19 September 2011

The ideas keep coming...

and consequently I have had a few sleepless nights! It is a month since I first had the idea of 'Fairweather Beachwear Accessories'. I have been making some trial sarong buckles and flip flop clips to try out at next months art and craft market on Labour Day (24 Oct). At the same time I have also been working on the scarf ring idea, which has developed into a much more exciting project. I am waiting for some findings, which I have only been able to source from the UK and unfortunately they are going to take about four weeks to arrive. As soon as I receive these, I will reveal my lastest idea for a great fashion accessory.

11 September 2011

Trial scarf ring

I have finally found a use for my first curved piece, a scarf ring. I made a polymer clay strip to go across the back and baked it on – and it works!

This is much less time consuming than finishing the backs of my brooches (it never seemed right that I would spend longer on the back than the design on the front) and could be a different way to wear a ‘small piece of art’. I will do some more work on this, including looking at a ‘fashion clip’ version (this could be the modern brooch).

Trial sarong buckles

Since my idea last month for making some beachwear accessories, here are my first sarong buckles – they are prototypes because I am still experimenting with the overall size and the hole size.

I also decided to make a ‘Kiwi’ one, as I recently purchased a kiwi cutter and it seemed about the right size. This shows the double sided (patterned/plain) idea.

Then I thought it might be better curved and that they needed to be a bit bigger. Obviously if I make them curved they can not be double sided.

The curve on my glass teapot is too much for the larger size (I may have to find a different form) but the single thickness of the curved buckle was too light and did not feel right when I actually tried it with my sarong. So I think I will stick to flat double sided but larger sarong buckles.

04 September 2011

Baking curved shapes

I have had this left over piece of blue/purple marbled polymer clay for ages. I liked the pattern but was not sure what to make with it. I decided that I should use it, so I cut out a circle from it and baked it on a glass teapot (removed from the cheap plastic handle/body casing). It has made a perfect convex disc – I still do not know what to do with it but the dimension makes it look so much more interesting than when it is just flat.

I made some more curved discs, in pairs, to try putting them together to make hanging decorations. This is a precursor to perhaps making some Christmas baubles/decorations. Here they are applied to the glass tea pot (luckily it just fits in my little craft oven).

I joined the two baked halves together with liquid polymer clay and rested them on some fibrefill.

This was a scary experiment! I have heard of polyfill being used (in America) for supporting 3D shapes but I am not sure what it is. I was hoping that it is the same as this fibrefill that I bought (very cheap) to try. I guess it must be because it all worked fine – it did not melt at the clay baking temperature. What I was not expecting was for the fibrefill to fuse slightly in the supporting shape (I was expecting it to spring back to its original shape) but this could be useful if I bake the same shapes regularly.

And here are the finished items, complete with hanging ribbon/thread.

Email from Sydney (Australia) enquiring about classes

If you were the person who sent me an email enquiring about dates for my next classes/workshops, please can you send it again - it has disappeared from my email account, so I cannot reply to it. Thanking you for your interest - Claire Fairweather

02 September 2011

Experimenting with Pearl-Ex powders and lpc

I love the effect of Pearl-Ex powders on polymer clay but am concerned about it wearing off and it just does not look the same if you seal it with Sculpey glaze or a layer of liquid polymer clay (lpc). I have heard that Perfect Pearls actually bond with the clay and so they do not need a protective sealing layer – but unfortunately I have not found them for sale in New Zealand. For the first time, I have tried mixing Pearl-Ex powders into liquid polymer clay. I used it on the silver clay pendant (see previous post) but mixed far too much so, to save wasting it, I rolled out some pale scraps of polymer clay and pressed it onto the lpc containing Pearl-Ex (which was blobbed on a glass chopping board). When I pulled the clay off the surface, the coloured lpc left interesting patterns on the clay. I sprinkled on a little more powder and swirled it around with a cocktail stick. The baked samples are shown below.

I will definitely explore this idea further. The iridescent/pearlescent effect of the powders are captured in the lpc when it sets – it reminds me of the pearlescent glass paint sold by Rainbow Glass, which gave a great effect and I used it a lot when I used to do glass painting.

Polymer clay and silver clay

Finally I have got round to using the silver clay items I made at my first silver clay workshop, back in July. The recess in the silver swirl pendant design has been filled with different coloured Pearl-Ex powders mixed into liquid polymer clay (see the next post for what I did with the surplus). The two tiny silver clay moulded flowers have been used as the centres for a floral brooch and a dimensional floral pin/pendant.