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

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.






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 ....

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot weather claying

Luckily for me I am a night owl.  My j.o.b. has been for many years in a hospital's clinical laboratory. Hospitals are open 24/7 so workers all needed to cover every hour.  Not being a person who likes to get up in the morning, I have worked mostly evenings for the last 20 years.  That means that by the time I get home at midnight, the house has cooled down and I can work with the clay with out it turning into a gooey mess.  I know that compared to the rest of the country right now, the current temp of 83 degrees seems cool.  But we in the Pacific Northwest are not used to it so it seems sweltering to me.

I have been working a bit with some textures, pan pastel chalks and inks.  Just a bit every night. If I wait too long to go to bed, it gets too hot to sleep after the sun comes up.

Most of us Polymer artists have a needle tool.  I discovered that the textured portion of the handle can be used to make little diamond like texture on clay.  I used this tool to texture white clay tubes, the colored with blue and green PP chalk.  After baking, I used black liquid Kato clay to fill in the recesses of the texture.  When I wiped off the excess liquid clay, I found that it also removed the a lot of the color of the chalk.
    To give a bit more zing to the beads, I mixed some interference violet into clear liquid clay that I had tinted with a few drops of Sunshine Yellow ink.
Blue chalk highlighted with LKC tinted with yellow ink

Green chalk highlighted with LKC tinted with yellow ink
 Then I tried my hand at a different texture sheet.  I had never used this one before.  It didn't have any design, just a rough texture. Exactly what I was looking for.  Once again, the black LKC took away the color of the chalk.  These started out as a bright yellow. Again I used a final coating of yellow tinted LKC to put some of the color back.  I really like the way these turned out.  Kinda Jade like.

Since the LKC was remove the chalk color, next I tried inks on the base bead.  I colored these with a green ink and then baked.  The color is kind of flat as I did not add any mica powder to the final coat, just to see what would happen.

I made up more white based and colored them with chalks.  Am itching to get back into the studio, but it is soooo hot it will have to wait.  I don't even get tonight .... One of the graveyard techs is on vacation, so I have to work a split evening/graveyard shift to cover. Don't get off till 4 am.

I am so looking forward to retirement and not having to clay around my work schedule ... of course, then I will be too poor to afford the clay LOL.  I am thinking about trying my hand at selling online.  Unfortunately for me, there is already a Polymer Penguin on Esty.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Segal Inspired

I count myself as very fortunate to have taken classes with Marie Segal.

I first met Marie at Ravensdale 2006. At that time, I was new to the polymer world and did not know the extent of her history with polymer.  All I knew what that she was a very kind lady who encouraged me to put some of my pieces up for sale in the Ravensdale store.  I actually SOLD a piece!
  Since then I have had the opportunity to get to know her a bit more at several NWPCG Clay Camps.  And I try to take a class from her every time she has been able to attend.

This time, I couldn't wait to learn the secrets behind the lovely earrings she had been showing on FB for months.  I was not disappointed.  Since Clay Camp, whenever I have the time (not much now that summer is finally here .... so much to do that pulls me away from the clay) .... I have made more Marie Segal Inspired Earrings.
Using more of the translucent window cane 

Translucent window cane and mica powders

Translucent window cane, mica powders and mud

A bit of a different shape

Just used the shaping here, and a tiny bit of the window cane

For these, I combined Marie Segal design with the translucent canes I made
in Kim Day's class. Now I have earrings to go with the bracelet!

Left over clay when mixed gave me an olive green color that I used for the base
of these earrings