Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gone fishin'

Well I've done it!  My first rainbow trout of the year.  I plan to do at least a fish a month and I just made it under the wire for January.  This one is about eight inches in length so is a bit smaller than my usual ones, but I still think it's a keeper.  This time I hammered the wire before I inserted it to give it a little more 'backbone'.  I've also incorporated one of my favourite easy canes into the tail region and used some analogous colours in its construction.  The flip side has similar "Cleopatreyes" but they're outline in Kohl black instead of the Frank Sinatra Blue-Eyes liner.  I didn't want to make the liner so harsh, but since this is somewhat of a caricature of a fish (no pun intended Ms.Katisha), I thought I'd let it go.  As well, I am currently reading a mystery about a Victorian woman who's just embarked on her first Egyptian adventure so I thought it fitting that at least something would tie in with Amelia Peabody's adventures on the Nile.  Regretably, I am reminded of such tumultuous times in Egypt right now. 

I wonder if the Nile has any fish like these?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Books

After doing the book demo last week, I finally had a chance to upload some pictures and am going to put a few of them here.  Some are entirely polymer clay covers...the others, well you'll probably be able to detect what they are!
This is one I started a long time ago and bound rather recently.  It's got a ton of texture and is loaded with parchment type paper.  It is a medium sized journal with about 80 pages, but I really haven't counted them.  The colours are very warm and the beads on the side are a little off the beaten track in terms of style.  One of the strands is split into two about halfway down thecord's length.

The cover is a Skinner blend that was  textured with some fabric.  Additional elements include a drape of  cane slices and some variegated canes I added for visual interest.

This rockin' one was inspired by the surrounding rocks out here.  I  actually put it down on the ground amid the stones that are outside and it blended in very well.  The rocky top on this is quite bumpy, but in the end I buffed it to make it less so and to make it easier to hold.  It is filled with charcoal type paper so that any naturalist can go out and do sketches.  In keeping with the rocky theme, there's a nature video inside with the sound of water running over the rocks.  I incorporated some smooth and irregular 'rocks' and also some glass and pearly beads.  Glass was once rock, right?

This mixed media book is of the type I made before Christmas in 2010.  It incorporates book board, which I coated with Gesso and then layered on coats of Jacquard Paint.  I added a few sunrays of co-ordinating colors of paint and then put on the polymer embellishment.  It consists of cane slices surrounding a medallion.  I also sewed some beaded elements into the cover and used similar beads on the spine.  This book is somewhat larger in dimension and is filled with good watercolor paper so that any media can be used to enhance its interior.  It was fun to combine a couple of elements in creating it.

Lots of folks ask what kinds of things should go in these art journals.  I decry those who want to use them as little notepads for grocery lists or telephone numbers.  It's so hard to be polite to people who call them me, those are the things you pick up at the dollar store and just rip the pages out when you are done with them.  To me an art journal is something you'd like to keep forever.  One of my friends has a guest book in her home that she has everyone write in as they visit.  Over the course of a couple of years, that has proven to be a wonderful recollection of all the friends who come over and the good times they've shared.  I also gave a similar book to another friend who decided that she'd use it for memorable events that occur over the years.  Of course most of the entries are happy ones, but she's also had the good sense to include some not so fun moments, because we all know that life doesn't always deal us good times every day.  And of course sketches,  paintings, significant quotes, photographs, calligraphy and other art forms can all be incorporated within the covers of these books.  That would make it YOUR art journal.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blue Book done and others

As indicated in yesterday's post, (wow two posts in two days) I completed the binding of the book I'll be showing at the Saturday guild meeting. 
The interior contains 60 pages (actually five signatures) but the watercolor paper is so heavy that the finished book is an inch (2.54cm) thick.  I've made a couple of other books...some similar and some not so, and I've loaded them with Charcoal paper, so it's still a good quality paper but not as heavy, therefore making for more pages inside.

The book that I completed that is similar, using the same elements but other paper is shown here.  It's the same surface size, roughly 4 1/2 inches by 3 3/4 inches.  The beads are a combination of glass, metal and the majority are polymer made from leftover materials used in making the covers.

I used many of the same colors of clay in making this book, but employed a different combination of inks on the covers and in the Shimmer Batik Technique.  Sometimes the colors of the inks change in the process of layering and the pink color in the final outcome was originally more of a lavender color.  I personally love amost all colors so don't have a problem with that.  I know there are folks out there that don't want any pink in stuff.  The way that the colors merge on their own is appealing to me. It's one of the things about polymer clay that is a tiny bit unpredictable, but oh so much fun when you get those unexpected happenings.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year, New Book

Although the book is not yet finished, I thought I'd include it here as a work in progress to indicate that I actually have been working on clay, in spite of my hiatus from posting for over a month!  I will be doing a demo this Saturday and this is what I am going to be illustrating.  I have all the elements of the book ready, but had this picture taken before the covers were put in the oven, so this doesn't show the complete details. 

A while back, I had purchased Tina Holden's Shimmer and Batik tutorial, and finally had all the supplies (I got a ton of foiling stuff for Christmas) and needed to try everything out.  I did change the methods slightly...I added more texture to the impression as I needed a way of adhering the star to the background and I may have used more removal of the ink than was intended.  Anyway, it looks pretty and the colors of the background pretty closely match the colors in the Batik/shimmer element.  Instead of finishing it in the way recommended in the tutorial, I am going to add a coat of Future to preserve the inks, foil and pearl elements just to the cutout part. Just for the sake of clarity during the demo I will not be doing the Shimmer Batik technique.  I will be walking  folksthrough how to make basic covers for a book, how to prepare the signatures and demo the Coptic binding technique, the part of the book making which requires the most practice for 'unsewers' like moi.

  The interior is a Skinner Blend and when the whole thing comes together I will be adding watercolor pages inside and some beads to the binding, as I have done with most of my books.  I hope it turns out.