Thursday, 22 November 2012

New piece - polymer clay on glass

A final entry for my CIT visual arts blog...a sampler of some of my polymer clay canes.
It would be a good idea to do this from time to time, to keep track of my canes, and make them easier to find. They are all wrapped in glad-wrap, and stored in "fishing tackle boxes" with dividers. Storing them according to a colour code will  probably help.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

New polymer clay pieces

These are some new pieces I have been working was time to do something with the rainbow spiral cane, and (the second photo) all the little end bits that were left, after I reduced some of my old canes.
The work for the exhibition is almost finished -  I gave the dolls house a few coats of paint, sewed a tunnel on the back of the fabric piece (for hanging), and have been checking the brooches and buttons for imperfections.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Craft Retreat

On Saturday (13th October) I attended a "Craft Retreat" at "Greenhills" (The Cotter centre)
It was a lot of fun....a whole day of making things, with meals laid on.
I had chosen two classes, "drawing on polymer clay" (which involved creating brooch or pendant blanks, in polymer clay, and drawing "zentangles" on them; and "transfer techniques, and creating a wire bail for a pendant"
I enjoyed both of the classes....but when I saw what the students had created in Hector Vera's "faux dichroic glass" class, I was really jealous! Sparkle, colour and bling!            Polymer clay is amazing!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Almost finished

The main body of work is complete, I just need to add finishing touches and get everything ready for the exhibition. That means painting the board white, for the "cellular" pieces, and adding the fixtures to hold the glass panes; blanket stitching the edges on the textiles pieces, adding brooch backs to the polymer clay pieces, and putting lighting in the dollshouse.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

New brooches and buttons

I am still enjoying the "Julie Picarello" Mokume Gane technique. These new pieces are ready to be baked.
The top row of ovals are a bit "busy", but will probably look ok on plain fabric. The lower row of ovals work better, I think. There needs to be a plain contrast section, between two areas of pattern.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cellular close-ups

Here is a closer view of the cellular work, and the new fifth piece. Two of the pieces are actually made from "wing" canes that I wasn't happy with....and which were turned  into kaleidoscope canes.
Polymer clay is endlessly versatile. I hope the images are linked enough ....cells, butterfly wing "cells", organic structures.

Cellular work

Last night I focused on completing the "Cellular" series, each consisting of  polymer clay cane slices trapped between two sheets of glass. The idea was to create a "microscope slide" effect.
The multiplication of the slices is what creates the interest, and I wanted them to look organic - not perfect.
 I hope that this time I will get the baking time correct....I burned a previous experiment.  
Actually, I think I would like to make a fifth  piece, and hang them all in a vertical row, like the textiles squares.
 Most of my work is complete now, and I just have to concentrate on how to "finish" everything....(such as adding brooch backs to the polymer clay ovals), and get it ready for display (working out how I am going to attach the glass pieces to the wall or backing board)

Square five

Square five finished. That might be enough for now. I feel like some "poly-clay-play" instead of more sewing.
This was the ugliest of the nuno-felt pieces I had bobbly green and yellow fun-yarn, trapped in the wool.
It has provided interesting texture though, I'm much happier with it, since accentuating the bobbly bits with blanket stitch.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wall hanging

Four squares completed, and working on number five. I think they might look good as a wall hanging.
Hung vertically, instead of horizontally though.
Square number five looks like far.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Quilt Panels

I am working on 25x25cm squares, and adding a wool "quilt" backing. This will stabilise each piece...and I can decide later if they will become a wall hanging, or if each one will be made into a bag. I like the idea of not being locked in, at this stage. For the presentation....I could paint a cork board white, and pin the pieces on.
It would match the white house, and hopefully suggest a design board in a "home studio". I like to create art at home, with basic materials.
 I am really happy with the abstract quality of the ovals, I think they work much better with the fabrics than the "cane slice" shapes.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Tie-dye, muslin, polymer clay

Yes! I think I have got it, at last!  The tie-dyed fabric is bright, colourful, garish....the muslin is dull and a bit boring. The clay pieces disappear on the fabric. But.....what if I cut a window in the muslin, revealing a flash of colour; do some stitching on the fabric to create texture, and use the above as a frame for the polymer clay piece? I think it might work, and I will be using most of my materials, as planned.
I can play on the squiggly lines created by the elastics, in the tie-dye process.
The polymer clay blanks could either be made into brooches ( by adding a pin back), or a pendant (by adding a clay strip, and making a tunnel for a cord, on the back)  That way, I can remove them later if necessary, and also won't be detracting from the pattern, by making button holes.

