Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

I know that seven degrees isn't that cold for some of you, but here it's pretty doggone cold. Cold enough that I had to change out of my pj's and slippers to blog. Now that's cold. Anyway, I did a couple crazy things (art wise, that is) this week.

I combined polymer clay with color copies of my recent ATC's to get some unusual pendants. I like to string a clunky bead on plain black cording for a simple, but funky necklace. If you are trying to showcase your jewelry and not your newest wrinkles, a long black cord draws the eye to the jewelry first. Then after seeing such fun jewelry, folks won't even see any of your self thought imperfections.

The piece on the right is 1.5" x 2". I used aqua, black and white clay and marbled it together. I rolled it out on the largest pasta setting and cut a rectangle slightly larger than the color copy. This way after placing the copy (face up) on the base, I had a border of sorts, on which to place the frame. To make the frame, I cut strips from the same marbled clay,then angled the ends of them like a regular picture frame is and placed them around the image, on the edge of the base clay. After baking this entire thing in the toaster oven for about 15 minutes, I made a matching bail and baked it onto the back. (You must bake the bail before you go on to the next step. You can skip the polymer clay bail, if you are going to drill a hole or glue on a bail.) I placed the framed piece on a small jar lid -to keep it level, because of the bail on the back- and put a small spoonful of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) granules into the opening of the frame. You may have to very gently brush away any stray granules, then carefully place back in the oven at 250 degrees until the UTEE melts and takes on the appearance of glass in a frame.

The image took on quite a bit of the aqua color of the clay after the UTEE melted, so for the piece on the left, I made sure to put a piece of white clay where the image would lay. Also for this piece, I made it more free form without using the pasta machine, I also made small balls from the clay and placed them next to the image to draw your eye to the center of the piece.

This last one is a much simpler design, I took a previously baked polymer clay pendant, turned it over and painted an edge of green to match her eyes. I used the pendant as a guide to cut the color copy to size. I think I used YES paste to glue down the image. Since even previously made polymer clay pieces can be re-baked, I took liquid clay and made little dots around the image and popped her back in the oven for about 10 minutes. After it cooled completely, I painted the dots gold, and when they were dry, I added some black paint to these dots of clay. Sort of like a frame, huh? Cute and it's reversible.

I suppose you know by now, that I like to use "frames" to direct the eye. I call it framing, but that's probably not the actual term. I just like to keep certain parts of my art contained, so you see the main image first, then you step out of the frame and look at the rest. That's why we put a split rail fence around our house after fixing it up, I felt like it was a work of art that needed a frame.

Anyway, here is the other thing I worked on this week. You may remember that I did a drawing of a bird in a cage earlier this month. That got me to thinking that I wanted to do a bird in a cage in polymer clay.

This was the first one, and I liked it pretty well.

This next one is a bit more elaborate and I changed my cage some. I learned several other things when doing this technique. The bird is completely encased in the cage with no way out. If anyone is interested, I will make some more and show you step by step how this is done.

I do want to mention that we found out yesterday, that DH, (Darling Husband) has a hiatal hernia and gallstones and will be probably be speaking to a surgeon. He wants to research alternatives to surgery, so we will can stay informed as to all our options. Any thoughts?

I guess that's all for now, so take care and brrrr...go get something warm to drink.


Angela Recada said...

Those pendants are absolutely gorgeous! I never would have thought to add a paper image, since I would have assumed it would burn in the toaster oven. What a great idea. I realy like the colors you used, too.

Did you also use the toaster oven for the bird cages? Or are they too large?

Warm wishes from the frozen Midwest!

Angela Recada said...

Oops, forgot to add that I'll also keep your husband in my prayers.

Crafty Gal Linda said...

It goes without saying that your pendants are spectacular. You are so talented.
Regarding your dh, sorry to hear about the health issues. I have been seeing ads on t.v. about a technique called "cyber knife". It's something to possibly check out. Oh and Susan let you hubby know I am going to probably be changing my music up in the next couple of days. As him if he's heard of Tommy Bolin. Take care!

Countryfolk Keepsakes~Peanut said...

I love all your pieces especially the lil' birdie in the cage!
I do hope your hubs finds an alternative to surgery. I will also lift him up in prayer. :> )

Funky Art Queen said...

I really love your pendants but I particularly love that first birdcage with the heart inside. They are lovely.

Anonymous said...

Stay warm! (I sympathize with you!!!). You are one very busy person, it's a good way to alleviate the coldness and the dark days.
Tell your husband that mine had hernia surgery a few years ago, it was really quick! Just remember that afterward he should not pick up heavy things....etc. etc.

Amy Sullivan said...

~I love that last bird in a cage~
It would look very cool hanging in my kitchen window~ next to my sun catchers~

Flor Larios Art said...

Cool pendants! I have some clay leftovers after I made a doll and I was thinking of making some pendants but did not know how to... so thank you so much for the tips.