Friday, September 1, 2017

Pre-Upcoming Project Interview

Pre-Upcoming Project Interview:

Glorious: Have you ever went on a mural arts tour?

Veronica: Yes, when I was 16. I didn’t like it.
Glorious: In my experience, the tour is provided by older white women who take their participants on a train trip through un-gentrified West Philly to give them the background information on a tagger’s artistic process without much information about graffiti itself or the culture and people it comes from. This tour costs. Overall thoughts?

Veronica: Yep. It’s weird that they don’t see this as creating a spectacle of neighborhoods.
I went on a mural tour when I was 16, visiting Philly for the first time. We were on a double decker bus and a man on the microphone talked about the artwork but not about why it was there or anything. When we got to North Philly, a little kid shouted at us to get out of his neighborhood and I was like, yeah we should really get off this giant red bus and people should probably stop taking pictures of people hanging out on their stoops. I think if you want to go see murals, have the decency to get out of the car or get off the bus and say hi to the people who live there. If you’re giving these tours, provide more context. If the mural is now a tourist destination, give that neighborhood a cut of the profits. Present all this at community meetings and get their permission and feedback.

Glorious: Like some of the mural arts tours, your next project involves transportation. Tell me a little bit about it.

Veronica: This project hinges on people not knowing specifics about it for a while for legal reasons. I’ll tell you that the goal of the project is to seminate useful information to as many people as possible, using the aesthetic of the advertisements we see all around us.

Glorious: Will the art contributed to this project also be free like the ones in the MSM exhibition?

Veronica: The art in MSM was not free. Artists deserve to make a living from their work. The artwork in this project will be reproductions of originals and they will be free.

Glorious: What is motivating you to do the project?

Veronica: Let’s leave this project unnamed for now. The state of American politics is appalling. I’m motivated by my own value system that requires me to be helpful and useful to as many people as I can, using the tools I possess. Information is empowering. Seminating information will be empowering to others.

Glorious: From my understanding, the event will be 7 consecutive days, why not longer?

Veronica: Because I don’t have the time or resources to do it for any longer.

Glorious: Since this event is politically charged, will you consider running again, November 2018, when House of Representative seats will be up for re-election?

Veronica: I would like to.

Post MSM Interview

Post MSM Exhibition Interview:

Glorious: Under the motive of addressing wealth inequality in the More Stately Mansions Exhibition, how effective were you in reaching an audience that is directly affected by wealth inequality?

Veronica:In reaching out to the desired audience, I was effective. As you know, you dropped off flyers at pointed locations throughout Kensington and Fishtown. I then called these locations and contacted them via Facebook to invite them to the show’s events. Unfortunately, I did not have as many people from these community centers attending the exhibition as I had hoped.

Glorious: Considering that the themes of the exhibition were “wealth inequality” and “access to art” or “removing materialism from art”, why were the MSM events held in Northern Liberties/Fishtown, a neighborhood that is so thoroughly gentrified?

Veronica: The neighborhood is actually in the border between Kensington and Fishtown. Toward Fishtown, it is very gentrified and then an equal distance away in the other direction is experiencing one of the biggest heroin epidemics in the United States and has a large portion the population still living at the poverty level or below. I found this to be a perfect location to discuss the class divide as the gallery literally falls within the dividing line.

Glorious: How do you feel about the social ladder established in American culture? Would it be more the socio-economic structure be more ethical if more people had access to the tools that would allow them to climb it, or should we destroy the social classes in general?

Veronica:This question is way too hard. I think we should at least start by getting everyone on equal footing in terms of basic needs and safety. Get rid of the systemically racially oppressive system in which we live. Empower the marginalized. That task should keep us busy a while.

Glorious:In a sociology class, I learned that capitalism is necessary for the overall happiness of our nation because it provides the opportunity for people to work for and achieve financial and social gains (which apparently makes people extremely happy). Considering the studies that support that notion, do you think happiness can be obtained without capitalism?

Veronica: You should watch a documentary called “Happy”.
It follows a man as he tries to quantify happiness around the country and around the world. It directly disagrees with your sociology class. Perhaps people just want to feel valued. That value system is not monetarily driven for everyone.

