Posted on | April 24, 2013 | No Comments
I get a lot of emails asking polymer clay questions and one of the most frequent is what do I use to cure my clay. I’ve been using and sculpting with polymer clay for almost 12 years now and through trial, error, and many burned ruined pieces I have found a convection oven that works wonderfully for me.
For those starting out or wishing to work with polymer clay I hope this post can save you the hassles of working hard on a piece only to ruin it because of a faulty oven.
The Deni 10400 is a great convection oven for curing polymer clay pieces that are under 4-5” tall and lying down under 10”. Hot air circulates around the clay, cooking the clay evenly, and the non-breakable glass bowl is perfect for allowing you to watch your pieces cure. It also shuts off by itself. The oven includes base with handles, the non-breakable glass bowl, upper and lower racks, lid with timer and tongs for easy removal of racks. Clean up is a breeze with the built-in cleaning cycle. It’s also great for small spaces, studios, apartments. I’ve had mine for 5 years now with no problems at all. Lightweight, I’ve taken mine when I travel or vacation (never know when the mood to create strikes!).
What would make this a perfect oven is if it had a digital readout instead of dials. For that reason I would make sure to use an oven thermometer for accurate temperature control.
Happy Sculpting and as always feel free to contact me any time with questions!
Posted on | April 15, 2013 | No Comments
I saw something the other day I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. Driving home from watching my grandsons, I saw some commotion in the road ahead of me. There in the middle of this two lane busy road was a tiny Yorkshire Terrier running back and forth in the road!! Cringing because I figured at any moment that the poor thing would get squashed I was surprised by the number of people pulling over to try and save this wee beast. There had to be at least a dozen different people running back and forth trying to get the “poor little dog”!
In the midst of all this chaos all I could think about were the times I’ve seen a “human” in trouble on the side of the road, homeless, or in a public place and my dismay at how many people walked on by and pretended not to see. Something to think about?
Lastly, here are a few new pair of earrings and a pendant I’ve listed in my Etsy shop! Enjoy and thanks for stopping in!
Posted on | April 14, 2013 | No Comments
I first heard about Type O Negative a little over five years ago when my son first introduced me to their music. He thought it was something I’d like and he was right. I loved the sound, lyrics and most of all the voice of lead singer, Peter Steele. When listening to music there are those far and few between times when a song really touches something deep inside that you can really relate to. I’d never seen the band, never heard of them before but the music on some level really spoke to me. (Then again at my age it could be dementia but I prefer to think of it as inspiration.)
When I saw them for the first time I was mesmerized by the show they put on. As a group they were amazing and I became an instant fan (can I say that without sounding cheesy?). Steele put his soul out there for all of us to hear and feel. It was both a joy to hear and painful at the same time because you can sense that this was a guy who’d gone through some tough times. So on this anniversary of his passing, we once more remember the man and his music…gone too soon.
One of his songs called “Greenman“, is one I really like.
Spring won’t come, the need of strife
To struggle to be freed from hard ground
The evening mists that creep and crawl
Will drench in the dew and so drownI’m the green man
The green man
Sol in prime sweet summertime
Cast shadows of doubt on my face
A midday sun, it’s caustic hues
Refracting within the still lake
Autumn in her flaming dress
Of orange, brown, gold fallen leaves
My mistress of the frigid night
I worship pray to on my knees
Winter’s breath of filthy snow
Befrosted paths to the unknown
Have my lips turned true purple
Life is coming to an end
So says me, me wiccan friend
Nature coming full circle
I’m the green man
The green man
October Rust, 1996
Posted on | March 30, 2013 | No Comments
Ever have a moment of drought in your creativity? A moment when no matter what you try to create falls flat? I admit to having plenty of those moments lately, and they usually happen when I stop listening to my muse and try to force a creative idea.
On a walk in the woods near my home last week I happened on some beautiful pieces of “live wood” from a fallen pine, and popped them into my backpack along with an assorted sundry of treasure the forest offered up. Giving thanks for the gifts, I practically skipped home with excitement from the vibes I felt from my visit.
Once home, I did a thorough baking to sanitize the pine then laid them out on my coffee table and sketched out a few ideas… dryads sometimes place gifts of their special wood alongside the pathways of individuals who love trees, Nature and Mother Earth, and who are aware enough to perceive this special gift. They clone themselves into these pieces of wood with the intention to help us while at the same time to acquire the means to see the world without being rooted to the ground.
I decided to honor the spirit of the tree by sculpting an interpretation of a dryad “emerging” from the wood. Dryads are neutral and do not respond to he or she, but I felt that this particular spirit was feminine and sculpted her as such. I do not think she will mind, lol. It’s a work in progress and will post pictures as she nears completion.
I am thinking that this will make a lovely wall hanging piece, what do you think?
*Note*- The first two pictures are before the polymer clay was cured, and the addition of a left hand. The bottom two are with the first “wash” of color.
Finished piece. Sold.
Posted on | March 27, 2013 | No Comments
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”
I saw this excerpt from a poem by Lord Byron on a neat blog I visited today. It pretty much sums up how I feel about Nature. Picture is of a butterfly from my garden.
