Sunday, May 25, 2008

Buckles not many Beaux

I am into another busy week, so this is my only chance to blawg today. It's not that nice out so gardening activities are put on hold once again. Will those flowers EVER get planted?

So that gave me a chance to do some updating on my claying "jobs" that just seem to spring from wherever! Yesterday I made a bunch of molds so kids at an art experiential day can make charms. They were fun to make...easy too. The charms have all sorts of backgrounds and hopefully there will be enough variety. Some of them are from my own carvings, a few are from scrounged toys and others are from items I found in my "junk" box that I've had for years. One I really like is a little scottie "Westie" is so cute and petite. Of course there are some fish from my own rubber stamps I had made a few years ago, and then there are some "free motion" sculptures that I made out of leftover polymer clay. I hope the kids will have fun making the charms and fashion them into pendants or whatever. I'll encourage them to write little stories about them to give the charms a special meaning.

Today I got caught up on an order that I've had sitting for about a month. My batik friend Karen, (it seems that I know a lot of Karens)...had asked me to make more buckles for the guys and dolls she makes out of her gorgeous batik'd fabric. Finally I figured out a quickie way to make them. When I had made them previously, I spent a lot of time twisting wire for the buckle frame and then covered it in clay. It was not easy. I decided that since these are just decorative, and don't have to cinch in any waists, that they could just be made from clay without an armature. After doing the prototype, they were a snap to do.

The blue-green ones in the photo are from the sets I just finished...there are other colours too. Some of them have a few cane slices imbedded in the surface clay, some are textured, and others have foil below translucent, as these do. I hope she doesn't mind that they aren't precisely the same size. They are a little on the funky folky side. They're going to be on her musician dolls that she's making for the Winnipeg folk Festival in July. If the weather doesn't warm up, they'll be needing more than overalls with buckles...I wonder if she makes galoshes. Oooh, I don't want to think about making clasps for those things. That would really take some wheel re-inventing!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mokume Gane Trials

Yesterday was a busy day. After completing the image transfer, I thought I'd tackle a mokume gane sample for this Thursday's class, and here are some of the results. I used a combination of black, gold, white and a bit of brown for the layers, and poked the stack with a few things I had laying on my table. I shaved the top slices pretty thin and then applied them to a very organic-type base.

Of course I had to shape the pieces into "something" so I decided on small book covers. I've been making a lot of books lately, and am getting excited about them. You'd think by now I'd have developed a passion for reading, lol.

As for the back cover, it was actually the same mokume stack but I let it get processed a little more by running it through the pm. Then I added a few more scratches to make the cover rather earthy.
This time I remembered to make lots of complementary beads from the remaining scraps, like both the covers and the interior linings (which you can't see here).
I need to get some other stuff ready for the class, so won't have time to drill the holes and bind it for a while yet.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fish Transfer

I didn't know fish had to "transfer". Can't they just take a direct route????

I did a preliminary transfer and colouring job on this little pescatore...It is still very much in the rough stage, but the transfer took well and with the heat gun yet! I did bake it after the colouring had been added and a layer of translucent slapped on. A little sanding with 400 grit and then a quick pass with the buffer, and it's ready for using as a demo. Eventually I hope to encapsulate this little rainbow fish (with eyes in the back of his tale) into a book cover. It's quite thin, so will embed well.

Speaking of beds, where and how do fish sleep?

Kettle of Fishtales

Lots of fish...images. Next Thursday, I will be teaching a polymer clay class to a small network of participants. Actually, the nuclear group of this class has spent time together at other classes that I've hosted. We'll be joined by a few newbies and even an out-of-province visitor. The topics for the class will be rudimentary surface techniques (transfers and mokume gane) and I will be introducing them to transfers onto polymer clay using the "hic-gin" method.

I have to laugh, because I carry the "transfer medium" in a brown hair colouring bottle. (I liken that to those people who have smoked glass car windows so you can't see what's going on in the back seat.) I have added just one or two drops of scent (one of the perfumes I seldom use) to the medium so it doesn't smell like C2H5OH. When I used it at a "class" the other day, everyone commented on how "nice" the fragrance of the transfer medium was. It didn't affect the transfer technique at all, and so no one was the "Wiser"...tee hee.

We will be using the same "liquid transfer medium" at the class this coming week. With the participants being of "un certain âge", I will disclose what the contents of the bottle are, but will still leave its little label of Transfer Medium on, just in case I have to use it for future juvenile presentations.

In preparation for the class, I wondered what kinds of images we would use to transfer; there are so many around. In the end, I decided to make my own samples out of a personal sketch. I was influenced by a chance encounter from yesterday. I'm carrying the fish theme a little far here, but need to elaborate.

On Saturday, I was at the Folk Festival "Sale" and there really was a lot of "free time" so to speak. So I went into the Music Store adjacent to the sales room, and browsed through the stacks of audio discs, looking for some new music to listen to when I'm driving. I FOUND IT! I had no idea what to expect of the artist, but the name caught my attention...Rupa and the April Fish. This morning, I had a few minutes to do a bit of research and heard a couple of tracks from the cd. I LOVE what I heard. When I go back to the music store to pick up my cheque next week, I'm going to buy the cd. It's partly in French, and very easy to listen to. Of course I was especially drawn to the track entitled..."La Pecheuse". Those who know me will know why, lol.

To get back to the black and white fish images, I am calling this series Fish in the Scale of 'C' and for those in the school of fish I usually attend, the "eyes in the back of my tail" are for you Robbie. (When I first encountered Robbie in a Grade One class, he wondered how I knew who was fooling around. When I last encountered him in Grade Six, he still remembered how I could "C" him...)

As for the original intent of this post, I will be making my samples for the class demo in a day or two, and will post the results here.

Best Fishes on Mother's Day to all you who are reading this today!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Buttons to "Fastenate"

So I am on another button kick. Today the palette is in the blue, teal, turquoise, and green range, but you'd never know it by the colour on our monitor. The blasted thing has been playing tricks on us, and I can't tell eggplant from fuchsia on it. We've ordered a new flat screen 24 inch one, but it is somewhere between there and here and I guess patience is the word to go by.

I am making these buttons to go with a jacket being made by a fabulous quilter, Judy Morningstar, whom I met at the Quilt Reflections show a few weeks ago. Her work is killer!

I wonder which ones she'll pick?
BTW, did I mention it is snowing here? May the fourth and two inches of snow on the ground. How intemperate?