Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cameos & Wedgewood

 Three dimensional pieces can be accomplished in different ways such as through texture, surface additions, or shape manipulation.  I've always loved cameos, probably due in part to the raised surface features which give that 3-D appearance.  Today, I'd like to share a few pieces with the cameo effect, accomplished using 2 very different techniques.

First, the earrings.  These were made using the sutton slice technique.  If you're interested in learning more about this technique, a Google  search will provide you with several examples and some nice tutorials.    The trickiest part of this process for me is getting the surface design to stick to the base color.  If you work slowly and carefully, the pieces adhere and the result is really lovely.  I do not roll the resulting design flat.  I prefer to leave the design raised for that "cameo" effect.

The pendants below are designed to look like pieces of Wedgewood, the famous ceramic ware developed by the Josiah Wedgewood, an English pottery maker.  The powder-blue color is classic, as is the white raised cameo design.  These two pendants were not made with the sutton slice technique.  They were made using a technique presented at a workshop by Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg,  an outstanding polymer artist.
Lynne Ann has developed her own approach to making the Wedgewood look in polymer.  She has developed a special recipe for mixing clay to achieve the desired color.  In the workshop, we mixed clay and created base pieces.  Then we following a separate recipe for the white clay which was baked and cut into various designs and shapes.  The pieces were then placed on the bases. This process is much more time intensive than the sutton slice technique but has some distinct advantages.  First, we were able to make base pieces that had curve and dimension instead of just being flat surfaces. Also, the white cameo pieces were crisp and clean, and were able to be placed on the bases anywhere we wished.
A third "cameo" approach uses push molds with 2 different colors of clay.  This approach has its own characteristics - and challenges.   Different looks from  different approaches.  I imagine there are other methods to achieve the cameo effect in polymer clay that don't require carving.   If you find any, please let me know!

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