Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Fun Imitating

Opal is another one of my favorite stones and there are several methods to mimic this sparkly gem, but I like Donna Kato's tutorial the best.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces I did while experimenting with this technique. 



The mica flakes appears different each time, depending on the colored clay you use for a background.  The heart on the left for instance is with a plum colored clay where the one on the right was done with black.  The dragonfly wings below were with a silver background.  



Right now I'm experimenting further with this technique but using inks and foils as I'm trying for an effect more similar to the Mexican opal like in these earring pieces below, so we will see what happens.



Monday, April 27, 2009

A New Table



A while back we were in need of a coffee table for our living room and were in search for the right one.  One day while dropping off some items at a good will store I noticed a table -- exactly like I wanted -- something not too large with a shelf underneath -- yet this one was even neater with the beautiful carving on the corners.  The great price was a real bonus and I was practically skipping out of the store with my new purchase.

The table is quite old so is a little worn in places and I decided I wanted to refinish it in some way but couldn't decide how.   When I discovered how you could create decorative tiles with polymer clay I suddenly knew what I wanted to do.  It was just a matter of finding or making the time to do it.  I finally decided to set some time aside and focus on finishing this table, along with a smaller side table we've had for some time and make a matching set.

Here are some of the tiles I've completed and a drawing I made of the tile patterns for the two tables.  I will post more on the progress of theses tables (which the one is already near completion).

   


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Imitating Turquoise

The most unique thing about polymer clay is how you can create with it to imitate so many types of materials such as semi-precious stones.  I think this is one of the aspects that most polymer clay artists enjoy the most.

My favorite stone to imitate is turquoise.  I love how it can look so much like the real thing yet not have the same weight that the natural stone has so is more comfortable to wear.

Here are a couple of sample pieces we created using this technique.  The one below has the "turquoise" embedded into a focal pendant and strung with "turquoise" beads each formed by hand.  The square beads in chili red were also hand crafted from polymer clay.  You can read more on this in our ArtFire Studio.


This collar style necklace is one of our favorites and even though it looks heavy, it is quite lightweight due to using the polymer clay rather than the real stone.  The collar piece is strung with our own rondelles in black (see our tutorial we posted earlier) and some of our new handcrafted heishi beads using the same turquoise.  This piece is also listed in our ArtFire Studio.



You may have noticed our new ArtFire Studio Gallery on the right side of this blog.  We weren't totally pleased with the Etsy Shop as it has some drawbacks.  We heard about ArtFire through a few other artists and so we decided to give it a try.  It has it's problems as well but because it is fairly new they are still working on improvements.  Some of the advantages is that you can list up to ten photos for each item posted.  Ten photos seem like quite a bit and most of the time you don't need that many, but it is a nice feature to have as some of the pieces require close ups of some of the components for better viewing.  Another nice feature with ArtFire is that you do not have to have an account with them to make a purchase -- there is a speed check-out which takes you directly to paying through paypal.

We still have items listed in our Etsy Shop but will be slowly switching everything over to ArtFire for more convenient shopping.  And of course when you view our Wearable Art Gallery (see the blog link to the right), each item is linked directly to the ArtFire Studio for more information and ordering.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Something New

Thanks to Desiree McCrorey and her handy tutorials, I managed to repair my pasta machine and I'm now back into production again.



These are some new pieces I created just before we left for the coast.  They are quite different than anything else I've made so far.  I'm not sure if they were inspired by the pop art display I viewed in a gallery some time ago or they sprouted up from another project I was working on. I am in the middle of mosaic tiling our coffee table and I decided to experiment with some of my left over pieces.  This design wasn't what we wanted for our table but I liked the colors so much I had to make some pendants and earrings from them.  I will share more about the mosaic tiling project later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Back with good news

We returned yesterday from the coast and are slowly unpacking and settling in.  We just received a phone call today from Dave's transplant clinic with good news -- there is no more sign of rejection.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

We managed to catch up on finishing a lot of jewelry pieces in our spare time.  They will be posted in our Wearable Art Gallery within the next few days.

I managed to make a few flower canes although I didn't get as many done as I had hoped.  I was right in the middle of production when there was a clunking sound on my pasta machine.  A bolt had come undone and we had no tools with us for repair.  The four canes on the left and bottom are flower centers so I at least have a head start on more flowers to come.



So my poor machine got packed away for the last couple of days and that meant I had to do something to prevent boredom so I went shopping instead! I'm a real sucker for pearls and so couldn't resist buying these fresh water pearls and dyed shell beads in beautiful jewel tone colors.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gone for a Bit -- will be back again with bunches of flowers!

Some of you know that Dave had a kidney transplant last June.  His health has improved a great deal since, however, in the last couple of months he experienced some complications which has resulted in his body to start rejecting his new organ.  So we are off to a hospital in Vancouver for treatment and will be gone for a couple of weeks.  I will try and post from there sometime if I get the chance.  In the meantime, I am taking plenty of clay with me to work on.  I decided with spring here I need more flower canes so should have time to make lots up.  Had a request for a stargazer lilly -- so should be a challenge to keep my mind busy!  I will try and make more pansies like these as well since they seem to be so popular and also my favorite.