Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy accident

We are still busy with our move to Ocean Shores. It is a slow process, moving one car load at a time on our days off. Now that tax season is here, it seems we hardly have any time off together.

  This last weekend I had three days because of Presidents Day, but Dan had to beg to get Saturday off. We loaded up a lot of stuff for my studio and headed down after work. Saturday was a very busy day not only with unloading the car, then finding that my storage drawers I had such hopes of fitting in the closet were half an inch too long. Now I have piles of shoe boxes that I had unloaded from these storage  units taking up way too much space my studio until I can figure out another option.  Lord Opuson is like "just put the units in the garage", but I don't want to be traipsing out there every time I need another Mica powder or bead.

    Then at noon I headed over to the Gallery of Ocean Shores for a memorial gathering  remembering Ken Whitmore, an extremely talented photographer who was killed in an automobile accident several months ago. It was a very good turn out. He had touched a lot of people who showed up to pay their respects. Got to meet several members of his family and more artists that show at the gallery. Then at 5 o'clock, was the quarterly Gallery meeting.

Such a busy day I hardly had any time to play with my clay, but I did get in a few hours between the memorial and meeting. Being so rushed actually led to a happy accident with the clay. Before I went over to the memorial I had started to create some veneers using Debbie Crothers Swellegant tutorial.  In my haste I forgot instructions for adding the patina. The patina is supposed to be added when the
Swellegant Metal Coating is still wet but I forgot and let it dry. Then I put on the patina and went to the meeting. When I came back to the studio, instead of a beautiful flowering verdigris color, I had zip, nada, nothing...
 

 As you can see this is a real a lackluster veneer. There are a few sparkly bits, but overall pretty flat and lifeless. I figured what the heck, last time I had a butt-ugly veneer, I was able to save it. I quickly made a dagger pendant using it and a tiny bit of leftover pink veneer. It came out of the oven pretty ugly, and I thought for sure it was going into the trash.

That is when the surprise happened. When I added the glaze, all of a sudden the invisible patina blossomed.
    See the pretty blue patches ... they weren't there till I brushed on the varnish.


I am going to have to experiment to discover if this was just a fluke or if I can reproduce it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Playing with Swellegant

Sometimes I forget that I even have a blog. Facebook seems to be where everyone communicates anymore. I am getting better at using FB, now that Twitter is were a lot of people talk or whatever twitter does.
   Anyway, I finally had a quiet day at the Gallery of Ocean Shores where I was able to spend time playing with polymer clay and Swellegant.  Debbie Crothers has written wonderful tutorials using Swellegant to create interesting veneers and beads. I just had to try it!

    First step: create the veneer. So much fun.




 Next step.  Create pieces from the veneers: apologies for the background... don't have my photo booth set up at the new house yet. These were taken on the windowsill.

 

 This poor little flower was my first attempt at cracking.  I overheated the clay and when I picked it up,  the poor thing cracked and broke in several places.   So it was backed with a bit of black clay and turned in to a pendant.


Another veneer I overheated while attempting to crackle.  I just kept pushing it into the clay core hoping that it would not crumble in my hands.  Miracle!  It held together.


Got into creating Dagger pendants with the next several veneers.  I am getting the hang of crackling. 


 Don't know if you can see the subtle coloring the Swellegant made on the black portion of this Dagger pendant.  In real life,  it is quite striking.



And my last beads ... to start with, this was the ugliest veneer I had made.  I had dug into the clay in an experiment to see what would happen.  I was not at all pleased with the result.  So, what the heck,  can't ruin it anymore.  Wrapped it around a  skewer and what do you know ... butt ulgy turned out nice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Articulated Chaos

I have been so neglectful of my poor blog this year. So little time to call my own these days.
     Life has been throwing curve balls these past few months.  Schedule revision at the good old J.O.B. - I am now working 10am to 630pm.  Not to bad, but trying to get a doctors' appointment. .. what a pain that is.
    The best, and most exciting,  curve is that my work was accepted at the Gallery of Ocean Shores. I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.  Being artistic,  one of the first things I checked out when deciding to move to Ocean Shores was the art community.  I had gone into the gallery several times during our trips there (car fully packed with moving boxes). One of the times I happened to be wearing a Chris Friesen inspired fire lizard pendant. The artist on duty that day really liked it and suggested that I bring some work into show the jury committee.

 Boy, was I nervous!
 But I got lucky ... they had just lost their jewelry artist AND had decided to expand the range of art exhibited at the Gallery.
   I set out my display August 1st and have sold several earrings already. A HUGE thank you to Marie Segal who taught me to make her bullseye earrings  (and graciously allows me to sell what a make using her techniques). They have been my best sellers.
    Another great thing about the gallery ... it is an artist owned 501(c)3 non-profit. That means am surrounded by artists. It is so inspirational!  NBAG (The Northshore Artist Guild) was invited to set up an exhibit in Aburdeen  (sorry, can remember exactly where ... too new to the community).  I challenged myself to try something completely different and paint with polymer.  I was originally told that the theme was Articulated Chaos and was to be  abstract in nature.  I had never done abstract before (unless Mokume Gane counts).
    I discovered I loved freedom I felt when creating this piece.  I had a sliver of an idea when I started. .. and  it grew from there. Started with several Skinner blends and my handy Christi Friesen clay tools .... I am very happy with the results. I hope that time allows me to explore this aspect of polymer more.