Posted on | March 24, 2013 | No Comments
The moment I decided to support myself as an artist I began to wear two hats, one of artist and the other as businesswoman. Blending the two has had its challenge to say the least. Being creative for me is not being restricted and allowing myself to flow like a stream wearing out little nooks and crannies along the way. The repetitive actions over and over finely tune and hone a path that in the end will yield the desired results that I am seeking. Couple that with switching my hat to take care of the business aspects of my craft, and I find its much harder for me, but through trial and error am attempting to harness my impatient spirit and do the steps needed for success.
With so many mediums available today to explore I have recently added a new one to my ever growing experimentation…beads. While attempting to not stretch myself too thin, it’s hard to not push the envelope a bit and see where the blending of mixed media will take me. Sometimes you have to just let go of of a perceived outcome for your true vision to take shape.
The newest pieces I have been creating are a blend of all my favorite things: polymer clay, gemstones, bead embroidery. These are a few pictures of recent wearable art pieces, a blend of art and adornment. Each piece has a special meaning and story behind it and as such each piece began with an idea that ‘changed’ as I worked. Funny how that happens.
How do you balance your hats? Your vision?
Posted on | March 22, 2013 | No Comments
Blue Dragonfly tells us that the fall is upon us and the long winter is approaching. With shimmering wings and delicate form, it seems a creature from the land of Faerie. It is a power animal which can help to put us in touch with nature spirits.
Blue Dragonfly spirit means you must consciously make an effort to express your hopes, dreams, and wishes. It’s spirit is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment; and the communication from the elemental world.
This lovely 4″ dragonfly spirit has been hand sculpted of premium Kato poly clay and stands on an imprint of a Norway maple leaf. Colored with mica powders, inks, and heat set paints, her wings, bodice, and headpiece are drenched with AB iridescent silver Swarovski crystals. They sparkle and change color from different angles. There are two larger black crystals in the headpiece that mimic a dragonfly’s eyes. She has a long soft hand tinted mohair pony tail.
This piece is SOLD!
Posted on | March 18, 2013 | No Comments
Sitting at my sculpting table last week, I realized I was surrounded by more polymer clay leaves than I had a pile of in my back yard. After time spent of mixing clay, imprinting leaves, and curing them I had a pretty substantial array…and yet, no motivation to do anything with them. Uh oh, creative block !!!
When life gets in the way (and head) of an artist, that finely tuned thing we refer to as creativity, muse, or inspiration will often grind to a screeching halt. “Things” had gotten into the way of my “flow” as I like to call it. Family responsibilities, employment woes, you name it, I allowed it all to overwhelm me and each time I sat down to work all I could see were my problems.
Fortunate to have a place to retreat to away from everything, I packed up some clothes, clay, sundry crafty bits, and high tailed it to the mountains of Maine
For two days I sat on the screened porch that overlook the mountains and listened to nothing more than the whisper of wind through the trees and birds who were ever busy at the feeders in the yard. I was an observer to the busy forest life that went on around me as if I were invisible. There are so few places nowadays where you can witness the rhythm of nature uninterrupted like this, and here it’s a magical thing.
Birds tending to their young, deer coming to the lake to drink, the whimsical otter that busily swims back and forth searching for a tasty mussel, the whippoorwill who sings as the last light of day disappears.
Mountain storms blow throw with a fierceness that is scary at times, and the wind howls like a freight train through the forest, and yet if I were not here it would still go on. I am just honored to share the experience, an observer.
I thought about the birds particularly after a fierce mountain storm the other night. All during the day they were at the feeders with their young, back and forth and as the storm approached they slowly disappeared to take shelter. The forest became quiet and as the wind came through, and then the rain, I wondered how they fared. When the storm had passed and the rain subsided slowly, you could hear the symphony start up again and within minutes they were back at the feeders as if it had never rained at all. And I realized that to the birds the storm was an inconvenience, nothing more, and they stayed right on track with what they had been doing before.
So I sat down to my table I have set up here and began to create once again. My muse was back. This time taking it in stride that I’ll run into a metaphoric mountain storm now and then, but maybe this time I’ll view it as an inconvenience and continue down the path I’m traveling in Nature’s stride.
Thanks for visiting!
Posted on | March 16, 2013 | No Comments
I love pastel colors and the weighty feel of certain gemstones. So, while digging around in my box of goodies pulled out these amazing adventurine nuggets that I’ve been saving for a rainy day. On a recent trip to one of my favorite findings manufacturers, Wolfe E Myrow, I also grabbed some gorgeous fire polished Czech beads in a stunning Jonquil color. (some of which I will be adding to my Etsy shop)
I’d debated keeping it for myself or putting into my Etsy shop. I usually post things I’ve created on my Facebook page to show family and friends first. A wonderfully talented polymer clay artist,
Cheri Desiree purchased it shortly after it was posted.
Posted on | February 3, 2013 | No Comments
Winter’s here and tree spirits are slumbering. Here is a quick peek at a dryad as she sleeps in her Maple leaf.keep looking »