Up and in the zone, great feeling when nothing else enters the mind except for what is immediately in front of me. Up to now I have been working with clay that is air dry, very convenient and comes in all forms. Recently I have a foray into the clay you bake in the oven, have resisted this as not from paper, but one has to try everything. On the jewellery making front, I can see its endless possibilities, but for me the endless kneading and rolling for the clay to become soft and the fact, that in the baking it can be a bit hit and miss and can easily discolour and take on a scorched look !
Tried various Faux ideas, turquoise, coral and pebbles have all been very successful, tried a different technique today, making canes. I didn’t want some “neat and precise” flower design which many are, instead I made my own version of “delft ” a contemporary look ! in the same cobalt blue. When I rolled out thin slices the designs stretched and took on a whole different look which I pieced together over a bangle blank, in fact its one of the stainless steel circles chefs use to force their food into neat circles, worked a treat. Ended with a nice “handmade” kind of look, which I quite like.
Then I tried a black and white geometric affect, again rolled out to give different sized triangles. Again very patchwork and handmade looking. Need to talk to other people who are working with this medium so anyone reading this get in touch or share your page with me……..
Oh gosh, difficult times, so many people leaving the planet, nearest & dearest, all my heroes & contemporaries, this has certainly left me reeling and thinking of my own mortality……… at my age now, both my birth parents were gone, I have survived them by three years to date and I hope by many more !
What keeps me present and enjoy the moments as they unfold is my creativity. At times its an area where I can relax, play with ideas, colours and textures. At other times it can be like I am at the mercy of some outside force thats sucking me into a whirlwind of ideas and emotions that I want/need to express and then it becomes a rather exhausting affair because I cannot keep up with “force”.
This is how I keep on keeping on…….. the creative river flows and I jump in with both feet !!!
I have been very fortunate in my life to have had two dads………. One who bought me into the world and found it difficult to cope in this this world, and one who picked up all the pieces and bought stabillity to my childhood when all around me was in turmoil.
Both have passed on now, my father 25 years or so now and my stepfather passed away yesterday after many courageous years coping with cancer. He was definitely strong in spirit and squeezed out every ounce of life in these past weeks. Will miss you Peter, thanks for being a good Dad to me.
Another day of experimenting……. mod roc bandage as base of clay bowl, three new bangles, again with Mod Roc base, one now has a paper clay “wrap”, one has milliput and the other awaiting a decision ! Thanks Hilary for the heads up on MOD ROC ! The beads are, are discs and ovals cut out and pierced, with the left over pieces hand rolled into beads. I used Modena air dry cold porcelain, it’s very different from paper clay in that you can roll it quite thin, at first I wasn’t keen, didn’t like its bendy plastic rubbery texture, but have grown to quite like it.
I purchased Modena in white translucent, cobalt, red, yellow ochre and brown. Mixing red with tiny bit of cobalt and white made a lovely violet colour, and added more white to each batch until they became a very pale lilac. Then I mixed red with yellow ochre to make a terracotta, and again mixed each batch with equal part of white until it became a coral colour through to a very pale pink. Results strung onto recycled sari ribbon
I also tried out alcohol inks, Adirondack col “stream” and “bottle” . Only need a meer “smear” on the translucent clay and hey presto, a lovely affect, you can see the test piece on my book. Love my new Moleskine, it has printed squares down the side of each page, so you put image, sample, fabric scraps and so on and room to write notes, Grand !!
Have been experimenting with all the types of air dry clay available over the past week or so. I had been making jewellery with purchased beads and findings so the natural progression was having a go at making my own.
Hadn’t realised there are so many clays to work with ! thanks to Hilary Bravo’s wonderful tutorials (linkHERE) I heard about an Air Dry Paper Mache Clay called Porzella. It is very white and smooth to work, it’s very good for making shapes from moulds, but rolling and using it “thin” is a little tricky to handle its wet texture. This started me on trying other brands, making my own from the numerous recipes on the web. The other paper clay I have tried is Creative Paperclay in many ways this is easier to work with, stays fairly stable when used thinly, down side is the slightly dirty colour when dry, both are great because when dry they can be sanded, carved and painted. Next I tried Cold Porcelain, another air dry type that is much, much smoother, stiffer with a plastic like “feel” when dry, a brand called We Pam was good, it dries really hard and looks almost bone like, a creamy off white translucent colour. Modena is another brand, this comes in colour too……… I have been making bangles and wanting to use monoprint technique to paint on blue and white china designs. The Cobalt Modena thought would be ideal, so mixing this in with the white translucent came out ok, all the pieces are small disks, ovals about 90mm. This product is flexible when dry, made some small spoons and they turned out all bendy, not keen on this. The white version being translucent did not really work with the blue, so experimented tonight adding white acrylic ink and kneading it in, then mixing with the cobalt, so lets see tomorrow when its dry……….. Oh and I have been using an extruding machine, that is another story ! and its fun !