The hamsa swap

To start of the week, here are the hamsas I made for the February Polymer Clay Adventure swap. I’m happy to say they reached their destination safe and sound! I made a peacock based on this super fun tutorial from Christi Friesen and paired it with a silkscreened one that has a peacock feather pattern. I’m so in love with this silkscreen from Tonja’s Treasures. I have some ideas brewing for projects that will incorporate these silkscreens.

Scupted peacock hamsa Silkscreened peacock hamsa  Translucent peacock hamsa 

Peacock themed hamsas

The elephant head was molded based on this excellent journal cover tutorial and was paired with a keychain that had a bunch of smaller silkscreened hamsas.

Sculpted elephant hamsa Hamsa keychain

Elephant hamsa and mini hamsa keychain

Finally, I really wanted to do a phoenix for the third one, but couldn’t get the shape of the bird to look right. And this one was to go to Katie of KatersAcres, who’s an AMAZING sculptor (and all round artist really). So I abandoned the attempt at sculpting and went with a millifeori style hamsa, along with a parrot patterned silkscreen.

Millifeori hamsa Parrot silkscreened hamsa

Millifeori and silkscreened hamsa

All in all sculpting was fun! I still need precise instructions to follow; my experiments with the phoenix sadly proved that I’m not a natural sculptor. But it was still a lot more fun that I’d thought. I’ll definitely be doing more of that. Also, here are the lovely pieces I received in the hamsa swap!

Hamsas I received in the swap

Lovely hamsas I received

I spent the last couple of weeks scrambling to finish up some March swap pieces. I talked about butterflies last week, here’s a GIANT faux cloisonne butterfly. While I liked how it turned out, it’s far too large to be used as anything but a wall hanging! I tried coming up with a smaller version, but apparently I just can’t draw small! So I shelved the idea and went with a bunch of other pieces including a butterfly wing cane, faux mosaic and a fair attempt at soutache. No pictures yet, since I just mailed the package out today. So tune in next week if you’re curious!

Faux cloisonne butterfly

Faux cloisonne butterfly

I’m also planning my first ever fairy door for the second Parker’s clay tribe challenge. This time around, only one entry is allowed per person, so I spent some time thinking about different designs. After some research on different elaborate doors, I have a design sketched out and some test prototype pieces. I’m not going to give away anything else, except that this peacock cane will contribute heavily to the door!

Feather canes

Feather canes

Also in the works, some more feather canes for my owl swap. I’m planning on some sculpted owl pendants, so I have several more canes to make and reduce. This is a three for three swap, similar to the hamsas, so I need to work on swaps for three people. I had a plan in place, and was making progress nicely. But of course now that I’m close to the deadline for finishing them, I’m not happy with just one technique or one style! The good news is I’m close to finished with my initial plan, so I should have something to mail of next week! But till we get there, I’m off to go make about a billion skinner blend sheets!

Catching up

Can we pretend I didn’t miss a week or two here?! I finally got back to clay last week, but as usual was working on bits and pieces of everything, so no complete piece for last week. This week, I was all set to make something when I realized I’d signed up for a Hamsa swap a long time back. Now this swap was a bit different in that we were given the theme last month but were given our partners only this week. I suppose the idea is that you work away at your swap pieces and have them ready to mail the minute you get your partners.

I usually like to see if I can detect any details about my swap partners so I can try and make something they might like. So I was happily cooling my heels till my partners were assigned. But the others were a lot smarter than me and had their swaps in the mail within a day of getting the assignments! Eep! So I dashed off a quick apology email about the delay in my pieces and sat about making me some hamsas.

I don’t want to give away the pieces that I made yet, I like it to be a (hopefully good!) surprise for my swap buddies! So I’m not going to show the pieces I actually will mail next week. But here are some “test” hamsas I made. The zendoodle one was especially fun! I just baked a plain white piece, picked up a pen and started doodling! Of course as these things are wont to go, I had like a million designs swirling in my brain right upto the moment I picked up the pen! In a moment of panic, I quickly went to my library website and checked out an ebook on zendoodle! That sparked some ideas!

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Zendoodle hamsa and silkscreened hamsas

I received a HUGE bunch of silkscreens from Tonja over the last month and I was dying to use them! So I went back to my favorite opulent tapestry tutorial and made some opulent hamsas! I used translucent clay and wanted to maintain the see through property so I made them fairly thin. To add some strength, I mixed up some 2 part resin and used that to coat the pieces. Here’s a couple of extras from the batch! The largest one was a bit of an experiment with the colors, and turned out much better than I hoped! I couldn’t bear to part with that one! Look at how pretty it looks with light shining through!

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Silkscreened multi-hued hamsa

To make up for all the pieces I’ve just hinted about and not shown yet, here are a big bunch of masks I made for a mask challenge hosted by Katie of KatersAcres. I didn’t win, but had a lot of fun with this! A lot of these are more rushed than I’d like, since I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend on them. I managed to make one with cane slices added on: I LOVE that leaf cane! While rifling about my supplies cupboard, I found a bunch of stones meant for fabric decorations. Turns out, it works great with polymer clay. And of course I had to make some silkscreened ones!

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Masks made for the challenge

I also finally got to use some of the Best Flexible Molds I had lying around in my cupboard for a long time. I LOVE the brown tribal mask one!! That will be made into a keychain for me. The rest of the little ones have magnets snapped on them and some of them have a new home already (yes, alright I gave them to my mom!).

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Mini masks

By next week, my swap partners should’ve hopefully received their packages in one piece, so I can show them off here. I tried my hand at a little sculpting for once, so I’m a bit nervous about it all. In the meantime I’m going to start working on some butterflies for the next swap I’m participating in. I’d like to try some faux cloisonne and stained glass techniques, I think that’d go nicely with the butterfly theme. But I’ll put together some alternate ideas in case that doesn’t work!