Friday, March 3, 2017

The Making of a Flower


The Flower!
The Prescott Art Market recently started a quarterly art show-competition.  There is space to hang 20 canvases that measure 20" x 20" x 2"  and anyone who shows their work in the gallery is eligible to participate.  The theme and color scheme is based on the seasons.  Spring is coming up!  March 1 is the opening show from 6 pm to 8 pm and you are invited!

This is the color scheme for spring
and these are my test pieces for the polymer colors.

I'm trying some new (for me) ideas in polymer clay and instead of making only jewelry, I'm exploring polymer on a canvas with some 3 dimensional pieces.

I gathered canes I had and made additional ones in the colors of the spring scheme and started to design a canvas that tells the story of making a 3 dimensional flower.

Canes I selected for the project
Several canes were selected to make a design line and then I sliced the long composite cane.  A thin blue sheet of polymer was rolled and the design line of canes was arranged.  Soon the sheet was filled!

Slices of design line canes
Preparing a sheet of polymer design ines
Once the sheet is finished, smoothed, and shaped, 3 dimensional flowers are added to the corresponding flat canes.  I want to show a flat small cane becoming a 3 - D flower.

2 pieces with 3D flowers

Since I have not made this flower before, I needed to make a prototype.  Each petal is made separately from a cane I made just for this prototype.  I'll use it as a pin later.  Then the pieces are glued to a base.  Since this worked I'll make the flower for the canvas.  In fact, that is the flower at the top of this blog!
prototype flower

The canvas was painted blue and the pieces added.  The 2 large flat pieces are attached with tiny bolts and nuts to the canvas.  The flower is attached with a nail that goes from the back of the canvas into the back of the flower and is glued in place.   It is such fun to figure out the processes and see what can be done.



Finished piece!








Friday, February 24, 2017

Necklaces and Clavichords

My Necklace on the Clavichord Plans
This past weekend Peter and I were busily working on our individual projects - I was making my first large hollow bead necklace while he was building a clavichord.  Usually the noise is out in the garage but this weekend he had some delicate drilling to do and needed to be in our Arizona room while I was working in polymer clay.

Drilling holes in the soundboard of the clavichord
This is the story of the necklace I made and actually it is the second such necklace.  I threw the first one away.  I tell you this just in case you think I never make mistakes!

When I opened one of my plastic boxes, I found a layer of clay that had design lines made of various canes.  It dawned on me that it might make great beads.  I recently saw a video by Kathleen Halverson Dustin showing her technique and wanted to try it.

sheet of polymer clay canes in design lines
The first thing I did was to make scrap clay in the shape of the necklace and cover it in a layer of baking soda.  Then I wrapped a thin sheet of black polymer around that and sealed it.  The baking powder keeps the two layers apart.   After the necklace is cured and while it is still warm, I cut the big curved shape into pieces and the center scrap clay comes out.  That was pretty neat to see!

When the hollow black beads are cool they become hard and black end caps are added.  Then the beads are cured in the oven again.  


Black hollow beads wit end caps after curing.
The next step is to cut the design line sheet into strips that will go around the black hollow bead, seal the edges and round the sides into the end caps.

Design layer wrapped on black hollow bead 

 The bead is cured again.  I put the beads on a layer of baking soda to keep their curves.

Beads on layer of baking soda
 Now the beads are ready for sanding.  I just bought an acrylic stand to make sanding easier.  The acrylic sheets keep the dust controlled.  I used 6 different grits of sandpaper.

Acrylic stand keeps sanding dust under control.
 Here's the funny part of the story (at least I laughed about it!)  Once the beads were polished, I drilled large holes in each end and strung the beads of stretch shoestrings.  I bought the shoestrings for a pair of my walking shoes and had no idea what I would do with the 5 extra pair in the package!   I knotted between each bead and love the way this necklace looks and feels.  It is light weight, colorful and lots of fun to wear.

Me and my necklace!








Friday, January 20, 2017

Shiny Beads



It's winter in Prescott and the cloudy skies and rain make me a bit depressed.  I needed to do something in color and Deb Crother's tutorial showing the techniques of liquid polymer clay was just the thing to brighten my day!  Thank you Deb!  http://www.debbiecrothers.com/product/curing-kato-liquid-clay-and-so-much-more-with-debbie-crothers

Generally my beads are in a satin finish.  I find I'm not a shiny glitzy girl!  But when I say the way Deb finished her polymer beads I just had to try.  Liquid polymer ( Kato's liquid polymer is the brand I used) is a milky white semi-thick liquid that I applied to each bead with a brush.  Then I used the heat gun to cure it with crystal clear shiny finish.  Wow!  What a difference.  The colors popped and the beads seemed to have more depth.  

The bead on the left has the liquid polymer coating.
Debbie Crother's tutorial is well worth the price since she shares set up, techniques and tips for more that just making beads shiny.  Lots of information and good demos.

The first day I used the liquid polymer on beads was a learning day of how to hold the bead and apply the liquid evenly;  how long to cure each bead; what to do when I was a little sloppy.  The second day I looked through all my beads and wondered how long it would take me to add the shiny coat to them!  By the third day, I was a little tired of holding the brush and realized I did not want all my beads to be shiny.  I like the satin finish too.  

My Happy Beads
After finishing a group of beads, I stopped and created my 'Happy Necklace'.  It makes me happy wearing and it is very comfortable.  It also goes with many of my outfits.....especially the jeans and knit tops!


