30 June 2010

A Review of June 2010

I have spent a lot of this month trying to finish off things I have started, including making up brooches from my experimental pieces, and seeking outlets to sell off my older Art-Brooches, made from Friendly Plastic. This will clear the way for starting some new designs next month.

I am also working on a new display set-up for my table, for when I start to sell my Art-Brooches, made from polymer clay. In a month or so, when I have completed this new look display, I will post a photograph of it.

In addition to selling my Art-Brooches on canvases, I also want to have some lower cost brooches (un-mounted). I will call these ‘sample brooches’ - they will be made in pre-designed shapes, using surplus pieces of treated clay, showing samples of different surface effects and textures.

I am pleased that everything seems to be coming together slowly. At least I know what I am aiming for now, I just need to get on with creating it.

27 June 2010

Finishing bits and pieces

I have not posted for a while because I have been busy finishing off bits and pieces before starting anything new. I have been turning all my experimental/prototype pieces into brooches, to sell off at the forthcoming Designers and Artists Market.

I have also been painting screens, which will form part of a new table display, for when I launch my new Art-Brooches, made from polymer clay. I am hoping to have a regular (monthly) spot at the Coatesville Market but this has yet to be arranged.

15 June 2010

'Emerge' exhibition details

For more details click here

My auction piece is the first image at the top of this invitation, although it has been rotated 90 degrees to fit the format. I will also be showing one large painting and eight of my earlier Art-Brooches, which fit the 'Emerge' theme, at this exhibition .

13 June 2010

Things do not always go to plan!

I decided to be strict with myself and work through some mica shift techniques before dabbling with anything that has come in my lastest order but things do not always go to plan! I intended to use a floral texture sheet, well it is actually a Cuttlebug embossing plate, which has the positive design on one side and the negative of it on the other. I thought this would look good if I created a mica shift version of each, to compare, and then inlay strips from one into the other. However, I found that the plates did not create a deep enough impression, in my pearlised Premo polymer clay, to allow me to slice off the raised parts of the design.

This means I will have to put this exercise on hold, until I have purchased a deeper cut rubber stamp. To save wasting one of the pieces of pinky-purple pearl clay I had mixed (approximately 3 parts pearl to 1 part colour) and impressed, I cut it into a curved triangular shape. My first instinct was to go for the circle cutters but I stopped myself! After baking the piece, I rolled a thin layer of mixed silver polymer clay (1 part silver to 1 part pearl) onto the imprinted surface, ensuring that the silver clay had got well pressed into the impressions, and baked this. It then took a lot of sanding, by hand, to remove the excess layer of silver clay, down to the original pinky-purple surface with the silver clay just remaining in the imprinted parts of the design.

I like the end result but this was a very labour intensive way to create it. As the impression was quite shallow, I was not possible to just press the raw clay into the impressions and scrape the surface clean, as the clay kept pulling out, which is why I had do it this way.

I had mixed a lot of pinky-purple pearl clay, for my intended mica shift designs, so I used some to make a bezel with the Cabezel mould from Shades of Clay. It was very easy to do and looked fine but I did not bake it, as I had not really planned any design to make with it. I thought I had better keep this coloured clay mix for its intended use, at some later date. I also made a cabochon with some left over clay, which I have incorporated into the brooch design below.

This is an in progess photo. Interestingly, I took this photo in the evening, just using my daylight lamp but for some reason it almost looks like a black and white photo, the colours although subtle have got really lost. It was also difficult to photograph because the silver leaf is very shiny and just reflected the light back at the camera.

I have started a couple of other brooches, made from irregular triangular pieces, but they are in the early stages at the moment. I think before I do anymore experimenting, I need to make some of my experimental pieces into finished brooches for the Designers ‘n’ Artists Market  that is coming up soon, on Saturday 3 July.

12 June 2010

Photo of finished 'Circles' brooch

This morning I finished painting the canvas for this 'Circles in Turquoise' brooch. I am now going to make a conscious effort not to pick up my circle cutters, for a while, and start making some brooches in other shapes.

10 June 2010

Shades of Clay order has arrived

This morning, my order from Shades of Clay (Canada) arrived. It took less than a week from notification that it had been shipped – very impressed. In my last post, I said I was going to concentrate on mica shift techniques next but now I have all these goodies I am going to find it hard to stick to one thing.

07 June 2010

Photos of new brooches on canvases

Luckily today, in between the rain showers, there have been some bright spells, so I have managed to photograph my new brooches on their canvases.

Swirl 1

Swirl 2

Ocean Blue


Concentric Circles (Purple)

Pink Circle

Whispering Heart

I have also re-mounted four of my earlier Art-Brooches, made from Friendly Plastic, on these new style canvases. The left hand picture shows the original mounting on the chunky block canvas and the right hand picture is the new mounting on the slimmer, square canvas.

CF032 Midnight Landscape

CF033 Desert Landscape

CF034 Seascape with Yacht

CF035 Seascape with Yachts

05 June 2010

Bad weather prevents photographing

This morning I have finished mounting all my new polymer clay brooches on their individually painted canvases. I am pleased with the way they look and, after much experimenting, have found a simple but effective way to keep them in place on the canvas. This method should prevent another theft of the brooch occurring, when they are being exhibited, unless some takes the whole canvas off the wall.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast for this Queen’s Birthday weekend (the Monday is a public holiday here in New Zealand) is not good – it is grey, wet and windy! So, I do not know if I am going to get the opportunity to photograph my finished canvases, which I really need to do outside, to get some good light.

As it is currently raining, I have started on another circular brooch. This is currently in progress – it still needs sanding and some satin glaze and doming resin applied to selected circles, to give a variety of different surface finishes.

Once I have finished this one, I will make a conscious effort to make some different shaped brooches. Next weekend, I intend to focus on the ‘mica shift’ technique, creating some asymmetrical triangular shaped brooches. I am also really keen to try some layering techniques, for the focal part of the brooch, but I am waiting for some supplies for this to come from Shades of Clay. This is a Canadian company, which I am trying for the first time – they seem to have very reasonable prices, especially for international shipping.