Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Transfers: Shimmer & Shine

As I mentioned in my first posting about transfer images on polymer, I had a couple of ideas of ways to enhance the transferred images.  This post shows my first idea.  I wanted to add a bit of shimmer and shine to the images. PearlX powders seemed like a good idea - and I'm pleased with the results.

This process was done before the clay was baked.  I tried putting on a light coat of the powders over the unbaked image, but too much of the picture was occluded. So, I tried a different approach to application.  I used a small, flat brush to apply PearlX powders to the sides and back of the pieces.  I protected the center surface of the piece from fingerprints, then applied the powders along the edges of the piece.  The resultant "overflow" of powder landed on the surface, and created just the right amount of shimmer and shine without hiding the image underneath.

I think you can really see the difference between a "plain" transfer and one using the PearlX powders in these two white pieces.  The piece on the right has the powders added, and it not only shimmers -  the pendant almost looks like a light snow is drifting by.  I sealed the pieces with Magic Gloss resin which gives them added dimension and helps make the powders look 3-D while protecting the finish.
One of the things I like about the powders is they can make a subtle color change occur in the image. For example, the earrings at the top of this photo have yellow flowers, but the use of an interference green powder makes the flowers look lime green from certain angles.  

Notice, in this last set at the right, there appears to be a green cast at the top of the pieces and a dark rust brown cast at the bottom.  Once again, the PearlX powders added their own twist to the finished product.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ikat Three Ways

I've just returned from New Mexico where I had a fantastic time in a sculpture and armature workshop with Kate Church.  Once I finish the pieces I began, I'll post photos and tell you more!  Until then, I've other things to share.

Right before I headed to Albuquerque, I presented a workshop on Ikat techniques.  I showed the participants a few different methods for achieving the Ikat effect.  I thought I'd share some of the pieces I made from canes I developed as part of my demonstrations.  Judging from their Ikat stacks and the products students made, everyone was very successful!

The set to the left was made from a 3-color Skinner blend with white strips of clay set on top to add contrast.  The blend was then cut up and the piece were off-set making a nice stack. I cut slices from the stack and used a thin bamboo stick to draw the feathered pattern on the clay.  Rolling the pieces through the pasta machine enhanced the look.  The picture on the right shows a similar feathering pattern applied to an Ikat stack with multiple color stripes.
These pieces in purple, orange and fuschia were made from an Ikat stack made from medium thick logs of clay set up in a specific pattern.  You can see the set up online  at The earrings and the pendant between them have been further enhanced with some tiny dried flowers, then covered with Magic Gloss.  the other pendant has a satin finish, made by sanding and buffing after baking.  Also, you'll notice one pendant has the feathered design while on the other I left the Ikat design alone.

The green set was made from a 2-color Skinner Blend that I did not reduce as much as the other stacks I made.  Again, I decorated with the little dried flowers and sealed the surface with the Magic Gloss resin.

The brass cuff bracelets below were covered with twisted and swirled snakes made from the various Ikat stacks.  I love the way the colors and textures interact.

This last photo has a few pieces made based on a technique that Lindly Haunani uses for Ikat stacks.  She has a great class teaching leaves using this technique on CraftArtEdu.  If you like the Ikat look, her class is excellent.