes.
I achieved a very pretty mica shift on one of them and will hopefully be able to catch that with the right lighting so that you can see what mica shift is!
Thought for the day:
An artist does not create art. Art finds a soul willing to be used as a portal and spills forth. There aren't nearly enough volunteers!!!! Dream something, create something,.............anything! All things are possible with a willing heart and the help of a good friend. Will be back with pictures tomorrow! G'Night! ----------


Okay Here are the pics I promised!

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