31 August 2010

A Review of August 2010

August has been a very interesting and varied month, starting with my first time at Coatesville Market, right at the beginning of the month. Since then I have been working on various ideas and still trying out new techniques. I have got totally addicted to creating Klimt style canes and have been concentrating more on making lower cost items, for the markets and events that will be leading up to Christmas.

It may have been fortunate that I did not have time to finish the construction of all my new display screens, last month, because I may need to change my table set-up again, as a result of future developments. There will be a major life change for me in a couple of months time – see the next post.

29 August 2010

Klimt style brooches, stick pins and mini pins

Here are my first six finished Klimt style brooches. To see individual photos of each brooch, go to the 'Sample Brooches' tab on www.art-brooches.co.nz. The middle brooch on the bottom row is a prototype, designed to hang reading glasses from.

I have also been busy making lots of Mini Pins and Stick Pins for my forthcoming events. Several people asked if I made stick pins, when I was at Coatesville Market, so I thought I would try them out.

Mini Pins

Stick Pins

This coming weekend is going to be a busy one, with Browns Bay Craft Show on Saturday 4th and Coatesville Market on Sunday 5th September (luckily, I have now managed to get a covered spot for this one).

15 August 2010

Klimt style brooches, cabochons and other bits

Sheet made from Klimt style cane slices

I have got totally addicted to making these Klimt style canes. Above is a sheet created from several slices from one of the canes, rolled onto a thin sheet of polymer clay. The squares have distorted slightly, as I have not rolled evenly in all directions but I think this looks more interesting than if they were exactly straight. The photo below shows the beginnings of some brooches that I am making with slices from the canes I made earlier in the week.

Klimt style brooches in progress

I have started to make cabochons with the off-cuts that are big enough. I intend to source some tie-tack pins and stick pins that I can attach to these cabochons, so I have some much smaller items to sell at my next event.


I wondered if this technique would work with circles as well as squares - and it does. Unfortunately, I reshaped my circular pieces before I took a photo. Here are a couple more of photos of miscellaneous bits.

Skinner Blend and bits of canes

Experimenting with cane reduction and re-shaping

I  have also been working on a couple of brooch designs, starting with imprints from some rubber stamps I bought from Montarga. The colour is just Pearl-Ex powders and I draped the stamped clay over some rolled up baking parchment, to give them some dimension, before baking. I was going to try out the idea of incorporating a metal loop into the design, for hanging reading glasses on, but these look so delicate that I am not sure whether to do this now.

Butterfly and leaf brooches in progess

As you can see I have had great fun this weekend!

14 August 2010

A big thank you to Dunkleys Craft Shows

I would just like to say a big THANK YOU to the team from the Dunkleys Craft Shows  for returning the brooch that I lost, when visiting their show in Tauranga, last month.

12 August 2010

Klimt style canes

Yesterday evening I decided to try this technique from Donna Kato’s book ‘The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques’, with all the little balls of left over colours from my previous colour mixing exercise. The above photo shows four different canes that I made yesterday and tonight. I am so hooked, I cannot stop! It is so fascinating, as you just do not know how the cross-sections are going to turn out from the pieces that go into the extruder gun. I cannot wait to make some brooches with slices from these canes.

10 August 2010

Experiments with colour mixing

This weekend gone, I started on a colour mixing exercise, which I thought would be a useful visual aid not only for my own use but if I do any teaching/workshops in the future. I did not realise how long it was going to take.

I am quite familiar with the concepts of colour theory from many years of painting, however I have read that it is different with polymer clay. Using Magenta, Lemon Yellow and Turquoise as my primary colours (as they are meant to create purer colours with polymer clay, than the traditional red, yellow and blue in paints), I mixed equal proportions to make the secondary and tertiary colours, resulting in the twelve standard colours on a Colour Wheel. I cut a square from each of the twelve colours as my starting point and when baked, laid them out as a central column.

To the left I made squares mixing white with each of the colours in turn, in the following proportions: 25% white + 75% colour, 50% white + 50% colour, 75% white + 25% colour and also 87.5% white + 12.5% colour. To the right, I made squares mixing black with each of the colours in turn, in the following proportions: 25% black + 75% colour, 50% black + 50% colour, 75% black + 25% colour and also 87.5% black + 12.5% colour.

Here is a photo of the finished results. It shows quite clearly (as I read after I had started this exercise) that you do not need to add as much black to change a colour as you do white. There is nothing like learning the hard way!

I had planned to repeat this exercise, using the more traditional red, yellow and blue primary colours, to compare the difference and also to show the variations you get when adding brown or grey and pearl or translucent clay to the twelve colours. I will do this at some stage but as it takes so long to mix all the samples, cut and bake and uses up quite a lot of clay, it will have to be resumed at a later date.

01 August 2010

Coatesville Market – first time

I have really been looking forward to today, my first time exhibiting at Coatesville Market. My spot was just inside the main entrance door, which was good, as everyone saw it as they came in – and thankfully I was inside, under cover, as it did rain!

Taking into account the weather and that it was my first time, I am quite pleased with how it went, although it was mostly the lower priced brooches that were being bought. I received some good feedback and am feeling positive for the next one, if I can get a few of my other ideas into action by then.

I told quite a lot of people who asked that I would be there every month, as I thought I had secured a regular place there, so I was a bit dismayed when I checked with the organizer – and was told that it was all booked up and it would depend if there was a cancellation (which is why I got the spot this month). I will have to keep ringing and hope I am lucky.

As a back-up, I will book to do the Browns Bay Craft Show, which is on Saturday 4th September. If I do get a spot at the next Coatesville Market, on Sunday 5th September, it will mean a double weekend! Great for me but a bit unfair for Colin – hopefully he will understand.