Saturday, February 13, 2010

Studio Saturday with Metallic Collage

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is EmandaJ, congratulations! You've won one of Heather Powers' Poppy Beads, so lovely. Send an email to Heather at Humblebeads and she'll slip that in the mail to you.

This week we visit the studio of Lynn Davis, who is influenced by the cold weather idea of dressing in layers to layer up her most recent pewter work.

I've always wanted to work in metal, I love the look of antique medallions and medals. For quite some time I've been self-teaching myself how to work with cast pewter. It's been a bit of trial and error, learning as much what not to do, as what works. I started in May, 2008 experimenting, and gradually figuring out things about the ways and means of casting molten pewter.

At the beginning I tried applying the same methods I had been using with my polymer clay replicas, building up components to create a look in metal, but the pewter didn't respond as well as polymer to working that way, and I moved on to creating flat components in pewter. I never gave up the idea, though, and kept trying to figure out a way to get dimension into the pewter pieces.

In the months in between, I experimented with combining the metal with glass and with polymer clay, and came up with ideas about using an armature to combine the very different materials. This necklace has the pewter combined with fused dichroic glass, for a faux gemstone look.

Recently a friend loaned me a cache of precious antiques from a trip to France, actual medals and medallions -- in the hope that I could reproduce them in pewter. In trying to replicate the look of the real vintage items, I decided to try again to build a metal collage using pewter components.

I played around with that idea with the pewter, and these dimensonal medallions are the recent results.

I adore the look of real antiques, but I tend to hoard and cling to the real ones and the family heirlooms I have! For me, though, using the replicas is guilt-free as I can make more of them, and several of a type, if I want.

I especially like these new three-dimensional collage pieces in pewter, but I could really use some constructive feedback from all of you, so here's the question I pose this week:

What is your most favored way of seeing the pewter pieces I'm making - combined with resin, pewter by itself, layered or collaged with other pewter, or combined with glass faux gemstones - and why? Lots of juicy details, pretty please .... ?

Answer the question in a reply to this post, and you could win the bracelet pictured above with the words "make ART" in resin, mounted in a pewter frame and strung with my hand-dyed costume pearls and bone beads!

Posted by Lynn Davis, who will never have a proper manicure again as long as she keeps grinding pewter and glass pieces!


*~tabby~* crooked heart art said...

my answer to all of your questions is
~YES~!!!!! :D
i love them all
and that bracelet is fantastic
i think i like the words under the best tho...
love seeing your work
more please
enjoy your day

Susanm said...

I like the piece with the ``jewels`` - very old world but still funky. The others are nice but I have a thing for bling.


SummersStudio said...

Lynn, I actually like all of the ways you are using pewter. The dimensional aspect of the collaged pieces is particularly nice. I think the just pewter pieces have a lot of versatility for designers because you may add whatever colour palette your heart desires. Having said that, I love the sparkle of glass contrasting with the solidity of the pewter.

Gardanne said...

I have been looking at your empty bezels in your shop, make more of those, with a hole in the top and the bottom to use as a link or to hang a pendant on. I have been loving the use of resin lately, I have some wonderful old photos of my family that I will be playing with.
I love the older look that your pewter pieces have, I probably would prefer the pewter pieces that do not have so much layering that they look too busy. I am most drawn to a clean look, but I am amazed at some of the artists out there that can use a variety of materials and still achieve this. Lorelei and Nancy at Round Rabbit are a couple of examples of this.

:-) MaryLou said...

My favorite of all the ones shown is the one with the resin. I always lean toward simpler designs, plus I like the message! :-)n

rnjenny1 said...

I personally likke the pewter on its own, the additional pieces I like added as separate elements the best!

Spirited Earth said...

i love the bezels , resin and simpler pewter pieces...the layered ones are very intersting but think i would use the others more.

Unknown said...

what I like about your pieces is how versatile they are. the pewter looks equally good simple on its own w/ all of the details. then again, they also look good piled w/ layers of lush beading,( the bracelet is a good example of this) or bling or glass.that is the mark of real talent! I also appreciate the fact that you try to preserve old pieces, I know that isn't the most popular stand right now, but I still feel a little pang sometime when I see certain things forever altered. you have come up w/ a nice solution to this dilemma. I follow your blog & really like the layered pieces you are working on now.

kat said...

Lynn, you're my favourite designer on etsy and I just love everything you create. I'm just loving the new components mixed with resin. They just have a uniqueness to them. My favourite piece so far has been the little connector made of glass and pewter. I'd also love to see more styles of toggles in future too!

Alice said...

I find it facinating that you make your own molds, cast your own pewter, grind your own glass, and dye your own pearls! I'v always been impressed with your work and find it very inspiring.

