Posts Tagged ‘polymer clay’

What Do You Like Dislike About Your Workspace?

March 6, 2012

Yes I asked it? The question what do you like / dislike about your workspace?

Don’t answer the question unless you are going to be honest with your self and your art and change what is in your power to change. Not everything can be changed that you do not like but you owe it to yourself to change what you can so you have a space that you can feel good in and create the wonderful art that you know you can.

One of the best things I like is that I can do it!

Not all of my attempts are perfect and my claytime is limited but you know what I did it and learned along the way which for me is very fulfilling. One of my other favorite loves is to teach others with how to’s which have led to many tutorials on my blog and being published two times in the Polymer Cafe Magazine.

While thinking of the things I love about my work space I remembered that I love that I can wheel from the pasta machine to the work surface with the chair I got a couple of years ago at a thrift store. It is the little things that make me happy sometimes and I really love that I can wheel between the two and I do it all the time. :).

I love these drawers! I got them one day while returning from dropping off my son they were put out with the garbage. Half of the drawers had tools in them still. And to think I did not want to go get son that day and I was very upset with him telling him he was lazy for not walking on such a nice day. Score for crazy mom.

I love that I have a space that is all mine. I do not really remember how or when it happened but that room is now all me and my art. Guests sleep in my sons room not the extra bedroom anymore. I will have to ask hubby what he remembers of it all that should be a fun conversation.

I love the fact that I now tell hubby what I want for gifts and get some cool tools. Mothers day is coming and mama wants a new high-speed buffer baby is what I told hubby last week. I am looking forward to moving into the basement so I can have room to properly use and store my tools.

I love the fact that sometime in the next year god willing I will be able to have as much time as I want with my art as I plan on retiring soon. What a wonderful feeling.

What do I hate?

I hate that currently I do not have the time I want and need to spend on my art. I can see how I will really enjoy this when it happens and how my creative side will come out and play for real.

I hate that I get scared when my work table is clean. Is this why we leave it so messy? I hate looking at it empty and not knowing exactly what I want to do next. I love what comes off the table once I work through the block when it happens but boy when it is going on it is weird to stare at the empty table.

I hate the piles under the workable. I mean they work in my current space but I lose an entire table that could be used for creation because I have crap on top of and under it. Goal for next workspace is clean floors like so clean I can sweep them when I want to with out moving crap.

I have a love hate relationship with my drawers. I hate it when I go looking for something and it is either not in the drawer it should be in or I misfiled it in my mind. Recently I looked for a while for something and when I found it the place made sense just not while I was looking for it. With as many drawers as I have you can look for a while before you find it.

I hate not finishing so many projects. But I do love it when I revisit the project and it turns out better because of some special touch I have learned by doing other things. I look forward to finishing more projects in the coming year it will be fun.

I hate the fact that I am going to retire and concentrate my efforts on this art thing. I know it is on the love side too but it is a scary idea quitting your job and spending your time creating. Not sure how to fix this one……….time will tell.

So what is it that you love hate about your workspace? More important what are you going to do to change it?

Clean Worktable

February 22, 2012

I do not know about you but I hate a clean work table. It may indeed be my biggest fear as an artist.

Family stuff is still in the way but the end is in sight and we just need to make it there together.

Both of the swaps I am in are complete now and have been for a few weeks. I am just waiting on all the boxes to start showing up and then the real work will begin. Somehow I have both of them closing the first week of March with  mail dates of the 15th. One of the things I did decide was that each time I am in a swap I plan on making one of whatever it is to give to a reader on the blog. So get ready two swaps are closing soon woo hoo.

What am I left with?

A clean work table, and a to do list a mile long.

I looked at the list and nothing really grabbed me so I decided to go through a box of supplies that needed to be priced. Found a ton of ear wires and it seems like I must have ordered them not been able to find them and then ordered again. Oh well I can make earrings for a while.

The Year in Review

January 1, 2012

This last year was one full of growth for me both personally and professionally. It started with me still being on cloud 9 from the December Polymer Cafe article.

There were three swaps this year.

Rock Purse

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/rock-purse-pics-finally/

Colorful Ocean Creatures

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/colorful-ocean-creatures-swap-pictures/

Mini Food

pics up in a week or so

The swaps are such a wonderful learning experience and I am so proud of all the participants and blessed to have found this group. I am not sure exactly why I am so blessed to be the proud Swap Ma Ma but I am loving every minute of it. Next swap just opened you should check it out.

This year I made the switch to Kato. It took forever for me to commit to the change and wouldn’t you know it as soon as I do it they change their formula and it is much softer now. The jury is still out on this one but I hope to continue with my commitment to use 100% Kato. I like the way it holds the details while making canes which is my first love. I also like the way it feels ONCE conditioned.

This year I focused on learning new techniques. I had a flower phase…..

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/emotional-roller-coaster/

and a wonderful opportunity to take a Carol Simmons class. The Carol Simmons class was defiantly my most favorite part of the year clay wise.

https://bluedamselflyjewelry.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/carol-simmons-class-starts-tomorrow/

I am so blessed to have had the year I did. I learned new techniques, made new friends, and am finding it easier to call myself an artist.