Glorious: Transitioning from the exhibit to the problems that it addresses, in your own perfect utopian world, how would wealth be distributed? (And Why)

Veronica: I’m far too practical to have a utopian world in my imagination. I also will not pretend to be an economics expert. I will say this. We need a shift in thinking before any structural change can happen. This is cultural. We need to value empathy above power. We need to see power as the byproduct of empowering others, not disenfranchising them.

Glorious: In this same fictional world, would artists get paid for their work? Would art be considered work? Should art be considered work? If not, why? If so, on what metric system would they be paid and according to what standards would art be valued?

Veronica: Artists are paid for their work now and it is considered work. This is just not a universally held value. There is a barrier between the arts and the working class because of the classist stigma in the arts. The answer is to provide more integrated arts education in the public school system. Present the arts as a subject matter equal to science and math. Provide more federal and state funding for public art projects so the work is consumable by the public and accessible to all and the artist still gets to make a living. There also needs to be a market that is not dictated by the uber wealthy so galleries don’t drive up the cost of art, making it unaffordable. I am not going to dictate the value of art. That is subjective and a case by case judgement and should remain so. At the bare minimum, the artist should be able to survive off of what they make on a project.

Glorious:In the future, how do you plan to continue the conversation about wealth inequality and materialism in art?

Veronica: The mission statement of CHER is to ease this divide between the arts/artists and the working class. This removal of the classist stigma will serve as a means of discussing this one part of the class divide of which I am a part. We never take commision off of sold work, so the work is affordable to gallery visitors. We don’t negotiate the sales, so the artist talks directly with the visitor.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


This internship was a great learning experience for me, it was my first exposure to working in a glass studio as a job outside of school. I learned that not every shop is the same and being able to be flexible and adjust to working in different environments is important. I now have incredibly valuable experience working with people other than my peers and instructors at school. I’ve gotten used to a regular work schedule and I must say that I really enjoy it!

The techniques and skills that I have developed this summer will certainly show through into my own personal work, every moment of practicing glass is so important to my own practice. Many of the things I have been practicing are directly translatable to things I needed to work on in my work as well. I feel a hundred times more comfortable coldworking than I did before, I believe this confidence will help me push to greater leaps in the development of my projects. I’ve found that working in this environment has helped my creative thinking and problem solving, and my ideas are progressing to be more fully developed than before. I am really looking forward to using everything I learned during this upcoming semester.  

I would be very sad to leave Remark Glass but I am incredibly grateful for being offered a job and keep working with everyone throughout the school year! Not only has this internship helped me develop my skills and learn what it is like to work outside of the school environment, but now I can continue doing so. I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am to continue working with them. I’m looking forward to seeing what I will be helping work on next. Remark has been an incredibly positive working environment and I’m glad I will be able to stay around to see the place continue to grow!  

Swarovski glass crystal beads

Another project I worked on this summer with Remark Glass was a production piece for a client in New York. For this piece the client wanted to showcase beautiful Swarovski glass crystal beads. The final piece was a hanging wall of these shiny reflective crystals that sat in front of a large mirror.

When working on a production piece, or anything for that matter, there usually is at least some degree of problem solving throughout the design and building of the piece. Many times we can reflect on past pieces to avoid problems. That is something we did with this piece. For a previous piece beads were similarly strung on fishing line, this however proved to stretch over time from the weight of the beads. Going in with this knowledge we were able to avoid this problem and utilized Spiderwire, a braided cord that does not stretch under weight. Unlike the single filament of fishing line which under the heavy weight of glass beads stretching over time, there are 3 filaments braided to prevent stretching. Working on a project like this is refreshing, I enjoy trying different things and being able to mix things up and do something different for each project is great! Stringing the beads on was almost meditative, and I was able to think about ideas for other work while I did it.

I only got to see a picture of the end results of the piece as the show was in NYC, but it came out gorgeous. The strands of beads were coming out of the top of the piece suspended by triangular clear glass rods, and the way that light was caught between the beads and the mirror was breathtaking.

