Archive for the ‘kato clay’ Category

Carol Simmons Part 2

November 13, 2011

If you missed the first part of this post then you may want to check it out here.

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/carol-simmons-part-1/

I have my layout and all I have to do is follow the pretty cane diagram and I would have my cane constructed in no time with a few leftover for any mistakes that may arise. Do you think that I could follow the canes no I could not. I ended up with something so different I can not tell you how I did it. I think the cane has a mind of its own. I know this is something that will happen every time as I have already constructed another cane and this time it looked different when I built it as well. I kept laughing at myself while building because I could not follow the canes while constructing.

Canes got built and reduced that spectacular day at Maureen’s. I love love love the sound of a cane being slammed around. I say it is the sound of magic, sexy cane magic. Here are pictures of the class canes enjoy.

In class I was able to make 2 pendants and a set of earrings that I get a lot of compliments on each time I wear them.

When I got home it was a different story I could not make the beads as we had done in class so I had to find a way that was pleasing to my eyes. I had to finish sets in a hurry so hubby could take them as gifts to his sisters and their daughters in Lebanon. I hope they liked them as some parts for me were a struggle. I had to change the design of the earrings as I had a lot of scrap cane. I think they turned out nice and hopefully the new proud mama’s have happy ears and necks with the new designs.

The new cane that I just constructed is turning out well and I will have gifts for all the ladies at the auctions, my family for x mas, the play it forward group, and another special swap. EEEkkk time is running out. Here is a sneak peek of some designs.

My Muse Is Loose

November 9, 2011

Ever have one of those times when you know what you should do but want to do something totally different? This is one of those times for me. I know I should write part two of the Carol Simmons post but I really wanna play with clay.

Carol has goosed my muse and I have a cane that just got cut! See Ya later on in the week with part 2.

Carol Simmons Class So Excited

August 23, 2011

This week I did not touch clay but rather focused on Carol Simmons’ blog in preparation for her class this October.

http://clsdesigns.wordpress.com/

Ohh and by looking at her latest post there is an opening. I think this is going to be a wonderful class. It will be at Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts from October 2-8.

http://www.maureencarlson.com/

There have been several times over the last few years that I have tried on my own to focus on color.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82656386@N00/2755663318/in/photostream/

This is the time that while on vacation in Texas I took a painters color mixing book and tried to mix. I really enjoyed this exercise but looking back I mixed them and for a while had them hanging on the wall to easily see but during one of the many clean ups my work room has seen they were moved to a book.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82656386@N00/2754830513/in/photostream/

I think I made the decision that Premo came in so many different colors that my mixing was not important anymore.

Then I thought of making the switch to Kato and started mixing what I had on hand to see…..again.

I knew that if I really moved to Kato then I would need more mixing.

I was so motivated by my color mixing that I got the book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

I began following the exercises with Kato and honestly I stuck with it for a while but eventually I got sick of mixing again especially when I saw this.

Of all my mixing exercises this one is my favorite. Look at all the different greens that can come from a few shades.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82656386@N00/2755663434/in/photostream

So I can say I have done a lot of mixing however the question remains. How much of my mixing has made it from the exercise stage to being a part of my art on my clay table? If I can achieve this from this class then I believe it will be a success. Oh yea and I want to make a really sexy cane!

 

Emotional Roller Coaster

July 26, 2011

Art and creating art is such an emotional roller coaster sometimes. In the last week I have gone from feeling that I have the touch (I mean I really have the touch), to sitting at the table and feeling that nothing good is going to come from my fingers for a while.

Why does one do that to themselves?

I have been on a flower kick that has evolved from making a flower cane to a full-blown let’s make a bleeping flower. Not realizing that as I took baby steps to learn to make say a skinner blend, that it would take baby steps for creating flowers.

So I started with a simple daisy.

Next was the Lily that did not go well.

Since the lily did not go well I decided to go back to the book and do another flower. I tried a Dogwood I ended up making several different thicknesses (gotta find the right one) and different hair thingies.

I made some smaller flowers.

Another unsuccessful lily attempt this time times two.

Back to the book I go with some Orchids.

Another lily! At this point the lily’s are really pissing me off so I decide to make a bracelet that I had in mind for a while. I needed a flower break.

While doing the exercises I focused not on the color of the flower (you can tell from the orchid that it was conditioned scrap clay) but on the creation and technique needed to master for building the flower.

Never in my life did I think I would be using florist tape and wrapping flowers but you know what I really think I could begin to like this new way of creating. I love the orchid that is built petal by petal and all of them are able to move since they are on wire. Here is another lily attempt. Look at the next two examples and realize that they are the same flower with the wires bent a little.

I know there is a lot of frustration on my part that will cease once I master the technique. I can only hope I have the time and patience to become a flower master!

