Friday, December 30, 2016

A Piece of Fabric Becomes An Inspiration

My polymer interpretation of a piece of fabric

A piece of fabric caught my eye in a fabric store and became the inspiration for my current project.  I started out wanting to make a lot of polymer canes (sticks of polymer with a design running through them) in colors that would go together but not match and would make me happy.  I also wanted to use up my Sculpey polymer clay that was getting old.  I used all the colors I had left and combined them in design strips of various sizes.   The wave design you see makes me think of fabric and gives a counterpoint to the structure of lines.  The piece above is approx 5" x 7" and it really does make me happy to see it.  

Canes made into design strips
Here's a little about the process:  The packages of clay were conditioned so they would be easy to work.  I made sheets of thin black polymer to use as wrapping for the finished design strips.  I think the black delineates the strip and pops the color. Each design strip is made of layers or rolls or extruded shapes of clay and put together.  Some took quite a bit of time and some not so much.  

All the design strips were made at one time so I knew what to select for each design story.


A sheet of black polymer rolled on the thickest setting became the backing for my mosaic. I selected design strips that were cut thin and placed them side by side until I filled the background. Since this was my first piece and I had lots of cane design left I decided to make buttons and beads.  This lets me see how the colors blend and change during the curing.  

Buttons after curing and polishing

Beads before curing.  I used some translucent/white swirls on some to get a different effect.

Cured Beads - See how the color changes with the heat.

The buttons and beads turned out nice but I was disappointed at losing the mosaic pattern.  I liked all those design strips!  

After sleeping on it, I figured out what to do with a large mosaic of design strips.  Check back next Friday and I'll have more to show you! 

Friday, December 16, 2016



 It's time for experimenting and sharing!  This week I played with silk screening metallic powder and am pretty excited about the results!

Starting with Helen Breil's silkscreen 'Pills and coffee' www.helenbreil.com/silkscreens, the tiny holes in the silk screen really make beautiful designs.  I used Ranger 'Perfect Pearls' powder  that come in a set of 4 metallic colors.(copper, bronze, silver and gold)  Little sponge applicators (in the package)  make rubbing the powder into the screen so easy.  If you brush the powder be sure to use a separate brush for each color.  Otherwise the colors mix together too easily.
I used black polymer as the base and screened on the copper shown in this picture.  It was also easy to screen the pattern on the rounded shapes.   Really a nice look.  The powder adhered nicely after curing.
Silk Screen I used

Metallic powders I used

Copper Metallic Silkscreen on Black Polymer Clay
Next I used this medallion stencil and brushed the metallic colors on the black polymer.  Then I used saran wrap over the clay and cut circles.  The pressure of the circle cutter on the saran makes the edges round.  These came out beautifully.  They would be great pendant, brooches or buttons!


I hope you are taking some time to play during this busy month of December!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Large Detail of rocks at The Dells
It's been a pretty full holiday season already and it's almost Christmas.   This fall my younger brother and his wife came for a visit (something I never thought could happen for health reasons).  My nephew Matt came for a visit and it was wonderful to get to know him better.  Peter and I were tour guides and as often happens we saw places we had not seen before and got a little different perspective on things we had seen. 

Matt in front of some of the rocks at The Dells
We are co hosts of a holiday party coming up and attended another neighborhood party.  Long time friends from Tucson came to visit and we are feeling blessed with all the love from family and friends.  I am reminded of how special each person is and how important it is to acknowledge individual talents. 

This month I'm finishing several projects that I started or wanted to start throughout this year and thought I'd share a few with you.  Part of the fun of the holiday season is allowing myself time to play in between the things that have to be done. 

Rocks!  Peter and I have a collection of lizards and lizards like to climb and hide among rocks.  But rocks can be heavy and can fall on tiny lizards if they are not stacked properly in the cage.  I've started making a few flat rocks out of light weight polymer clay and here are a few examples!  It's a great way to use up scrap clay.

Can you tell which I made?
Pearls!  I've redesigned a pearl necklace and knotted between those tiny pearls.  Every time I repaired, restrung and re-knotted a pearl necklace for someone else I thought I 'should' finish my necklace!  Done!


Birdhouses!  My sister-in-law loves to make fairy gardens.  I decided she needed some birdhouses so I used up some more of my scrap clay and sent her this gift!  Fun for both of us!


List Cover!  What to do with frog canes?  Make a cover for lists and give it as a gift to a friend who will appreciate it.   Lots of learning involved - what size is best?  How to join all the pages? 



Hope you can tell I've been having fun.  I'd love to hear from you about your end of the year adventures.











