Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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.

1 comment:

Its All About Creating said...

Still catching up on my posts. I agree with you that this Zentangle stuff is not new. We were doing it in the 60's & 70's when abstract doodling was everywhere. That being said, your techniques of making them in polymer is wonderful.