This week I made a mokume gane pendant using my indigo colour palette. This was partly because I’m doing a polymer clay summer workshop next weekend, and I wanted to check I still remembered how ;). I can’t believe that all of a sudden it’s August!
As you can see, I used the shape that I cut out from the larger pendant to make the smaller one. There is similar patterning on both sides so the pendants are reversible.
That’s about all I can say about this week’s 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge piece.
This week’s offering is a bit rubbish, but the Polymer clay challenge is to make something – it doesn’t have to be good! I managed to excavate enough space among the moving boxes to make a green pendant. It wasn’t easy.
The filigree shard is from a disaster in week 18. I wanted to revisit a technique from a few years ago where I made a filigree pattern from finely extruded polymer clay and then, after baking, I squished in a backing of layered clay to make a subtle mokume gane background. Unfortunately when I squished the backing onto the baked filigree pattern, the curves snapped. Then when I came to sand the surface to reveal the colours in the extruded threads the whole sheet crumbled. I’m not sure if it was because the backing clay was thinner than I had planned (I didn’t have as much clay mixed as I should have) or because the clay wasn’t properly cured (I turned the temperature down in an attempt to stop my beads cracking).
I hoped that I could put a shard from the crumbled sheet onto some backing clay to make it strong enough for me to sand. I couldn’t find my blades, so the background shape is a bit rustic (it’s uncut from the pasta machine). I couldn’t find my sandpaper to texture the clay either so I used a scrunched up ball of tin foil. I quite like the effect.
When I took it out the oven both layers cracked which made me suspect the temperature wasn’t high enough. So I stuck it together with some bake and bond and cured again. This time it held together, but the cracked filigree irritated me, so I added some crackle effect varnish to make it more of a feature. I haven’t used it very often and the cracks were smaller than I wanted. I tried adding some green alcohol ink to highlight the crackles, but it just coloured everything (see the smudge on the right) so that was a fail.
But I made something.
I live in a beautiful place. One of my favourite things is the way lovely surprises peep out from behind the ubiquitous dry stone walls.
For a while I have wanted to make a polymer clay pendant combining the rugged stone walls with the local sheepy views.
I decided to make a window dome like I did for the daffodil necklace with a sheep peeping through.
I used a heat gun to create a crackle texture to represent the stone walls. It came out just like I wanted, so I made a selection of matching components.
I reused the sheep mould I made for Sheepfest and then I spent a bit too much time creating an environment for my sheep. Because when I put them together…
all the details get hidden :(. I don’t think I can bring myself to trap my sheepy in such a small space, so I’ll have to rethink. I’ll probably use the two pieces separately, and end up with two pendants instead (or maybe more if I need to proceed to plan C or D…).
This is my first week making yellow components for my 2015 Polymer clay challenge. To explain how I got where I got, we need to go back to orange, and then even further back to when I was in primary school.
/\/\/\/\ Cue wibbly screen /\/\/\/\
For some of my primary schooling I went to a Waldorf school. This meant that all my books were little works of art. So for maths, instead of drawing a line between a day’s sums we drew a little pattern. The paper was grid lined so I invariably ended up with zigzags of increasing complexity. Sometimes there was more pattern than sums. So when I came to tidy away my orange canes, I saw a load of triangles. Lots of triangles = zigzag!
The first sheet I made was slightly clunky and approaching visual indigestion. I realised I needed areas of plain colour to break up the busy canes.
Then, all too soon, it was time to switch to yellow. Since I’d spent so much time fiddling with the orange pattern sheets, I knew there wouldn’t be enough time to make yellow canes AND another zigzag sheet. So I made a mokume gane pendant that was a little underwhelming because it didn’t have the contrast (and I was worried other colours would swamp the yellow).
Along came Suzanne Ivester’s “Painting with Polymer” class on the Virtual Retreat and I realised I could use sheets of marbled clay like inlay.
I also made a matching pair of focals, which I’ll probably use for earrings.
I also made some cabochons that will probably become shank buttons.
And I put some of the pattern off-cuts into a ready-made metal bezel.
It has been really strange working with a new palette of colours especially when I was part way through another project and some of the colours are the same. I think the biggest challenge with yellow will be not overwhelming it with its companions.
This week I made focal pendants. I was practicing a technique wich would enable me to feature symbol or simple line drawing on the pendant.
The small focal is a hollow hemisphere with a spiral doodle.
I added a bit of copper mica powder to the back attachment.
The second pendant has a flower design because I just can’t shift the orange + brown = flower power equation!
The back of the pendant is a blend of colours.
I have completed my first focal for the 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge. After spending so much time working on colour swatches, I came up with an abstract design with blocks of colour. I was thinking of Mondrian compositions. I wanted to create a painterly effect, although that probably would have horrified Mondrian!
For the shape of the pendant I went back to my comfort zone and made a hollow doughnut.
I was lucky enough to be selected to work with one of the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month. Now I’m eagerly waiting for the snow!
Hopefully the Christmas mail won’t slow it down too much. 😉
Come back on the 3rd January 2015 and see what I make with it.
Back in 2010 I made my “Imperial Orchid” necklace. I really wanted to explore the idea further, but I never got round to it.
So this month’s Art Bead Scene challenge painting was just the nudge I needed.
I started off making a pinstripe of magenta and lavender polymer clay as I could see those colours in the petals. Unfortunately the colours ended up too dark for what I was trying to represent from the painting.
For the next orchid I made a subtle marbled mix of white and a speck of the previous pinstripe cane. I dusted on the pink using mica powders. I was much happier with these colours, but I preferred the proportions of the previous purple orchid.
So I tried again, and made a third orchid…
This time I was happy with both the colour and the proportions. It seems good things come in threes as today, for the third time, my work was featured on Polymer Clay Daily :). This time it was my Spectrum beads.
The outer two of these are now in my Etsy components store. I’m working the middle one into a necklace.
The bead soup I sent has been received by my partner Wendy Chamberlain, so here are some clearer photographs 🙂
I had intended to put together a soup starting with a chunky toggle similar to the one I made for the Art Bead Scene challenge back in August 2013, but after seeing Wendy’s work I kept thinking about this polymer clay pendant I made a while back. It has a funky back too…
I already had the co-ordinating purple pearls, teal crystals and green lucite flowers. All I had to do was find a dainty clasp.
Remember the blog hop is 3rd May 2014, so come back then to see what everyone makes with their delicous bead soups.