Monday, August 29, 2016

Boots not made for Walking. Or rather Boot.

So the summer is nearly over and most of my excursions have not been "on foot". I snicker when I say this, because when I taught about explorers who did their land travels across this expanse of the country, we often said they travelled "on foot". Well, and I don't mean to step on anyone's toes here, wouldn't it have been more likely that they travelled on two feet?   If they only travelled on foot, then they'd have had to hop everywhere and given the loads they were transporting and all their gear, how would they ever have travelled very far? Just one of the fun stories I shared with my classes when I taught history. But I digress. 

Today I would like to share a little creation about the above tongue in cheek remark. 
I have made bigger boots before, but this one and these black and white shoes are destined to become embellishments for my next books. I think I will call one of them. The Boot Book and it can be a travel journal for someone.  As for the shoes...I might call the composition, "If the shoe fits, wear it" and  dedicate it ☺️ to someone with very tiny feet.  Be mindful that you don't juxtapose the initial consonants of the words shoe and fits, or you'll have something on your collar that was deposited by the flying foo bird!  

That's all the silliness for today.  

And now, it's off to play!  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Touching the Surface

This Saturday I will be teaching a polymer clay workshop at Local Colour in Winnipeg. Two of the five techniques I will be doing are the ones below:
The one on the left is transferring a black and white image to polymer clay.   Once it's baked, the image can be coloured with pencil crayons or Prismacolor ( or other) markers. Or it can be left as is, depending on your intention. 

The sample on the right is a collage of mokume gane slices.  I love the randomness of this technique and marvel at the immense variety of effects that can be achieved using a few simple tools and colours of clay. 

When all the procedures are completed, we will put them together on a canvas to create a sampler.  Hopefully, this sampler will serve as incentive to the class to further pursue the myriad techniques that can be produced using the versatile medium of polymer clay. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

When life gives you lemons

We have been fortunate for the past several years to have lemon trees in our winter retreats and yesterday I composed a piece that incorporated many parts of the tree: its leaves, the fruit and even the fragrance of the leaves. 

In my most recent book, (I am not writing one, just making an art journal), I used the lemon for not only inspiration, but also used its actual parts.  I said a wee thank you to the lemon spirits as I plucked about ten young leaves from the tree to use as textures.  When I rolled the leaves into what would become the inside covers, I could actually smell the lemon in the oil in the leaves being pressed into the polymer.  Of course it won't be detectable now that it's baked, but the smell left a lasting impression on my olfactory receptors. 

The trees have already blossomed and many of the flowers have become tiny fruits.  For the past weeks, those blossoms were so, so frragrant you could hardly walk by at night without stopping to sniff.  This time around, I didn't make any polymer lemon flowers, but rather chose to go the fruit route.

I made a small lemon-slice cane out of translucent, white and yellowish polymer; reduced it and then added a few slices and wedges to the front cover.   I purposely sliced the cane irregularly, since when I am slicing actual lemons that's the way they come off the blade.  I also made a few beads out of the lemon remnants...even textured my little lemon bead with the rind of the citrus.  I used the peel also to make the cover less than smooth. After the  covers were baked, I "antiqued" the impressions with a light green mix of paint.   It's hardly detectable on the outside cover, but pretty evident in the vein work that's on the inside covers.  

So, I say, when life gives you lemons....make journals. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lots of good fish, good fish in the sea

Anyone who is really familiar with The Mikado know that those title words are used repeatedly in the finale of act 1 of that G & S musical. I think of it every time I compose a new fish. Here is the one that I worked on recently:
The hanging is quite lengthy and of course, being a Pisces it has difficulty in making up its mind, so just for fun, here is the other side.  
I tried to keep the cane work to a minimum, and besides the eyes and the lip canes,  I basically only made three different canes.  But by combining them, stretching them and giving them slight twists here and there, I had enough variety to hopefully keep the decorative elements from being boring. 

The fish is about 9 inches by 5 inches and is totally polymer, with some copper wire used as fin support structures.  The wire also goes into the inner viscera of the fish to form a sort of armature. 

From a structural point, the one issue that constantly presents potential problems is knowing where to position the fins so that the final sculpture hangs relatively level. The balance in this one is a little "off" but I am not about to go and purchase a Level.   I just keep my fingers crossed that if the fish has to swim a little upstream, at least it's heading in the right direction. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Back to weaving

So I have been very occupied recently and now can finally see the light of day. I haven't been doing too much polymer recently but did manage to fashion some beads and button to enhance this woven purse....I started it during the summer.  I have three others to finish as well, but this one is in colours I don't usually go to.  
The bag is large enough to encase a standard I-phone and I sewed a pocket into the lining to hold a credit card or keys. The strap is rather long, but that way it can go cross body, an option some people are interested in. 
Unfortunately, the huge load of stuff I usually carry in my own purse wouldn't normally fit in this bag, but I tend to carry a "lot" of baggage, lol. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Here. There. And everywhere

Miss Daisy is going for a grooming today so she can be all spiffy when she sits at her booth (with her dad)  at the Victoria Beach art show this weekend. Their mission will be to help raise funds for the East Beaches animal shelter. It's the same organization that Molly also sat for the past seven or eight years.   

I will be busy in my booth with my polymer clay accent pieces.  I have some new items this year and it will be good to be back at the Beach after a year off. The event wasn't held last year because construction on the new facility wasn't complete.  Now that it is ready (although some work still has to be done on the exterior) I am looking forward to seeing my old friends at that lovely and popular event. 

Returned yesterday evening from Kenora after a busy day at the market there.  That venue continues to be a fun and interesting place to meet and greet.  Saw many old friends from both the education and art field yesterday, and it was so nice to catch up with them.  Then spent a delightful mid afternoon lunch with relatives and friends at the pizzeria in Kenora. And there were cupcakes too!   I got half a dozen cupcakes from the gal whose booth is beside me at the market.  She makes the most delicious "heavenly creations" ( that's what her cake business is called).  I'm sure they were a fitting treat after the workout (swimming) for our young relatives from Guelph. 

So it's catch up day today and tomorrow.  I have several " holes" in my inventory that need to be filled by Saturday morning.  It is a two day sale at the beach so I need to be well stocked.  And since we will be heading back to Kenora again next Wednesday and off to Morden for the corn and apple festival a week from Friday, I will have to spend a couple of late nights supplementing my stash.  No rest for the wicked. 

Thank goodness we have our new air conditioner installed.  With the heat index very high (well into the 30's Celsius) it's nice to be able to work in comfort.

Hot August nights, here we come!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Around the world in five (campy) days

Tomorrow the fun begins. As part of a group of four art-minded adults, we will be offering a summer camp activity for youth in Stonewall, Manitoba at the Quarry Interpretive Centre.  My block of time will be art forms from five continents using polymer clay as a medium. It's rather a mixed (travel) bag, but will involve lots of hands on activities to keep the young-uns away from technology for a few hours each day. 
Our first stop is South America so I plan on making these folksy parrot-type sculptures that can either be suspended from a hook or hang on a wall. In the session we will form the body and do some simple caning for the wing and tail.  As well, we will make a bit of faux wood for the branch/perch for the Polly to sit upon. (Lol -a "Polly"mer Clay Polly).  Would love to make ocarinas too, but the time frame won't permit.  So I will just have to practice playing the little clay ocarina I got from Peru a few years ago. 

I hope to post some of the kids' compositions here so stay tuned. 

Off to pack my gear!