27 September 2009

A Review of September 2009

I have enjoyed playing around and experimenting with the Friendly Plastic this month. It really is quite addictive, if a little uncontrollable for my liking. Sometimes it is difficult to know when to stop – or you realise you should have stopped when it is too late.

I am really excited about my idea for Art-Brooches, as I think this is something different and hopefully unique. I have searched on Google and have not come across anyone else with a similar idea. So many people seem to sell jewellery at craft fairs, I have never considered it before as I like to be different, but on looking round very few seem to have brooches. This may be because brooches are considered a bit ‘old-fashioned’ but I hope my ideas for presentation will make the brooches quite contemporary. Also, the Art-Brooch concept is a good transition for me from ‘art’ to ‘jewellery’.

Working at such a small scale, creating the brooches, is something I am not used to. However, it should be much better for my neck (years of bad posture, leaning over large pieces of art/craftwork, have given me permanent neck discomfort) and I am currently seeing a chiropractor to try and help with the neck problem. Other advantages of working small scale are that it does not take so long to complete a finished piece (which is good as I am currently working full-time) and, when I come to pack up all my sales items for my first craft fair, everything should fit in one, light box. The latter is fantastic – no more lugging back-breaking boxes in and out of cars, etc.

24 September 2009

Surf & Sand Design Challenge - entry

Tonight I submitted my card design for the 'Surf & Sand Design Challenge', on the Friendly Plastic Blogpsot.

05 September 2009

A Happy Accident

Today, I believe I have hit on a really unique style for my Art-Brooch designs – and it was all a ‘happy accident’. This morning, I was really excited about making my first ‘Art-Brooch’. I had drawn out the design, made up of overlapping triangular shapes of different sizes, and chosen some of my favourite colours of FP, as I thought I would keep the very first Art-Brooch for myself.

I am still learning and my first attempt at fusing the different layers did not work perfectly, as some of the triangular shapes sagged when I built up the layers. Thinking about how I could overcome this problem, I came up with an idea. So I made another one, using exactly the same coloured pieces. It still was not perfect (although the idea was simple, it was actually not so simple to construct) but it was technically better than the first one.

Just for fun, I thought I would put the first piece on the griddle pan and swirl it about when molten with the needle tool. This I did and it ended up looking fantastic. It was so satisfying creating the piece, as it was similar to ‘marbling’ (which I find fascinating and love doing) but more ‘free-form’. The flow of the swirling lines and colours really brought it to life, it looked so much more interesting than the stilted ‘angular’ design I had originally planned. It is also totally unique – I could never create another one exactly the same, even if I used the same coloured shapes to start with.

I then made a third piece (using exactly the same coloured pieces again) and worked it even more. By chance, the original triangular shapes, which I had randomly drawn, ended up looking almost flower-like. The photograph below shows the three pieces and the transition from angular to freeform design. They have all been sealed with a coat of Envirotex Lite.

It would take some thought, trial and error to work out what a finished piece might look like, depending on the starting shapes and the swirl lines made with the needle tool but I suddenly feel inspired to create pieces reminiscent of flowers, leaves, waves, landscapes, in fact anything natural - as there are ‘no straight lines in nature’. Due to the free-form nature, the end result may not be that predictable but I can always add some embellishments or paint in some additional detail, if required, to enhance the design.

So, I think this ‘happy accident’ has transformed my design ideas for the Art-Brooches, resulting in a technique that is so enjoyable to do and will create totally unique pieces – I just cannot wait to do more.

01 September 2009

Six months on ...

We have now been living in New Zealand for six months and I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by. After some initial experimenting, I now know where I want to go with Friendly Plastic, so I must get on with some serious designs, focusing on developing my idea for Art-Brooches – a unique piece of ‘art’ you can wear.