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Making of a Flower


The Flower!
The Prescott Art Market recently started a quarterly art show-competition.  There is space to hang 20 canvases that measure 20" x 20" x 2"  and anyone who shows their work in the gallery is eligible to participate.  The theme and color scheme is based on the seasons.  Spring is coming up!  March 1 is the opening show from 6 pm to 8 pm and you are invited!

This is the color scheme for spring
and these are my test pieces for the polymer colors.

I'm trying some new (for me) ideas in polymer clay and instead of making only jewelry, I'm exploring polymer on a canvas with some 3 dimensional pieces.

I gathered canes I had and made additional ones in the colors of the spring scheme and started to design a canvas that tells the story of making a 3 dimensional flower.

Canes I selected for the project
Several canes were selected to make a design line and then I sliced the long composite cane.  A thin blue sheet of polymer was rolled and the design line of canes was arranged.  Soon the sheet was filled!

Slices of design line canes
Preparing a sheet of polymer design ines
Once the sheet is finished, smoothed, and shaped, 3 dimensional flowers are added to the corresponding flat canes.  I want to show a flat small cane becoming a 3 - D flower.

2 pieces with 3D flowers

Since I have not made this flower before, I needed to make a prototype.  Each petal is made separately from a cane I made just for this prototype.  I'll use it as a pin later.  Then the pieces are glued to a base.  Since this worked I'll make the flower for the canvas.  In fact, that is the flower at the top of this blog!
prototype flower

The canvas was painted blue and the pieces added.  The 2 large flat pieces are attached with tiny bolts and nuts to the canvas.  The flower is attached with a nail that goes from the back of the canvas into the back of the flower and is glued in place.   It is such fun to figure out the processes and see what can be done.



Finished piece!








Friday, February 24, 2017

Necklaces and Clavichords

My Necklace on the Clavichord Plans
This past weekend Peter and I were busily working on our individual projects - I was making my first large hollow bead necklace while he was building a clavichord.  Usually the noise is out in the garage but this weekend he had some delicate drilling to do and needed to be in our Arizona room while I was working in polymer clay.

Drilling holes in the soundboard of the clavichord
This is the story of the necklace I made and actually it is the second such necklace.  I threw the first one away.  I tell you this just in case you think I never make mistakes!

When I opened one of my plastic boxes, I found a layer of clay that had design lines made of various canes.  It dawned on me that it might make great beads.  I recently saw a video by Kathleen Halverson Dustin showing her technique and wanted to try it.

sheet of polymer clay canes in design lines
The first thing I did was to make scrap clay in the shape of the necklace and cover it in a layer of baking soda.  Then I wrapped a thin sheet of black polymer around that and sealed it.  The baking powder keeps the two layers apart.   After the necklace is cured and while it is still warm, I cut the big curved shape into pieces and the center scrap clay comes out.  That was pretty neat to see!

When the hollow black beads are cool they become hard and black end caps are added.  Then the beads are cured in the oven again.  


Black hollow beads wit end caps after curing.
The next step is to cut the design line sheet into strips that will go around the black hollow bead, seal the edges and round the sides into the end caps.

Design layer wrapped on black hollow bead 

 The bead is cured again.  I put the beads on a layer of baking soda to keep their curves.

Beads on layer of baking soda
 Now the beads are ready for sanding.  I just bought an acrylic stand to make sanding easier.  The acrylic sheets keep the dust controlled.  I used 6 different grits of sandpaper.

Acrylic stand keeps sanding dust under control.
 Here's the funny part of the story (at least I laughed about it!)  Once the beads were polished, I drilled large holes in each end and strung the beads of stretch shoestrings.  I bought the shoestrings for a pair of my walking shoes and had no idea what I would do with the 5 extra pair in the package!   I knotted between each bead and love the way this necklace looks and feels.  It is light weight, colorful and lots of fun to wear.

Me and my necklace!








Friday, January 20, 2017

Shiny Beads



It's winter in Prescott and the cloudy skies and rain make me a bit depressed.  I needed to do something in color and Deb Crother's tutorial showing the techniques of liquid polymer clay was just the thing to brighten my day!  Thank you Deb!  http://www.debbiecrothers.com/product/curing-kato-liquid-clay-and-so-much-more-with-debbie-crothers

Generally my beads are in a satin finish.  I find I'm not a shiny glitzy girl!  But when I say the way Deb finished her polymer beads I just had to try.  Liquid polymer ( Kato's liquid polymer is the brand I used) is a milky white semi-thick liquid that I applied to each bead with a brush.  Then I used the heat gun to cure it with crystal clear shiny finish.  Wow!  What a difference.  The colors popped and the beads seemed to have more depth.  

The bead on the left has the liquid polymer coating.
Debbie Crother's tutorial is well worth the price since she shares set up, techniques and tips for more that just making beads shiny.  Lots of information and good demos.

The first day I used the liquid polymer on beads was a learning day of how to hold the bead and apply the liquid evenly;  how long to cure each bead; what to do when I was a little sloppy.  The second day I looked through all my beads and wondered how long it would take me to add the shiny coat to them!  By the third day, I was a little tired of holding the brush and realized I did not want all my beads to be shiny.  I like the satin finish too.  

My Happy Beads
After finishing a group of beads, I stopped and created my 'Happy Necklace'.  It makes me happy wearing and it is very comfortable.  It also goes with many of my outfits.....especially the jeans and knit tops!