Fall is here!

It probably feels like I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth after I said I was off for a week long clay workshop. I kinda feel that way too. Life happened, adulting got in the way and this blog and clay in general really had to take a back seat for a while. But fear not, I still managed a few things here n there.

I made a few leaf suncatchers, similar to the butterflies. These are gracing my window at work. They seemed really big and many on my work surface at home but look lost on my window!! I think I need to add some more leaves, and maybe some larger ones.

Leaf window clings Window clings

Polymer clay suncatcher leaves

I also found time to make some wee carved pumpkins to sit on my monitors. They are perched precariously secured by a bit of poster tack. I’d planned to make a whole bunch of these, inspired by Jennifer Sorensen  from Wishing Well Workshop, but only got around to these five.

Mini carved pumpkins

Polymer clay mini carved pumpkins

I’m glad I made at least this though. I feel like I need to have more clay related things surrounding me at work, since I spend so much time there. I’ve been meaning to make a pen holder forever (my pens are stored in a paper cup right now. Sad, I know). I bought the galaxy tutorial from KatersAcres recently and I think that will make a nice pen stand. Hopefully I’ll have a little time to try it out soon.

Mica leaf

Polymer clay mica leaf

Let me leave you with this mica colored leaf I made. Again, I’d planned to make a bunch of these and stick them in a vase, but the interesting leaves I brought home kept drying up before I got around to them!

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Tube beads and faux ceramic

I don’t have much to share here. Most of my time recently has been split between challenges at work and working on finishing up a Japanese themed swap that I was supposed to send out last month! But I’ve been in touch with my swap partner and we’re both travelling this month. So we decided to mail our pieces in a week or so. She suggested doing a “sync-ship” so we’ll both get our packages around the same time. And of course the minute the deadline moved, I pushed away the pieces I’d been working on energetically and went off on a clay tangent!

Even with all that, I have finally finished a few different things. I still need to do some finishing, but that shouldn’t take too long (I hope!). It’s funny, at first I had no idea what to make for the challenge. And then slowly I found about four different tutorials for Japanese related things that I already had and ideas started flowing. I didn’t have enough time to implement my original idea, which was to make a tiny Japanese garden or Zen garden. But I still have that at the back of my mind and will be making one when I have a moment. I think a wee Zen garden will be great on my table at office.

There are a few other techniques I tried as well. I bought the Cosmic Ceramic tutorial set from Iris Mishly a while back and have been playing with it on and off whenever I find a scrap of white clay that I’m too bored to reshelve. I haven’t nailed down the realistic finish yet (have you seen these gorgeous pieces from Christi Uliczny?! I think this one is my favorite). But I’m having a total ball with these. I’m finally putting all the PanPastels I have to good use, as well as various assorted stamps. I’m in the process of organizing some of my craft supplies and I keep uncovering stamps I forgot I owned!

Faux ceramic beads

Polymer clay faux ceramic pieces

Another artist I’ve been following a lot lately is Ludmila Bakulina. She has a wonderful YouTube channel with lots of tutorials and tips. The one that got my juices flowing was a video she did recently using texture sheets and stamps with clay. What piqued my interest was that she showed a bunch of CoolTools textures that I’ve had trouble with, because they have a very fine texture. And boy does her technique work like a charm!! Here are a set of hollow tube beads I made with various small texture sheets. Also, a earring pair sitting on top of the fine line texture sheet I used for them. Even with the crazy close-up, you can barely see the texture. I have NEVER gotten a clean impression with this one by just pressing the stamp into clay. But rolling the clay onto the stamp created a wonderful raised pattern, nicely highlighted with Gilders paste.

Hollow textured tube beads Fine texture earrings

Textured tube beads and textured earring pair

In other exciting news, I’m finally off to Carol Simmons’s master cane workshop this week! My bags are packed, my supplies are in and I’m all ready to learn buckets of things! I spent some time making a few color keys in preparation for this workshop which was quite insightful. I never realized the lovely shades of green between Cobalt Blue and Zinc Yellow. I will be making many more of these scales once I get back and start trying to mix more custom colors of my own.

Polymer Clay Color Keys

Polymer clay color keys