Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Thread Color-Bleed

While in the process of tatting 5 designs in my Spokane Beauty Apple Series, I came upon the issue of thread color-bleed in the beautiful red thread that I was using.  When tatting a solid red design, color bleed can not pose problems.  But when red thread is in close proximity to a white thread area, then there is real potential that when I block my finished piece, I would end up with a pink region (not white!).  The second photo shows just such designs in which red & white are in the same piece.

The first photo shows how much color-bleed I encountered.

For a very lengthy article about what 'color-bleed' is and how to control, and even remedy it, follow this link to my webpage:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Who IS The ShuttleSmith (aka Karen Bovard Sayre)

I have recently become enamored with Wordles.
 A Wordle is a visual depiction of words in a “word cloud” from text that you provide. It seems to be a great way to quickly understand the essence of a person in word-form. I got the idea after visiting a cemetery. Most of the tombstones that I saw had a descriptor such as ‘wife’, ‘mother’, ‘daughter’, etc. I got to thinking about what one or two words that I would want to represent me forever, actually ‘carved into stone’, and realized that there are sooooooo many more descriptors needed to adequately get an idea of who I am/was, as is true for everyone. So, I created this Wordle using descriptors/labels that represented my life. Since creating this, I decided to keep a list of attributes that I think represent me.

Karen Kay Reuter Bovard Sayre: TheShuttleSmith, Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Tatter, Sewer, Embroiderer, Fiber Artist, Lacemaker, Needlelacer, Motorcyclist, Sidecarist,
Motorcycle Safety Instructor, Dirt Biker, Trials Rider, Electron Microscopy Technologist, Neuropathology Technologist, 4-H Member, Smocker, Designer, Author, Publisher, Silversmith, Enamelist, Christian, Gardener, Teacher, Dana College Graduate, Lapidarist, Tatting Shuttle Maker, Nebraskan, Iowan, Farm Girl, One-Room Country School Student, Wisner-Pilger Gator, Baton Twirler, Piano/Guitar/Banjo/Mandolin Player, Farmer’s Daughter, Divorcee, Single Mother

I think that it is important to look at an individual as the sum of their parts. The above descriptors are the parts of my life, some more important to the whole than others, but still parts. I keep adding to the list as my life changes….but I never take away a descriptor.

It seems to me that a Wordle would be a great tombstone….I’m looking into this concept in the future.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

This one started as a light yellow base color, but in the firing process the color mellowed out quite a bit. The crackle details are formed from two colors of blue: a darker transparent and a lighter opaque.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Enameled Tatting Shuttle #347

This shuttle has DEPTH! 

The base color is 'clear' which allows the brilliance of the underlying copper to shine up and through. The blue crackle design features are created with a transparent blue and an opaque light blue.

This and other 'crackle' technique enameled tatting shuttles can be 'adopted' from my Etsy shop:

Monday, April 20, 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

New 'Crackle' Enameled Tatting Shuttles

I have been trying for quite some time to create ‘crackle’ effect in my enameled shuttles. Just recently I have been able to achieve some success.

The technique of ‘enamel crackle’ is fickle. It’ more of an art than a science, but in actuality it’s relies on a lot of physics that really are not completely understood. Each color of enamel has different properties that may vary from batch to batch.

Getting crackles in your enamel depends on the use of at least two layers of different enamels which have different coefficients of expansion (COE)–told you physics was involved. The crackle effect is produced using a base coat of enamel with a very low coefficient of expansion (which means it flows/ moves readily sooner than other enamels would at the same temperature). After firing this ‘lower COE’ enamel, a top coat of usually two different colors of enamels with a slightly higher COE is applied and fired to a high temperature for a longer period of time. If the enameling-gods are with you, you will get a ‘crackle glaze’ look!
My 3 favorite colors in one piece-teal, orange & yellow. Actually the ‘orange’ started off as red but somehow changed appearance. There is a lot of chemistry & physics happening in enameling, especially in ‘Crackle Enamel’ pieces. (BTW, this piece is MINE!)
Watch for future posts of the crackle enamel tatting shuttles I have been producing. I will also be posting on my FB page: ShuttleSmithTatting

Crackle Enameled Tatting Shuttle #348

This is one of my first 'crackle' shuttles and is actually quite a complex design. 
The base is probably a clear, transparent enamel which allows the copper metal to shine through. The coloration is a mix of a transparent blue, opaque red and yellow.