31 December 2018

A Review of 2018

At the beginning of this year, I set myself just one goal: to continue developing my Swirl-StoNZUnfortunately I have not succeeded very well with this. Other creative opportunities have come along to take up my time as well as some important non-creative life plans. Half way through the year I even had to turn down several art opportunities, as I simply did not have enough spare time, but others I really felt I had to take up. My dot mosaics were supposed to take a back seat for this year, while I concentrated on developing my Swirl-StoNZ. Instead they seem to have taken over. 

In summary, I had planned to enter a couple of pieces for the New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition 2018 in September but the Estuary Art Centre also put on another Mosaic Exhibition in May, which I was asked to enter. As this was not in my original plan, I submitted my large ‘Watching the sunrise over Rangitoto’ artwork, which had to be re-mounted on board (as it was originally done on a canvas), re-grouted and framed. I was amazed that it sold on the first day.

I spent a lot of time creating my two pieces for the New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition 2018, as this was the first time I had entered this biennial event, which was held in September at the Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa. I was thrilled to receive first prize in the 3D category for my sphere sculpture ‘Aotearoa – land of the long white cloud’. Although I did not sell this piece at this exhibition, I entered it in the Member’s Merit Awards Exhibition held in November at the Lake House Arts Centre, Takapuna. Not only did I sell this sculpture at this exhibition, it won the People’s Choice Award and I was commissioned to do another similar sculpture, which will be my first project of 2019.

My polymer dot mosaics will also be featured in a second book, titled 'Polymer Journeys 2019', which is due to be published early next year. The submission of photos and text for this involved some work, as well as my one entry for the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards.

So 2018 has turned out to be a successful year for my dot mosaics, which is good, just not quite what I planned. For 2019, I do still want to develop my Swirl-StoNZ but I also feel I should ‘go with the flow’ and continue with the success of my dot mosaics. If only there were more hours in the day J 

23 December 2018

Entry submitted for the 2018 International Polymer Clay Awards

Due to lack of time, I have only been able to create one new piece for this competition. I have been working on it for several months and finally submitted my entry today. Unfortunately, I cannot post any photos until after the end of February 2019, when the judging has taken place.

22 December 2018

Results of glow in the dark polymer clay trials

If you use glow in the dark polymer clay, you might be interested in the results of an experiment I started a year ago. At the time I had started to make my own glow in the dark polymer clay by mixing GITD powders with white translucent Premo, as per the instructions on https://thebluebottletree.com/diy-glow-dark-polymer-clay/ from Ginger Davis Allman. To start with I used the powders from Vadien, as mentioned in Ginger’s article but they cost so much to ship to New Zealand that when I had used those up, I ordered more GITD powder from a local company in New Zealand (www.glowinthedark.co.nz), which seemed to work just as well. I now just use green GITD powders as this colour has the strongest and longest lasting glow. 

I was using GITD polymer clay to make products (Swirl-StoNZ by Claire) to sell at craft fairs and, after a customer query, I wanted to see how well it performed and if it was suitable for use outdoor. So I made three lentil bead shapes, approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) across, with the GITD polymer clay and baked them as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The unmarked one was left on a shelf in my studio (fairly shaded), the one marked ‘S’ was left on a sunny window sill and the one marked ‘W’ was left in a bowl of water (on the desk in my studio, fairly shaded). I left these samples for a whole year and then tested them to see how well they glowed in the dark

Left: shelf  -  Centre: sunny window sill  -  Right: water

My first observation was that they all looked different colours in daylight. It may not show that well in the photograph but most noticeable was the lentil that had been in the water (after drying) was quite white and opaque looking, it had lost its translucency. The lentil bead that had been on the shelf was translucent with a slight brown tinge (even though I had used Premo White Translucent and not regular Translucent). The one that had been on the sunny window sill was translucent with a slight green tinge, almost like it was glowing green but in daylight, I am guessing this was because the photo-luminescent particles in the clay were super charged from being in a sunny position all year.

Photo taken as soon as samples were put in the dark

They say 'a photograph does not lie' but my eyes seemed to see quite differently to this photograph. The centre lentil, which was the one that had been on a sunny window sill, appeared much brighter than the other two that seemed to glow the same.

