Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Little Polymer Clay Book

Being that I'm a librarian and all, you know this was inevitable. I made a little polymer clay book. It's 1 & 1/2" x 1". I've been wanting to do this for awhile, and I think that for a first try it came out pretty good. I wanted to make it look like a really old book (those are the best kinds after all). For the cover I used brown clay which I textured. For the bands I applied some gold mica powder to give it a little color. The pages are a block of clay in layers of white and translucent clay. I was considering putting in actual paper but I wanted it to last for awhile.
I put a little hole in the top so I can eventually make it into a pendant if I want. It would be fun to hang it from a brass chain and wear it to work.

Monday, January 17, 2011

CraftEdu - Great New Craft Ed. Resource!

I was looking around on Flickr at pieces of polymer clay work and found a link to a site I'd never heard of called CraftEdu.com. It's an awesome resource where you can take online classes in a variety of subjects, inlcuding color theory, glass, photography, metal clay, polymer clay, etc. The site has lots of polymer clay tutorials presented by instructors such as Judy Belcher and Donna Kato. Most of the classes cost between $20-$60 but some are free, including one I just took called Textures Everywhere (top pic). Even though I'm a veteran polymer clayer, I learned a few things from this tutorial. Including using shoe soles to make patterns! (bottom pic)
If you are new to polymer clay or just need some inspiration, go check this site out. You'll be pretty impressed. Click on the above pictures for more detailed images.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Art Bead Scene January Challenge Pt. 1

It’s a new month and there’s a new challenge on the Art Bead Scene Blog. The inspiration for this month is the painting Brown River by Wayne Thiebaud (top image). Every month ABS picks a painting and challenges its readers to create an art bead piece using it as inspiration. The art bead can be made by you or someone else.
My challenge entry is the funky Maize Pod Necklace pictured above. My inspiration came from the bright colors and the patterned organic forms found on a farm. I tried to make my pod beads look like something that might be born of a plant. I used chartreuse seed beads to compliment the big beads and long green glass beads as spacers. I finished it off with dark brown beading wire to blend in with the pods and a copper toggle clasp. See part 2 (below) for additional info on how this necklace was made! Thanks for stopping by!

Art Bead Scene January Challenge Pt. 2

Here are some images showing how I made my challenge entry in steps. Sorry for the quality on some of these photos. I've been working on the piece at night and man made light is never quite right (that could be a poem!). And here's the accompanying info:
1. I started off by making and baking the pod shells. Sorry - no show & tell for this part - it's something I worked hard at to perfect and would rather keep to myself! ; )
2. Next, after mixing 15 parts translucent clay to 1 part colored, I mix in some copper leaf pieces and roll my clay into 2 elongated eggs, small enough to fit into the pods. I insert seed beads to form a textured pattern into the clay using a small ball stylus to really embed them in the clay.
3. After this I apply some Translucent Liquid Sculpey to the back of the beaded clay pieces.
4. I then insert the pieces into the pre-baked pod shells and bake them together.
5. After baking I "drill" in little holes into the tops of the pod shells for my beading wire to go through. This can be done before baking the pods too, but I like my holes tiny and I've found this works best.
I originally had 2 blue pods (as you can see from the above pictures). In the end however, I ended up taking them out. I just liked the yellow, pink and green pods on their own. Also, 2 extra pods added too much bulk to the necklace (in my opinion).