A bittersweet goodbye

I was so lucky to get paired with such a wonderfully talented and kind host. Kay was patient and so helpful, an extensive teacher that went over every step and explained processes and steps as many times as you asked, not once making you feel like you were doing something wrong or too slowly. I think that is the main reason I feel so confident with the lessons and techniques I walk away with from this fellowship.
She is someone I look up to and I know as I develop my artist career I will frequently refer back to the lessons and experiences I had this summer. I understand now how disciplined and hard working you have to be a successful artist. Constantly challenging yourself and pushing yourself to make new and thought provoking content.
Above in the trio of instagram of posts is just a small window into all the amazing projects and experiences I had in this fellowship. I had the pleasure of meeting Kay's and Greg's sweet loving pup Eleanor, I will miss her early morning leaps of joy, she is more calm and collected as a dog than I  will ever be! Also meeting and befriending the other fellow, the beautiful and talented Julia, it was so great to share the experience with her and I look forward to seeing what new weirdly brilliant work she produces in her senior year at Uarts! We made some great memories at New Courtland and went on all kinds of adventures with Mr. Foot!
Lets see how many of my summer fellowship goals can I tick off?

  • Assist with inventory? TICK- Not only did we catalog and tag almost every piece Kay has but I also became a master art packer!! 
  • Sewing? TICK- I still am timid and extra extra slow but I have been practicing and moving forward, all thanks to Kay's patient step by step tutorials! 
  • Screenprinting? TICK- YES the part of the fellowship I was most excited about I feel so confident and ready to venture on my own with, I did every step multiple times in multiple variations and we went straight into the "tough stuff" can't wait to get into the Uarts screen printing studio and practice what I've learnt! 
  • Observing studio operations? TICK- Not only did I get the pleasure of working along side Kay but I also got to peak into the process of working of her lovely husband Greg. I am so grateful they let me observe and learn from their daily practices. I can move forward with a much more in-depth understanding of what lies ahead! 

Art Space

Something that has really stuck with me while being a fellow all summer is how important having an "artist's space" is. This space obviously varies from person to person but it is vital to the creative process.
Working in Kay's studio surrounded by her fabric station and sewing station, dark room and ink shelf nook I found myself constantly wanting to gravitate t an area and just make stuff! I would think back to my space at home and everything was scattered. On box of paints in one room and my ruler and cutting supplies in another, whenever I got an idea of something to create by the time I rallied all my supplies and got a "nook" going I felt like the steam had burnt out, especially since everything was now not in a comfortable accessible place.
It made me realize how important it is to a professional working artist or a student to treat your work space with respect and put as much love into it as you would your art pieces.
In Kay's printing studio she had a few shelves of ink jars but they were not cataloged some jars were not labeled correctly, colors weren't grouped together. So one of my tasks as a fellow was to sort through everything. Opening colors checking their consistency, adding water to ones that were drying out and try to revitalize them. Throw away anything that was completely dried out and then mix together color that were the same but in multiple jars. Then on little swaps of paper sample each color and tape it onto the jar. Finally once done, group all blues and greens etc so that it was easy to navigate the wide selection of colors. When done it was so satisfying to see all the inks shinning with possibility, it made me want to go home and paint!
I know have an organized and art orientated space at home that is ready to be taken advantage of and made into something, it is neatly tucked away but still in eyes sight. A space like my own is not for everyone of course, we all have different processes however seeing Kay's daily routine and working in her studio was a big insight into how she makes art and what her process is, and having an accessible process /space is vital to making art. So whether it is having a box of all your supplies together or labeled boxes categorized alphabetically I found out that your space plays just as important a role as your artwork.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The sewing machine!!!

Finally, I tackled the scary looking machine in the corner, I actually stepped forth and introduced myself to the...sewing machine! I did not think it would go as well as it did but I can say with confidence know that I understand the basics of how it works and can do the basics, I know enough to now venture on my own but I am definitely the slowest sewer that ever lived! I put together these little plug socket and light switch stuffies for Kay, and for someone who is a sucker for process I really appreciated being able to take this pieces from beginning to end!
First I screen printed mini rectangles with both sockets and light switches. Then cut up multiple layers of stuffing sheets roughly the size of the prints and blank fabric also roughly the same size. Then using the light box, I outlined in pencil the outskirt of the drawing so that I would know where to sew. Then I sandwiched all the pieces together, print side facing down on the blank fabric, and carefully and ever so painfully slow sewed all around the rectangle leaving a small inch lengthen opening. I then turned them inside out!

