Ever since I was a child I have been escaping into my imagination; I think most artists do. I always loved books because they could ignite that spark of fantasy. And I have always loved anything that could fan that spark-wire, clay, paint, wood and in my latest endeavors, transfer paper. I have tried out two kinds of transfer paper and have settled on one sold by Hilla Bushari in her etsy shop. As with any medium there is a learning curve and it takes some time to learn how to use it, but this product is relatively easy to use. Besides even if you are a slow learner Hilla is very helpful and will guide you through any questions you have. The pictures below show some of the pieces that I made using her transfer paper, digital images and polymer clay. I sell the finished necklaces on my etsy shop as well as the loose beads to use in your own creations.
Recently I went to visit my friend Mary Karg and just hang out in her cool studio. As always we just talked non-stop catching up on the months between visits. Now, Mary has some very impressive beads and finished jewelry. She works in glass and metal (and I suspect a bit of alchemy); I am seriously in awe of her work. It would be easy to say that she never makes a mistake but I know she has; occasionally I will see an wonky bead hiding in some forgotten place, but it is unusual to see one. You can check out her Artfire studio here to see some of her beautiful work. So as I was leaving I was checking out some of her recent beads and came across a truly odd one. Mary explained she was trying new mandrels that allowed you to blow up a hot bead in order to make it hollow (and lighter weight). Usually it works but in this one case it was like a tire blow-out and the bead lost its integrity. As I was musing over it Mary gave it to me charging me to figure out a way to use it. We both were thinking some sort of jewelry, however as I was just smooshing (technical term) clay in my hand I came up with a different take on it. It isn't a finished piece, just a preliminary work up.
Just a few new beads going into my etsy shop Monday morning....
These have been selling fast so you better grab them while you can!
Not everyone's cup of tea but Tim Minchin is one of my favorite rock stars (yah I know you've probably never heard of him-but he is still a rock star). He is smart and funny, obscure and obvious. He is also basically a happy person, as am I. One of his songs is called Dark Side and he writes about being a basically happy person percieved as having no depth in their work. We (he and I) are the type that even though things get us down we look for the pony in the poop. As artists that can leave people wondering if we have any deep thoughts in our head or is it all unicorns and rainbow farts; let me assure you that I too can have a dark side...
Oddly enough, while I was creating the odd little works I'm showing below I was happy and not having the dark thought associated with the subject matter. Perhaps it was because I was creating, making something with my hands to shock and surprise - move the viewer in some way or another. I will be listing these beads for sale on my etsy site for people to add a bit of darkness to their own designs. So here is my dark side...
Usually one of the first things I do is check out Polymer Clay Daily; I grab my coffee and then settle in to see what wonderful finds Cynthia has found for us that day. Today was a busy day and I didn't see it until someone contacted me, telling me that today it was me!
I can't tell you how amazed, excited and humbled (even though I bragged to all my friends) I was to see this.
My heartfelt thanks go out to Cynthia and to my friends for all their kind words.
So without further ado here is today's Polymer pick-me!
I watched a marvelous program on PBS called Craft In America. It has a different slant for each episode and it spotlights top artists in various disciplines. One of the artists interviewed said something that resonated with me, especially today.
I have not been very inspired lately; I've been mostly working on the boring things like taking pictures of product, writing about product, getting supplies to make product that the muse gave up I guess. The particular artist interviewed said when she felt stagnant she would stop being serious and just play. So today I did; I had a playdate with clay.
I recently had the privilege of taking a class from Leslie Blackford with about 30 other lucky people. During the class she encouraged us to try our hand at sculpture. Two things came out of my mind that day-a horse and a bird skull. I made a few of the bird skulls for pendants but never did much with the horse until today. Since today was supposed to be about play the horse seemed fitting. If you have ever watched horses in the field you will notice how they love to run, gambol and jump around-they love to play!
I think this little break was what I needed to get back in the saddle again and start rustling up a few new ideas. Thanks for visiting!
Today was a very stressful day and I am so glad that it is coming to a close. As some of you may know the site on which I was planning to park my "store" has had a fire and all their offices and servers were destroyed. This came after I had moved all my photos and data regarding my products to this site from the one I was previously promoting. So not only did I feel stupid after pestering you all for votes but I had to go through the process of finding a new site and starting all over again. My friends gave me lots of good suggestions but in the end I chose to just use my own site. I have had this for ages and it is were my blog originates. But I have never really promoted it as a primary store. I decided that I was tired of promoting etsy, zibbet, and all the others, now I'm am promoting me.
Hah! Easier said than done. Writing a blog is nothing, but learning how to set up a whole new store, at least for this 60 *cough* *cough* something year old is not an easy task. Different store, different techniques...and of course my fair share of bugs...
Several times today I have been on the verge of tears, ready to throw in the towel and give up. I was seriously thinking of just giving ALL of it up. Then I stopped and thought about two people who are my inspiration when it comes to sticking with something. My son, who has been through so much adversity and unfairness in his life and who still has hope for the newness of life. And my granddaughter who also has been dealt a hard hand by life but who managed to turn it into a winning game. Just yesterday I watched her trying to learn crocheting for the first time. Sure she made some funny mistakes, got frustrated and wondered why she was doing this in the first place but she persevered and is making great progress. I took a moment, thought about them, and figured if they could do it, then who was I to give up?
And yes, I finally figured it out; I still have lots of product to add but as Scarlet said - tomorrow's another day.
So all this is my way of saying thanks Byron and Sarah - you guys are my inspiration.
The really funny thing is - I have had this done for ages because I am such a procrastinator. But then I forgot totally that today is the day to show everyone what we have done. Please forgive me this is my first ever challenge like this! So below are the pics of what Jeannie sent me. At first glance it might seem that is would be easy being all plain beads. However, I was unsure of how much was me and how much was the beads I got from Jeannie. So it turned out to be a brain-freeze. I will mostly just look at everyone elses gorgeous things and plan on next year.
And here is what I made; out of one necklace and one pair of earrings I managed to get two necklaces and two pair of earrings. I wanted to use as much as I could and I ended up using 100%. Now, I do have to say that the crystal globe earrings are really heavy and only if you want to stretch out your ears for gauges would you wear these. With the necklaces I just added a couple polymer pendants that I made ages ago that were lurking in a drawer. I really had no "process" or plan; this being my first time figured I would just go with the flow and see what happened. My only criteria was using up everything. You will see in the pic of my copper clasp a little dangle...those were the beads that I had left but was determined to use!
So now hop (it is a blog hop after all) on over to these other great sites and see what they have done!
Jeannie K Dukic
Ginger Davis Allman