Friday, July 14, 2017
It's been a long time since I posted. 2016 was a busy year for me. In 2015 I started taking classes in pottery to try and broaden my clay skills. I went back to teaching the fundamentals of Polymer clay classes for beginners. I accepted the position of president of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay guild. In the beginning of 2016 I was approached by a local woodworking company and pen manufacturer named Penn State Industries who wanted to hire me as a consultant. They were designing a line of products to appeal to the polymer clay community. They hired me to help design the products, make samples and create instructional materials and videos. It's been an amazing year working with them. This year I accepted the position of regional president of the International Polymer Clay Association board of the Americas. I've been teaching quite a bit and traveling to teach and for conferences and retreats. I hope to get back in the swing of posting this summer.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Clayathon retreat happens around Valentine's Day so when we decided to have a left right center game a couple years ago it only seemed right that instead of chips we make hearts. Here are two groups that I made. For more info on left right center check out a previous post Here.
The first group I used some vintage art nouveau molds I had and combined a heart with a lovely women to create my angels. They are black clay that was brushed with pearlex.
For this group I wanted to play of phrases describing types of hearts. From top to bottom we have warm hearted, cold hearted, big hearted, broken hearted and open hearted.
Monday, June 1, 2015
There are lots of times I'll take a ball of clay and let it tell me what's inside. This started out that way, and as his face began to shape up it started to remind me of steampunk imagery. I had a lot of fun making the background with all the gears and cogs. At the time I didn't make many canes but I wanted his scarf to be a pattern so I made it as a cane and textured it using some knitted material. For his goggle I used a vintage Swarovski crystal and some wire for the other side. It's made with premo clay and antiqued with water mixable oil paints.
It all started with a trip to a Morrocan restaurant, they place had also had a retail store selling Morrocan imports at one time and when they closed it down they took all the leftover stock and used it in the restaurant. All the colors and patterns and how overdone it was appealed to me, so it was decided that we'd have our very own Morrocan room. Normal people do that, right? So as the Morrocan room started to shape together I found items that needed a touch here or there or things that were too expensive and thought here is where polymer clay comes in. So first I made a few sun catchers . Shown below, these started as laser cut wood filigree that I painted and added a patina then using translucent clay which I pressed into the back and domed and then embellished. They protect against the evil eye.
After that I made a tiny camel and scent bottle because every Morrocan room needs a herd of camels.
The next obvious thing you need is a magic lantern, this started as a floral teapot but with paint and polymer clay even Aladdin would be proud of it. The plate behind it in peacock colors is polymer clay over glass.
I thought the other window needed something so I made these silver hamsa out of clay as well.
Here are a few pictures of the finished room which is our tv room/guest room fit for a sultan.
When I started in polymer clay over 30 years ago one of the first things I sculpted was a dragon and for many years I sculpted and sold tons of them and I even taught classes on how to sculpt them. One day I just got burned out making them (see what I did there, burned out, dragons har har). Lately though every now and then one starts to come out of the ball of clay in my hands and makes it into the oven. This charming fellow is one such, I had made the background with a completely different goal in mind and suddenly my hands just started to make this guys head. His eye is a glass eye and his body is black premo that has been covered with multiple colors of pearlex. The whole piece was then antiqued with water mixable oil paints. I made him at a clay retreat and as soon as he emerged from the oven he was purchased and is now firing things up in Michigan.
I love all things tiki, I even have a tiki room in our house. After making all those small tiki masks for the mini mask swap I was in I decided to try my hand at making a full sized tiki mask. I love the way this guy turned out, I think he has so much character. He will definitely not be the last tiki mask I make. He is made out of brown premo clay and antiqued with water mixable oil paints. The antiquing really gives the clay the look of wood.