Posts Tagged ‘“polymer clay tumbler”’


June 29, 2013

So you are supposto sing that to the tune of the Fergie song here is a link to the video on You Tube.

This week I have been trying many new projects from tutorials I have gathered. All was going well until I came to the tumbling part of the whole deal.I followed the tutorial from Desire the best I could. Here is her tutorial here which is a very good one.

I was unable to get the coat hangers fastened the way she was able to. So I tried placing a circular sheet of sand paper inside the tube hoping that would give me what I needed. When I pulled my beads out of the tumbler this is what I saw.

ImageCan you see the discoloration on the bead on the bottom? I am not sure what went wrong here. I used two tumblers and from what I can tell there was one of them that caused discoloration on the beads. This is very frustrating as each bead took me 25 minutes to make and now I am not sure if they are permanantly lost or can be salvaged.

My idea on what to do? I decided that the two part epoxy glue I have is just the answer. I took my inserts made from Desire’s tutorial and placed them in the tumbler.

ImageI drew a line with a permanent marker where the two sides overlaped.

ImageI then added tape to the inside to hold the two pieces together and used my epoxy glue to adhere the two sides together from the outside.

ImageLet dry, remove the tape from the inside and do the same gluing from the inside now. My intention was to make the thing so that the outside would not discolor the beads on the inside.

Now I am not sure if all of this is necessary as I did a shout out to my Facebook Friends and  Ashley Hetler says she uses a tumbler and does not use a liner and gets no discoloration. I have no explination for why my beads discolored and hers do not other than the idea that maybe my tumbler is new and that is what is causing it. This post speaks to that issue.

So in conclusion what is the answer? I have no clue I am just trying the best I can to tumble without ruining what I have spent so much time making! Each one of those bleeping black beads took me 25 minutes to make so I am going to try tumbling with sandpaper to see if I can save the beads. I will let you know how it turns out.



Art and Musings

February 20, 2010


Last week I chose to focus on family instead of rushing to post and entry. Right Choice? Wrong Choice? Still wrestling with this one but I wanted to let you know it bothered me 🙂 I focused on what was important to me at the time and life is good which in the end is more important than a blog post anyway.
So this week we will be inspired and focus on being an artist and you can laugh at me a little if you want. I however have a feeling many (yea I am talking to you) of you will be or have already been in the exact same situation for your art!
I don’t read a lot since it seems like I just do not have the time but found a title last year Art & Fear Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles &Ted Orland.I will be focusing the blog on the book and its chapters in the coming weeks so hopefully that is something you would like to think about as well. I am looking forward to your input. 
The introduction focused on the fact that art is made with two mindsets. That of the artist and that of the person viewing the art. Honestly I have never thought about how art is viewed and what it means, I mean I didn’t go to college and study art. They either like it or they do not right? That is true but I never really thought about how I felt about my art. I DO Feel my art? When I am looking at a piece I remember so many things that the purchaser or viewer probably does not even care about. They want to know how it looks around THEIR neck or THEIR ears etc. They don’t necessarily care that that piece was made in the nights after the death of a dear family friend when I could not sleep.My art is what kept me going in those days. They don’t care about how long it took me to learn how to learn how to make really nicely formed round beads, or lentils. They want something that speaks to them because of style, shape, color whatever it is that speaks to them. They do not care about the process, and for me as the artist it is all about just that the process of learning or perfecting a technique.        
I really look forward to the journey I am about to take with this book.  


Now on to my  clay table  🙂   
I love the faux turquoise technique from the book Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay it was written by Irene Semanchuk Dean. The technique uses dirt mixed with liquid clay and then it is put in the gaps that come from the clay when processed. Tried it early last year on some practice pieces and I don’t know if I got a good spoonful of dirt or what but it looked amazing. Here are the very unclear pictures of some of the practice pieces. Kind of hard to see a difference but I wanted to show you something.  
 I had a specific project in mind and this technique the way I am doing it takes a really long time to complete. So I waited until life gave me a window to do it in and made it late last year. Two things happened one I tumbled with a new tumbler and did not think it would matter too much not to line the tumbler, second I got bad dirt. Today I will focus on the dirt aspect of the whole thing.   
This project started last year mind you and I want to finish it so bad if for no one else than for me. But honestly as spectacular as this will look everyone is going to want one! The finished sexy piece process started two weeks ago. Made the necklace, took pictures, wrote tut, tumbled in tumbler this time with a liner and it is now ready for the dirt part. Do you think I could find clean dirt?    
 The guys at Home Depot god bless them but when they see me coming in the store they should just throw their hands up in the air and walk away. Honestly I would not blame them if I saw them running away from me when I walk in I kind of deserve it by now. The question from me I though was a simple one    
” Do you have any clean dirt?”   
“Excuse me mam did you say clean dirt?” 
“Yes I need some dirt with none of the white things or sand in it please? Do you have any?”      
He looks over at the guy driving the forklift they are trying to get more salt for the foot of snow we just got the day before.      
“Mike do you know if we have any dirt with no peat moss or _______ (sorry I forgot already what the white things are) and no sand?”     
Mike says “She needs topsoil and we don’t have any of that.”     
I say “Okay so I need topsoil? Do you know where I can find any now?”      
Mike says “Maam you are not going to be able to find any topsoil this time of year you will have to wait until Spring. How much do you need? You know it is going to be expensive right?”    
I say ” Oh I only need about a quarter of a cup. How EXPENSIVE do you think it will be?”      
Mike says, “Oh that stuff if you can find it will be expensive.”      
I say “Thanks guys at least I know what I will need now! Have a great day!”       

