Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Joy of Metal Clay: This and that

This weekend I have been trying to organize and tidy my studio which seems to have been invaded by all family members making the task even harder. Needless to say, I have been unable to get to work on any projects yet.

Regarding the project I am hoping to start, it is the chess board pieces I want to make. I realize this will be quite an undertaking and I will have to really plan this one out. The first step in this plan is to brainstorm design ideas. I have decided that rather than the traditional chess pieces I want to make an outdoor theme to this chess board. Now, the challenge is determining designs for each chess piece.

Here is a photo of the traditional chess pieces taken from a how to play chess website.

I have a few ideas on this and will share when they are better formulated. In the meantime I decided to search out interesting non traditional chess sets. I found this fun garden gnome chess set for sale on ebay.

    This is not what I envision for the set I am making but I love the frog as a rook and the toadstools for pawns.

    FYI - a you may know it is amazing the things you can find on the web. In my searches I found molds for making giant outdoor chess sets...OH if only I had a yard big enough!

Another item of interest I found the other day was a discussion on the metal clay yahoo group where a member suggested that one does not need activated coal carbon but can use barbecue charcoal (ground up of course) for base metal clays. Most importantly he notes you should burn off the binder before firing. Interesting, I will have to add this to the list of things to do this year (perhaps wait until the weather warms so that I can break up the charcoal outside).

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