Monday, April 28, 2008

Marvelous Monday

Last week, Susan Lomuto blogged about using Photoshop to help create some fun image transfers for polymer clay. I'm not sure if that's what Michael from Alabama had in mind or not, but she's got some great shots on her flickr pages. Here are some nature shots she took and then photoshopped in neon. They'd make some nice image transfers, eh? Have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cabachon Pendant Tutorial (Cont'd.)

A week ago I started a post about a cabachon pendant tutorial. It started because I wanted to do something a little special with this veneer I had made. I had gotten to the point of adding a piece of tubing inside the cabachon hole. The cabachon is not a perfect oval. Because of this, I knew the cabachon would not hang properly if the hole was misplaced. So I laid the cabachon on the cording and stood back and looked at the overall effect. After several adjustments, I made the hole. But, don't forget, this is just the prototype. Now that this is pretty much complete, I can go ahead with the clay I plan on using and actually make the piece.

I've made the inner core and laid the veneer over it. I then laid the sterling frame over the cabachon. Using a knitting needle, I formed the veneer over the sides of the cabachon. This is where I felt I went wrong. In the prototype, I was just using one color clay. But in reality, I didn't like the veneer sides and bottom being different. Yet, I thought the sides would look best in a solid color. Fortunately, I had realized this before it was too late. I was able to lift the veneer up, and using a blade, remove it at the silver frame (no pictures of this - I was too busy holding my breath!) And now we have the framed cabachon. But, I still need to set the tubing inside.

Using the same method as before, I pierced a hole. The tubing was cut at an angle with a miter jig. I then filed it right down to the polymer. As you can see, this adds a nice finishing touch. I just need to finish polishing the silver frame and add a clasp to the sterling cable.
And just like my polymer bead tutorial , I would definitely try using ultralight clay and cure the core first. Smoothing the veneer down on a hard surface does not change the shape of the surface below. But when you smooth the veneer down on uncured clay, you run the risk (and work harder) of changing the shape of the core.

Retro Ladies - What Fun!

Wanda Shum is a self employed artist who specializes in polymer clay. She is from Victoria, British Columbia and she makes these really fun and beautiful retro lady teapots.

And these wine stoppers are pretty outrageous!

She now has an Etsy shop as of the beginning of the year. It's her first online business. Her blog is called Wanda's Designs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Marvelous Monday

It's been a crazy hectic weekend - lots of cooking, cleaning, etc. I did manage to find yet one more Etsy treasury I was in - boy three days in a row! Here's the snapshot. My bead is on the bottom left.

And here's some fabulous pieces by Stokes Galleries. She's another talented Etsy artist - check out her shop. She hand molds these leaves below and makes them into polymer clay jewelry. Have a marvelous Monday!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another Etsy Treasury!

One weekend, two treasuries! I must have missed this one - it will be expiring late Sunday morning E.S.T. The link will be gone by then. This is one of the first polymer clay rings I made (2nd row, 1st on the right)

Etsy Treasury!

I normally don't blog on Saturdays but I'm so excited to be part of this Treasury. These are some of my favorite Etsian artists and I'm glad to be sharing a treasury with them!

Hope everyone who celebrates has a happy Passover!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cabachon Pendant

You know the bead I covered yesterday? I weighed that bead (which had the same amount of clay in and on it as my usual lentils) and it weighed .2 ounces. My lentils weight .3 ounces. I don't really feel that there's much difference in weight between the two but in the future, I would try an ultralight core only. And speaking of which, I did not do that in this next tutorial (live and learn, right?) I used my usual Premo - I must have been on auto pilot or something.

I had the sheet from yesterday that I wanted to make a cabachon with. I've taken a piece of wire, filed the ends flush so when joined together, there would be no space between the two. If you hold them up to the light, you should not see any light peering through. The key to a successful solder is a perfect join, clean metal and flux. The wire is not cleaned at this point, but I did remember to take a picture. The picture didn't turn out that well but the join is on the wire at the top midway. The next picture is of the wire soldered, cleaned and planished. Next, I started to make the prototype. Here is the shape I've drawn and cut out.

I took the yellow shape, placed it on some clay set at #1 on the pasta machine. When I put the silver bezel over and pushed down, I realized it needed to be thicker. I then added another oval set at #1 again. Still not good. I realized it had to have a more curved form on top like a cab so I made a long oval.

I formed the oval over the base and spread it out by rolling my knitting needle over it. It then placed the bezel on top to see if the size was ok. I needed to trim it a little all the way around.

And here's the side view. The base looks too thin, especially because I plan to add tubing. I plan to hang the piece on sterling cable and the tubing adds a really nice finishing touch to the piece. I measured the outside diameter to see how large of a hole I will need to drill through the cabachon at the end.

To be continued . . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Polymer clay bead veneer tutorial

I'm trying to really pay attention to being present. It was a pretty successful day. I had few thoughts on all the stuff I had to do and actually had a great day in the studio. I thought I would experiment with a veneer on a core of one part ultralight sculpey to one part Premo. Next time, I think I'm going for the full ultralight. The difference in weight doesn't feel that apparent of a bead that is all Premo inside. Here's the bead I formed and cured.

I rubbed TLS with my finger on one half of the bead and laid my veneer on it. Here's the front and side view.

Then I applied TLS to the other side, laid that veneer on, and smoothed the edges. One thing I did notice though, the next time I would definitely cure it midway with one side completed. I found it awkward smoothing the edges of the 2nd veneer next to the first. Things moved a little and I had to work at perfecting where the edges meet. Here's the side view of the bead. The bead is now cured. I will be drilling the hole tomorrow. That's something I always do before curing so we'll see how this goes. Also, I have a jeweler's scale so I intend on weighing this bead and comparing it to another with a Premo core. I'll post tomorrow the results.

Oh yeah - I almost forgot. Remember I said I had a great day in the studio? I made a veneer that I just have to do something else with. It's spring, right? Time for some changes. This will also involve a tutorial. But for now - here's the sheet. Doesn't it look like something from the sea?

New from Polymer Clay Express. Their D.R.E.A.M. machine will be arriving in June. If you pre-order now, you pay $160 and save $25.00. The offer is good until the machines start rolling in. Once in stock, the price goes to $185.00. It has a 10 inch width! To see more about it, click here.

"How you are seen by others becomes the mirror that tells you what you are like and who you are. The ego's sense of self-worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others" - Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Etsy Treasury & Out of the Studio

I spotted this treasury on Etsy yesterday with one of my purple beads. PolymerClayCreations did such a nice job curating this one!

Yesterday, I was pretty busy in the studio gearing up for taking a little time off. I used a blue and orange color palette for the most part and experimented with some new patterns. The first one reminds me of ric rac trim.

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment." - Eckhart Tolle