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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Experiments in swellegant part 2

Finally  found a couple spare hours where i attempted to recreate my happy accident. This time I deliberately did not add the patina until the Swellegant metallic coating was dry.  This time I used copper metallic coating  instead of brass.  After baking, I added the Pearl EX varnish and once again the patina blossom occurred. Instead of a green tint one would expect with verdigris,  I got more of a blue tinge to the patina. It is still a pretty color.
Before varnish

After adding varnish
The sparkly bits are from some copper foil I added.

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.