Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time to Play with the Triplettes

This past Friday was the big workshop where we made polymer clay book covers and tried to get it all done in one short day. The covers the participants made were awesome, but we ran into a few snafus which prevented everything from getting completely finished within the time frame. The venue was great with one exception...the power source couldn't accommodate enough ovens for everyone's work so it was impossible to get the covers done in the scheduled time. Of course, this meant that we had to rush at the end, and as a result, some of the tougher steps (like binding) couldn't get done to everyone's satisfaction before we had to leave. I felt rather badly about this, but it was beyond my control (the time and the power problem) so hope that the workshop was meaningful for the participants. The class was overfull., and maybe this will transfer to the kids out there and there will be a lot of students working with polymer clay in the coming months.

During the workshop, my friend did the paper cutting for the signatures, and although we tried to do it as frugally as possible with little waste, there were some three inch squares left over from each sheet as the signatures were cut. So I decided to use them for some fun artwork...instead of just using them as scraps for writing telephone messages.

For some time, I have been "toying" with drawing anime-like figures, and now with the popularity of this type of drawing ever on the increase, I figured I'd better get on with mine. So, here, on three little pieces of paper, I present, Darla, Marla and Starla. (Gosh I am glad I never had to name children...I would be hopeless in allocating a name for a person that would have to stick for a lifetime!) I did these very quickly this morning, and they are basically just faces, with "wigs" that can come off in case they need to change hats or hairstyles...or colors or whatever. Maybe I can even transfer the faces to polymer clay and make up some little angels or dolls. Who knows what adventures lie ahead for these Triplettes?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jewelry fit for a Prince of Denmark

In an attempt to create a more substantial vessel for wearing or using as wall art, I've created these vessels which have bottoms made of papier maché and lids of decorative polymer. They were fun to make.

The reason why I went to a bigger size than the usual match box was to accommodate a book inside. The one pictured here has an ultrasuede cover and looks a little bluer than it really is.

I have another polymer book to go with the Bronzy-purply container. It's a difficult colour to describe but looks very rich and shimmery. The skirted effect on the lid is very free and not "confining" at all.

The tiny books that go inside are for keeping pictures. They average about 25-30 pages of cardstock. They would also be ideal for keeping important notes to self...or even quotes.

Speaking of quotes, I had an opportunity to watch about an hour's worth of a dvd of Hamlet yesterday when I was in a grade twelve English class. It's been years since I studied that myself, but I was surprised at how familiar many of the passages were. The production was the one with Julie Christie as Gertrude and Kate Winslett as Ophelia. It was a magnificent
performance. I just may have to go and rent the dvd so see it right through.

Whaddya think Hamlet...which one for Rosencrantz and which one for Guildenstern??? Or would you keep them both for yourself?

Monday, November 10, 2008

One Fish Two Tales

It's turned quite wintery here after a balmy fall, and I'm feeling like a fish outta water. We did a little trip last week and it was so nice to walk around with just a sweater and now it's hard to walk with all the ice and my bones can really feel the cold. Sooooooo, it's down to the clay table to finish some work promised a month ago.

This is one side of a fish hanging I promised to someone. I can't say "who" because it's a gift and that would be taking away the surprise. But I can show the other's meant to hang in a window or opening so that both sides are visible. I think that's one of the neat things about polymer don't need a frame so pieces can be viewed from both sides. That being said, of course it means double the work, but it is so much fun to make fish, and due to their rather simple morphology, you needn't worry too much about proportions. Besides, the gal asked for a funky fish, so even if the fins aren't all there, the fish will say "That's the way I am, and I am what I am!"

And oh yes, I am working on this one's "brother"...also for the same person but for another recipient. Maybe you'll get to see him soon!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Well I realize now that I have been "tagged" by a couple of people lately and I am supposed to respond so I'd better get busy and get my boots in gear!

Being tagged means I need to publish seven little know facts about myself. I don't know if there
is that much to say, but I am sure I can share seven things.

I have always loved to make things and had an early start by doing what I call my "cave art". Before I could go to school, I used to get up before my parents did and did things like "draw" with lipstick on the mirror of our bathroom's "medicine cabinet".

I guess I wasn't punished severely enough for that because a few years later I used crayons to draw lines on the wallpaper in the sewing room and did some "sample" writing on that. My cousin came over and asked if I always did my kindergarten homework on the walls in my house.

My next invention was a forerunner to the paper cutters that are now all the rage in the scrapbooking trends. We only had one pair of good scissors in the house, and my Mom, a fabric specialist, wouldn't let me use them for cutting paper, as she was determined I would make them dull. So, being the "intuitive type" I found my own ways to cut shapes out of paper using a straight pin and the groove in the sewing machine, where the machine part butts up against the cabinet. I would put my paper over the "slot" and run the pin over it and could cut straight or jagged edges in my papers. Who knew that people actually "invented" a similar tool some forty years later!

When I was in high school, I became the "decorator". I was chosen by my classmates to "wrap" a gift for our teacher, and in so doing, used saran wrap over the package to provide a glossy finish to the tacky gift wrap I had been given. The teacher had a helluva time getting the package open, and perhaps that gave way to the direction some of my polymer clay work has gone recently.

While in University, I studied Science, but was always interested in the workings of the other side of my brain, and was also the "Publicity" chairman for the Council. It was my job to make posters and signs to advertise and promote all the functions that were taking place, and this was the beginning of my murals/painting/calligraphy phase of my work. I still love to do this type of work, and someday envision myself "tagging" a train with pastels or some other media.

During the many years of my teaching career, I had an opportunity to travel a great deal over the summers and during vacation time. Seeing the works of the masters at several galleries in London, Paris, Rome and Spain is certainly inspiring. In fact, this became my inspiration for making lots of "poster" size paintings for wall murals and stage settings at the schools I taught in. One of my backdrops, made in 1989, is still being used for Christmas musicals in the school division. Unlike Michelangelo who painted the ceiling on his back in the Sistine Chapel, I painted this mural lying on my stomach in my basement. Same idea, different position.

Now I am into, I don't read at all, I am not now, and never could get into novels. So now I just make them from polymer clay and bind them, leaving the journalling to others. Like the one pictured above which I recently gave to cousin Elaine. She had plans of going to Texas this winter, and sadly, due to her husband's untimely death, she won't be going this year. But with the book ready for her to keep notes of her travels, hopefully she can get her boots on and do some line dancing which she loves!

Okay, I think that's seven things...Now to get to a sale in an hour!