Friday, March 28, 2008

A few more...

I'm still experimenting with different colors of powders and paints. One thing I have noticed is that so far, I like a black base for these waaaay better than any other color I've tried so far (turquoise, gold and copper).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Eggs

It's a shame that *real* eggs are so expensive these days. How about coloring some 'virtual' Easter Eggs with your digital images? I tried one after I saw Tamara's egg on flickr.

Fun stuff :o)
Happy Easter!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The ACRE show in Las Vegas

I will be attending the wholesale show in April as a visiting artist, and will get to see work up close and personal of some extremely talented polymer clay artists... Judy Belcher, Judy Dunn, Sandra MacCaw, Meisha Barbee and Lindly Haunani to name a few. I'm so excited to be able to meet them!

Cynthia Tinapple blogs about ACRE and the artists on her very popular Polymer Clay Daily.

Speaking of Cynthia, she rarely blogs about her own polymer clay art (she's too busy promoting the rest of us!), but here she shows us an incredible piece with polymer clay pebbles inlaid into a wood bowl made by her husband Blair. A wonderful example of what can be done when two artists collaborate.

Read more about the ACRE show and on the NPCG's site...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Timely Topic

I wanted to go back and see how I felt about this issue last year...still the same. Cynthia Tinapple gave me a plug about my "rules" here.

Something else to be aware of...this statement is on the NPCG's website:

"We respect the right of our fellow artists to profit from their creative work and teachings. Polymer clay artists value originality and expertise and respect the unique work of other artists and teachers. When learning a new technique from another artist or teacher, polymer clay artists endeavor to integrate and transform the technique into their personal style, while providing full attribution to the original artist. "

I think we need to bring up the topic again and again, no matter how complex...because it opens our eyes to all sides of the issue and makes us think., which is always a good thing.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I love stuff like this!

I love repeating design and I love color. I'm going to print this out from a Dover book and add it to my Mandala coloring projects :o)

Trends in jewelry...

...tend to favor simpler, cleaner designs. Why, oh why do I have trouble with that concept? My work generally is more complicated and I'm pretty sure that look isn't what jewelry and bead buyers are buying. At least in a set...for a single focal bead, I suppose that can work.

I've decided after examining this set, that the centers of the flowers will be nothing more than single balls of clay impressed with a stylus. I like 5 beads in a set with 5 petals each, graduated in size, but I will re-arrange the petals so that they line up nicely when strung together. 6 petals look too much like a star. And, I don't even think I like more petals in the center anymore as shown in the focal bead. But who knows...I could change my mind tomorrow *g*

I love using the foils and powders, but they seem to take over most of the design. So, there will be no microbeads with foils and no leafing pen. I will save those for the caned and antiqued florals. But I always have trouble when I work keeping the "less is more" theory in mind. Gotta work on that :o)

I'll be attending the ACRE show in Vegas in April to begin investigating wholesale and if it might be good for me. At the very least I will probably join in the next few months...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


they get tossed around a lot in the polymer clay community. Words like pioneer, originator, respect, copyright...

There are so many talented polymer artists...many of whom have been around since the beginning...the pioneers. They have honed their talents and made names for themselves.

What about everyone else? Do we need to attach labels? Are we pioneers? Maybe not, but that doesn't mean we aren't just as viable. Don't we all deserve the same respect as those that came before us?

Just my thoughts for this morning...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We, as artists...

...are meant to explore, to create...for ideas to come from within. But, it's obvious that we will be influenced by other artists whose style we admire. We can't help just *is*.

When I sit down to work, I start with my own ideas...that come to me in my own head. However, it's entirely possible that subconsciously I'm remembering something I've seen somewhere along the way. Something that caught my eye. When I look through pc books in the library or bookstore, usually what I do is flip through and stop on pages that intrigue me. I rarely follow tutorials, it's too hard for me to follow things step by step. I don't even take many classes for that very reason. I don't want to do a project, I want to learn a technique...and when I begin teaching, that's what I want to focus on...the process, not the project. I believe Sarah Shriver addressed this at Synergy. Wish I could have been there.

So, as I work with these florals, I try to remember...what made me start with florals anyway? I think I first saw them in a Judy Belcher book.

When you learn a new technique or a project from an artist or even just realize that you are being influenced by him or her, the right thing to do (for me anyhow) is to then get a grasp on your original idea that came from your head... but carry it out by making it come from your heart. Work from your head only and your work will always be compared to someone else. Work from your heart too and that is *art* and that's where all the fun comes in anyway!

I hope I'm making some kind of sense here, but felt I had something to say. Carry on...get back to your work table now and hold on to that *original* idea you had...and make it work! *g*

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crackling experimentation

With these, I'm doing something I've never done before which I was always quite proud of. I've never used cutters for my floral beads up until now. I've been wanting to experiment with crackling for a while now, and this was really the only way to do it. I bought a few round cutters yesterday and pushed them into oval shapes. I'm still experimenting with different centers. I haven't found one that I totally love yet...

I've been using Daler-Rowney and Liquitex paints, along with inks and perfect pearls. Next, I think I'll try some Jone-Tones Foils and the foils that I got from Emma Ralph a loooong time ago :o)

Anyhow, these on the worktable now are getting ready for the oven. If you'd like to see some finished beads, check out my flickr site.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Best Bead Show in Tucson

Well, looks like I'm going back to Tucson! I was at To Bead True Blue 2 years ago, but didn't make it back last year. The expense was really too much to justify the trip. When I was there, I attended the Best Bead Show among others. I was totally impressed with the show...great parking, wonderful art, friendly vendors and lots of customers. I put my name on the waiting list thinking it would probably be a loooong time before there was an opening.

I received an email from Lewis Wilson an accomplished lampworker (who has been running the show for the past 13 years and is based out of Albuq.) and was told that there just happened to be a couple of spots for next year's February show. You have never seen anyone bolt out of her 'puter chair faster! I grabbed the phone and was happy to hear Lewis' voice after just two rings! What a nice informative and patient with me as I questioned him about which spot would be right for me. So, long story kind of short...I ended up in a smaller room which has great light, wonderful atmosphere among the other vendors (like family is what Wilson said). Grant Diffendaffer just happens to be in that room as well :o)

Hope you can make it...I know it's a long way off, but I was so excited...I just had to spill it!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What is your process as an artist?

For me, I get into a certain style or technique and get totally absorbed with it.

First the good 'ole swirl. Then trans floral and leaf canes with the swirls, inclusions added, caps added. Then Kaleidoscope caning, thanks to a workshop with Sarah Shriver, tile pendants were born. Ooh, how about swirling some k-canes? How about pillow beads with the k-canes? I'm gonna trying capping some pillow beads now. Then came Christi Friesen's dragon book and it was little bits added to Tile Pendants. Then came the Unearthed series. Hey add that to some swirls and caps...then the Necklace that was at Ravensdale 2006.

Of course, all of this doesn't happen in an orderly fashion. I keep going back and forth between techniques and style and before you know it, it all starts to merge together. There's lots more things too, that happened in between these progressions. But I think I'll cover that in another post.

Anyhow, I guess what I've been realizing as I look at my work in years past and especially this past year is that I evolve as much as that style or technique will let me. I think about it constantly..."what else can I do to it? how can I make it different? " I think these questions keep me growing as an artist.

I'm definitely not done with Floral Beads. I think I can do much more, so they are here to stay for a while. But, to illustrate what I mean here are the first ones I made almost exactly one year ago...and here's what they look like today. They've more than doubled in size and I think I'll be using the perfect pearls for a bit longer :o)

What is your process and some of your history with clay?