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!


  1. These are beautiful, I think I might actually prefer the ones made with the translucent canes.

  2. Thanks so much for your feedback, Julie. I think the translucent canes add a different dimension and change the personality of the pieces. I do love using translucent canes, and this was a perfect application for them.