Monday, November 8, 2010

Polymer Clay Discoveries in Mokume Gane & Mica Shift Techniques

I'm currently working on a series of cabochon pendants using the mokume gane and mica shift techniques. These are 2 of my favorite techniques to explore, the combination's and color palettes are limitless. Of course, I love working with Premo Metallic clay, I really think it performs the best, especially with mica shift applications. I'm also experimenting with Pardo Translucent Art Clay, it has a crystal-like clarity that I haven't found in other brands. Using extremely thin layers of the Pardo Translucent, silver leaf, and some of my unique Mica Shift canes to create a cabochon with more depth & sheen. I must admit I have this terrible habit of not writing down the different techniques I create and then wondering how in the world I did it!
 Below are a few pics of the process, making up my metallic color blends, the impressed mokume gane sheet.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Polymer Clay & Stainless Steel Cable Bracelets

I love to mix different mediums, such as this Stainless Cable with my handmade Polymer Clay chunky beads, and a few Glass Beads too! These are fun to wear, especially with the dangling charms.
This is a very long piece of Sterling Chain threaded with a double length of clear jewelry elastic. It makes a nice slouchy, chic looking bracelet. I made assorted Raspberry colored beads with a mix of Premo Pearl white & Premo Pearl red, and a few Plum & Grape Millifiore flower beads. I also added my New Pyramid shaped beads set in a silver bezel. First, I made the standard Swirled Lentil bead, flattened the back, and then used a small square of Plexiglas, pressing it in towards the center on all 4 sides, to refine the Pyramid dome.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Polymer Clay Sculpted Teapots

I've been working on more of my "Light-bulb Teapots"  This Fish Teapot is my latest concoction.  The main body of the fish is covered in a Mokume Gane technique, that was made using Premo Pearls clay.  I impressed a pattern into the many layers of clay & then shaved off the raised portions.  I used about 6 different color variations, from cobalt blue, turquiose, aqua, to a brilliant limey-lemon with green foil accents.  For the details I added a few Kato liquid droplets on the gills & fins.  I had quite a time trying to bake this little guy! I slumped the tail & fins over armatures made of foil.
  Here's another tiny teapot made over a re-cycled ceiling fan light-bulb

This is made over a larger round vanity light-bulb. I used  Premo gold clay & translucent to create a butterscotch swirl, I mixed a cinnamon spice color for the flowers & an olive/lime for the leaf cane. 

Relax & Create- Happy Claying!
Have a cup of tea too! My all-time favorite is Constant Comment-a yummy blend of orange & spice:)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Faux Wall Treatment

I've been doing some Faux-Painting in the new house, trying to bring a more personal, homey touch. I was going for a antique, faded French wallpaper look.
This is a view of the entrance foyer to the Master Bedroom & Bath. I used an all-over Damask pattern, with sponged layers of metallic pearl glaze. For all my wall sponging techniques I use the natural sea sponges that our family collected while on vacation in the Keys. We love to go sponge diving, it takes about a week of soaking and beating the sponges to process them so they are soft & usable, but it's worth it, they make great paint applicators!!
In the niche area we added a diamond mosaic pattern with real 4 x 4" tumbled marble tiles.
                                             Close-up of Faux-Finish Damask Pattern

The next project was the dining room, which presented a problem with the huge open 7 x 9 ft niche area.  I didn't want a traditional china cabinet, so my husband devised these thick plate-glass shelves, with molding across the front, for all my glass-ware. I used a metallic finish by Ralph Lauren for the back wall of the cabinet.
I found the glass top dining set on Craig's List, it reminds me of something from Alice in Wonderland, with the huge, whimsical looking claw-footed chairs & carved base.
                                                                                   The living room also has niches with plate-glass shelves. They give me lots of room to display my favorite antique pieces that my Mom left to me:)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Polymer Clay Samples Project for Klutz Books

I was recently contacted by one of the editors at Klutz, a children's craft book publisher. Apparently, one of the assistant editors found my Polymer Clay shop on Etsy and contacted me. They loved my new Charm Bracelets & also my Pillow Beads. I was thrilled to hear from them & very flattered that they liked my work! Our daughter used to love their books as a child, because they always included the supplies needed to complete a project.

