Week 37 – still a vessel?

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I’m not entirely sure what I’ve made this week for my 2016 Polymer Clay Challenge. I decided to do something with the base of the broken cup from last week. I started by covering the sharp edges with polymer clay. Then there was a scar left from where the handle broke off, so I made some retro flower canes inspired by the cup pattern to cover that and make it into a feature.

by Cate van Alphen

I decided to make a little garden inside the teacup. And because I had massively oversized unrealistic flowers, I decided to make it an unreal fairy garden. I made the ground white to match the china cup. And there’s a silver bridge over a golden river.

Fairy Garden by Cate van Alphen

I used gold ink in liquid polymer clay for the river, but it didn’t end up as sparkly as I’d hoped. I did consider adding some residents, but my miniature work is still a bit ham-fisted.

Fairy Garden by Cate van Alphen

I’m not sure that it still counts as a vessel since it’s now full, so you wouldn’t really want to put other things in. My daughter says it’s a wishing garden. I suppose wishes don’t take up much room.

You may have noticed that I have not yet revealed what I made for the Art Charm Swap. That’s because the date is now 30th September 2016. The theme is Fairytales so there will be lots of enchanting things to see then.😉

Week 36 – Anti-vessel

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This week for my Polymer Clay Challenge, I have unmade a vessel. I wrote previously about how I am fascinated with pottery shards, and this week I finally got around to combining them with polymer clay.

I have made a few headpins. These were from a vintage teacup that died of natural causes.

Shard headpins by Cate van Alphen

I textured the backs with a stamp and antiqued them with acrylic paint.

Polymer clay shard pins by Cate van Alphen

I think they are quite successful. The polymer clay seals the razor-sharp edges nicely.

I think I can hear the earring muse calling.🙂

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Green Jewellery

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I have been making some green jewellery using the polymer clay beads I made last year. These, and other green goodies, are now available in my Folksy store.

Big bead choker by Cate van Alphen

Big bead choker by Cate van Alphen

Macrame bracelet by Cate van Alphen

Macrame and leaf button bracelet by Cate van Alphen

Kaleidoscope cabochon by Cate van Alphen

Kaleidoscope cane cabochon by Cate van Alphen

I also made some earrings using my Blue Palette.

Blue kaleidoscope earrings by Cate van Alphen

Blue kaleidoscope earrings by Cate van Alphen

It’s Sheeptember

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I have been working hard on making some new sheepy items for Sedbergh Sheepfest on 17th and 18th September. This year I decided to stick to a palette of black and white. Here’s a sample of what I made:

Wonky sheep cube necklace by Cate van Alphen

Wonky sheep cube necklace by Cate van Alphen

Sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

Sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

White sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

White sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

I also made a few pairs of earrings using the cross stitch sheep cane I made previously.

Cross stitch sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

Cross stitch sheep earrings by Cate van Alphen

Of course working in black and white, I couldn’t resist making a few Op Art inspired pairs of earrings.

Op Art earrings by Cate van Alphen

Op Art earrings by Cate van Alphen

And an obligitory kaleidoscope cane.

Kaleidoscope cane bracelet by Cate van Alphen

Kaleidoscope cane bracelet by Cate van Alphen

These, and more, are now available at the Craftworkshop in Sedbergh. And if you are in the area on the 16th and 17th, the festival is good fun too.

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Art Vessel – week 35

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Hooray! I have actually made a vessel this week. I sat down to make some black and white beads and ended up covering a glass dish with the leftover canes from my AJE headpin challenge.

Patchwork dish by Cate van Alphen

Despite taking great care to avoid air bubbles, I was disappointed that quite a few appeared after baking. They are visible as the top surface is glass with polymer clay decoration on the underside. I do have an idea for something to try on my next attempt to avoid this.

Patchwork dish by Cate van Alphen

The glass blank is a square with curved edges to make a shallow dish. Luckily I have a few more to practice on.

Back of dish by Cate van Alphen

I textured the back and added some gold paint to antique it. I think it could do with a touch of sanding to remove some of the messy paint from the raised areas. But at this point I’m just glad that I made something.

Art Jewelry Elements Headpins

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This month I decided to take part in the Art Jewelry Elements design challenge to make something using artisan made headpins. In an earlier post I showed the polymer clay headpins that I made to use for this challenge. I decided to make several so that I’d have scope to make something other than earrings. Therefore the first thing I made was a couple of pairs of earrings.

Polymer clay and crochet earrings by Cate van Alphen

I bent the headpin wire into a circle and crocheted over it. I like the negative space that the circle creates. One pair of earrings had petals, and the other was just a simple circle.

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

Next I combined the petalled circle with the simple circle to create a necklace featuring a crocheted chain. There are a few things I’d like to do a bit differently, but it was so time-consuming to make that I’m not going to change this necklace. Perhaps one day I’ll have a go at making another version.

Necklace by Cate van Alphen

The yarn I used changes colour, so I decided to jumble the loops to create a patchwork contrast. I’d like to try crocheting from one end to the other to create a more subtle ombre effect. The other disappointment is that the chain links pretty much obscure the flower design. So I had a go at another pair of earrings to see if I could improve the flower shape.

Earrings by Cate van Alphen

I still need to think about how to link the flowers together without obscuring them to form a necklace. In the mean time I’m looking forward to seeing what the other participants have made.

Guests:

Alison Herrington
Renetha Stanziano
Karin Grosset Grange
Gloria Allen
Deb Fortin
Cate van Alphen
Mona Arnott
Shai Williams
Sarajo Wentling
Kathy Lindemer
Solange Collin
Brooke Bock
Melissa Meman
Patricia Handschuh
Tammy Adams
Melissa Trudinger

AJE Team Members:

Caroline Dewison
Lesley Watt
Cathy Mendola
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Susan Kennedy
Laney Mead
Diana Ptaszynski
Lindsay Starr
Niky Sayers

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Polymer clay challenge – week 32

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I have finally found some time to work with polymer clay, even though I haven’t worked on a vessel. I have signed up for this month’s Art Jewlery Elements design challenge to make something using art headpins, so I have made some using a polymer clay kaleidoscope cane.

Headpins by Cate van Alphen

Polymer clay headpins by Cate van Alphen

I tried to make several of them so I’ll have the option of making something other than earrings (although I have already siphoned off one pair for earrings). I also changed shape when I got bored😉.

Headpins by Cate van Alphen

Come back on the 27th August to see what I make using them.

Art Charm SwapIn other news my Art Charms arrived today from Jennifer Cameron’s Fairy Tale themed swap, but you’ll have to wait until 16th September to see what I made for that.

Crochet Earrings

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Things have been a bit hectic with the school holidays, so I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog. I haven’t had a chance to make anything in polymer clay but I have been experimenting with crochet. I found some beautifully fine yarn that changes colour along the length so I made some tiny granny squares for earrings.

Crochet earrings by Cate van Alphen

I left the squares for the first earrings soft, so I’m testing them to see how floppy or distorted they get when worn.

Crochet Earrings by Cate van Alphen

The next crochet squares are on wire frames so I was able to tweak the shape a little and make them slightly shorter and wider.

Crochet earrings by Cate van Alphen

I used a smaller granny square and added a scalloped edge to the last pair. They look quite tidy from the back too.