This new year I hope to continue to count my blessings and focus more on my art. Good health is the most important blessing because without that nothing is possible. I hope to lose a few pounds this year (don’t we all?). I also hope to be able to retire from my 9-5 and focus on my art   24-7. No date set yet but I am hoping for sometime this summer.

Finally in the new year I hope to have our summer home finished or very near completion. My studio will be located on the top floor with mountaintop views. This year will be about gathering the necessary supplies to open the new studio.

My first project is already in mind. It will be a housewarming gift to myself and it is a OOAK chess set for the upstairs sitting room and should take a loooonnnnnnggggg time to complete but once done will be a masterpiece I am sure.

With this new year  upon us I wish all of you nothing but the best with your art and life. Remember you are your worst enemy and road block. When you get in your own way with self-doubt it hinders you as an artist. Whatever you want to do………….

YOU CAN!

New Canework

December 5, 2011

Isnt this just a beautiful piece of fabric and canework. This is one of Carol Simmons’ students work I do not know her name and I sure wish I did. So if you know who’s cane this is please let me know so I can add her  here. I loved the colors and one of the things learned in the recent Carol Simmons class was the use of colors in your creations.

I asked Carol what colors needed to be sheeted and began the journey with this cane. The biggest obstacle for me this week was the feeling that I did not want to duplicate the elements from this cane into mine.  That was the most challenging aspect of this whole week for me. I mean look at the wonderful caning she did this is one great cane.

And now my interpretation of the artwork and colors. First the component canes.

The layout which I know will be nothing like what the cane will end up being. I know the color aspect of the class stuck with me as when my son came in to look at one point he said he liked the colors YEA!

The cane before reducing. This one somehow ended up being way too tall let’s see what happens when I reduce.

Work at my 9-5 Monday then I am on claycation baby!

Thanksgiving Week Post

November 27, 2011

What a crazy week for me this week. Last Friday at work I was selected to be the TD Mascot and boy what that a mistake…..

After that my back was killing me so last weekend was spent in bed as well as Monday and Tuesday when I got home from work. Stinking pain makes you really realize how important health is.  On to Turkey day which was spent with friends and I am so grateful to have them in our lives they made the day perfect as hubby is not here it was nice to see them and the two turkeys named Tom and Tim. (No that is not a turkey that is Jenna and….forgot which one was hers Tom or Tim).

Sometime while we were at Thanksgiving dinner the heat went out in the house so Friday even though I had to go to work I just decorated, passed out the Black Friday Bags, and got the heck out of there. There was no way I could fix the heat and the neighbor was not home so I went to the local Home Depot and got two small heaters that you can plug-in. I will have hubby worry about the heat when he comes home in a couple of weeks it is warm and I am not holding a brick (what we were doing a few weeks ago when we lost power for days).Finally I have a manageable back ache, heat, and am ready to start building my next cane and guess what happens????

The neighbors were having their driveway re-paved when the truck accidentally ran into the pole which broke and had to be replaced. I was able to start yesterday but did not get far……Crazy schedule at work this week with the meeting, Christmas tree lighting at the Country Club, and working on Saturday but I plan on putting whatever time I have into it this week so I can get a sexy cane made. I look forward to giving you some shots next week hopefully of a completed cane.

What is on your clay table, or in your life that is preventing you from getting there???

 

 

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 part 1

October 29, 2011

The Carol Simmons 6 day polymer intensive workshop was the second class I attended ever in my life. It is with great fondness that I look at our class picture and will cherish the memories always. Thank you ladies, Carol and Maureen for making my claycation the best possible vacation I could ever have dreamed of having.

It was billed as an intermediate to advanced 6 day polymer intensive workshop. The class description was right on key as I do not think this class was suited for a beginer clayer. In order to obtain good results a general understanding of color, color mixing , basic caning and reducing is required.

Our class was well prepared and we had our clay already sheeted and were able to leach it fully the first day. I will admit that I did not follow the leaching process fully. By the end of the project I may have just grabbed some clay right out of the package and teacher could tell. She politely scolded me for it. I now understand why leaching is such an important part of the cane building process as hindsight is always 20/20.

This is my workstation on the morning of day 2. We began the day by making blends from templates that Carol provided us. Also learned was to look at cane construction in a new way. I soon began to realize that it did not really matter what I did with a cane  as long as the colors were in my scheme in the end it would look great.

I can not tell you how many times Carol would come over to the table and look at a blend or color I was mixing and say add this, or add a strip of that to it and the color would end up being exactly what was needed to fit the picture. My table mate and I called ourselves the remedial table and I am guessing that Carol could sense that my color mixing skills were lacking as this is something that indeed IS a challenge for me. Carol’s sense of color is amazing and she instinctively knows what you need to mix to get that perfect shade or hue to match your picture. You can see her true love of color in her many blog posts that are located here.

http://clsdesigns.wordpress.com/

I was also amazed during her many demos when she would say “let’s see what happens if we do this!”. We would end up with a new cane like when we named Anne’s sperm cane. I really think that showed Carol’s love of clay, teaching, and more importantly learning from experience what can happen when you play with clay.

