Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My first 'Stroppel' cane

The 'Stroppel cane' has generated a lot of interest (in the Clay-Polymer Yahoo Group). It was introduced recently by Alice Stroppel, as a way of using up scrap canes - so I thought I would give it a try. I do not have many scrap canes but I just added some blobs of coloured clay as well. It was great fun to do, as you do not know how it will turn out. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos during the construction process, as I was having such fun. Here is my first Stroppel cane, which I am really pleased with.

The two slices are the ends of the long sides that I trimmed off, when making the cane a rectangular shape.

I  then ran all my trimmings through the pasta machine, so the pattern has stretched (see above); pieced them together and cut out a few shapes (shown below). This is just from the scrap - from a cane made of scraps!

I love this technique, as it is so easy to do. I will have to include it in my teaching workshops, giving full credit to Alice Stroppel of course. As for what I make with my Stroppel cane - I have some ideas but I am waiting for some more black clay to arrive first.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Colour mixing experiments

After reading about colour mixing with polymer clay, I decided to make some sample colour wheels. I was particularly interested to see the difference in secondary and tertiary colours produced by using the primary colours of light as well as of paint.

 1                                      2                                      3

1. The left hand colour wheel has been made using the primary colours of light: magenta, yellow and cyan (using Premo polymer clay the colours were Fuschia, Cadmium Yellow and Turquoise). I was amazed that a better 'true' red could be created with the Fuschia and Cadmium Yellow than the Premo reds available in ready mixed packets.

2. The central colour wheel has been made using the primary colours of paint: red, yellow and blue (using Premo polymer clay the colours were Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue). [Note: it would have been better to have used Zinc Yellow but I did not have enough of this at the time].

I definately agree with what I have read, that the primary colours of light rather than of paint give a brighter, better range of colurs with polymer clay. If I decide to buy larger bricks of polymer clay in a limited range of colours, I will definitely go for the primary colours of light.

3. The right hand colour wheel has also been made using the primary colours of paint: red, yellow and blue (using Premo polymer clay the colours were Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow and Cobalt Blue). This shows the difference in colours created by, in this case, using a cooler rather than a warmer blue.

My experiments stopped here as I felt I was using up too much of my precious polymer clay. It is obvious that the warmth or coolness of a colour can have an effect on the final colour mix and I have also learnt that some colours are more intensive than others, so it is not necessarily a simple equal quantities of two primary colours = the expected secondary colour. I understand now why the books suggest making colour chips and recording the quantities of the various colours mixed. This could be a very time consuming exercise but one day I would like to create a comprehensive colour chart, showing all the colour combinations.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mairangi Bay Christmas Extravaganza - Saturday Night Markets

I will have a craft stall at the Saturday Night Markets, in the Mairangi Art Centre, on December 3rd, 10th and 17th. Here I will be selling a range of polymer clay items, which would make ideal Christmas gifts, including the HANGA brooch/pendant.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Planning for 2012

Following on from my last post, the discovery that my trial 'beachwear accessories' became too soft when exposed to intense sunshine, has led me to rethink my way forward for the next few months. I have decided to halt the launch of the beachwear accessories, which I was intending to promote over the summer months, until I have done some more trials with different thinknesses of polymer clay in the hottest months.

Instead, I will concentrate on preparing material for teaching workshops, with the view of having these up and running for February/March 2012. Due to the Christmas/January holiday period, I will start promoting the workshops at the next Mission Bay Art & Craft Market on Auckland Anniversary Day (30 January 2012) with a concentrated effort during February.

To begin with I will do half day 'Polymer Clay Mosaics' workshops, using my own custom made mosaic tiles, while I accumulate enough equipment. Then I will also be able to offer a full day 'Introduction to Polymer Clay' workshop, which will cover all the basic aspects of working with polymer clay, plus an insight into the many techniques and uses; hopefully inspiring further interest in this wonderful, versatile creative medium.