Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tutorial: embedding paper in polymer clay

 I was talking to a friend on the phone and I was trying to discribe how to do this, and I thought: this would be so much easier if she could see what I am talking about. Thus, a blog post!

First things first! Assemble what you will need in front of you--I personally hate having to stop mid-project to search for my thingamawhoozer.

 Supplies: A straight edge (could be a ruler, could be an old book)
A needle tool (or just a straight-up needle--you'll use this to scooch things around when using your hands won't work)
A cutting blade (the blades designed for use with polymer clay are nice, but an old paring knife works well too)
An old credit card (trust me)
Your selected image (I picked irises because they are my mom's favorite)
TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey. Find it in your sculpey aisle at your local craft shop or online)
Foil (for baking on)
Polymer Clay (in any color you like. I prefer Sculpey, but Fimo is good, too)
Wipes (for cleaning up your hands and tools)
And a rolling machine (or a rolling pin. I believe that you shouldn't invest in the tools until you are sure that you are going to stick with something)

Got everything? Good. Lay it all out in front of you.

Get a piece of clay that is silver-dollar sized, and run it through your roller machine on 01. (You know better than to cram your brick right in there, right? You have to smoosh it a little first)
When you are done, it should be about as thick as a nickle. (what can you buy with a nickle?)

Lay that down on your work table and put your image on top. Go ahead with your cutting blade, and trim away the excess. Take your image off, and put it to the side.

Then take your bottle of Translucent Liquid Sculpey and squeeze a wide squiggle of the stuff on your clay rectangle. Once you have your squiggle, smooth it out with that old credit card.

It should look about like this. Lay your image back down on top of the Translucent stuff--IMAGE SIDE UP. The Translucent Sculpey acts like glue. If you put the image down crooked, don't panic! Use your needle tool to lift up a corner--then slowly peel your image up and lay it down how you want it.
Put another squiggle of Translucent Liquid Sculpey ON TOP of your image. Spread that around until it is nice and even.
Plop the whole thing on the aluminum foil, make a tent over your piece and bake at 275 for 15 minutes (or what ever your package directions say). We tent so that the clay doesn't discolor from direct heat while baking.

Easy-peasey, right?
Go on and make a whole bunch of them! Poke holes in them, string them on cords and you have yourself some mighty fine holiday presents.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here Be Dragons

I am assuming that I am not the only person on the planet with an inner critic. The little voice that says what you are involved in simply isn't enough, that your aspirations are silly, and that the best use of your time is something other than what feeds your soul. (Mine also says to quit my job and get a 9-5 with benefits and a 401k)

It is this little voice that keeps me from sending my art into the World.

But quite frankly, I am running out of space to put things and some of these works are clamoring to see the light of day.

I have been invited to submit works for an invitational show, and I haven't yet. The deadline is WEDNESDAY, and I haven't even photographed them. I keep waiting for a sunny day that just isn't going to happen.

And after the Wednesday deadline, I have a sketchbook to fill from The Sketchbook Project.

I am also working my way through a book entitled "The Creative Entrepreneur", which is helping me go from art-maker to art-business-lady.

2012 will be THE YEAR OF ART.

Once I quiet this critic and face my fear of success, it should be smooth sailing. (Ha ha ha)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fine, and you?

Hey y'all!

I hope your weekend was as fantastic as mine. Saturday night I spent in the company of some of my bestest girlfriends in a hot tub under the full moon, while all around us the winds fought for control. It was pretty spectacular.

Sunday it was WINDY. A constant 30 miles an hour windy. I had to put the garden to bed for the winter, so I threw on my coat, grabbed the kids and we went outside to get stuff done. They enjoyed being out of doors so much, they were out for an hour after I came in. There are leaves to pile up and move around, don't ya know?

I am slowly getting ready for company, and in the mean time I have once again volunteered to do some art I don't really have time for--because that's the way I roll. The kids have a birthday party this week and the hosting family are moving out of state at the end of the month so I wanted to gift the birthday girl something meaningful, and something that won't make her mom crazy when she goes to pack the last of their stuff. And what do you give a girl who loves unicorns? A painting of a unicorn, of course. Because I am a glutton for a full schedule.

I am off to work on that, but you have a good night y'hear?

Go watch the moon, or the clouds, or read a book.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Inspired by literature

This one came to me after I read 'Ahab's Wife'.
That book ate my brain.  When I wasn't reading it, I was wondering about what would happen next. I read all 600+ pages in three days.