And I left knowing what I need is topsoil and boy is it going to be expensive. I went to every store I could think of over the weekend looking for some good clean dirt. Would you believe none of the landscaping or farms are open this time of the year? Just a sign in the parking lot of every one I tried saying if you need firewood please call insert their number here . 

Flash to Monday morning at the dry cleaners when I am dropping off hubby’s cleaning. The guy behind the counter comments on the necklace I am wearing.          

“Oh I am a jewelry designer thank you!”        
He says, ” I have never seen a woman wearing something like that before.”       


I say ” Thank you and if you think this is good you should see the next piece I am working on. It is amazing it is Faux turquoise and all I need to complete it is some good clean dirt you know with no sand or anything in it just some good clean dirt.”       
He says “Oh you need worm dirt.”        

I say “What? Worm Dirt? What the heck is that.”         

He says “It is the dirt that bait shops use to put their worms in. It is a very clean dirt.”     

I say “Okay thanks I will go and try to find some worm dirt.”  There was someone behind me in line and I remembered buying worms and the dirt being real black and not having a drop of sand in it.       

Last night when I asked hubby if he knew where a tackle shop is so I can  buy some worms he gave me a look. Before giving me directions, he asked me what in the heck I needed worms for? I had to explain the whole scenario from the beginning because he has no idea I am looking for clean dirt, or that I have tried to find dirt and could not so now I am on to finding worm dirt in the hopes that it will help. My son who was present for this conversation and was with me when I bought the food processor for clay not food, rolled his eyes at me when I tried to stick clay under him while he was on the couch so he could warm it up etc. they have both seen a lot of crazy things for my art. He without blinking an eye said         

“Mom you want worm poop in your jewelry? EWWWW?”         

Okay so I had not thought through the whole worm poop dirt thingie but I do know where a tackle shop is and hope that they can help me find some poopless worm dirt.         

I will keep you updated! I also now have a few plastic bags and a spoon in my purse. Why? To get different dirt samples of course. I was just at the ski lodge and my son was snowboarding and while on my way to the car I saw some really dark-colored dirt on the side of the parking lot. I actually went to the car to get the bags but halfway there realized that first it was dark outside and if I saw the dirt in the daylight I probably would not like it BECAUSE it is on the side of a parking lot with a ton of snow around it hence it will be filled with sand. We already know I do not want sand and so in a way I have become a kind of dirt conisour?         

Which brings me full circle to the book and what the introduction says. The person who buys whatever piece I may make from the turquoise technique will never know what I have gone through to get this clean dirt. Two different mindsets. One of the artist who is attempting to perfect a technique and the other of the person who is looking at the art and relating to it from their life perspective.         

Enjoy your art!         


New Blog Direction

November 23, 2009


I just can’t figure out what to do. I mean I think I am a writer and dont have the time to write what I want. There are so many things that I have not written about that have happened since I started this blog. What the heck how am I going to be able to do it?

Discipline I guess is the key hunh? And you can add a little Focus? Dont forget the family that always gets in the way? And Life of course.


So I guess I will do a quick top 3 lately!

  1. Clay Swaps at City O Clay
  2. Polymer Clay Cafe
  3. Tumbler Working



So I became swap mistress at City O Clay. A lot of work but honestly the first swap is not completed and I am getting more out of it than the clayers I think. I am so happy that my hard work is translating into their hard work! Nothing could make a mama clayer happier than others having ideas and needing to GET THEM ON PAPER before they forget. Or being inspired by trying a new technique even if they are not new to clay. This is something that has taken a great deal of my time the last few weeks but I can see this is something I really am going to get a lot out of.


Polymer Clay Cafe published one of my how to articles in their April 09 edition. This was a natasha bead that had a cool checkerboard pattern on the outer parts of the bead. For me that was so cool being a published artist. Whoda thunkit? I really love writing articles and plan on writing the next one over the Thanksgiving weekend if I have the camera then. Cant wait to try I am very excited about this next article. First time do you know that I forgot to include any contact information. Always remember they print what you send so make sure you send it all the first time.


I have a working tumbler now it is so nice. The first time I used the tumbler after purchasing I did not line it and the clay turned black. It just so happened the item in the tumbler was the next project for Polymer Cafe. Life is funny sometimes.


So I guess even though I want to write longer more involved posts I must shorten them so I can start a subject and finish. No more of this follow-up stuff. I will have to work out in my mind how to tell you something two months from now that is happening today because I just didnt have time.