1.30.2010

Something finished!

One of my very best friends left for a 6-week season in Egypt today. I was feeling too badly to see her off, but Tom took her to the airport and presented her with this gift.
She's a fellow Egyptologist and her research interests include mudbrick, palaces, and the reign of Amenhotep III and the Amarna Period. Soooo, I thought I'd make her a pendant with a reproduction of a stamp frequently used on mudbricks from the reign of Amenhotep III.
Mud bricks were often stamped with the names of the people or institution responsible for the construction of which they were a part. In this instance, I chose a stamp with the prenomen of Amenhotep III (Neb-maat-re), which is on the right and his Great Royal Wife, Tiye (on the left). This particular stamp was used on mudbricks used to construct a portion of the royal palace of Amenhotep III near modern Luxor (Malqata).
I decided to do an imitation of faience instead of a miniature mud-brick. I thought it would be a bit more attractive as well as easier to pull off.
So, I carved a rubber block with the stamp. Then rolled out some
polymer clay, mixed it to the faience color I wanted, and stamped it.
The impression was not fantastic as you can see in the top photo.
Stamping into clay is far less forgiving than stamping with ink. The
three-dimensional nature of the impression catches all the edges that
I didn't carve cleanly, the variation in depth of carving, etc. But, I
think it still worked reasonably well.
After baking I cleaned some edges up with my lino carving tools and
some sanding.
I did a light wash of paint to catch some of the edges and give it more
of an faience appearance and then I used some satin-finish glaze, which
you can see in the last two photos.

I'm giving some thought to producing more pieces like this for sale.
Any thoughts? Requests?
I figure I may as well try to combine my training as an Egyptologist
with my fiddling around with clay and see what comes of it.
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2 comments:

Julie said...

That would be VERY cool. Any kind of jewelry replicas, or stuff like what you're doing here. Or do custom work and write out whatever people want. I don't know how difficult stitch markers would be for you, but Egyptian-based stitch markers would rock, too.

Shoveling Ferret said...

Thanks! I've thought of stitch markers. Some of the other stuff I've been doing has been little reproductions of pots as jewelry. At the moment, size is an issue (isn't it always...) - but I think I'm getting better at small and not craptastic.
Now I just have to get making. :P