The workshop begins on a Saturday and concludes 5 days later, on Wednesday before the distraction of majority of the big Gem & Mineral shows begin. We also start early so we can get to some of the shows in the late afternoon before they close up shop, for the day at about 6 pm.
The mask is a complex piece, more than Alexander The Great which I did back in November (and I just realized that I never blogged about that, and I will soon). There were several of us working on the mask and so we sat together so we could easily share what we were working on and it was easier to watch and listen when Valentin told one of what to do next or demonstrated how a part of the mask was to worked on.
One of the biggest differences I noted with this design was the specific instructions on what tool to use for each part of the mask. With the first design that every student does, Val provides specific direction of what tool, and size, to use for each part of the design. And of course that makes sense because you don't know what you are doing and you are not knowledgable as to what tools will result in what effect when used. As I have progressed through the 4 designs I have noticed there has been less hard direction and more guidance and even questions as to what I thought should be done. So with the mask it "now work the hair" or "do the nose" but no instruction as to what specific tool to be used.
For the first time, in one of Val's workshops, I did not finish the design. The repousse was completed but I only chased the left hand side of the mask. By the last day of the workshop I knew I would not finish it so I focused on finishing one side of the mask and this would allow me to know what to do on the right side so I could finish it when I got home. So for the past two weekend, I have been slowly working to complete it and yesterday I was done with the chasing.
I have taken the piece out of the pitch pot and I have remove the extra pitch from the back, flatten the surrounding metal and then put a patina on it so the fine lines make the design pop.
Here are just a few of the process pictures for you to see.
Yes, I worked in silver for this one!