Friday, December 30, 2016

A Piece of Fabric Becomes An Inspiration

My polymer interpretation of a piece of fabric

A piece of fabric caught my eye in a fabric store and became the inspiration for my current project.  I started out wanting to make a lot of polymer canes (sticks of polymer with a design running through them) in colors that would go together but not match and would make me happy.  I also wanted to use up my Sculpey polymer clay that was getting old.  I used all the colors I had left and combined them in design strips of various sizes.   The wave design you see makes me think of fabric and gives a counterpoint to the structure of lines.  The piece above is approx 5" x 7" and it really does make me happy to see it.  

Canes made into design strips
Here's a little about the process:  The packages of clay were conditioned so they would be easy to work.  I made sheets of thin black polymer to use as wrapping for the finished design strips.  I think the black delineates the strip and pops the color. Each design strip is made of layers or rolls or extruded shapes of clay and put together.  Some took quite a bit of time and some not so much.  

All the design strips were made at one time so I knew what to select for each design story.


A sheet of black polymer rolled on the thickest setting became the backing for my mosaic. I selected design strips that were cut thin and placed them side by side until I filled the background. Since this was my first piece and I had lots of cane design left I decided to make buttons and beads.  This lets me see how the colors blend and change during the curing.  

Buttons after curing and polishing

Beads before curing.  I used some translucent/white swirls on some to get a different effect.

Cured Beads - See how the color changes with the heat.

The buttons and beads turned out nice but I was disappointed at losing the mosaic pattern.  I liked all those design strips!  

After sleeping on it, I figured out what to do with a large mosaic of design strips.  Check back next Friday and I'll have more to show you! 

Friday, December 16, 2016



 It's time for experimenting and sharing!  This week I played with silk screening metallic powder and am pretty excited about the results!

Starting with Helen Breil's silkscreen 'Pills and coffee' www.helenbreil.com/silkscreens, the tiny holes in the silk screen really make beautiful designs.  I used Ranger 'Perfect Pearls' powder  that come in a set of 4 metallic colors.(copper, bronze, silver and gold)  Little sponge applicators (in the package)  make rubbing the powder into the screen so easy.  If you brush the powder be sure to use a separate brush for each color.  Otherwise the colors mix together too easily.
I used black polymer as the base and screened on the copper shown in this picture.  It was also easy to screen the pattern on the rounded shapes.   Really a nice look.  The powder adhered nicely after curing.
Silk Screen I used

Metallic powders I used

Copper Metallic Silkscreen on Black Polymer Clay
Next I used this medallion stencil and brushed the metallic colors on the black polymer.  Then I used saran wrap over the clay and cut circles.  The pressure of the circle cutter on the saran makes the edges round.  These came out beautifully.  They would be great pendant, brooches or buttons!


I hope you are taking some time to play during this busy month of December!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Large Detail of rocks at The Dells
It's been a pretty full holiday season already and it's almost Christmas.   This fall my younger brother and his wife came for a visit (something I never thought could happen for health reasons).  My nephew Matt came for a visit and it was wonderful to get to know him better.  Peter and I were tour guides and as often happens we saw places we had not seen before and got a little different perspective on things we had seen. 

Matt in front of some of the rocks at The Dells
We are co hosts of a holiday party coming up and attended another neighborhood party.  Long time friends from Tucson came to visit and we are feeling blessed with all the love from family and friends.  I am reminded of how special each person is and how important it is to acknowledge individual talents. 

This month I'm finishing several projects that I started or wanted to start throughout this year and thought I'd share a few with you.  Part of the fun of the holiday season is allowing myself time to play in between the things that have to be done. 

Rocks!  Peter and I have a collection of lizards and lizards like to climb and hide among rocks.  But rocks can be heavy and can fall on tiny lizards if they are not stacked properly in the cage.  I've started making a few flat rocks out of light weight polymer clay and here are a few examples!  It's a great way to use up scrap clay.

Can you tell which I made?
Pearls!  I've redesigned a pearl necklace and knotted between those tiny pearls.  Every time I repaired, restrung and re-knotted a pearl necklace for someone else I thought I 'should' finish my necklace!  Done!


Birdhouses!  My sister-in-law loves to make fairy gardens.  I decided she needed some birdhouses so I used up some more of my scrap clay and sent her this gift!  Fun for both of us!


List Cover!  What to do with frog canes?  Make a cover for lists and give it as a gift to a friend who will appreciate it.   Lots of learning involved - what size is best?  How to join all the pages? 



Hope you can tell I've been having fun.  I'd love to hear from you about your end of the year adventures.