Saturday, March 4, 2017
This year, she taught us how to make fun, colorful, free-standing polymer fish. She shared a great method of developing the fish body and building the rest of the fish around that base. My little fish is in the photo above. First, Lisa had us make an Ikat cane using extruded square rods. The cane was used for the tail and fins on our fish. I used parts of the extruded pieces to decorate the tail with colored dots. The body was made from one of the colors in the cane. A really clever aspect of this project was the use of a tapered light bulb for the head and body. The bulb was a perfect shape, and provided a stable form for building the rest of the fish. Since the bulb was light, baking it and keeping it inside the fish didn't add any real weight to the piece. The bottom fins are set up in such a way as to support the fish so it can rest on any surface. I choose to bake mine in "shifts." First the body, then the tail, mouth and eyes, and a last baking for the remaining fins. I'm really pleased with how my fish turned out, and I plan on making a few more.
We were quite fortunate to have some of the items needed for this project donated by their producers. Our clay was provided by Polyform. In fact, Polyform provided Premo! clay for most of the workshops, and this was really appreciated. We had some great colors to choose from, and they certainly helped make our fish bright and fun! Tandy Leather donated some of their excellent Craftool Pro Stamps. We used these to create the look of scales on the fish body. I'm delighted to have these tools for use in the future, too. Makins gave us each a set of cutters which we used to help shape the tail and fins. These companies and their donations really made a difference to the participants!