Embroidery for texture

With all the focus on polymer clay, I have been missing out on textiles. Last night I tried some cross-stitch on a nuno felt piece, and was quite happy with the result.
Though I have been advised to let the clay pieces speak for themselves ("The fabric detracts from them") I still cant help wanting  to make fabric pieces, with  polymer clay embellishments. Maybe these pieces will work better, because they are more abstract or freeform than my other "cane slice" shapes. Maybe I could echo the dot, line and wavy patterns on the fabric?   The tie-dyed fabric is also a bit bright and garish....but maybe I could change the surface with embroidery too, or create texture with pin tucks or ruffles?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mokume Gane experiment

Last night I found a Julie Picarello tutorial on You tube. I had seen the Mokume Gane technique in books, but hadn't attempted it yet. Julie uses a muted colour palette (adding ecru to her colours, instead of white, which brightens) She layers dark and light layers, rolls them flatter, and stacks them, at least four times. Then the stack is impressed or punched into, with various tools. Slices are cut with a tissue blade and can be used for decoration. She also uses what she calls the "Lazy river technique".....using a strip of aluminium, which she has bent into interesting wavy shapes, to cut outlines. This technique provides a dimensional effect. My experiments didn't end up looking anything like Julie's bold work, but I like the abstract quality of my ovals, and enjoyed trying something new.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Presentation of polymer clay pieces

At my end of term assessment, it was suggested that I could display my more brightly coloured Fimo pieces in a dollshouse. I knew I was keeping that dollshouse for a reason!  I bought it from a recycling depot, and painted it white, for an installation project, for my Cert 4 of visual arts. I will need to install backlighting in it.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Buttons and tie-dyed cotton

I spent a frustrating morning trying to photograph my Fimo buttons, on the dyed cotton.
It is really difficult to get a good close-up photo, in proper focus. The camera seems to want to do it's own thing, and focus on the cloth, instead of the buttons. I wonder what I am doing wrong?      Here are a few photos, anyway.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Colourful kaleidoscope cane

It is difficult to stay away from polymer clay.....I love the colours, and the magic involved in making canes, squishing them together, and then being surprised by the resulting kaleidoscope. There are three ways to arrange the segments - I chose to put the green and white stripes on the outside.
I made buttons with the scrap ends of the cane.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Needle felting

After trying to machine-sew some felt pieces to a background fabric, and being very unsatisfied with the result....I decided to have a go at needle felting. I bought a tool and mat from Lincraft on my way home.
Much better! The tool has needles which punch the felt fibres into the backing, no ugly stitching needed.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Rainbow tie-dye

My tie-dyed fabrics together.....a rainbow of colours, yum!
There is only a bit of red and orange left over from last year, but enough for now.
All I need to do is come up with my bag design, and match up the polymer clay beads and embellishments.
The rainbow cane should look good as a bag button.


Tie-dyeing is so much fun, first folding up all the squares origami-style....boiling the fabric pieces in the dye, and then unfolding all the parcels, to see the patterns.
I fell in love with the kelly green straight away, the light/dark variations were obvious.
The "lilac" dye seemed really dark when I unwrapped the squares, I was worried that all the squares would be solid purple. Fortunately after rinsing, drying and ironing, the fabric revealed it's patterns. The lilac looks more like blue in the photo though, the pink shade isn't showing up.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Synergy Logo

I tried arranging the triangles without a gap. Maybe it's all too complicated?
The image will look good on a large scale, but a small version will look too busy.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Synergy Logo

The logo printed out, and touched up with a black pen. I took a photo - and the flash caused some more pale areas. It should work better as a scan.
The original polymer clay embellishments.....