Lucy 4-3-11

April 4, 2011

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This week I have been working on finishing up a commissioned face cane for a local jewelry artist. She asked me if I could make something for her since she did not feel confident enough to produce one in clay herself. She had found this wonderful U Tube video by one of the polymer clay masters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1aWSQ0LFEE

This is Cynthia Tinapple’s video tutorial on how she makes her face canes. I watched it and loved the idea instantly of course with a couple of twists. I did not feel comfortable making the white plug and adding the details rather I made the details and added the white. For me if I did it the way Cynthia did I would not get smooth even cuts and the cane would come out distorted looking before I even began reducing. I also told my client to give me examples of eyes and noses she liked since I would not copy the face Cynthia had used. Here are the drawings that were sent…..

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4.

She liked Photo 2 and I began building. I reduced the eye cane that I made last week for this.

Added some lips.

A nose.

Put the components together.

Added a little more white and squeezed just a little to work out any air.

See the dent in her forehead? I dropped it and since the Kato Pearl was too soft (YES I SAID TOO SOFT) I decided to wait a couple of days to reduce. Insert the Tom Petty Song about waiting being the hardest part.

I made a conscious decision to work the cane for at least a half an hour before beginning the reducing process. This was done by just banging the thing from all sides to warm the clay before reducing. This is her after working 35 minutes.

See how her lips are not working out? This happens when using different brands of clay or clay that is the same brand but not the same consistency. I knew at this time that I needed to reduce and prepare myself for the fact that she would not reduce evenly. So I began.

See how her lips do not want to come out and play?

Also check out my cane ends. The pieces with just the eyes and brows are the first cut. Then you will notice a little of the nose showing up, and finally the face with lips.

The client has really enjoyed the process she said it was like giving birth she is the one who named her Lucy and her birthday is today. As an artist I could not ask for anything more. Client is happy and loves her faces and she is having design ideas and let me tell you they are some good ideas! If you would like to see some of her other work it can be found here.

http://www.silverandspicejewelry.com/

I am excited because I now have some cool face beads to donate to the beads swap which is due May 15th.

Enjoy your clay journey and if you ever need a face cane think of me!

The Eyes Have It

March 27, 2011

 

This week for me has been about transferring files on the computer so they are not lost forever, finishing the Rock Purse Swap, and making eyes.

I am working on a face cane and it must start with a sexy eye. How often in life do you get to make an eye out of clay??? You must start with a good eye tutorial and I think I have found the best one ever!

http://www.kerstinsfimoseite.de/fimo/index.html

This is a realistic eye cane that is easily made once you follow the steps. My recent switch to Kato Clay will make this one even better than an attempt that was made a few years ago. I got a paper cut to the eye and when the local eye doctor took such great care of me I took eye tokens to the ladies in the office. They loved them! 

So here is my new Kato eye that just so happens was made in green as the tutorial.

And the finished eye not reduced fully…..

Tomorrow is a short day at work and I hope to build the face cane at that time.

You can expect swap pics in a couple of weeks since we had so many international participants this time we have to wait until they get their packages which takes a while.

Enjoy your artistic journey even if it is making an eye! I can not wait to see how the face turns out!

Still Mixing

December 22, 2010

 

I keep focusing on the move to Kato and color mixing by following the exercises in the color inspirations book. This week it was about making my color inspirations collage.

The biggest setback for me in this came while gathering images for the project. I somehow thought I needed pictures with no white in them not pictures with no white boarders as it clearly states in the book that I must have read and re read 100 times. I kept trying to find images with no large white areas and kept cussing and saying to myself “well this is a book about color of course they do not want you to focus on white Julie it is all about the colors”.

Once I corrected this error this exercise was fun and enlightening. Here is my first collage…….

Since it stated in the book I needed a collage with yellow, red and blue to base the rest of the exercises in the book I made one then thought well if I am basing all the rest of the exercises in the book after this collage I should make one that shows colors I like regardless of where they fall in the color scheme of things. So I made another collage based on my favorite colors only.

They look soooo similar could it be that these are my favorite and influential colors all in one? Not looking forward to the tasting tiles exercise but I finally have confirmation and the order from Munroes shipped so I will have the missing primaries to do this…..I can do this…..I know I can.

This was my post for last week and I went ahead and mixed the tasting tiles and was not impressed at my results. I do not know if it is my lack of knowledge with colors and mixing but I tried to get the closest color in Kato that the exercise called for and the mixes turned out so similar that I tried to get some variation by adding samples mixed with white, silver, and black.

Being so disappointed and sick of mixing I then tried the Pinched Petal Necklace and was impressed at the color flow throughout. I know hubby and son were impressed because son’s remark was fresh and hubby’s was that turned out real nice. He then tried to rearrange the way the petals laid, and gave me suggestions on how to make them lay next time I make it. Oh I love him so especially when he likes what I create.

 Back to mixing and will be posting pictures of the Holiday Swap 2010 either Friday or next year lol. Please enjoy time with family and friends and realize it is not what is under the tree but what is in your heart every day of the year.

God Bless.

So Sick of Mixing

December 10, 2010

My fingers hurt and I on the browns kind of gave up and did not mix them completely. I am so sick of mixing colors and I am admitting it. I have completed this exercise with the colors I have on hand. Seems like Munroe’s had a rush of Kato and so my order has been delayed a week now and I am moving on. I may come back and revisit this at a later time when I have no idea what to create that is because although wonderful this takes a long time.

