Friday, January 6, 2012

Polymer Leaves

I made these polymer clay leaf earrings as a Christmas gift for my sister. I'm currently working on some in different colors/shapes. They're made out of Premo clays, copper leaf, acrylic paint, and copper findings.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Meet Goldie & Sharkskin

Last week, I felt an intense urge to sculpt something out of clay, but didn't know what. I made myself open up to a random page in one of my motif books (4,000 Animal, Bird & Fish Motifs by Graham Leslie McCallum) and use something from that page as inspiration for a sculpture. I ended up flipping to a page of fish and chose the image I liked best (bottom pic shown). The result are 2 small sculptures I just adore. Sharksin, the blue fish, was sculpted first, and then Goldie. Sharkskin is about 1 & 1/4" long and 1/2" tall at the head, while Goldie is the same height but a little longer at 1 & 1/2". These fish were sculpted using Premo polymer clay. Some texture tools were used to accent the tails, scales, and eyes, but the general shaping was done by hand. I really think they have character, don't you?
Flipping to the next page...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Pics from Portugal

Here's a slideshow of some of my photos from the trip I just took to Portugal. I went to the Algarve and Lisbon. It was the perfect time of year to visit. The weather was gorgeous every day, the food was great, and the plants were like nothing I've ever seen before. My friend Rob met me when I was in Lisbon and we rented a convertible and explored. The Pena Palace (no joke) was pretty amazing as far as architecture goes. Also noteable was the Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon and Casa Pastels de Belem, which has been making their famous Pastels de Natas (custard pastries) since 1837.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Craft Becomes Art in a Matter of Clicks…Part 2

I took my exercise a little further. See Craft Becomes Art in a Matter of Clicks (below) if you haven’t already. I took one of the Mandaloscopes and further refined it with some more graphics effects. The image on top is the original mandaloscope. The middle image has been edited using the an edge effect in my graphics program. It has given the picture a tiled mosaic feel. If the colors were a little more tame, it might be something you’d see on the floor of a chapel. The bottom image was edited using the hot wax effect. In this case, it almost looks like it was constructed from fine layers of colored paper. The middle is practically lace. Don’t forget, these images originally came from a handful of beads! It’s definitely been enlightening to make these Mandaloscopes from things I make from hand. Going from corporal to digital always yields surprising results and for an artist is one of the big boons of technology. It’s interesting to see the texture and especially the color of my projects presented in a whole different structure. Although it is not something I can pick up in my hand, it is a treat for the eye.

Craft Becomes Art...In a Matter of Clicks!

The artistic process has been wondered upon for centuries, but one thing that always annoyed me was that big thick permanent line centered squarely between art and craft. Well, I think every once in awhile it’s a good idea to blur that line, and in this post, that’s just what I’ve done! Remember those bulls-eye beads I made (post below this one)? The moment I saw the colors and lines in the photographs I took of the beads, I knew they would make perfect Mandaloscopes! I made up the word Mandaloscope – it is a combination of “mandala” and “kaleidoscope.” See this post for info.
I played with my graphics program for about 30minutes to get the following images. The original image I used of the beads here. If these images are not art, I don’t know what is! But it is art that evolved from a handicraft – bead making. Yes, it took some tinkering and more than a few mouse clicks, but really, the transition wasn’t that drastic.
There’s something very royal (royale perhaps?) about these images. The sides of the beads were brushed with mica powder, and I love how that shine turns into a pulsing glow in some of the mandaloscopes (especially the 2nd and 3rd images down). I also love how these images consistently reveal familiar shapes; almost like Rorschach blots. In some you see faces, animals, body parts, and symbols. In the bottom image, the hearts are hard to ignore. There are certain shapes in the 3rd and 4th images that are, um… provoking – to say the least. Which one is your favorite?
Anyway, I've had my rant and now I'm done. If you ever want to do something like this with your work, but don't feel like shelling out hundreds for Photoshop, don't worry! Corel's PaintShop Pro X3 Ultimate is $50 and has the same tools. It has many other tools that PS has as well, like a cloning stamp, makeover tools, scratch remover, etc.

New Bull's-Eye Beads

Here are some new beads I made using my extruder. These a little bit different from most other bull's eye beads. First, I used the hexagonal shaped disc, not the round or square one. Second, I cut my beads really thick and pierced the holes throgh the sides not the middle of the pattern. Finally, I coated the sides of the beads with antique gold mica powder to give them a little edge. Clay colors for these beads include lime green, cobalt blue, black, and hot pink.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Favorite Pattern Yet!

I love the site Colour Lovers, where you can go and play with color. One of my favorite things to do there is color patterns, and this one is my favorite so far. I just made it this morning. I want to wallpaper my house in it! OK - maybe just one room. I'm thinking this might make a nice pallette for a new piece of jewelry...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Art Bead Scene April Challenge

It's been awhile, but I've entered a piece into Art Bead Scene's April Challenge. This month's inspiration painting was Finches and Bamboo by Emperor Huizong's (top image). Every month ABS picks a painting and challenges its readers to create an art bead design using the art as inspiration. The art bead(s) can be made by you or made by someone else and used by you.
In my case this is all me! The bird, branch, and leaves are all hand-made by moi using polymer clay. The clay on the branch and bird has been textured and accentuated with mica powders. The leaves are made from translucent and green clays that have been mixed with green and gold metallic leaf. Each leaf is actually a stack of 3 leaves - one big, one medium, and one small (see 3rd pic down) - stacked on top of each other and "glued" together with Translucent Liquid Sculpey. I textured the leaves with the back of my clay blade to make the lines. After they were baked, I rubbed black paint into the recesses and then rubbed the excess away so the texture really stood out. Accompanying the clay art beads are faceted glass beads and seed beads. Copper and brass findings were used throughout. Please click on any image for more detail, and wish me luck in the challenge!

More Pics of my ABS April Challenge Entry

Here are some alternate views of my ABS challenge piece for this month. Click for details.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Little Polymer Clay Bird's Nest

Here's a little nest with eggs that I made out of polymer clay. I'm going to make a few more and put them in the little bird cages we have hanging at work. In a few weeks they'll be replaced with birds. I haven't had the easiest winter and to me this nest symbolizes new beginnings, re-birth, and (of course) Spring! The nest is about 2" in diameter and 1" high at its tallest. It is made entirely of polymer clay.
Interestingly, when I baked the nest I used the toaster oven we have at work which is old and not gauged correctly. Because of this, the eggs browned a little on top. I actually really like that they did, because it looks more authentic now like the nest has actually been outside and had a bird sitting on it.