Hi there! In my spare time I have been creating several portrait miniatures.
Painting in miniature is a huge passion of mine and was my job for many years. I used to work for the J.A. Dedouch company based out of Oak Park IL as a miniature portrait artist. I created miniature art on porcelain.
Portrait miniatures first appeared in the early 1500’s in the French and English Courts.
Here is some of my recent work. The miniatures are made on goat parchment or on Arches hot pressed watercolor paper with either Gouache, Createx illustration colors or Doctor Martins spectralite paint. Each miniature takes about 4 hours to create from start to finish. I draw the outline in pencil and then proceed to block in colors. The colors used are mainly transparent pigments and each portrait has many layers of transparent pigment on them. The miniature ovals are 30x40mm in size. Historically the paintings were originally made on parchment using Guache or watercolors. As the art progressed you find them being painted using oil paint over copper plates using a base of opaque lead white, later than that you find enameled portraits. I can not oil paint any more (allergic) so I have substituted oils with modern acrylics for some of my portraits.
I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoy creating them!
Over the past several months, I have been working on a putting together a historical bead making furnace made out of clay. Being a historical bead maker, I felt that it was very important to recreate as close of a bead making experience for myself so I could further understand how beads were made before modern inventions. I had never made a clay furnace before. I researched the project for about 4 years before I started putting it all together. My goal was to have a portable historical bead making furnace set up that I could travel with and demo bead making.
Two weeks ago the bead making furnace was ready for its first run. Here is a video of me creating my first bead on the clay bead making furnace. The clay furnace is heated with hardwood charcoal. A pair of bellows was used to add air to the fire so it would get hot enough to melt glass. The glass is C104 Effetre Red Medium and is 5 mm round. It melts at 1050 degrees.
I will be blogging on the entire project at a later date but I wanted to get this out there for you to see. Many thanks to Denise Marsden for the pictures, Master Phelan Tolusmidr for coming out and helping me set everything up and running the bellows. Holland Cooley for making my stand and bellows. Dave Asplund for his forge work making my tools. Denise Tinker Lemke for her vast knowledge sharing and moral support. Jon Morford for being the most suportive husband ever. Neil Peterson for being and inspiration and a pioneer in making historical bead furnaces that work. Dutchess Dagmer and Meistara Reginleif in harfagra for all of the moral support and love. Lastly, Egor Stratovich for helping me with clay choices.
So here is the video. Enjoy!