 I received a box of supplies from Klutz that included: polymer clay, beads, findings, cording, etc. The project that I was hired to do focused on girls age 12+, with Polymer Clay jewelry designs that would interest that age group. I created 2 really cute bracelets, some earrings, a simple pendant & assorted beads. What a blast I had! Just letting my imagination go wild!

Here are some of the beads that Klutz particularly liked from my shop . As I am under contract with the book publisher I can't reveal the design samples I made for them.
The ones above are my Florida Sunset Beads, with inset seed beads.
The next ones are my signature Watercolor Rainbow Pillow Beads, these have been a really good seller in my Etsy shop!
At the bottom are my South-West Blue Denim Beads, in stonewashed & cornflower blues.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Polymer Clay Raw Canes

Polymer Clay Raw (Unbaked) canes.

This is the first time I've offered canes for sale in my Etsy Shop
I make so many canes, especially flowers, that my studio is bursting with my ever-increasing inventory! I keep them color coded, and also in different categories, such as: leaf canes, flowers, stripes, swirls, abstract, etc...
I really enjoy the process of cane-making, it's relaxing, and I can watch a wonderful old classic movie at the same time:) My favorite clay for millefiore cane making is Fimo brand. I always used the Fimo Classic Translucent & White as they perform well for making complex canes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Polymer Clay Florida Sea Shell Charm Bracelet

My new Sea Shell Charm bracelet was inspired by the colors of Florida Scallop Shells & Jingle Shells. Their luscious orange shades range from a vibrant sunny orange to a delicate sheer peach & pastel melon tones. I incorporated real shells, as well as my handmade polymer clay beads & some iridescent freshwater pearls. When worn the bracelet makes a soft jingling sound, reminiscent of shells washing up on the beach in the surf!

One of my favorite spots in Florida are the sugar white beaches of the West Coast. If you like to gather shells, this is one of the best places to find some real treasures! My husband & I love to take the boat down to Venice Beach, it's loaded with so many different varieties of shells & some great prehistoric shark's teeth as well! I especially like to hunt for Jingle Shells! I am fascinated by their colors, iridescence & the characteristic Jingling sound they make

Jingle Shells or "Mermaids Toenails"
Jingle shells are small, translucent, shells. They are practically flat and it's possible to wonder if they are a shell or something else.
Actually the jingle shell is a clam-shell. They are generally 1 or 2 inches in width and come in various colors such as black, yellow, white and orange.
Petite Pillow Beads

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Polymer Clay Baroque Earrings

Brand New Polymer Clay Baroque Earrings feature sea foam freshwater pearls & Swarovski Crystals in a rich teal color.
As you can see from the side view, the earrings have the look of rippling waves or glistening water droplets!

I just completed these earrings called Morning Dew, the colors are a mix of grass green, olive, aqua & watery turquiose. These are some of my favorite colors together, they remind me of a walk in the woods in the early morning, when the dew is still on the blades of grass & the delicate spider-webs are visible as a blanket of sparkling lace.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Polymer Clay Handmade Watercolor Round Earrings

My Watercolor Round Earrings are stylish & eye-catching, just right for the long hot days of summer!
I created the cane used for these earrings by combining left-over ends, (I save everything!) a series of stacked skinner blends from another cane. I never expected them to be so popular. Next time, I'll take photos, so I remember exactly how I mixed the colors & assembled the cane.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leaping Lizards

Polymer Clay Lizard Cuff Bracelet
We live in a tropical climate on the West Coast of Florida & our yard & patio is crawling with these little creatures. They inspired me to create this Lizard Cuff bracelet.  Some people call them Geckos or Skinks. My favorite's are the Green Anoles or Chameleons. They get their name from their ability to change their skin color to suit their environment. The more common Brown Anoles were brought here from the Bahamas & Cuba. I love to watch the males as they puff their orange throat flap in & out. Our dog Teddy loves to chase them around the pool deck, I have to watch him so he doesn't catch any!
 This bracelet was made using Kato black clay. I chose Kato clay for it strength & durabilty, so the bracelet would hold up to taking it on & off. I used Pearl-X powders for the lizard's iridescent skin, his eyes are flat Swarovski crystals.  
                                                        My little lizardy inspirations

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tea for Two- Polymer Clay Teapots

Tea for Two...What I call my Recycling Craft is another one of my polymer clay based obsessions. Finding crafty uses for burned out light-bulbs that would otherwise be discarded. Every one I know collects their old light-bulbs for me & I'm getting a huge stash of all shapes & sizes! Who isn't charmed by a tiny tea set? Toddlers to Grandmas, find them fun to play with & collect. My mini 2.5" teapot with matching cups reminds me of the whimsical style of Mary Engelbreit. She is known for her greeting cards & classic children's book illustrations.