  After finishing my piece,  I was told that the theme had been changed to Oceanic. Luckily the painting looks like a storm at sea
Articulated Chaos

Friday, June 17, 2016

Chance meeting

Life has been so busy, so my poor blog gets totally neglected.  What with purchasing a new home, sorting out what to keep and what can go (and arguing with hubbie as to why I MUST keep most of my stash), slowly moving stuff to the new house and trying to plan for retirement. .. my life has hardly any room for my clay. I have had one clay day with the cladies at the Puyallup grange and was able to attend the annual Clay Camp in Goldbar last month.  Hope to attend the clay day next weekend, if we aren't taking another car load down to Ocean Shores.
      But I just had to share a wonderful gift the universe gave me yesterday.
      A bit of background is in order.  As some of you know,  I have a few cats. And with cars, come a few problems. This year has been the worst ever for flea issues. Apparently the pests are getting to be immune to most  treatments out there. We have been fighting them for months and it seems I am one of the lucky people that react badly to flea bites.   And they  just LOVE my blood! My feet and legs are covers with bites and they itch like mad. I try very hard to keep my nails away from them, but sometimes I wake up at night to find that I have scratched myself silly in my sleep.  Anyway, I read up on line what can help keep the buggers from biting me ... discovered certain smells they don't like. So happens that a hand cream we used at work contains ingredients that help keep the buggies away. Unfortunately, they stopped ordering this cream (guess it cost too much), so searched the Internet and found a store at a nearby mall that carries the cream.
   Now, I am not one that likes malls. I much prefer small, privately owned stores where unique items can be found. So, I hardly ever go there. That is what makes what happened so amazing.
    As it was on my way  to work, hubbie and I decided to have lunch there too. Standing in the food court, decided I would like to have Ivar's fish and chips.  Walked towards Ivar's and noticed a familiar looking lady walking towards me. I did a bit of a double take .... what on earth would Christi Friesen be doing at Southcenter mall!?!
    Sure enough, it was one of my very favorite polymer instructors and all around great person. She was in town on her way through to visit her daughter. We only had a chance to visit for a few minutes, but it certainly was a bright spot in my hectic life.
   Got to practice taking selfies and got photo bombed.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Been too quite

Been long time since I have posted anything, hasn't it?
Mostly dealing with real life, not much time for art. But, my friend Kathy and I are going to setting up a booth at the winter Shipwreck Artisan show at the end of this month. I had done the summer show with a bunch of my claydie friends in August, and enjoyed the experience.Kathy had wanted to do it then, but it was smack dab in the middle of her vacation. Now we are joining together and hoping for a good show.
     Really need to get my creative juices flowing and make some more fire lizards, or maybe other animals ... but hard to find the time.  Lord Opus on and I are still house hunting.  We have finally settled on an area to live after retirement, and thought we'd finally found the perfect house. Unfortunately,  it failed the inspection. .. water damage under the flooring caused by, according to the  inspector, improper installation of the french doors. The flashing was missing, which allowed the rain water to wick under the door into the flooring. Thousands of dollars in damages.
     So it is back to square one.
     I have had little time to experiment,  but did play around a few days ago with translucent clay.  The beads on the top are translucent lava beads with Pan Pastel chalks brushed on the raised areas. The darker ones below are made from translucent clay that first applied chalk to, rolled into the lava form, then brushed with another color on the raised areas.

this is the first time I am attempting to post a picture taken with my phone. Yes, I have finally given in and upgraded to a smart phone.  Also, this post is being written on my nook. I am slowing being pulled into the 21st century.  I think the pix is too dark ... have to figure out how to edit on my phone.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fire Lizards Revisited

Several weeks ago, I joined up with 4 other members of my guild and bought a table at the 3rd annual Shipwreck Bead Artisan show.  We had a fun time despite the heat and sunburns we obtained.  It was a more successful venue than the last one I attempted (where I sold one item for $15 and vowed never to attempt to sell again)

I had made a lot of new earrings, and when I was going through my supplies from the last disappointing show, I came across some Dragons I had made a few years ago. They had been created using techniques I learned from Christi Freisen's Dragon Book.  I included them in the stock I took to the sale, and was very glad it did. They were my best selling item, and I got several leads on possible venues for later sales.  I only sold one pair of my new earrings, which surprised me. I thought they were such a unique design that there would be more interest.  Maybe it was not the right venue.

When I got home, I took stock of my inventory and found that I had few of the little guys left.  It has been a while since I tried my hand at sculpted these critters, but at last Saturday's clay play day, I dedicated my time to relearning how.

I call my little  friends Fire Lizards, in homage to creatures from one of my favorite series of books, The Dragonriders of Pern.

Clive

Cecil

Snuffles

Sunny

Lenny

Monday, July 13, 2015

Future Fossils

I took advantage of the 4th of July sale at Craftcast and signed up for Staci L Smith's Fossil Talisman video.  I was very happy that I did.
    Since then I have been spending more time in the studio, creating what I have dubbed "Future Fossils".  The process is one that lends itself to batches, since each step takes time to dry or cure.

For my first attempt, just some basic shapes .... just to test out the technique.
I liked them, but thought the colors where a bit dull.  They had started out brighter, but when adding the different layers, they color was toned down.  
   So next time, more color was added as a base to see if the final pieces would be brighter.
Success ... much brighter color

The next experiment was using brighter colors still, and an unusual shape just to spice things up.
Started out as pepper red and sunshine yellow.

Darn blogger is acting up.  It will not allow me to insert the images in the order I want.  So I guess I will have to share the rest of my creations in another post.  Just as well that I am signing off, as I have to get ready for work.  I have tomorrow off, and may get time to blog then ... but maybe not, as my friend Jen and I are going to see the Minion Movie. Hope it is as cute as it looks in trailers ....