Sunday, January 26, 2014

See What Wedge Canes Can Do!

Wedge canes are one of my favorite cane-types to make.   They can be fashioned into petals or flowers or leaves, or used in designs or kaleidoscope canes.  I start with a Skinner Blend bull's eye cane, cut it into quarters, and mush these wedges together.  Depending on how you decide to form each wedge, and whether you are using one or two bull's eye canes as a starting base, the variations are amazing.  I love the multiple thin lines that create illusions of even more color.

This is all preamble to the three necklaces I have to share with you today.  I decided to see how various uses of a wedge cane would look. Of course, knowing my penchant for circles, I suppose it makes sense that these three pieces all have a circular theme.
The green piece is perhaps the most elaborate, with the chain and dangles.  You can see the cane design, in which I used a wrap of white and black.  It also made a great twisted snake for a snail spiral, so I had to add that, too.

Enter a purple/blue mix. I had fun with this one, making a flower cane from the wedges, and opening the snail spiral for added interest.

Last is the red pendant.  This one is larger than the other two, and seemed to want more backing to add support and structure.  Here, again, is the snail spiral and some round shapes derived from the cane.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Puppy!! Also: Translucents to the Rescue

In 2011, an early February post showed a picture of our (then) new addition to the family.  Kiri is three years old now, and we just brought home a little sister for her and our other girl.  Miyuki, whose name translates from the Japanese to mean "beautiful happiness" or "beautiful snow" is actually a half-sister to Kiri since they have the same mother.  Yuki is a bit of a spitfire, and our older girls are learning to adapt, as are the humans.  Of course, the addition of this little adventuring miss has curtailed some of my claying time, so please bear with me if there are gaps in postings.  I will persist!

So - on to the clay.  As you know from my last post, I have been working with polymer, metal leaf and alcohol inks to make pieces with color depth and variation as well as some crackle technique.  After I make the colored sheet, I pick and choose the areas I especially like, cutting out the pieces I want.  However, there are always good-sized areas of the sheet that are "left over."  I had just made some sheets for the demo at the Westerly Gallery, and now I had some pieces cut out and a good section of the sheet just looking at me. An idea struck:  why not use the left over sections, which I didn't find interesting enough to stand on their own, as background to translucent canes?  Since I love translucent clay and have several little translucent and white canes already made, I decided this was a perfect solution.  I would have some new pieces with a different look while using up the metal and alcohol sheets. Nothing goes to waste with Translucents to the Rescue!
The photo above right shows the piece I like the best.  The background used gold leaf with inks in warm tones like butterscotch, sunshine, and orange.  It has a really rich effect in person, with just enough sparkle showing through.  The resin finish adds just the right depth.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of some abstract leaf pieces made from a red and orange inked sheet and a pendant made from the same background with the translucent overlay.  The leaf pieces from the decorated clay sheet show the design and color variations that can be present with this technique.  The long piece shows how the background and the translucent canes can compliment each other.

The next photos allow you to see a leaf and ink set, a set with translucent overlay, and a comparison shot showing a few of the pieces next to each other.  This is just another example of the versatility of polymer and the myriad of possibilities available.  What a wonderful medium!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

When Crackle Shines

It's amazing what you can do with polymer and a few simple supplies.  This Friday, the Westerly Artist's Cooperative will be featuring demonstrations of various artists creating their work.  I'm one of the demonstrators, and I'm looking forward to the experience.  It's always fun to watch peoples' faces as I manipulate the polymer and something transpires which surprises and captivates the audience.

One of the techniques I'll demonstrate is how to create a crackle effect using polymer, composite gold and silver leaf, and alcohol inks. The sheets I create can be easily cut, baked, and finished with a layer of resin to protect the materials and add depth and shine.  Here are a few examples which demonstrate how pretty this simple technique can be.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Glitz

It's 2014!  May yours be an especially wonderful year.

As January 1st approached, it seemed an appropriate time for making new jewelry to celebrate the change of years.  So here are some pieces with a bit of glitz, shine, and sparkle,  perfect for welcoming in the New Year.