Continuing on with my new idea about the light behind the trees….
The frisket arrived a few days after my last post and it came along with my subscription to Art Forum, so I was a very happy boy. Two goodies in one day!
Applying the frisket was pretty easy. It’s basically a type of masking tape with a thin paper on top that you can write on. Getting it over a curved surface was a little bit tricky, but with practice it will be easier next time.
The next step was to draw in the trees. This time I did not make the pattern quite so complicated and small. The frisket took the pencil and ink very nicely.
Now came the fun part. Using an X-acto knife, I carefully cut out all the areas between the trees. I was a bit afraid that it would be tough to do, but it was really quite easy. I could sit on the couch and listen to the television and pass the time cutting out the sections.
BTW, I got this idea from watching a DVD from a famous wood turner, Binh Pho. (Please visit the link) He does lovely air brush work and in his DVD he shows you how he uses the frisket.
I thought it would be wise to apply the metal leaf to small sections of the bowl so I would not get into trouble with my sizing drying too fast. It also takes a lot of the pressure off watching the clock.
The copper leaf goes on pretty easy, but here’s the hard part: crisp edges. The frisket is not very thick, but the metal leaf is extremely thin. Getting the metal leaf to lay down perfectly within the cut out sections of the frisket was a problem. Perhaps someone who is an experienced gilder could offer me advice on how to do that.
Once the whole bowl was covered in the copper leaf, it was time to remove the “frisket trees.” The peeled off easily and it did what it claimed to do. The sizing did not loosen the frisket and it make a nice boundary. However, I did not get the really clean crisp lines I wanted in every section. Perhaps experimentation and some expert advice will help with this for the next attempt. But over all, the process worked well. Now I just have to perfect it.
Once the black trees were exposed, the bright and shiny copper really overpowered the piece, so it really needs the patination process. This time I used Sodium Sulfide. It makes reds and purples on real copper, but you have to dry it very quickly. I used a moist sponge and put a bit of the sodium sulfide on it, then dabbed a small section. Right away it would start turn red, so I had a paper towel handy do dry it and stop the chemical process. Once again, I did the patination work in sections so I could control the color as much as possible.
Since the overall effect I wanted was the red setting sun behind the trees, the top part of the bowl needed to be a darker red than the lower part. This was fairly easy to do. That being said, I really did not get the overall effect I wanted. I like the way it turned out, but it did not turn out as desired. The colors are great, but it looks more like autumn leaves than the red setting sun.
I still need to top coat the piece, so it is not really “finished” yet, but I have learned a few things regarding this process. And who knows, the top coat might change the look even further. I am still trying to decided on what type of top coat to use and whether it should be satin, semi-gloss, or gloss.
So, what do you think? Have any ideas?
I’ll show you the piece once it is “finished.”