In the zone

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……..

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an avenue to explore

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IMG_6949Have 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 (link HERE) 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 !