Now for the scary part! Trapunto! A quilting/stuffing technique where you sew over the stuffed layer. I do admit I was so timid with the machine pedal that it may have taken me several hours to do a few, then every time I got a little bit more confident I pressed too hard and sewed all over the place and had to start all over again. However when I eventually got into a slow but steady rhythm I can understand why the art of sewing has such a rich history of use, besides the necessity for it in daily life, there is such a meditative repetition that I can see myself getting lost in thought to the hum of the motor and pedal. I may not have managed to do them all, and with as much accuracy as I would have liked, but as Kay so kindly reminded me, it was meant to be art and not some sterile made object! I look forward to exploring further and really getting quick and confident with this mysterious mechanical creature! 

New Cortland Senior Project

Julia, Kay's other intern and I had the pleasure of being Kay's assistants on a great project head started by The Center For Emerging Visual Artists. It is the second time I have worked with this organization and on this particular program that is in collaboration with the New Cortland assisted living facility and local Philadelphia artists. I did the same project with the artist Margarita Hagan the previous summer and had such a fulfilling experience, so when Kay asked if I was interested I was so excited to get the opportunity to do it again! 

I worked with various seniors but mainly I assisted Malverce with the project a sweet old lady from Philadelphia. First we made booklets that consisted of different interview questions that related to the project, which centered around lost objects and memories of your first family home. It was definitely a challenge as most of the seniors memories of their childhood homes was foggy but with a lot of patience and repetition I discovered that Malverce would love to help her mother cook in the kitchen, climbing on cabinets and fetching different ingredients for her mother while she cooked. In the evenings her family would sit on her porch and while her Uncle sang, her brother would teach her how to dance, a secret skill her brother had acclaimed and never told anyone how. That is how we came to Malverce's lost object, she danced until one day her shoes mysteriously disappeared and that was the last time she remembers dancing! 

We then proceeded on making molds so that we could make casts of every seniors hands, these hands will be attached to fabric arms and will be holding each seniors lost object, displayed along side their interviews. It was so fascinating to see how instantly all the group responded to playing with the clay in their hands and wedging it into our cardboard boxes. Afterwards once sealed Kay showed us the assistants how to mix the plaster, a job a little messy for the rest of the group, when the perfect consistency we poured the plaster into the box and carefully placed Malverce's hand on the surface, she was so patient through the whole project and was completely happy just relaxing and waiting for the mold to form! Once dry we pushed in the clay and slowly peeled it from the mold! After Kay fired the hands we glazed our clay hands! 
The whole experience was great and I look forward to seeing the show in April and having the group see this beautiful piece they helped construct, it really is true that art is ageless. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Screen Printing!

I have always been inspired with process lead artwork. I took a lithography class my first semester and responded so strongly to the steps and print making "magic" that happens when all steps in the process came together! Last semester I really missed that methodical silent melody that follows print making so I declared printmaking and bookbinding my degree minor. 
When we were given the names of the artist picks we made and I saw that Kay was a screen printer I was thrilled! I had actually signed up for a screen printing class that got canceled and had felt so disappointed so I felt like a match made in heaven! 
Kay fully emerged me into the EVERY step of the printmaking process, I leave this fellowship fully confident to tackle my own screen prints in the up and coming future! I will do my best to describe every step and learning curve of my screen printing voyage! 

Step 1: Reclaiming the screens! 

  • Walk down the long hall (carrying as many screens possible) to a grand bathroom that had the set up ready to go. 
  • With smaller hose, wet screen on both sides.
  • Put on safety gloves on and spray on reclaimer to start break down of old emulsion 
  • Chill and relax for 30 seconds, then take scrub spray and start rubbing reclaimer onto screen on both sides
  • With smaller hose rinse off both sides theres about to be a lot of water
  • Prepare the POWER HOSE 
  • Put on noise canceling head phones because boy is this power tool LOUD! 
  • Note to self, do not point hose to sink corners, every piece of debris will fly into the air and onto your face
  • Start cleaning screen and reveal the super satisfying inch by inch reveal of the clean screen 
  • Do this for a VERY long time
  • Wait just found several microscopic spots, try again
  • Ok now your done, leave to dry
  • Tip for next time, don't wear glasses, they steam up and you see nothing! 

