Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hurray For The Red, White And Blue!

The 4th of July is almost here, I can't believe it's almost July already.  The nation's Independence Day is next Thursday and as everyone gets ready for their 4th cookouts, parades and fireworks, I thought I'd show off some of the patriotic items from the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild  on Art Fire.

First up is this wonderful Euro Style Large Hole Floral Bead by Blue Morning Expressions .  This artist makes amazing beads from polymer clay.
Next up is this Chunky Red, White and Blue Bracelet by Drunken Mimes that will get you in the patriotic spirit.
From one of the masters of polymer clay canes, this Red, White and Blue Star Quilt Cane by Art Makers Worlds .
And for my last patriotic pick, Americana Red, White and Blue Pendant by Sharp Art By Dawna
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe $ of July and try not to eat too much!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Everything's In Black And White

The blog roll topic from The Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild on Art Fire  is black and white.  This is one of my favorite color combinations.  Black against a stark white background is eye catching and dramatic.  Designers of clothing and home decor always seem to include this color combo in their collections.

Working with black and white polymer clay can be difficult.  The black wants to smear on the white and the white wants to infiltrate the black,  I've chosen a few pieces from Smooshers who seem to have beat the two colors into submission and created pieces  that use this wonderful combination.

This Oreo Cupcake Necklace from Black Dog Jewelry  is whimsical and fun.  I love the way the "frosting" swirls on top of the cupcake.

The Black and White Psychedelic Shawl Pin by Cynthia Blanton   takes an ancient piece of jewelry and brings it into the 21st  century.

These Handmade Polymer clay Beads by Prescence  have an added touch of silver that, in a way, remind me of liquid mercury.

The Celtic Inspired Cuff Bracelet by Sharp Art By Dawna  is both dramatic and striking.  The red inner part of the cuff sets off the black and white design wonderfully.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birds, Bugs And Lizards, Oh My!

I have a fascination with birds, bugs and lizards.    I live in Central New England, in a town that is not too far from a largish city but you would be amazed at the number of fauna that resides in my neighborhood. 

We have the ever present coyotes.  There is a family of skunks, a mama and approximately 8 babies,  living nearby.  There are foxes and rabbits and even a fisher cat in my area.  The other day I disturbed a garter snake with a half swallowed toad in its mouth.  I have hawks for neighbors and crows that keep up a raucous chorus in the woods behind my house.  Bald eagles nest Within 10 miles of my home.    And salamanders live under the rocks next to the brook which runs next to my house.  Toads and frogs can often be spotted hopping across my lawn, especially when I'm out mowing the grass.

I get to watch Nature's creatures on a daily basis, so it's no wonder that I picked some of these creatures as the topic for this week's Polymer Clay Smooshers    blog roll topic.

The Smooshers are a guild of talented  artists on Art Fire.  Their works include jewelry, home decor and sculptures.  I've chosen a few pieces from their shops to feature having to do with our current topic.

These Butterfly Focal Beads from Kimis-From-The-Heart  are wonderfully intricate, and beautiful to boot.
The Worry Worms Desk Ornament by Creation In Clay  will share the burden of your worries while, at the same time, making you smile.
Next from TTE Designs Rustic Woodland Dragonfly Pendant and Earring Set  is a little bit of heavenly nature.

This Graduate Owl Ornament from Amy Crawley  would be the perfect gift in this graduation season.

The Bird Tile Earrings by Amazing Designs are a true work of art.  
I had to add these Military Macaw Earrings from Wyvern Daesigns  because they are one of my  favorite creations in my shop.
While I could only find one lizard made from polymer clay in my search through the Smooshers shops , I think this item is one of my favorite depictions of lizards that I've seen.  Blue and Yellow Beaded Lizards by Creative Critters

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mica Shift Technique In Polymer Clay

Mica shift in polymer clay is a technique which creates a ghost image in the clay after stamping. 

Metallic or pearl clay is run through the thickest setting on your pasta machine to align all the mica particles in the clay.  Once that is done, you stamp the clay with a deeply carved stamp.  Using a tissue blade or clay knife,  the raised part of the clay is sliced away one thin slice at a time.  When all the excess clay has been sliced away (If you've done it right), a ghost image of the stamp is left in the totally smooth clay.

The piece is then baked at the manufacturer's directions.  When the clay is cooled, it can be sealed using a clay sealer, or my favorite method, it can be sanded with ever increasing grits of wet/dry sandpaper, then buffed to a gorgeous sheen.   Sanding and buffing these pieces adds depth and luster to the ghost image.

I took some pictures when I was making my latest piece.  I started with white pearl clay and added some spring green mica powder to it to create the look I wanted.  Then I started working on the piece.  The stamp I used was one from Lisa Pavelka.  Her clay stamps are wonderful for this technique because they are nice and deep and flexible.

Raw clay after being stamped with paisley stamp

Side view to show depth of stamp
After all the excess clay has been removed

Piece has been baked
After sanding and buffing.  The ghost image is still visible but the piece is completely smooth.

This week's Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild's blog roll is the Mica shift Technique.  Here are some examples of the mica shift pieces from those talented artists.

And lastly, Swirly Green and Gold Earrings by Drunken Mimes

This is a wonderful technique and, if done right, leads to some beautiful pieces.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Meddle Not In The Affairs Of Dragons....

That quote is the first part of a bumper sticker I saw some time ago.  The rest is "For you are crunchy and good with ketchup."  Every time I think of this quote, it makes me smile.  It is definitely something a dragon would say.

I am in love with dragons.  I have a dragon mailbox base from DesignToscano. 
I have other indoor and outdoor dragons and gargoyles.  I have a dragon in flight that I made from muslin then painted, complete with veined wings and long tail. Even the name of my on line shop, Wyvern Designs, reflects my love of dragons.

So, it should come as no surprise that when I went to make a collection on Art Fire this morning I picked dragons as my subject.

The collection can be viewed by clicking this link: Art Fire Collection

Although, I love all my choices, these are some of my favorites!

Bat Earred Sap Dragon by Eire Wolf 

Baby Shower Invitation by Jojo Larue

Baby Dragon Pendant by Feel-Good-Treasures