We worked for several days making blends, colors and canes. We also were able while working to get to know each other on a level that I do not believe I will ever have the opportunity to in a class again in my life. Honestly I just wanted to clay all day long and upon waking in the morning I just wanted to get to the workable as soon as I could to continue with the creative process. It was such a wonderful experience and I am so happy I was able to participate in the class.

Finally it was time to start our layout of our cane to see what we may be lacking in our construction. This for me was a heart wrenching experience. I had one of those fear moments I often speak of here on the blog. I looked at all the canes I had made and just did not know how in the heck I would put them together. I ended up after being paralyzed with fear bribing a classmate to do my layout. I am not naming any names here just admitting my lack of artistic umpah.

I will have the second part of the class post next week along with many pieces I have made with my cane slices. I am out of cane now since I made so many pieces for hubby to take to his family in Lebanon. Good part of it is that I need to make another cane for the ladies at the auctions that help hubby out daily with his job.

The other things to look forward to are the Colorful Ocean Creatures pictures that will be posted soon and Nora Jean Gatine’s workshop here in New England. I am off to enjoy the nor’easter we are experiencing here as it just started snowing yea!

Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts

October 18, 2011

I am not sure where to start about the wonderful week, as it was every clay girl’s dream. Maureen has created  a wonderful place where everyone can feel free to let their muse out to play and get inspired.

Jordan is a small town with wonderful charm that was like a little piece of heaven on earth. I was surprised to find that the largest candy store in Minnesota is located not far from the school and that was one of our field trips. Here  one could find every childhood candy and some that were not favorites. I was surprised to find that my son liked Abazabas (sp) which was the candy Carol requested that I bring back for her. I of course brought a weird candy for hubby Sour Cream flavored crickets.

The workroom is where all the action is and there is ample space for creativity and classes of any kind. Here is my workspace on the first day before I got to mess it all up.

There are rooms and beds for sleeping upstairs with two kitchens as well. There is a wonderful little river behind the school and on my many smoke breaks  I went to the water and felt such a peach come over me it was usually just what I needed to give me the power to go back to the work room and finish my task for the day.

I was blessed to be with a great group of ladies and we shared so much of our lives with each other. I can only hope to meet up with them again someday somehow in the future. Maureen has created an environment where everyone can feel that they are safe which as an artist is sometimes hard to do. We create our art and put it out there for the world to judge and sometimes that can be such a feared experience we never even do it.

I was amazed at how we helped each other willingly with our colors and blends and what we loved or did not like about each others work. Even if someone did not like something about what I had created I knew they were speaking to me with love and I took their opinion seriously and it really helped me to see my creation with eyes that were not my own.

We were allowed to work as early or late as we wanted to usually crawling into bed after a 12 hour day tired physically but not mentally. Maureen did not take the class but she was able to go with us on several outings and checked in on us regularly throughout the process. She would give us such positive feedback on what we were creating we just wanted to go on and on and on.

My only regret was that I put blinders on the first few days and would not let myself look at her store as I walked through it to go to bed. By day 3 it was cane focus 100% and I still would not allow myself to get distracted by her store and wonderful creations. The last day was so crazy trying to finish and then pack I did not have time to get a picture of her work table which is one the things I love to do. Looking at others work tables and creative spaces is a love of mine that I will make sure I do NEXT TIME I am able to go back to her center. How I missed this opportunity I will never understand or forgive myself for as I want to show my support to other artists and I only bought three packs of clay from her. Again next time I will make sure I spend some time in her store!

There was so much laughter, deep thought and artistic motivation at Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts I really hope that you are able to be a part of that special place once in your lifetime. Even more I hope that I am blessed enough to be able to visit again one day.

I took this rock (I have a rock collection with rocks from all over the world) and to me it symbolizes the week at Maureen’s. It is nice and smooth and almost round like we were as a group. It is almost perfect and I think that is our group. Very tight, giving, loving, and almost perfect in our creations.

Simmons Eye Candy

October 10, 2011

I am so tired but can not sleep I still have so much running through my head. Here are a few pictures to tie you over until the next few weeks when I will probably write novels on my experience at Maureen’s and the 6 Day Intensive Polymer Clay Workshop.

I went to School!

Just like when I was in school I was disciplined but she is such a sweet lady it was my picture of the day!

Slicer #9 and its all mine! Another picture of the day.

It would not matter if I was the only one in the whole studio, I would still be in a 3×3 inch space with clay and tools everywhere.

Even if it is not perfect (it’s okay I would look at the piece and try to find the mistakes) it is mine and I just do not want to cut it down :).

Then I came back to reality and found hubby had fixed a shelf that had been broken since last year. I know because it was my picture of the day today and last year when the stinking shelf broke and I tried to fix it because hubby would not. So glad he got that pick up because now he is just fixen stuff all over the house.