Thursday, November 27, 2008

season of hope

I picked up some bottles from the guild last month, so that I could make some bottles of hope. I've made two using those bottles that I've submitted to the challenge for CHA. Yesterday I bought a box of bottles on ebay so that I can make some more. It's been a long time since I spent a day making a bunch of bottles for BOH - long overdue. But, as it's the season of giving and doing, and I've been busy donating to Seva and Oxfam and Heiffer, I'm reminded to do those things that require some more of me, more personal involvement.
So, here are my two guys for the BOH challenge, and we'll see how creative I can get when my box of bottles arrives.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

time for time off

Judging by today's crowds - or lack of them - the economy is speaking. The art show seemed quieter today than usual. Two of my favorite dolls sold; always a bittersweet feeling. I think they went to good home. I came home and rearranged to fill in the bare spaces, so they won't stand out. I may take a few days off over the holiday weekend, and take stock of where to go next. I do have one project I know I want to work on. I've been waiting to get it started for a while now. I just have a few details to work out still. I know just how I want to turn a vase into legs and feet and how I want the head to look; just have to figure out the coffee pot middle. Then there's all the fun of the adding on and filling out.
I also want to work on some metal work. I have some etched beads floating around in my head pushing to get out.
Happy Thanksgiving. Have a creative holiday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

back to simpler times

In the midst of the planning for more complex projects - deciding how to attach, what materials to use, how to balance, etc - i decided to take a break. As I was cleaning up my work table - to make space for yet another project to begin - I gathered up some left over pieces of color blends. They weren't really big enough to do anything with, but I hated to throw them away, and didn't want to just roll them into one more bead. So I ran them through the pasta machine on a very thin setting to get the most surface, cut them up into pieces and created a single sheet of clay fabric. Again rolled very thin, I had enough to cover a bangle-sized snake. I haven't made just a simple bangle in a long time. I was pleased with it, in a silly way - pleased by how easy it had been and how pretty the colors were. The lure of the colors is what got me into polymer clay in the first place, lo those many years ago (about 16 or 17 I think). So, here is my present to myself.

All bottled up

My husband is used to my "junk" collecting. He's learned to ask before throwing anything away. Even so, he was a little surprised when I saved a beer bottle from the trash. Usually I'm a little more discriminating than that. But it made the perfect base for this doll. I wrapped a silk paper fusion around the bottle and let it dry before painting and adding pigments. I wrapped a Skinner blend "dress" around her, and made her a matching hat. I may have to make my husband drink some more beer....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

when is a sardine can not sardine can?

When is a sardine can not a sardine can? No, this isn't a philosophical or metaphysical question. Merely an artistic one. My doll is finished. I started with a Mexican heart shaped tin piece, which I used as a cover for an accordian book, and placed inside. My heart is an open book. I used Laurie Mika's mosaic style to cover the can, then stood the little man on heart and key shapes. He's probably not the last of his kind - I have a whole basket full of tin cans!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

time flies...

Today was full of inspiration. A trip up to Pasadena to the Norton-Simon Museum meant a day full of incredible beauty. The museum has an interesting mix of paintings and rooms full of Degas bronzes. Also some Henry Moore sculptures that prompted some ideas.
Once again, I'm not short on ideas, only short on time to create. Hence the spice box doll I'm working on, using Laurie Mika's mosaics combined with some sculptural components (not yet attached). Not finished yet, but here's a picture of the work in progress....

Monday, November 10, 2008

ode to a sardine can

My work table is starting to look like the land of unfinished projects. But at least I feel like I'm making progress. I haven't quite figured out whether my newest small doll is going to stand on his own, or have some sort of base. Seeing as how he started out as a sardine can, the body is open, and I'm working on the mini-book that will sit inside. It's almost done. Then his hat goes on, and I'll have to make that last decision.
In the meantime, I did start on another doll, with a bottle body covered with silk fusion. Given that we lost our warm and sunshine on Sunday, it's taking a little longer than usual to dry (but we really did need the rain). More on that one soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

finishing touches

A number of polymer artists have added PMC to their toolbox recently, in order to create their own findings and add fine silver finishing touches to their polymer clay pieces. I have been using sterling wire for years in my pieces, but haven't quite gotten into the metal clay swing, yet. (I have a few pieces sitting in a box that I may dig out some day.) I did run across some great silver and bronze bezels from Susan Lennart Kazmer a while ago while drooling over her work. (You can purchase them from They really finished off my polymer canes. Even simple canes become nicely finished jewelry in the metal bezels. Great way to get a quick pick me up to your canes or your outfits!
Some days it's more about feeling like you've done SOMEthing than really creating.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

something old, something new

Sometimes "found objects" aren't only found out and about. Sometimes they are lurking right in your studio. I decided to look through some old pieces and partS of projects and give them a new life. I reclaimed some of my old pins, worked some metal pieces to accompany them and created some new, more interesting pendants. It's interesting to see how one's work changes and evolves. There are pieces with which I was perfectly happy once upon a time, but deconstructing them, adding to them, rebirthing them makes them so much more. Ah, the evolution of the artist.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

so much art, so little time

A luxurious day off from work, to spend on art. Why do those days always go by so fast? It was hard to decide which project to work on. There are always so many ideas I want to try and things I want to make. There never seems to be time to just experiment, a day or two to just try out different things. The time I have to spend on art is so short, I always hate to just play around without accomplishing something. Yet, artists need to do that. I need to do that. Sometimes I think that's why i take classes - more for the time to just do something with techniques without needing an end.
I took a great class with Laurie Mika last weekend. Not that I don't know how to use stamps and paints and powders on clay; I've certainly been doing that for years. But the chance to play with those things, doing something very different from what I normally do, while learning the cool tips Laurie had to share was great. So, I spent part of today with more stamps and paints and powders, along with an old sardine tin (empty and clean), a freshly sculpted clay head, some mulberry paper, a few odds and ends and - voila - a doll.
Even had some time left over to read a book.