Monday, December 24, 2018

Silver & Snow

The theme for the December holiday show at the Artists' Gallery in Westerly this year is "Silver & Snow".  Some of the artists are not really able to  make their art fit a particular month's theme, but I can usually do something with polymer that falls within the theme parameters.  This month, I had a lot of fun making pieces that were reflective of silver or snow - or both!  This posting is filled with photos of some of those pieces.

The pendant to the left is rather obvious.  The mica shift shimmers silver behind a white dimensional snowflake.

The top silver bangle above, the earrings to the left , and the pendant and earring set below right are all based in the labradorite process.  

The pendant above left has a center design created through a new bargello embellishment technique I've been playing with recently.

These last 2 photos are the opposite sides of a reversible necklace.  There are silver and Swarovski crystal rondelle spacers and is finished with a chain of silver Swarovski glass pearls.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Some Things Look Best in Red

These pieces don't have anything in common except for the color:  red.  Since it's the holiday season, I figured things in red fit well.  So here's a pendant and earrings in the bargello embellishment mode (which I'll explain more in a future post), and a pendant made using the labradorite technique.  Just some pieces that were fun to make.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bargello Earrings & a Textured Cuff

I was working on some more bargello earrings.  The first two photos here show the pieces I was working on first.

Then I started experimenting, making shorter lines of clay, cutting my slices thinner and changing the shape slightly.

These two pair on the left were my first sets made this way.

Next I made the earrings below in gray and black.  The super thin slices give these an airy somehow elegant appearance.

Finally, I took one of the short striped sets I had, and decided to see how the slices would look in a channel cuff.  The texture on this piece is really amazing.   

You'll see more of this thinner cut used in some new ways soon!  

Saturday, December 8, 2018

More Reversible Necklaces

These necklaces are really fun to make, and they give the wearer some great options.  Here are a couple of my latest "editions."

Friday, December 7, 2018

Reversible Bracelet

Once I tried making reversible necklaces, it was a logical step to try the same thing with a bracelet. Here are two elastic bracelets, one with each piece double-sided, and one with a plain black backing. The elastic makes these quite easy to turn "inside out".  The different sides present separate color tone, though they don't clash. I plan to work on more "reversible" pieces since they give people more wearing options.

 I left the reversible bracelet in a "satin" finish - smooth, with rounded edges, but no high gloss or polish.

The third photo here shows a different bracelet, wider than any I've made before.  This bracelet has plain black interior backing, but the outside surface has a nice, shiny finish.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Bargello Fun ala Jana

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Jana Roberts Benzon.  I am a long-time fan of Jana's work.  She is incredibly creative and imaginative.  Jana always seems to be inventing new ways of approaching polymer, and her pieces are amazing.

While at the workshop, one of the processes she had us working on reminded me of one of her bargello techniques.  So I had to give it a try.  Here are some of the pieces I've made.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Unusual Pins

One thing I don't make very often is pins.  I don't wear them myself, so I don't always think about them.  However, I was playing around with some new cutters, and made a couple of pieces that had to be pins.  Here they are, using textured and/or stone-imitation techniques.  They don't really seem to have a particular defined direction, so they may be pinned in a variety of ways.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Turquoise & Lavender

As is probably apparent from many of my entries, I am really fond of teals, aqua and all shades of purples. Here are a few recent pieces reflecting those hues. 


Monday, November 19, 2018

Seashell on the Beach

Well, not really...but doesn't this look almost like a photo of a seashell on drifting sands?

The background is cut from a sheet made of gold and brown shades and using the labradorite technique. The shell is a stamp made with copper pearl-X powders.  I really love the effect.

The use of Magic Gloss over the whole pendant added a real depth and shine that doesn't show here.  When I could get the shine to show, then the image was hard to see.

Friday, November 16, 2018

New Triangle Pendants

I have recently purchased some of the new plastic polymer cutters made on 3-D computerized printers.  I really like the unusual shapes, and have been having fun with some triangular shapes in graduated sizes.  These pendants were made using the new triangular cutters and sheets of polymer made from the labradorite technique.

The pendant to the left was made from a very colorful combination of custom-mixed clay colors.

These gold-toned triangle pendants are a combination of textured gold metallic clay and a sheet of labradorite in gold, copper and bronze.