Now you're asking a very difficult question when you ask us to choose our favorite out of all your beauties! Since I must choose, I would have to say that the pewter combined with resin is my favorite. I guess it combines the vintage look of the pewter with the modern resin.

I'd be thrilled to win your pearl bracelet!

Sue said...

the pieces are exceptional. I especially like the story of practice, practice, practice...never give up.

sandi m said...

All are lovely, but I prefer the plain larger pewter pieces that can be used as the focal in a mixed media piece. Love all your French reproductions.

And, I'm dreaming of that bracelet.
You are so generous.

Rising Designs said...

Hi Lynn, i took a gander over to your Etsy site to see which pieces really "spoke" to me. My very favorite pieces were the rustic, dark patina, pitted, bronze, key holes. They remind me of all the "treasures" my grandfather used to save/store in his little junk shed. As a child, I would spend hours touching and looking at all the old, rusty, metallic, bits and pieces.i wish I could go back to that place again.Your pieces brought me back there, even if only for a little while.

Sharon said...

I love your little sparrows pewter piece most of all, very sweet and romantic and would look stunning with pearls. All of your creations are unique and unlike any I've seen on Etsy!

Susan Z said...

Well I like the look of glass and pearls with the pewter pieces--the jewelry is then very "Victorian" and old fashioned looking and very elegant. However, it might be very funky to use resin beads in bright neon colors and more of a steam-punk look too--mixing up the styles. Not what you would think of finding with the elegant ornate pewter. So why not try them both.

Leah said...

you're talented & your work is beautiful. my favorite is the bracelet with the pearls. i think the combo of the light, feminine pearls is a good contrast to the dark metal. gives it a very antique look in my opinion. i also looked at your etsy shop, & i really like the pewter bird charms you made. i think they'd look good with turquoise-colored beads. the locks and keys are beautiful too! very old world charm to it.

Susan Marling said...

That's hard because I really do like them all( have some of them all). I do think my favorite would be the pewter alone -that way I can use it however I want to. Almost tied would be with the jewels because it looks so "antique" and is just fun. Don't stop any of them!!!

Gail W. said...

I like all of the looks that you have created and I envy you the time and resourses and knowledge that you have had in order to come up with these looks.I prefer the jeweled piece,but it wasn't an easy decision.I hope we've helped you in some way.I also hope I win!

Unknown said...

Lynn, your work is made all the more beautiful by the labor intensity of it. I really appreciate you sharing the experimentation you do, and the fact that is is OK if we as artists try something and it doesn't work out: making mistakes is how we learn. Sometimes we can expect perfection from ourselves. Silly artists!

I tend to see other art as either a) something I cannot do, or learn to do, in the near future, and so I buy it from others, or b) something I can either already do myself or (c) a component I can use myself in the art I make. Your work all falls into category A: I do not know the first thing about hand casting, or grinding glass, and so I am terribly impressed. :>) This makes it harder for me to choose.

OK so you asked which we like better and why: pewter combined with resin, pewter by itself, layered or collaged with other pewter, or combined with glass faux gemstones.

I have to go with the resin combo, personally. For me, the resin has two advantages: 1) it's got that vintage, old world charm, but mixed with new and modern materials, which is funky and fun, and 2)and it allows you to use words. I LOVE words in art. (Might have something to do with being an English teacher....)

With the resin you can do different inclusions, add lots of color, or use a monochrome scheme, or almost no color at all, giving both you as the artist and me as the purchaser more choices. I also tend to think of resin as a sturdier material than PC, and less likely than glass to fall out one day.

A close second is the layered pewter. One of the great draws of plain or layered pewter is the monochromatic nature of the piece, which allows you or another artist who buys a piece from you to venture into any color field they might want. I like both the plain and the layered bits, but would be more likely to buy layered.

Thanks for your generous giveaway! Robin at

Unknown said...

Lynn I Love everything you do with your pendants the softness of the Old worldy charm so timeless! The collage parts you add ate wonderful too! It was reat reading how you evolved in your jewellery process and Inspiring!
The heart pc with the arrow is Awesome. And the Ice resin out now wow...ox

TesoriTrovati said...

Lynn, your work amazes me! I love it all... the resin pieces, the dichroic, the simple beauty of the pewter. I am partial to words, and love the ones with the resin that I have from you. I find myself hoarding your art waiting for the perfect design. Really I need to get over myself and just put it out there to be worn and cherished! It is so hard to part with them, though! Thanks for sharing your inspiration so readily with all of us. I love to see what goes into your creative process! Enjoy the day! Erin

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Reading the other comments, it seems that I'm in the minority, but if I have to choose, I love that spark of color with the pewter or any metal. The Eiffel tower pendant really takes off with the color leading the eye. I also think the touch of blue is just right with the heart and key. So interesting to read about your inside story!