Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zen Doodle Inspirations

In my last most recent post, I indicated that I had used some of my amassed collection of pen and ink zen diagrams as inspiration for my polymer clay textures creations.  I tried to include this picture along with the post, but was having trouble including it with all the other material in that post so decided to use it by itself.  This is not my favorite Zen thing, but I think it gives the idea of what I was striving for.  If I had a chance to do a do-over in this one, I would have balanced it more, with some heavier coloration on the right.  The eye doesn't go to the little 'fat globule' on the lower right.  Also, in my spraghetti presentation arrangement, I think I would have not made the emerging balloon so lonely.  It does give it a balancing point, but there isn't enough foundation for it to maintain the equilibrium on its rather testy fulcrum.  But it does bring to mind the Cirque du Soleil, in one of its moments where the next movement would be a swing to the right!

School's Out for Summer

Okay, school is almost out but I thought I'd share this method for making a zentangle in polymer clay.  Since my original work with zentangles began as "a long string of spaghetti", I approached making the textures in the polymer clay in much the same manner. 
Instead of a piece of spaghetti, (TOO LIMP A NOODLE FOR MOI) I used a piece of linen string which I impressed into the scrap clay.  Perhaps there are too many "cells" or spaces in this one to fill.  I usually like to have a different texture/design in each discrete section, and this would mean  ... a lot of textures in small spaces and might be too busy.

After the impression is made with the string or thin cord, I next get my tools for impression making collected so that I can use them.  You can see in this photo that I have collected a few different bits and pieces, most of which have ends that can be manipulated into the clay.  I will use the ends on their sides, or points, or the whole thing.  Ya gotta improvise a little.  A drill bit used straight on will give one impression, and when used on its side will yield a completely different look.  The bits and pieces are parts of aluminum, brass or other metal cylinders, tubes, needles and whatnot.  The collecting of these things can be a trifle time-consuming and often that is the most fun.  Yes, I even have a clicker pen in there, as well as my trusty tracing wheel...something I cannot live without!
I realize this is a tad difficult to see due to the muddy color of the clay, but I think you can see the texture, even with this shoddy photo taken
with my blackberry. 

Originally, my inspiration for this adaptation in polymer clay came from an old art "lesson" that I used to do with my Grade Six students to get them to try to expand their repertoire of shading techniques.  I presented them with a "spaghetti noodle maze" and they had to fill each section with a different design or shading technique.  Over the years I have amassed a number of these that I have done on my own. The current zentangle-zendoodle approach in doing mixed media is nothing new.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Well these aren't exactly new pendants, just a revamping on a similar idea I've been toying with for a couple of years.  This time I whipped up a couple of colors, including a few of the new Premo shades, which I of course adapted through blending and such, and decided to try some textures instead of the same old same old reflections pendants.  In this particular series, I used only three basic colors and added funky textures. With the different textures and color placements I was able to do several perms and combs (no that is NOT hairstyling jargon) in composing a lot of various pendants.  For the textures on the upper layers, I used a sheet of foam protective material (like shelf liner), a piece of copper wire mesh and the small holes on the cheese grater.  How cheezy is that.  For the background bronzy part I used one of my favorite wallpapers and then brushed some Pearl-Ex combined with Fimo Pulver to create an interesting as yet undefined metal.  Add that to your Periodic Chart Dimitri Medeleev...The pendants look almost metallic until they are touched and then the clay reveals itself.  I am in the midst of preparing for a very busy week and weekend, so this post is short.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crazy Days of Almost Summer

With the summer solstice less than a week away, it is high time for me to really get the motors in gear and get lots of stuff  done while the days are long.  We have many things on our plates these days, with the year end at school, visiting relatives, school reunions to attend, camp projects to plan, book club meetings, and did I mention that next weekend is the start of the summer market days?  My inventory is at a critical low and it is in desperate need of replenishing.  This sort of explains my absense from the blogworld lately, but I thought I'd steal a few seconds and at least post, even if I didn't have a picture. 

Days have been scheduled almost down to the minute and of course I don't stick to them absolutely, but at least writing To Do lists gives me an idea of things to prioritize so that I can keep my head above water.  I'd love to call the lists TA DAH lists, but that would mean everything was done. 

And so, since it is Friday, I'll call this a TaDah! because at least I got a little blog done!!!

Have a great weekend everyone and I hope to post after my next three days of heads-down concentrated work!