Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Progressing on the new Project

















It's kind of funny when you think about it.  The only limits I have on this project is a 20" x 20" canvas, a summer color scheme and my mind!  I think the mind is the problem!  There are so many directions to go.  I've narrowed the choices by deciding to use polymer clay.  But what should I do with it?  I could do a mosaic or an abstract design, or a still life, or ... well the list goes on.  At some point I have to do something.














I start making canes...big canes....summer colors of polymer clay rolled together to make circular designs.  I think I'm making stylistic flower blossoms and swirls of blue sky.  As my plastic container starts to fill with clay designs, my mind is deciding how to attach, where to attach and what is the end result going to be.  I still have to decide some of those questions.  Here's the progress so far!





I sliced off some of the clay and baked it to see how the colors changed.  That should help in the placement of whatever I end up doing!
  Join me next week to see the progress.  I think the deadline for this project to hang in the Prescott Art Market is next week!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Project -Opposites Attract



I've decided to create a color scheme - in this case opposites attract - orange and blue with shades  gold!  The clay is conditioned and we all get to wait to see what it will become!

Fun for hot summer days!






Friday, April 7, 2017

Into The Forest



Polymer pine cones and rocks in my forest!

I'm participating in an international polymer artist collaboration.  We are all going 'into our forests' and really looking at the organic forms  that abound.  Since the project is international there will be lots of different forest life represented.  (Real things - no fairies or gnomes!) Each of us will make our individual version of things we see in polymer clay (and make at least 10 of each item), send it to the coordinator and a team of artists will create colonies that overlap to create a mural with the theme 'Into the Forest'.  It will be seen November 7 in Pittsburgh PA.  

Pine cones, pine needles, leaves, rocks, wildflowers, tree bark, insects, birds and animals are some of the things I find in my Prescott National Forest.  I'm selecting pine cones and rocks as my contribution and sharing the making of pine cones with you today.  I have a minimum of 8 more to make this month.  Guess I better get busy as they do take a bit of time!

First I took a real pine cone apart to see how it really should be assembled.



Then I made a mold using 2 part Alumilite Mold Putty of the different size petals (I call them petals)



If you really look at the colors of the petals, the end tips are lighter.  I used Premo Burnt Umber for the basic leaf and Premo Raw Sienna for the end tips.

 

After making a core of polymer, I added the petals starting at the top of the cone.



The cone is ready to cure but I was concerned how the petals would stay separated.  I dusted them with baking soda and set the cone in the baking soda so it would keep its shape as it heated.  When it was done, I rinsed the cone in cold water spreading the petals as they cooled.



The finished pine cone!



Anyone who really knows me knows that I can get carried away with an idea!  If you've read this far, I feel I should let you know that I also made pine needles.  I arranged my fake rocks, pine cones and pine needles out in the real forest and took a picture.  This is the finished group that will be mailed this week.  Enjoy!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Never Enough Wildflowers



More beautiful seldom seen wildflowers from Anza Borrego Desert!  I think there are never enough.  Most of the flowers are small and it takes a lot of them to cover the hillsides.  Most amazing to find one flower standing alone in the otherwise barren area of the desert.  Enjoy!
White Primrose
Desert Lily
California Poppy

A favorite - The Five Spot


These are so tiny and a lovely lavendar

Tiny plants 

These are about the size of your little fingernail  = maybe smaller!

One brave yellow spot of color

Friday, March 24, 2017

California Wildflowers of Spring

Field of CA poppies

Beautiful fields of yellow and of purple

Green hills that I've only seen be brown in color

Tiny flowers that only bloom every few years

Rain makes the desert bloom!

Brittle Bush

Chia

Fairie Duster

Green Bug on Chia

Penstamon


California Poppy






Most of these photos were taken on my recent trip to the Anza Borrego Desert where I thoroughly enjoyed the magic of the desert in bloom.  I hope you enjoy them too!   More picture next week of different desert blooms.

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!








Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Progressing on the new Project

















It's kind of funny when you think about it.  The only limits I have on this project is a 20" x 20" canvas, a summer color scheme and my mind!  I think the mind is the problem!  There are so many directions to go.  I've narrowed the choices by deciding to use polymer clay.  But what should I do with it?  I could do a mosaic or an abstract design, or a still life, or ... well the list goes on.  At some point I have to do something.














I start making canes...big canes....summer colors of polymer clay rolled together to make circular designs.  I think I'm making stylistic flower blossoms and swirls of blue sky.  As my plastic container starts to fill with clay designs, my mind is deciding how to attach, where to attach and what is the end result going to be.  I still have to decide some of those questions.  Here's the progress so far!





I sliced off some of the clay and baked it to see how the colors changed.  That should help in the placement of whatever I end up doing!
  Join me next week to see the progress.  I think the deadline for this project to hang in the Prescott Art Market is next week!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Project -Opposites Attract



I've decided to create a color scheme - in this case opposites attract - orange and blue with shades  gold!  The clay is conditioned and we all get to wait to see what it will become!

Fun for hot summer days!






Friday, April 7, 2017

Into The Forest



Polymer pine cones and rocks in my forest!

I'm participating in an international polymer artist collaboration.  We are all going 'into our forests' and really looking at the organic forms  that abound.  Since the project is international there will be lots of different forest life represented.  (Real things - no fairies or gnomes!) Each of us will make our individual version of things we see in polymer clay (and make at least 10 of each item), send it to the coordinator and a team of artists will create colonies that overlap to create a mural with the theme 'Into the Forest'.  It will be seen November 7 in Pittsburgh PA.  

Pine cones, pine needles, leaves, rocks, wildflowers, tree bark, insects, birds and animals are some of the things I find in my Prescott National Forest.  I'm selecting pine cones and rocks as my contribution and sharing the making of pine cones with you today.  I have a minimum of 8 more to make this month.  Guess I better get busy as they do take a bit of time!

First I took a real pine cone apart to see how it really should be assembled.



Then I made a mold using 2 part Alumilite Mold Putty of the different size petals (I call them petals)



If you really look at the colors of the petals, the end tips are lighter.  I used Premo Burnt Umber for the basic leaf and Premo Raw Sienna for the end tips.

 

After making a core of polymer, I added the petals starting at the top of the cone.



The cone is ready to cure but I was concerned how the petals would stay separated.  I dusted them with baking soda and set the cone in the baking soda so it would keep its shape as it heated.  When it was done, I rinsed the cone in cold water spreading the petals as they cooled.



The finished pine cone!



Anyone who really knows me knows that I can get carried away with an idea!  If you've read this far, I feel I should let you know that I also made pine needles.  I arranged my fake rocks, pine cones and pine needles out in the real forest and took a picture.  This is the finished group that will be mailed this week.  Enjoy!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Never Enough Wildflowers



More beautiful seldom seen wildflowers from Anza Borrego Desert!  I think there are never enough.  Most of the flowers are small and it takes a lot of them to cover the hillsides.  Most amazing to find one flower standing alone in the otherwise barren area of the desert.  Enjoy!
White Primrose
Desert Lily
California Poppy

A favorite - The Five Spot


These are so tiny and a lovely lavendar

Tiny plants 

These are about the size of your little fingernail  = maybe smaller!

One brave yellow spot of color

Friday, March 24, 2017

California Wildflowers of Spring

Field of CA poppies

Beautiful fields of yellow and of purple

Green hills that I've only seen be brown in color

Tiny flowers that only bloom every few years

Rain makes the desert bloom!

Brittle Bush

Chia

Fairie Duster

Green Bug on Chia

Penstamon


California Poppy






Most of these photos were taken on my recent trip to the Anza Borrego Desert where I thoroughly enjoyed the magic of the desert in bloom.  I hope you enjoy them too!   More picture next week of different desert blooms.

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!