Photo taken 2 minutes after samples were put in the dark

After two minutes the centre lentil was still glowing much brighter but now the right lentil that had been in the water was not glowing as strongly as the one on the left that had just been on the shelf.

Photo taken 5 minutes after samples were put in the dark

After five minutes the centre lentil was still glowing brighter, the other two were not glowing as strongly but appeared to be similar. 

As I am writing this, I realise that that there are flaws to this experiment. I should have continued to observe the degree of glow for longer than 5 minutes, say again after 10 minutes, half an hour, and hour, etc. Also, would it have been different if the lentil in the water had been placed on the sunny window sill, rather than on my studio desk which is quite shady? 

When I started this trial, I was just curious to see what would happen to the GITD polymer clay that had been immersed in water. I do not think I will bother to repeat or refine this trial but I do feel confident to say that the glow in the dark polymer clay made into a lentil shaped 'stone' should be fine for outdoors. After one whole year totally submerged in water, the polymer clay had not deteriorated and the GITD powders incorporated in the clay still glowed. Exposure to sunlight improves the intensity and length of glow time.

22 November 2018

Second Award for 'Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud'

Just found out that as well as selling my sculpture, Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud, it has won the 'Peoples Choice Award' at the Lake House Arts Centre's 'Members Merit Awards' exhibition. I am thrilled that it has won two awards but will be sorry to see it go.

You can read more about it in this earlier post https://clairefairweather.blogspot.com/2018/09/aotearoa-land-of-long-white-cloud.html

28 October 2018

Opening night of the Member's Merit Awards Exhibition at the Lake House, Takapuna

I only have one entry (Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud) in this exhibition but it attracted a lot of interest at the opening night function. While it did not win an award at the presentations this evening, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will win the People's Choice Award, from visitor votes through out the exhibition.

22 October 2018

A beautiful day at Mission Bay

The weather was perfect today for this market, set by the beach at Mission Bay. My display was tightly packed, as I needed to clear my studio in preparation for a likely house move. I got a lot of positive feed back on my Swirl-StoNZ and it was a great day all round.

21 October 2018

Labour Day Art & Craft Market at Mission Bay - 22 October 2018

The weather is looking good for this event. I will be selling Swirl-StoNZ and various other one-off original pieces on my 'Studio Clearance' table - come and get yourself a bargain!

29 September 2018

Featured on The Daily Polymer Arts Blog - 28 september 2018

I look forward to seeing inspiring and different polymer clay work on The Daily Polymer Arts Blog. This morning I had quite a surprise, to see my own work featured. See here. This follows on from the 'Accomplished Artist' article from their magazine, in the previous post.

23 September 2018

Featured in The Polymer Arts Magazine

So proud to have been featured in The Polymer Arts Magazine as an 'Accomplished Artist'. Just a shame I did not get to proof read the text before it went to print, as there are a couple of incorrect words, however the photos look great.

09 September 2018

Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud

This piece won 1st prize in the 3-Dimensional category in the New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition 2018.

Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud (6 views)

As you look round this spherical sculpture, you will see
  • The North and South Islands, with the main towns/cities in grey and the topography in shades of green.
  • The Auckland city skyline, with Sky Tower, and some yachts indicated by the white sails. Auckland is often called the 'City of Sails'. Rangitoto Island in tucked in the background
  • A sandy beach. There are so many beautiful beaches around New Zealand.
  • Mt. Cook and part of the Southern Alps, with one of the many beautiful blue lakes.
  • The top end of the 'long white cloud' forms into a spiral shape, reflecting the Maori 'koru' symbol. 

Aroha Nui (with afterglow)

Aroha Nui (with afterglow) - in daylight and darkness

This polymer mosaic is my first one to incorporate ‘glow-in-the-dark’ tiles. They outline the central heart shape when the lights go off, hence the reference to ‘afterglow’ in the title of the piece. Aroha Nui means ‘much love, with deep affection’ in Maori (the language spoken by the indigenous people of New Zealand).