Step 2: Emulsion 

  • Once screens are dry, put them in dark room 
  • Prepare emulsion, stirr stirr stirr!
  • Pour mixture into special emulsion trough 
  • With screen angled away from you, put trough against bottom leaving about 1.5 inch gap
  • While pulling trough at an angle pull screen towards you and pull trough up
  • Coat whole screen and scrape excess off with scrap cardboard 
  • Put wet screens in light proof container and wait to dry about an hour, waiting for next step

Step 3: Burning the screen 

  • Uncover magical screen burning machine that has built in UV bulbs. 
  • Place drawing that is to be printed facing up 
  • Get screen from light sensitive room and RUN to magical machine
  • Place screen over drawing, emulsion side down
  • Quickly fill back is of screen with foam squares
  • Then cover with light canceling sheet 
  • Put board and weights to seal contact with surface of screen and drawing
  • Set time, will vary for every magic screen printing machine! 
  • Do some dancing and chill with an awesome dog named Eleanor 
  • Run back and turn of  magic machine
  • Take screen into bathroom and with small hose wet both sides to stop the burning process
  • NOTE it doesn't alway work first time do not be disheartened! 
  • Only with small hose, power hose would wash out image, begin to wash out drawing 
  • Be patient it will feel like nothing is happening but eventually when screen is wet enough anywhere there was a black drawing on the sheet you will start to was out the emulsion
  • Once full drawing is unearthed, was off any residue from the back and leave to side to dry 

  • Attach screen to printing table
  • Print proof on acetate, this will help you to line up fabric when making patterned pieces like kay typically does
  • Place fabric on table and line up/straighten using acetate proof 
  • Print another proof of scrap newsprint
  • If satisfied with how print looked, print on the fabric!!! 
  • And then keep going, align print and move on
  • Switch out screen if pattern had multiple color layers! 

Hopefully of fully covered every step, I wanted to thoroughly catalog the process and my experience so that I can always reference my experience and the birth of a love for printmaking I didn't know I had before. Definitely my special moment from the whole fellowship, a learning experience I will not forget. 


Mirroring is a process that is used frequently at Remark Glass, and it is quite an intense one. This is a chemistry based process that requires the utmost attention and cleanliness to produce acceptable results. In addition to needing to be clean, the surface of the glass that you are applying mirror to needs to remain wet throughout the entire process. This means that you need to work quickly and carefully to ensure no spots dry in the middle of the process. The results are stunning and worth this careful detail. However because we are dealing with things such as tin and silver in liquid chemical forms precaution must be taken as these can be very easily absorbed through the skin and wreak havoc on the human body. Safety is no joke when it comes to glass processes, and this one in particular.

To begin we start off with a clean glass object, for this I will describe the process of mirroring a hollow form on the inside. Again during this process the glass must remain wet at all times. First scrub the inside of the form with a solution of alconox and water ensuring to scrub the entirety of it. Rinse the solution off of the glass with tap water, at this point we need to be wearing gloves to make sure none of the oils from our hands transfer to the glass. We make sure not even the glove touches the surface of the glass however as even that could mess it up. Next is a scrub of CRL cleaner once with extra fine pumice, again a rinse of tap water and then another scrub of CRL cleaner without the pumice this time. Now we switch over from tap water to distilled water for rinses. Tap water will have too many impurities to continue using at this point and will interfere with the mirror forming correctly. We do 3 complete rinses with fresh distilled water each time. From here a wetting agent is added and allowed to coat the surface of the glass. At least 30 seconds of exposure to all surfaces to be mirrored is required. This is then followed by 3 more rinses of distilled water. Immediately after this the surface of the glass is tinned with a liquid tin solution again allowing all surfaces to be exposed for 30 seconds minimum. This is then carefully poured out and 3 rinses are done with distilled water. Now the big moment is approaching/already happening since we must work quickly. The silver for the mirror comes in 3 parts that must be mixed together immediately before use. Parts A and B are non reactive to each other so they can be mixed prior but once part C is added the time starts ticking for the silver to fall out of the solution. This is shaken along all surfaces to be mirrored until the appropriate level of mirror desired is built up on the surface of the glass. This may require more than one mix of silver solution. To finish it off 3 more rinses with distilled water is done and then a final rinse with denatured alcohol to remove any remaining water from the silver as it would tarnish. This is then dried until absolutely bone dry before a lacquer is applied to seal and protect the mirror surface.  

Talking making arms and self growth!

