Monday, July 28, 2014

Truite arc-en-ceil

Preparations for the Sioux Narrows art fair this weekend have kept me hopping and the ovens going into the wee hours the past couple of days. Here is my latest fish hanging in the style of most of my fish--two sided so that hanging them in a patio window allows bith sides to be viewed. This species is quite a bit more flamboyant than most of the fish in this area...maybe he/she'd feel more at home in some Caribbean waters. 
I am also in the process of making some other figures; one that has been studying lines to take a screen test; one a fishmonger complete with wire basket of fish, and the last figure has just what kept Neil Young searching for.  
The heart is suspended and is slightly's encrusted with what I think is pure gold pulver. My dad used to do decorative painting and after he passed, I found this small vial-like bottle of gold pulver amongst his other supplies.  It was a very small vial and it might be composition leaf-powder, but it's more than sixty years old so just maybe it's the real thing. 

I guess one could do an assay to determine if it is.  Or maybe not.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Swimming upstream

The last couple of days have been an emotional roller coaster for me, but this fish did get done...not fried but done. 
He will be heading for Sioux Narrows on Lake of the Woods, along with his joined at the hip (and other places) flip side below. 
Normally I have quite a few fish followers there so I am into high production gear this week. Fortunately, no fish were harmed in this process. 

Back issues continue to shorten my work days...but doing the best I can.

See you at the big lake!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The heat is on!

Here is the artist's journal I finished as a gift to celebrate my cousin and his wile's fiftieth anniversary. I will be sending it away soon, so gave it a quick camera shoot to prove I actually got some work done during the heat wave we are experiencing. The humidity has been pretty high so I've mostly worked in the early part of the day. Unfortunately, I've been having some back problems, but that, like our fleeting summer will soon pass. 
Here is the back view of the book.  I like the colours which are not very visible on the front side. But it was important to commemorate the occasion with a few transfers which I got from my cousin's daughter. 

Thankfully my back is quite a bit better now, just in time to prepare for the annual excursion to Sioux Narrows. I hope to complete a couple of new projects that have had to be put on the back burner due to other commitments. 

I plan on adding some new fish characters to my inventory; some small and some of the "master angler" least as far polymer clay is concerned. There are some restrictions to work around when working with of which is the size of the oven.  I do use my kitchen oven for more sizeable sculptures, but even then one has to be conscious of the distance from the heat elements.  Last week, I used my little convection/toaster oven for one of my stickmen, and protected the head in a sock to prevent it from scorching. Wouldn't you know that the cotton sock got just a little too close to the top burner.  Talk about smelly socks. Good thing I was close by and able to prevent serious damage. Just a reminder not to stray too far from the oven when things are curing!

And now it's back to the clay table for a few more hours. Tomorrow I will be at the Kenora Farmer's Market and am looking forward to a busy day. Just hope it isn't a scorcher!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fifty years and counting

I am devoting a good part of this weekend to a project that's been nearly fifty years in the making. On August first, one of my cousins and his wife will be married for fifty years, and although there's not a big hoopla, I decided to make a "book" that will have art pages inside for them to fill as they wish. 

Their daughter sent me a few pictures which I've cropped and had copied, along with the wedding invitation of 1964 that my sister found in a dresser drawer. I have integrated the  whole works to make the cover and then bind it Coptic style. I am miffed that we no longer have our tabletop xerox.  I had to go to the print shop and when I asked for a reverse image the gal made a "negative". Hmmm. But on the second try she got it right and the images transferred well onto the clay. 

Hope to post a photo of the completed book after it's done. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

True Confessions

Okay, so I feel like I am entering the Blog Confessional Booth, so here goes.

Bless me, Blogfather, for I have sinned.  It has been six months to the day since my last post. (OOOOH, that sounds dreadful!)

Here are my blogsins:

- I have been busy
- I have been working
- I have been claying
- I have been going to the Farmer's Market and doing other events
- I have had difficulty logging into this Blogger (they changed my name) and I've filled the air with blue words that frustrated me
- I have been using my 'technology time' learning how to navigate my I-pad Mini

Okay now, with all that out of the way, I will post a few of the things that I have  been up to.

First, now that school's out for summer, I have been able to  clay away.  One of the things I made on a rainy weekend, and there have been many this year,  was a group of fairy doors.  It took me three tries to figure out how to work the hinges so that the door opened fully. 

I had seen this on a tutorial, but of course I didn't follow the exact steps and changed it a lot, especially the way the hinges were.  Instead of using metal hinges, (which I have somewhere but can't find) I went with some black cording and put it through holes I drilled through the stonework and the door.  For the picture, I used an inkjet print that I lacquered on both sides, so that it would be waterproof (I hope)... 

The other doors that I made, are similar, but the doors only open part way.  You can still see the fairy scene inside, but I tell people that these doors only open wide enough for very small fae to enter, and to keep the big bad trolls out!  Works for me.

Since the 25th of June, each Wednesday we have gone to Kenora, Ontario to participate in the Farmer's Market there.  It's quite a drive (two hours) but it is a lovely one, with outcroppings of the Canadian Shield interspersed with lovely lakes.  Kenora itself is on Lake of the Woods, and is a beautiful resort area, although lots of folks live there year round.  Sadly, the originator of the market passed away two weeks ago, but the market carries his name and it is sure to carry on for many years to come. 

This is the actual site along the dock, which is right in the center of the city.  The big covering has sides that can close up should the weather become too inclement.  It was almost necessary to close the sides last Wednesday as I was located right by the dock.  The wind was playing havoc with my stands and we had a slight mishap with one of the Ikea metal folding screens tipping, but fortunately nothing broke.  The polymer is really strong and I don't worry about the hanging things on the screen, because they are actually meant to be out in the elements.
Here are a few of my buttons, and some light switch plates.
This past weekend, it rained (again) and the wind blew like crazy.  So, once again, I had a little time to 'play' seeing as how our planned barbeque was not going to happen.  While I was waiting for my hair to dry, I selected a random magazine from my collection.  It was the first edition of "Expression"...sadly that publication has ceased to exist.  In it, I found a project by Vesta Abel, and fortunately, I had the requisite supplies so I gave it a try.   Of course, I changed the technique to suit my style of claying, but I did use her suggested grape vines (which I had selected from our backyard vinery some years ago) and also this incredible handmade paper that I have stashed away in my paper room.  (You wouldn't believe what a paper person I am...that goes a waaaay back to when stationery had its own 'department' at Eaton's!)  Maybe that explains my infatuation with handmade books--it certainly isn't the reading part, lol.  In any case, here are two of the stick persons that I made yesterday:
 The above creation reminds me of Ringo...maybe that's why he has a 'starfish' (thank you Cindy Leitz) around his neck.
This one, I've called "ADAM", with apologies to our next door neighbour.  It's because of the position of the polymer leaf that's affixed to a certain region of this guy's anatomy, "EVE"n though he's fully clothed.  If a person were to hang these on a window, they are 'good' on both sides, even though I haven't photographed the obverse sides.
Well, I am hoping this admittance is an acceptable act of contrition...and hopefully, it won't be another six months until my next posting.