"If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. "
Mary Engelbreit  
Here are a few of her teapot illustrations, she is well-known for her cherries & flowers:)

These 2 teeny-weeny teapots are only an 1.5" tall & are made from night-light bulbs! The lids are removable & the pots will hold water. The light-bulb screw base was broken off by tapping it at the base with a butter knife handle. I hope you like my little teapots!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Polymer Clay Denim Blue Pod Bracelet

This Stone-washed Pod Bracelet really came about quite by accident. Late one night, I was trying to create a new cane out of a blue skinner blend, I tried stacking them on top of each other, smooching them a bit & wha-la! the Pod bead was created. Then, I made the small faux-cork beads in a golden color with an antiqued Burnt Umber glaze. The textured wobbly disc beads, in mossy green & midnight blue, were sprinkled with faux carrera marble dust to add to the natural look. The finishing touches were the natural Jade semi-precious stone beads, with their time-worn look! I think the bracelet has a whimsical style. It is strung on clear elastic cording. I also made matching earrings.
Another version of the Pod Bracelet is this Cymbidium Orchid with Grape pod beads & semi-precious stones.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Polymer Clay Forever Blue Necklace

Brand New  Forever Blue  Flowers & Ferns polymer necklace. I designed this piece to be fun & flirty ! The stone-washed denim blue hues look great with jeans & a casual tee or for evening wear with a strapless cocktail dress. 
Created using my new polymer clay cane in shades of Midnight Blue, Stonewashed Blue & Periwinkle, featuring a sheer, translucent edge. The delicate flowers are finished with a smooth macro-sparkle coating. Strung on stainless jewelry wire with stainless closure.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Polymer Clay Paperweight

Here's one of my many Polymer Cane covered rock paperweights. I've made so many of these over the years I have quite a collection. Below is a Periwinkle & Green one I made for my husbands desk. The flowers in the photo are actually weeds from our backyard. The pink puffy one is giving me ideas for a new polymer clay project!!
I also love to collect Glass Paperweights, the photo below shows some of my collection. Some are antiques, some are Caithness from Scotland & a few are made from the ash of Mount St. Helen. My folks were antique collectors, in later years my Mom even had her own shop up in CT. So I have lots of antique collectible items, such as: Oil lamps, Cut glass, vases & decorative plates.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Polymer Clay Dangling Leaves Necklace

Dangling Leaves necklace was created using Premo polymer clay, with white pearl as the base & tinting each leaf with bits of either blue pearl or red pearl, to get just the right shade. The raw leaves were rubbed with Pearl-X powder. I used inset glass beads in the top of each leaf instead of using a metal eyelet, I think it adds color & sparkle too!

Polymer Clay Faux Dichroic Bangle Bracelet

Faux...Faux...Faux!  This is a bangle bracelet I made on a base of Kato Clay, formed around a Coke can as an armature. I cut the Coke can in half so it will just fit inside my clay oven. I always use a base band of Kato because it makes the bracelet extremely strong, yet slightly flexible. I created this in 4 layers, with 4 separate bakings. After the final baking I wet sanded it, inside & out, then hand buffed it to a silky smooth sheen! Try making a bangle's so much fun:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Polymer Clay Raw Canes

A collection of some of my raw polymer clay canes. When the mood strikes me I'll make a bunch of different canes, I usually work on about 3 projects at once. If I get tired of working on one, or can't come up with any new ideas,  I simply set it aside & go on to something new. I guess that's why my desk top is always such a jumbled mess! I have so many ideas just bouncing around inside my head, that I started to sketch them in a notebook, now I have an ever-growing number of jewelry designs in front of me, but not enough time to make them all!
Hopefully, once we move & get settled in, I'll have a lot more time for claying around:)
Olive & Grape Cane: This was used to make the pendant below
Color Cube Canes: used to make the earrings below
Available in my Etsy Shop :