Working closely with Kay and her pieces allowed to be fully immersed in her work and thought process of her artworks. It was really refreshing to see looking through pieces she has made over the past 5 years or so how her work and process developed.
A reoccurring conversation I have with fellow student artist always seems to gravitate around our insecurities of what is "right" or "wrong" in our artwork. By working with Kay it made me realize that the reoccurring questions we should be asking ourselves is are we growing? Are we continuing to challenge ourselves? Being able to recognize growth in your own work and then challenge yourself to top that and try something new is not easy. But while preparing Kay's show pieces and sorting through her wide selection of art pieces it was inspiring to see how she is constantly questioning her method and testing all it possibilities.
I helped put together some of her stuffies as she calls them, we talked about the stitching technique, what looked neater, but what also added lasting strength to the piece. Feathering edges with varying cuts to stop gathering and hand sewing labels and hanging strips.
There was a really nice balance between function and artistry which is something I have always struggled with. But by seeing Kay's progression in her own work and how freely she spoke of her growth it gave me confidence to not be afraid to try new things and always be looking for opportunities of growth through my own work.
The pictures above show some of our process, something like stuffing a fabric arm in the beginning of the fellowship took my several weeks but towards the end I was then doing in a day, it was so exciting to me that I grew and developed skills so fast and was constantly thinking of ways I can apply these new attained skills in my own life/work.

Assisting in the hot shop

Assisting with glassblowing at Remark Glass was a great experience that I had the luxury of experiencing twice this summer. This summer they finished installing a hot shop in their studio so being one of the first people to try it out was so nice. Because we use recycled bottle glass, for the most part the blowing is done with bottles brought up in a kiln which are then picked up on a collar. A collar is a ring of glass on the end of blow pipe. This creates a seal between the bottle and the pipe so when you blow into the pipe the glass can expand.

The main piece of equipment we use to reheat the glass is called a gloryhole (yeah I know get the laughs out now!). This runs on a mix of propane and air to get up to temperature. We keep this at 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature it isn't exactly comfortable to stand in front of but you get used to it, kind of. While I'm assisting with blowing my main concern is to anticipate what the next step will be and have everything ready for it. Once the glass is too large I need to operate the doors on the gloryhole to allow it to fit. I need to be ready to carefully blow when they need air in the piece. I need to be prepared to light up a torch when we need to spot heat an area of glass before reheating the entire piece. When you spot heat the glass you are allowing the rest of the piece to cool down to a lower temperature while raising the temperature of a particular spot. That way when you go to reheat the whole piece, that spot always stay hotter than the rest.

Some other aspects of assisting includes using a wooden paddle to either flatten the bottom of the glass or to maintain even thickness and a flat plane on the lip of the glass when it is being opened up. Even making sure that the person doing the blowing has water is important! Overall it is a fun experience, but it requires a lot of attention and focus. You can't zone out cause your complete attention is needed to make sure the piece comes out right.   

Making rings

One way that we recycle bottles into new products is creating rings from the neck of a bottle. To do this I begin by prepping the bottle with a thorough cleaning. I do this to ensure there is nothing stuck to the surface of the glass that could cause devitrification when the glass is eventually brought up to temperature in a kiln. This would create a hazy rough texture on the surface of the glass, something we would want to avoid with a wearable product such as a ring.

We aim for our products to not all be identical, so the thickness that I cut the rings can have variance. It would be a huge time waster and way too difficult to make them all identical anyways! These rings are created with two tools, the diamond saw and the kiln. After a variety of colored bottles are picked out and prepped I proceed to cutting them on the saw. This is a process that I've gotten down pat and can cut 50 rings relatively quickly. The taper of the bottle neck allows different sized rings to be created from the same bottle. Cutting on the diamond saw gets the glass pretty dirty and covered in fine silica dust so they need to be cleaned again. The reason for cleaning twice rather than all at the end is adhesive and other stuff that might be stuck to the glass before I do the cutting is much more difficut to get off than silica dust. A simple rinse under water suffices. Then they are cleaned off with denatured alcohol and loaded into the kiln.

The firing process takes two full firings to get to the finished product. Both sides of the rings are very rough after being cut so it is important to fire twice, once for each side facing up. The side that is in contact with the kiln shelf doesn't fire as well as the side that is up. But after flipping and firing both sides the rings come out looking flawless.