Playing with Clay and Ink

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Thought I would take a break from Christmas ornaments and experiment with Pardo translucent clay, Pearl Ex Powders and Alcohol Inks today.  Very very happy with the results.  It’s always a guess what will happen before you figure out the ratio of ink to clay.  But I am very happy with these results.  I was going to leave them they way they are but think I will sand and buff them.  The lighter colour  ones look like beautiful moonstone.

Now thinking of other ways to use this great clay for other pendant designs.  Off to the sketchbook now to see what I can work out.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

We woke up this morning to about an inch of snow.  And more fell throughout the day.  So what do you do on a snowy cold day in early October when you had your thanksgiving dinner yesterday – you play in your studio.

I was trying to come up with another new ornament to get ready for the upcoming Christmas markets.  I wanted something Scandinavian to keep my tomtar company on the table.  My husband remembered the Danish Paper Hearts when he was a boy.  So I googled around to get some ideas.

Here is my polymer clay interpretation of the Swedish, Danish paper hearts.  I used red and green to test these first ones.  Now that I have the process figured out the next ones will have white clay.  As any polymer clay artist knows white clay (actually polymer clay in general) seems to pick up every piece of lint on and off the work area.

Process for working with white clay:

1: Scrub down as if preparing for surgery

2: Put on your white surgical scrubs including hood, should any stray hairs decide to fall on your work area.

3: Enter the decontamination room set up outside your studio.  Close outer door before opening the inner main studio door.

4: Enter studio, sit down and begin your project.

5:Pull your hood down and scream in horror as you complete your all white project and right in the middle is a piece of lint embedded .5mm down.  Oh well.  Nothing that a little rubbing alcohol and exacto knife won’t fix.  Right.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to all my friends south of the border a Happy Columbus Day.

Cheers

 

 

New Cats for 2016

My favorite part of being an artist is coming up with new designs for the summer markets.  I seem to be fascinated with cats this year.

Here is the process of one new design.

I run my clay through the pasta machine at the thickest setting then lay my template on top.  I run the brayer over the template so I can see the image on the clay.

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First lay of clay with template

Next is to place brass wire into the first layer so the neck will be reinforced.

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Brass wire embedded

Next is the 2nd layer

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Layers waiting for canework

 

Next I lay my canework on top of these 2.

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Three layers of clay

The template goes back on and the cat is cut out.

 

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Almost done

Now she just needs eyes, cheeks, nose and tail.

Here are 2 all ready for the oven.

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All ready to go

Once cured these little pendants will be sanded from 1500-12000 grit to give them a nice glossy finish.

Hug a walrus today

Well, another new fun animal totem has emerged from my studio.  The Walrus Totem.  I was not sure which colour to use but then opted for blue, the colour of water, the walrus’ favourite habitat.  If you have ever watched them they are a bit clumsy on land but in the water graceful and effortless.

The walrus reminds us to take the path of least resistance and remember when one crosses your path to stop and hug someone you care about.

Happy walrus

 

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”~ Bil Keane

Fairy Gardens

Well the first Spring Market has come and gone.  Lots of great comments on the new line of Chubby Bubby Buddies and Tomtes.  My next show is the Cranbrook Garden Show on July 6th.  This will be my third invite to the this show.  One of the organizers gave me a great tip for this year when we spoke at the Spring Market.

They have been doing workshops on fairy gardens so hint, hint maybe try some pieces that can be used in these indoor and outdoor gardens.

So for the past 2 days I have been in my studio coming up with some garden trolls that might work.  Should be on my Etsy and Indiemade sites within the week.

I had a great deal of fun playing around with polymer clay and my pan pastels to see what type of effect I could get.

Here are two group shots outside in my flower beds

Frolicking in my flower beds
Frolicking in my flower beds

Another group shot

Some closeup shots

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Mushroom idea
Mushroom idea
A mushroom troll
A mushroom troll
Mushroom number one
Mushroom number one
Rock Troll
Rock Troll

Next instalment is a prototype for a larger troll that I have had mulling around in my head for about a week now.

Heading for the Market

Well the end of May is not that far away.  And that means the first of three spring markets at the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market.  I have been busy designing a few new animals for my Chubby Bubby Buddy Collection.  Plus I just ordered gifts boxes for them as well.  Not sure if they will make it in time for the first market but I am still excited.

Now each little Chubby Bubby Buddy will come with a card with some fun facts about the animal it represents, a small cotton pouch so you can take him everywhere you go.  Then he is tucked in a small kraft gift box.

This is what my work table looks like when I get going.

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Hey who’s that at the back.

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Those troll just keep sneaking into the shot.

Here is a close up of the squirrel.

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More Chubby Bubby Buddies on the way.

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There’s that troll again.  H-m-m-m.

Cheers

 

Grampy has new clothes

Well, I thought I should update this blog with the next step of the Spruceland Sprites.  I finally have clothes on Grampy Sprite.  Haven’t named him yet but that will come later.  This was my first real attempt at hands and feet.  They’re not bad.  As I type he is sitting in the oven for the final bake.  He will then be antiqued and varnished.  I will might put him on My Etsy site when he is finished.  I haven’ decided yet.  We’ll see how he looks when he is all done.  I may not be able to part with him.

Not quite finished but he’s almost there.

Ready for the show

Well here are a few shots of the completed garden critters.  The butterflies are plant stakes for your household plants or you can even use them in your flower boxes outside.  The ladybugs are actually fridge magnets but I couldn’t resist lining them up outside on the deck.  My husband loves the ladybugs so I am now back in the studio again making more this week.  Not sure if they will be ready for the show but they will be fun to have on Etsy.

 

 

They escaped from the fridge and made it outside

Almost ready for the show

Well here are a few of my new critters.  They are not quite complete but thought I would show their progress.  Just a bit of paint and their wire stakes to hold them in your favourite flower pots.  Hope to have this done soon.  However, it is the holiday weekend in Canada and I have family coming in so I may not have them finished and ready to show for a few days.   I will most definitely take photos before they go off to the Garden Tour on July 8th.

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Another startling discovery

So about an hour ago I heard rustling in the main floor bathroom.  I grabbed my camera and crept down the hall.  I knew if I made too much noise that whatever was in there would scurry off.  Why?  Because the bathroom door had been closed all day so how did whatever was in there get in.  Up the drain pipe of course.  So I slowly opened the door and this is what I found.

He just stood there with that toothy grin, waving.  And what’s with the red scarf.  Look at the mess and I just scrubbed the bathroom sink, removing all traces of my husbands beard trimmings in the process.  Apparently he has been chewing, chopping and storing these twigs for some time now and out of habit was looking for a good place to build his dam.  As there is no running water on our property his nose brought him through the pipes and into the bathroom.

Needless to say I had to explain that he could live in the laundry sink for the winter but would have to find new “digs” in the spring.  So my husband and I carted him along with this handy work down to the basement.  His only concern is our 2 miniature schnauzers that rule the house.  I explained if he moved slowly and not dart around the house too much he should be okay.

Stay tuned as we discover new and exciting species at Spruceland, in the heart of the BC Rockies.

Cheers.