Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wood and Opals - Oh, my!

I had to try one more thing with the polymer faux wood.  I wanted to see if I could "inlay" opals into polymer wood bases.  I experimented a bit, and here are the results.   I'm really pleased with the way these pendants turned out.

The small rocks in the photos are real.  I'm looking forward to making rocks and pebbles in polymer one day soon.....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Polymer Wood - Another Faux Technique

As I mentioned in my post on March 18th, I'm sharing "featured artist" status at the Westerly Art Gallery this month with a ceramic potter and a wood turner.  I thought it would be fun to make my jewelry tie in with both the ceramic and wood pieces from the other artists.  The posts since then have dealt with polymer techniques that have a ceramic appearance. Today, I'd like to share some wood-look pieces I created from polymer.

For these pieces, I used a rather standard polymer "wood" technique that creates a nice veneer.  Small logs of clay in different wood-appropriate colors are rolled out by hand, stacked together, and then twisted repeatedly.  The resulting single log is then folded in half and twisted.  This step is repeated another time or two until the colors are less distinct, but some variation is still visible.  Then the log is placed long side against the rollers on the pasta machine, and is passed through the pasta machine on a wide to medium setting.  This step may be repeated depending on the design you want. The veneer will look like wood and can be used in a variety of ways.  The photo of the brass cuffs demonstrates use of the faux wood veneer as a solid or as a"laminated" piece.  The different wood colors are made by using different colors of clay and doing some independent blending. Translucent clay works particularly well for the lighter woods.

The pendants on the right are examples of using the wood grain sheets as settings for design inlay.  A variety of translucent and white canes were sliced paper thin and layered to make the insets.  The translucent clay allows the wood grain from the background to show through in places.

These floral insets were made with paper-thin slices of flower and leaf canes placed on Skinner blend backgrounds. These pieces were then cut and "inlaid" into the wood pieces.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Polymer Faux Ceramic: A Side Step

While working with the faux ceramic look, I found I really liked working with pastels.  I decided to try them with some different texture patterns.  The pieces I made did not have as much of a ceramic look as the first set, partially, I feel, due to the designs used, as well as the shapes I made.  After baking, they asked for something more besides a PYM2 finish.  Since I enjoy the depth and shine of a resin finish, I decided to give these pieces a resin coating.  I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out.

The branch and tiny blossom design is quite delicate, and really doesn't look much like the broader patterns we usually associate with ceramics.  The pendant and earring set were made using teal, green and rust shades.  The earrings were colored in shades of blue and pink.  You can see how using different colors changes the tone entirely.

These two pair of earrings again are the result of multiple colors added one at a time, with the brush worked in different directions.

The golden pendant is simple, and I thought the filigree bail I found complimented it quite well.