I did make a cuff bracelet from the scraps and am happy with the memory of all this mixing that I now have for my own. It is my first project completed with Kato and I am still trying to figure out if I like this stuff or not.  I shall find out though as this week I am hoping to be able to create a pivot bead necklace and find my inspirational colors.

The Holiday Swap mailed out this week and for that I am very thankful. I am always amazed at how creative the participants are, and how every participants entries are so different from the others. I have some wonderful ornaments to hang on my tree. I will post the pictures next Friday as I want to give the swappers time to get their box. I am very thankful for the friends that I have made at City O Clay. If you are looking for a virtual place to hang your artistic hat that is comfortable and about learning not selling I highly recommend you check it out. I would love to become your friend there.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-o-Clay/

Color Fun

December 4, 2010

 

I must admit I did not realize how important the Whoopla  from Polyform was last week. WHY?

I was still using Premo, and Sculpy for my clay primarily and had not realized the importance of color mixing. I have been considering the move for a long time as you can see in my previous blog posts this is the one where I just broke down and said I was gonna do it NOW!

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/omg-kato/

After weeks of putting the decision off I just decided one day to stop being afraid of the move and placed my order. I must tell you the company I ordered from is Clay Alley and if you want super fast service that is the place to go. http://clayalley.com/

I got a shipment of clay and began working on the color inspirations book and began mixing …….

 And while I was mixing it hit me and it hit me big.

If I am going to work with Kato exclusively then what if they tried to take my blue color  away? What colors would I loose? What if I HAD indeed built my business on these custom colors that I could no longer mix because the company decided in their wisdom it did not make good business sense to continue with these colors?

I would be up a creek without a paddle as they say and that is a scary thought. I can only imagine how many in the clay community must have felt. They must have been very shocked when they heard the news, and later when they found out the change from the company relief and happiness would be the words for the day. I am still mixing and having a love hate relationship with the whole thing but it is wonderful to do and it seems like now is the time.

I do not have the proper colors to do the exercise properly but here is my rendition.  The base colors are Magenta, Green and Yellow. To those I mixed  the color you see on top of each row mixed again with rows of white, silver, and black. I kept finding myself dreading the next row to mix as I was doing this by hand. I kept being so surprised at some of the color changes I kept saying wow to myself. I was especially drawn to some of  the plumish colors they look nice and deep, the green that almost looks like a mint green, and the peachish color. I was also surprised to see a green that made me think of olives which I hate.

I am so excited to be able to mix quite a few colors and feel this book is going to give me the confidence to continue to create harmonious pieces. I am so not excited about the mixing that I will be doing for a while if I want to do this exercise the right way once I get some of the missing primaries in. I am really going to try to focus this winter on the book and completing the exercises as I have time. One thing good about mixing colors it is mindless but also inspiring. I can do it anywhere anytime as long as I have the clay with me. This type of mixing all I need is my two hands and I always have them too!

 I do know the next round is waiting for my fingers but I am not sure if I am ready for it wish me luck. Whats on your worktable?

Polymer Clay Whoopla

November 25, 2010

 

The polymer clay community this week has been in an uproar with the announcement from Polyform that they would be introducing some new colors, and discontinuing some others. The main colors to be discontinued are Cobalt Blue, and Zinc Yellow. The company after listening to their customers have decided to keep these two colors and provide the recipes for the discontinued colors.

So what was up with that decision? If you read the announcement, then you have read that they say they were listening to their customers (us) and we wanted these colors. We begged for them and you know us artists if there is something we want and a way to badger someone into producing it for us then we can and we will.

How in the world did they not see the effect the decision of eliminating Cobalt Blue and Zinc Yellow would alter the hard work that many artists have put into building their color palate and recipes. There is no way you can mix these two colors and it is from these and other primaries all colors come from. I think that after the uproar of this week that is one of the things this company will not soon forget.

Remember the basics!

All the new colors seem rather nifty but I wonder how long it will take me to try to figure out a similar mixture. Made the move to Kato finally. I am thinking the best way for me to start is to begin the Color Inspirations book. I need to now learn how to do one of the hardest things an artist can do. Rely on her color mixing skills. It is an art that I need to learn.

It brings me back to a vacation where I mixed a green, let me show you the picture otherwise what I say will never make any sense.

I made the color wheel by mixing green and yellow in equal proportions, ending with 6 shades of green.

I then took each shade of green which is the first green next to each set of two rows on the left of the picture, and mixed the top row with black, and the bottom row with silver in equal proportions ending with a but load of greens.  This is me mixing yellow, green, black, and silver can you imagine if that was one of the colors that was to be discontinued and those were all colors that you could lose forever? The colors do not look that good in this picture I will admit but the silver when mixed made some wonderful pearlish colors.

That is a scary thought and I am glad that it is not going to be. Whew off to start the new color journey with Kato. Focus will be on documenting the color recipes in a clear concise manner that I am able to read if I see them in a year. Another think I learned so far is I like silver mixed with color a lot. Wish me luck.