This last photo shows triangular pendants made from a primarily purple and turquoise polymer sheet.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Reversible Necklace

Here is another piece made from the "labradorite" technique that I keep modifying.  I've tried different colors for the base as well as for the streaks of color that criss-cross about the the surface. You'll be seeing more pieces and more experiments in more posts over the next few weeks.

I am particularly pleased with the piece I'm posting here today. This is a reversible necklace. Both sides have very different looks and colors, yet the fire-polish crystals I found manage to compliment both.  The necklace has a nice shine, not too glossy, but not matte, either.  I added magnetic closures for ease of use.
The blue set below is not reversible, but it is made from another stack sheet of the labradorite look, and so I decided to post it here for fun and contrast. One of the colors I used had some silver glitter, so this set has a special sparkle that doesn't seem to show up in the photo as much as it does in person.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

An Earring Variety

Here are a few pairs of earrings made using new textures, new powders, new cutters, and new polymer sheets.

These earrings and the pair at the bottom of the page were made from a sheet of clay decorated in the stone/labradorite technique I like so much.

The pairs in shiny blues and purples were made using a deep cut texture from Ludmila Bakulina.  She also makes cutters in some unusual shapes.

Hope you find a pair you like.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Teardrop Necklace

I obviously am enjoying playing with this stone-look technique.  Even when the colors I'm using may be a tad unusual for  most stones you might see on a walk, I'm pretty sure that somewhere - perhaps on a beach, deep under the ground, or in a cave - these colors, or something close, do exist in nature. Here is one of my latest pieces, using 2 sizes of tear drop cutters. This close-up gives you a good idea of how the striations in the "stone" look, and how the colors blend and swirl.

I used plastic wrap when cutting to get the slightly rounded dome on each piece, and finished with Kato transparent liquid clay which I baked and then set by heat gun to create the extra depth and shine. You'll be seeing more pieces made with this stone-look idea.  I'm working on a reversible set and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Architectural Earrings

Hello!  Once again, I tried something a bit different for me, and I really like the results.  These earrings are based on a process developed by Nikolina Ortzan.  She has some really incredible ideas and designs, and many of them are available as tutorials or as completed products online at Etsy.  I made a few alterations in my version of these earrings, and I'm sure I'll try more variations in the future.

I liked that these were open so I could add beads, pearls and crystals.  I also made up my own shapes and styles. These earrings are fun - and they're unusual!

One tip:  if you use a softer clay like Premo!, make sure your clay strips are a bit on the thick side.  If you make the earrings larger, like the ones I made in coral and lime, clay that is too thin will not hold up under too much finger pressure.  A clay like Kato will be strong enough to be used thin, as long as you are sure to bake it at the recommended temperature.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Layered Translucent Beads

I love working with translucent polymer clay!  The applications for this special clay are endless, and the looks you can achieve are amazing!  The special feature of translucent clay is, of course, that when baked it "disappears" and allows designs and colors in underlying layers to show through.  When translucent is used to make a cane, the resulting slices from the cane show only the design made from opaque clay.  If you haven't had a chance to play with translucent clay, you really should give it a try.

The images I am posting here are of some round and oval beads I made recently.  I used pearl clay for the core to add a bit of sparkle to the depth of these beads.  The colors on these particular beads come from lightly tinted, striped translucent canes.  I hope you can see the multiple layers from several translucent canes.  The shine on these beads adds to the depth.  Although it may be hard to see in the photo, they look almost like glass in person.

There are just too many options to list, but a quick look on Pinterest for polymer clay translucent beads should give you a feel for just some of what this clay can help you accomplish.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

"Oriental" Bead Necklace

I've continued to work with the stone-look technique that Laura Blakely showed me at Clay Connections.  One of the things she had done was to make some sweet round beads - so I had to try to make some of my own.  I think the design on these beads, along with the colors, really makes them look a bit like little lantern beads from the Orient.  The black glass druks in between the large polymer beads contribute to that image.

To the right is a view of the whole necklace. This necklace has a magnetic closure.  I've been using this type of clasp more and more.  It's much easier for people to use, especially when they are putting the necklace on themselves, and it reduces the amount of bulk at the back of the neck that larger clasps can make.