Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let's all have a big heart...

Well, it is not quite Valentine's Day, but I thought I would do my part to get us in the mood for the upcoming holiday. I have been collecting heart shaped objects for a long time and didn't realize it, until one day it just dawned on me, "wow, I have lots of hearts". So I thought I would dig some of them out and see what I could come up with. I probably have lots more than this, but it's a start.

This first photo is what I think I will use as a banner for the next several weeks. This shot includes polymer clay hearts that I have made, heart shaped pearls strung on elastic for a super easy bracelet, a large heart shaped wooden bead...just to name a few. If you need somewhere to store your hearts until the big day, use a hand painted, heart shaped box.

Clicking on the photos will give you a up close view

Here is one of the hearts that I did this weekend. I love jewelry that has some heft to it, so this polymer clay piece really fits the bill. The front is two layers on one side. That left room for my watch face and made extra crevices for holding paint for an aged look. I did my usual texturing with whatever tool is within reach on my work table. The designs for the white strips of clay are based on the coiling technique that we use in wire work. My hubby likes the little red heart I made for the center of the watch.

You may know that after baking a piece, I like to use dark paint to fill in the texture spots and lines and then when it has dried I sand off some of the paint with automobile wet/dry sandpaper. All the books say you should start out with the heavier grit paper when sanding polymer clay pieces to prepare for buffing, but I have found that isn't really necessary when sanding off paint. I go directly to a fine grit paper, say 400 or 1000, and sand at my sink and use a repurposed bowl filled with water. Since you are actually only sanding paint and not the clay, it is not really necessary to use a strainer for this process. The sanding process helped age the watch, also, so that was a plus.

I often forget to show the back of a piece, so this shows one of my favorite ways to make a bail, or clay ring that will be large enough to hold the cording you choose.

I tend to work a lot looser in clay, and don't strive for perfection. For this bail, I simply rolled out a strip of matching clay and cut it to size with a Nublade. (These blades are great for straight line cutting with one press into the clay, they are now made for clay artists, but their origin is that of a laboratory tissue blade. Note, when new they are extremely sharp, beware!)

After cutting a strip of clay I place one end of the strip on the back of the cured piece, then form a loop that will be large enough to accommodate the cord that you will be using and use a small tool to press the other end onto the piece. If desired, you can place a wooden dowel of sorts (tooth pick, end of paint brush, skewer) through the loop to make sure it does not collapse on itself. I then rebake the entire piece (with dowel in place) for an additional ten minutes. This step can be done after you age the piece or before, it is up to you.

Well, that's all for today. I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes for my hubby. After extensive research, he has decided not to have surgery, but to take an alternate, more holistic route for his gallstones. If it is as effective as he thinks it will be, it should do the trick. Thanks again for all your love and prayers.

Have a great day and enjoy the rest of your week


Crafty Gal Linda said...

I really like the red pendant with the watch face. So cute and so are the others. :)

Kims Art said...

I love hearts! I really love this piece.

Suzie said...

What great hearts you should do a valentines day gievawya

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ooh...it's really pretty.
You've got a great collection. I think the one you made is my favorite.