Slide Pendants Revisited

Rissa Peace Root 2004

   
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In a past issue, fiber artist Pat Winter did a how-to article for slide pendants.  Pat created these incredible micro-miniature crazy quilts and sandwiched them between two microscope slides, then sealed it with copper tape and soldered over the tape.  I am the proud owner of two of Pat's slide pendants and they are indeed little works of art.  When a friend hosted a slide pendant swap, I decided to join, but I could not manage to find my soldering iron, so  I finished my slide pendant with jewelry wire and silvered-copper foil tape instead. 

I was less than thrilled with my end product, and I had considerable trouble with the microscope slides breaking while I was putting together my first one.  I learned the hard way how important it is to keep the dimensional elements balanced. Later that month, I got a lovely slide pendant from my swap partner and I was mortified by the lousy job I had done on my first one.  I decided to think my design over and find a way to make it work.

I proceeded to make several slide pendants using Pat's instructions, except that I used jewelry wire to attach the jump ring and I left off the soldering.  Copper foil tape is available in a variety of sizes and colors with 1/4 inch being the most common.  Most major craft store carry foil tape, it is often with the stained glass supplies.  After you apply the foil tape, use a burnishing tool to rub the foil to make sure it sticks to the glass and completely covers the wire.  This helps give the slide pendant a finished look and you can stop here if you like.  I have worn these with nothing but the foil tape and they all held up well, so the solder is not necessarily required.



Some examples of my slide pendants that were sealed with foil tape alone.

Some of these slide pendants were Crazy Quilted and one even incorporated charms, but they were flatter and better balanced than my first one, so they held up well during the taping process.  The one on the far right is a favorite photo of my cat that I printed onto fabric.  I just placed the slide where I thought it looked best, folded the fabric over, used a little 3M Spray Mount to hold it in place, then used a rotary cutter against the edge of the microscope slide.  The  3M Spray Mount also helps make the finished slide more durable.  I decided to use the back of the slide as a place to sign my work and in some cases, I made it decorative. 


Slide Pendants by Kathleen Brulc

A friend of mine, Kathleen Brulc, used Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE), to give her slide pendants a look similar to soldering.  She used double-sided tape to make the UTEE stick, then carefully warmed it with a heat gun until the granules melted.  Each time you dip it and warm the UTEE, it will change the texture slightly.  It will have a distinctly pebble-like texture the first time you heat it and will become more smooth and glassy with each layer.

Ranger also makes the Melt Art Melting Pot, which has many uses, including heating UTEE.  UTEE will not melt in a traditional glue pot, because it simply does not get hot enough.  The Melting Pot has a special setting just for UTEE, which is the hottest setting, which makes it the perfect companion if you plan to explore the many uses of this product.  Pour some UTEE granules into the Melting Pot's project pan and plug the unit into an outlet.  When the warming light goes off,  dip your copper taped slide into the mixture.  This gives a much thicker application than using dry granules and tape.  If you use a metallic color, it will look very similar to solder, because it will have a glassy, smooth texture.  You can even go back and use a rubber stamp to make impressions on the UTEE before it cools completely. 

Although the Interference Blue is a really cool UTEE color, it does not work as well on the slide pendants as black, copper and gold.  The end result looks more like melted glue than solder.  Also, make sure you have burnished your copper tape before you use the UTEE or it might melt into your artwork.  I am including the following photo, so that you can see my mistakes, there-by avoiding them yourself. 


The melted UTEE soaked into the fibers on the end, because the tape was loose. 

If you decide to use Ranger's Melting Pot, make sure you have a non-stick sheet handy (I used a silicon baking sheet that I reserve for craft projects) and a clamp for holding your pendant while working with the hot UTEE.  I  found that I needed to use my embossing heat gun to do touch-up on my slide after dipping it into the melted UTEE. 

Resources:

Ranger Crafts, http://www.rangerink.com/

 
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