There are many different processes to the first stages of sculpting. The metal is hand cut to create free shapes. It then must be ground, smoothed, cut and filed down for sharp edges. The metal is hand formed in wooden molds.
Much prepping is needed in order to prepare the metal for painting. The sculpture must be sandblasted and primed.
All of Karen's sculptures are hand-painted. When the painting is complete details such as eyes and finger nail polish are added. The sculptures are then adorned with unique charms to add character and personality to the unique sculptures.
Finally, these one-of-a-kind sculptures are inspected and prepared for presentation before being sold. After all of the finishing touches have been put on Karen will sign the piece. The last bits of finishing touches may include Karen's signature beads, charms, and sparkles.
Learn more about Karen's process, and her original sculptures here
The Finish of Metals:
The very same metal may be finished in different ways within the same sculpture. Metals can be finished to a high luster, or ability to reflect light. They also may be wirebrushed, acid etched, or textured in other ways, and then sprayed with a clear acrylic spray or lacquer. Finally, metals may be oxidized (painted) and then sprayed with the acrylic or waxed with Butcher's Wax to inhibit further oxidation. Of course, the metal may not resemble its natural, or base, at all; it may be air-brushed or hand painted.
The Care of Finished Metals:
How to Care for Nonferrous Metals:
Nonferrous Metals are those elements and their alloys which do not contain iron. The nonferrous metals that I usually work with are copper, brass, bronze, tin, and aluminum. They may be highly buffed, in which case the appropriate metal polish may be used to remove fingerprints and/or the ravages of age (tarnish). I use Noxon or Neverdull for copper, brass and nickle-silver. If nonferrous metals are used in a sculpture and sprayed with an acrylic or lacquer, wipe with a soft damp cloth to clean. Over a period of years, the spray may begin to wear off. In this case, respray the sculpture according to the directions on the can. To clean a waxed piece, dust it with a soft damp cloth. Then, use a dry cloth to bring a dull luster back to the sculpture.
How to Care for Ferrous Metals:
Steel is a ferrous metal (contains iron). Steel may be treated in much the same way as a nonferrous metal; sprayed, waxed, or oiled to prevent further oxidation. The same care instructions then apply to both steel and the nonferrous metals. My steel sculptures are often rust-proofed and painted. A scratch to the surface of the sculpture, or perhaps an air bubble in the paint, may open the door for the elements (moisture in the air) to create a spot. Rust is a deterioration of steel and is a progressive action, unless it is inhibited by a dash of household or motor oil, or the sprays mentioned above. To clean painted items, use a slightly dampened rag. To remove wax from Menorahs, try to remove as much wax as possible without damaging the surface; unscrew the candlecups and dip in hot water. Rub any remaining wax into the Menorah as a protective coating. For further protection, especially for pieces outdoors, use Rustoleum Clear, once a year. Follow the directions on the can. ALWAYS test a small, unobtrusive area vefore spraying entire object. Another optioon is to use clear coat from an Auto Body Shop.
How to Care for Plated Metals:
For fingerprints and general purpose cleaning, use Windex or Alcohol.
How to Care for Powder Coated Steel:
Powder coating is an electromagnetic finish of plastic, which is very durable and protects the sculptures from ultra-violet rays. These sculptures may be cleaned with soap and water, or may be surface cleaned with furniture polish (Pledge).
To remove wax on Menorahs:
Try to remove as much wax as possible without damaging the surface of the Menorah. Unscrew the candlecups and dip in hot water to remove wax. Rub any miscellaneous wax into Menorah as a protective covering.
For Outdoor Use:
Once a year, use Rustoleum Clear. Follow directions on can. ALWAYS test small, unobtrusive area before spraying entire object.
Another option is to use a clear coat from an Auto Body Shop.