07 September 2018

New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition - opening night and prize-giving

General view on the opening night

My two entries were Aroha Nui (with afterglow) and Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud. Now that the judging has taken place, I will post more details of each soon.

Aroha Nui (with afterglow)

Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud

So proud to have won an award, as this is the first time I have entered work in this exhibition.

31 August 2018

New Zealand National Mosaic Art Exhibition 2018

I have just handed in my two pieces for this exhibition. Will post photos after the judging and opening night on Friday 7 September. The exhibition will run all through to 30 September at The Estuary Art Centre, Orewa.

13 August 2018

New Zealand Mosaic Art Inc - New Website

The website for the New Zealand Mosaic Art Inc is now up and running: www.nzmosaicart.co.nz
You can see some of my polymer clay mosaics featured in the Member Gallery

11 July 2018

Annual Members Awards 2018 at the Estuary Arts Centre: 6 July - 5 August

Note: the last day of the exhibition is 5th August
(not 6th as shown on the poster)

Here is my main entry on the opening night:
'Mochacinno Swirl'

29 June 2018

My latest sculpture - Mochacinno Swirl (with afterglow)

Mochacinno Swirl
in daylight and in the dark

This my latest sculpture, which is being entered in the Annual Members Merit Awards Group Exhibition at the Estuary Arts Centre, Orewa. The exhibition opens on 6 July and runs until 5 August 2018.

There will also be also be three of my Swirl-StoNZ pendants, including 'Prima', which was the very first one that I made.

          Prima                              Rainbow                     Midnight Fiesta

27 April 2018

Cut in Colour Mosaic Exhibition - sale on the first day

I have entered one large picture, a sculpture and three brooches in this exhibition which is on throughout May at the estuary Arts Centre, Orewa.

Post Script: On attending the opening of this exhibition, I was thrilled to find out that my large mosaic picture, 'Watching the sunrise over Rangitoto', sold on the first day. 😊

Sphere of Happiness

This is my latest dot mosaic sculpture titled 'Sphere of Happiness'.

I was wanting to include words in this next sphere sculpture, which was inspired by a recent customer who requested yellow Swirl-StoNZ because, in colour therapy, yellow is for 'Happiness'. I have chosen to use shades of yellow and orange for the tiles and have included words associated with 'Happiness' by stamping individual letters on some of the circular tiles. You will find the following words spiraling around the sphere: Happy, Joy, Smile, Content, Love, Blessed, Delight, Laugh, Elation, Bliss, Hug, Fortunate, Radiant, Satisfaction, Pleasure, Well-being, Euphoric, Cheer, Enjoyment.

Sphere of Happiness

This piece is one of my entries in the 'Cut in Colour' Mosaic Exhibition, which will run from 2-27 May 2018 at the Estuary Art Centre, Orewa.

29 January 2018

A fabulous day at Mission Bay

So lucky with the weather at Mission Bay Art and Craft Market today. It was sunny, sunny, sunny. No worries about rain and not very windy either. It might have been a bit too hot for some people but I was lucky to have my stall under the shade of a large Pohutukawa tree. Just perfect.
In addition to my Swirl-StoNZ, I also had a 'studio clearance' table set up with older items that I wanted to move on but it was the Swirl-StoNZ that attracted the most interest and sales. A busy but really enjoyable day out for me.

I got some very positive and useful feed back, which I will take on board, as I plan to invest more to give my Swirl-StoNZ display a more professional look for my next event.

01 January 2018

2018 - The Year of the Swirl-StoNZ

I have decided to set just one goal for 2018 – and that is to continue developing my Swirl-StoNZ.

Following my successful launch of Swirl-StoNZ by Claire on 1st December 2017, there are several aspects I want to research/develop further, but the main aim is to make it a viable little craft business.

Sadly, this means that my dot mosaics will take a back seat, at least for this year, apart from creating a couple of pieces for the New Zealand Mosaic Art exhibition in September 2018. I really need to focus on one thing and I feel it needs to be the Swirl-StoNZ if I want to continue riding the wave of interest created at the end of last year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and creative New Year – for me it will definitely be a ‘Swirly New Year’.