Monday, October 29, 2012

Buttons R Us

I have been so remiss about and stuff getting in the way.  This month has been the usual blur right from the get go.  A couple of two day shows, a piggy back event at The Forks (I was on TV for about 3 seconds in the background), a  serious heads-down compacted session of button makinig and a little road trip with my sister have gobbled up this month!  And with four days to go until my next show, I am dealing with a chest cold.  Maybe the frenzied activity has something to do with that, go figure.

Last month I signed up for a journal cover swap and sent the book (the blue and purple one posted in an earlier post) to Colorado Springs.  I received a beautiful set of covers back from my swap partner which (someday) I am going to make into my very own journal.

But no time to think of doing things for meself...gotta get going on inventory for this weekend at the University Women's Club Sale on Westgate.  That is a sale that I love to do each's in a gorgeous mansion in the Gates area and I am going to be in the Wedgwood Room overlooking the River.  Here at home, in between coughing sessions, I have been hard at work supplementing my stock of sale articles.  I've also been trying to make a few fish hangings, but they keep disappearing.  I intend to send them to a gallery in Ontario if  can just keep them in the net!

I mentioned that I spent a few intensive days on button making.  Here is one of the sets that I made for a gal who makes quilted bags.  She sent me swatch images and I tried my best to match up the fabrics.  That's why there are several in each color grouping. 

I apologize for the dark backgroud and the fact that the scan is upside down.  I actually sewed these onto cardstock so that I could mail them in a big Tyvek envelope.  I hope they arrived safely.  I packed some sheets of fiberfill between and on either side of the cardstock.  Maybe she can use the fiber fill in her purses, lol.  Normally I put each button on an individual card, but didn't need to do that as they are all going to the same person. 
Now I am considering what I will do with my day today.
Option One:  Pull a Ferris Buhler today and phone in sick.  But since I am the principal and the teacher and the student all in one...who you gonna call?  (How can you tell I caught a few minutes of Ghost Busters this weekend?)
Option Two:  Keep my laptop in bed with me and watch the coverage of Sandy.  I hope "she" decides to change her mind and turn east into the ocean and disappear. 
Option three: Go to my clay table and roll my last couple of packages of clay for light switch covers. 
Stay tuned for the results! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hey Mr. Beadman

Okay, so I have used this title before, but it still works.  I recently completed this guy
who posed in a seated position for this photograph.  In this view, you can't see the beads which he is displaying between his outstretched arms.

In the view that follows, you can see how it's all put together, although I forgot to have a picture of the back taken. 

When viewing the back, his cape is lifted up slightly at the hem, and in that section I put a little label, along with six Chinese characters in cane slices which say "good luck"
 as I hope luck will always be with him and his surroundings in his future travels.

The larger beads in his display are polymer and I have integrated a variety of other types in a coordinated palette, and they are a mixture of metal, glass, wood, seeds and pearl-types.  I like making these figures, although there's a fair bit of intermediate planning involved. There are a lot of things to consider when doing a compositions such as this, like... Do you add the hands (which I sculpt at the same time as the face) before the cape is put on or after?  I never write the process down for these wall dolls when I make them, and I suppose I would save myself having to rethink everything if I did make some notes at least.  However, I love doing these characters spontaneously as I feel that way they come together more 'intuitively'.  It is as if I am on some sort of roll, and don't want to interrupt the flow of ideas.

During the final assembly, I did run out of beads, as my original plan was just to have four strands hanging from his midsection. I changed it to eight when I started stringing them to help balance him out.  I had to remix a batch of clay for the beads between his hands, but since his bead display is just as spontaneous as my original work, it all comes together somehow.

One other thing I should mention regarding the composition is that after the second (and successive) bakings of the face, I cover the face completely and wrap any other light colored parts in cloth and fibre-fill.  These parts may get too dark after being in the oven for a total of more than four hours.  I  antiqued his face after the first baking which may have been in error, but I wanted to do that before I added the whites of his eyes.  For those, I simply inserted small round bits of white polymer in the orbit cavities I had originally created for the eyeparts.  I added a tiny spot of dark pigment for the iris/pupil part, which is barely discernable.

I suppose I could have gone the 'mold' route and made his face and hands less 'ethnic' but I wanted to retain the hand-made character of this guy rather than resort to using someone else's facial creation.  So, even if they're not anatomically perfect, his features
 are his and no one else's

He will be on display at thenext weekend's sale in Dryden, ON, and with that reminder, I'd better get to work.  For us, Thanksgiving is going to be chicken with a few trimmings as the majority of our family will be either at dog shows or out of town. 

Sometimes I need to be thankful for peace and quiet.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hitting the books, polymer style

This is usually the time of year when hubby hosts his walleye derby, but lately he hasn't been holding this tournament.  Inasmuch as he enjoys seeing the fellows and gals out on the "Red", the amount of work involved is immense, and there just aren't enough hours in the day for the two of us to do all the work, especially the last minute sort.  So sadly, no greenbacks were running on the Red this past Saturday.  I did make a little 'commemorative' fish however, and if the derby had gone on, I would think this one would have been a keeper.

This photo shows it a little "greener" than it actually is, but the
Skinner blend does progress through shades of
green to a beauteous blue hue (boo hoo).
Here is the flip side! (It's the chubbier one)
As well as making fish, I have been preparing for a couple of two-day sales in the month of October.  On the weekend of the 12-14th, we will be heading to Dryden where we'll take part in their annual Art and Holiday event at the beautiful Eagle's Landing Country Club.  I'm getting lots of home accent pieces ready as well as making some handbound books.  Here's one that I recently finished:

I don't think I've ever done one in this combination of colors and I am pleased with how it turned out, even though it's very abstract.  The cane slices I used are from two separate 'headdress canes' that I had made and the window  pane part is one element of that.  There is plenty of texture on both covers and the inside has some cool deckled vellum type papers. 

The following weekend (the 19th and 20th) I will be at the Headingley Arts and Crafts Sale in our city.  I decided not to participate in the Scattered Seeds Craft Sale that is normally on at this time.  I did well at it last year, but found that the hours were impractically long for me, and I just couldn't put my body through twelve hours of standing on a concrete floor for successive days.  It is a huge event and throngs of people attend but I opted for the more personal, less crowded event. 

Today, and a couple other days in the next few weeks will find me in the classroom, so intersperse that with Turkey Day on the 8th and there's the makings of a busy month!

It is a beautiful, warm morning and the leaves are all shades of yellow, brown, rust and red...fortunately they are still on the trees.  Would be a lovely day for a drive...who knows.  Maybe someone will treat me to one after school today!