I am so proud of my coin! And (and, and!) it has the buffalo from an actual buffalo nickel on the back (which I find very funny - something I made says "United States of America/ E Pluribus Unum" on it - as if I have an official stamp of approval for my artwork - lol!).
A little more about the process: I engraved a steel die with sharp steel tools in the negative
My thumb post-engraving
(Don't try this at home, kids!)
|Me at the screw press|
disclosure - I didn't press most of the coins
.(safer that way - I am pretty clumsy -
see previous shot of thumb :p )
Thanks goes to Joe Paonessa of Badger Mint
One steel die is placed in the top of a screw press and the other near the base. A disc of pewter is placed on top of the lower die. Handle turns, top die descends - boom - pewter becomes the peanut butter between two slices of steel bread. Because it's softer, the pewter "fills in" the negative space left by carving out the steel die, creating a positive image.
|More Colorado loveliness|
I'm humbled by the dedication and knowledge of the numismatists I met in Colorado.
I love learning about new materials, techniques, and tools, but I was thinking that I'm an outlier at the summer seminar because I don't know much about coins. As I thought about this some more (it's a long plane ride ;) ), the more I think that it's both true and not exactly true.
I appreciate coins in a particular way. I relate to coins as something to look at, instead of as something to know about. Because I'm not as interested in their history or facts about them (yet), I think it might seem like I'm enthusiastic but clueless because knowing to look at comes out in pictures, where as knowing about comes out in words.
It's hard for me to articulate, but I have been paying close attention to the way certain coins look. As with other things I like to look at (Greek vases, tapestries, manuscripts, architectural sculpture) when I see coins that show a balance of living things and patterning, I think they are beautiful, and I remember them.
A few weeks ago, I noticed the similarity of my bird tiny print to an image from a Greek coin, so I decided to do a little scavenger hunt of pieces from the last year...
I find it a little creepy - not bad exactly, but it feels like opening the fridge to find a plate of cookies that I can't remember baking or buying - I like cookies, and it would be nice to come across something delicious, but it would still be weird to find a plate of cookies in the fridge without knowing how they got there. (big hmmmm.)
|Look Mom, Red Dot!!!|
|framed and on the wall (whew!)|
Picking back up with the skull theme from 2 weeks ago, my art-reaction to coming home was: "Quick, I should carve something big and complicated immediately, because anything in linoleum will seem easy after working on a tiny piece of steel."
I carved, printed, cut out this 9 x 11" skull block on Sunday...I may not become an expert engraver, but the experience has already sped up my relief printing :).
|hand printed on gray paper|
|drawing on block|
|print with drawing, cut out and mounted on blue paper|
|close up of the drawing on print|
In non-art news - my plants are doing well, and I celebrated the arrival of summer by making this little patio near the herb garden, planted in April.
|As we can see, my absence was a source of much distress ;)|