Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New items and New fishing season

The apple tree blossoms are just about to burst on the tree outside the kitchen window.  The pinks will last for only a week, but for that one week they'll be a glorious profusion of color.  We probably won't be able to see the birds or other animals that visit that tree (for treats) but it will still be a wonderful sight.

On the creative front, just bursting out of the oven are some of my latest compositions.  You didn't think I was awol and not doing something.  I have been very occupied getting some new gallery things ready and in between clay sessions, staying in touch with my buds and doing a fair bit of substituting.

I've managed to do a couple of new fish, using a painterly technique along with the usual caned slices for embellishment.  I apologize for the way they are appearing here...I'd really like to have them side by side so you can see the obverse sides, but I think you can probably figure out which one goes with which, lol.   
One of the difficulties I encounter when doing the 'big fin' type fish is dealing with the wire that is inside the fish.  It serves a double purpose:  for hanging the fish when it is complete, and also as an armature to lend support to the body of the clay.  It is pretty thick wire, and even if I use my customary triple layer of fish insides (I call them 'geckles'), the outline of the wire still seems to make its way to the outer part of the fish.  That of course calls for creative placement of cane slices, some ingenious imprinting and texturing, which comes out in the end as  decorations.  These fish are about 10 inches from lips to the tail fin and the girth of each one demands that they be classified (at least in fishing terms) as keepers.  I used the same canes for the lips and eyes in each of the views, although I did reduce one part of the eye cane so it wasn't so large. 

Caning is not something I have a lot of patience for.  Never again will I make a six foot cane like I did in one class several years ago.  I still have a yard of that one left and quite frankly, I am tired of it and haven't found it all that useful in my designs.  I do like to make small canes, in colors that complement the overal hue of the fish or whatever figure I am using them on.  So, my canes tend to be rather small, usually no more than six inches in length and sometimes smaller depending on how much color I blend up to start. 

Speaking of color blends, I don't have a motor for my pasta machine, and conditioning pounds of clay into Skinner and other blends is too hard on my cranking arm.  For a while in Arizona, hubby lent his right arm to help out with the grunt work of cranking, but ever since he tore a ligament in that arm three weeks ago, he hasn't been able to crank...or do much else with it.  He can't even lift dear Miss Molly, (our bichon frise) up to administer her daily doses of insulin, upon which she depends.  Boy am I rambling!!!

To get on to the other creations I have been working on, they are somewhat repeats of previous works. 

Ms. Malone, "She was a Fish Monger", is a coccoon type figure who has plenty o' detail.  Although she is only about eight inches tall, all her accoutrements make her plenty big.  Her wire arms surround her woven "basket" of fish which is composed of a polymer clay base, some wire for the 'weft' and simple polymer clay and glass  beads strung on to light weight wire that are woven in and out around the basket's perimeter.  Inside the basket are several loose fish, similar to the ones that are hanging from the side of the basket.  In keeping with the fish theme, I used part of a fishing leader (from hubby's tackle box) to attach the hanging fish to the side of the basket.  (Heck, he can't use his casting arm anyway, so some of the stuff in that case needs to be used somehow!) The "sign" on her basket is an image transfer of a sketch I did a few years ago of some fish types.  Ya just never know when all the stuff you have comes together and is incorporated into a total composition.  The detail of the basket is shown in the bottom picture.  Once again, I'd like to manipulate it so that it is nearer to the actual figure, but I haven't time to play with pictures on the computer. 

To Ms. Malone's right, is Mr. Sixtapus, taking a Tai Chi Class.
His upward look begs the question..."what am I supposed to be doing with all these legs?  I've got the arm movements pretty well figured out, but, OMG, I don't know how to position my weight in the most "chi" way so that I am balanced!!!"

      (Detail of basket o' fish)

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