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!

PC challenge 2016 Week 3: Organic grungy pods

I have something different to show this week. I finally got around to sculpting some flowers, following Doreen Gay Kassel’s totally fun tutorial. I’m not a sculptor by any standard; I can’t even roll an decent tube of clay! So I’m pretty pleased by how these turned out. I’ll be trying some more variations.

Now I liked how the sculpting went, and initial antiquing went well too. But somewhere towards the end (of course towards the end!!), my coloring process went awry and I ended up with rather muddy colors rather than the bright and pleasing colors that Doreen creates. I’m not sure where I went wrong exactly… But I still like the effect, so I’m labelling these grungy and pretending that the effect is exactly what I was aiming for (ignore the rest of this paragraph, okay)!

Organic grungy pods

Sculpted podsFull view of organic pods

Grungy organic pods

The flowers will be placed in a cleaned up frappuccino bottle on my work desk. I spent a bit of time looking for a different vase for it, but ended up sticking with the bottle. I really like the shape of this bottle, it seems to be made for holding flowers. Here you see it sitting on my red center table (how cool would it be if my work desk was this color?!). I hadn’t planned on doing anything special with the bottle, but I think I might add some simple dots at the base to dress it up a bit.

Grungy pods in recycled vase

Organic flower pods in a vase

I was scrambling a bit to do something about the recycling piece of my challenge, and then I found a couple of chunky stud earrings I’d actually made for the first week of the challenge! But I dumped a giant tile over it and couldn’t find them in time to photograph them. When I lifted the tile to use it for something else, I found the poor things with the earring posts snapped off because of the weight of the tile! So I added some more posts, which gave me a chance to try out Liquid Fusion glue. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, I’ll see how it holds up. It’s also a good lesson to keep my table cleaner!

Chunky gemstone earrings

Chunky stud earrings

I had the day off on this Monday for Martin Luther King day, and had a very productive weekend, claywise. I have a bunch of cane builder back issues that have been on my to-do list forever. I spent some time giving the mandala cane a try. It is not a forgiving cane at all! But thanks to Meg’s careful instruction, I used less than 2 oz of clay in total. Of course I have a very small cane to show for it, but given that it’s not as perfect as I’d like, that’s a very good thing. Having tried this cane two times now, I can see where I’m going wrong and how I can improve. I dug out a slice from my first try to show what I mean!

Mandala canes P1020182

Mandala cane (left); 3D canes (right)

I also made some simpler canes for a project I have in mind (more on that later, I’m not sure how it’ll work out). There are two 3D canes in different color ways and one sweet cane (sweet as in the shape of a sweet, not as in look how sweet this cane is)! I really love the candy one. I have zero ideas on what to use it for! It doesn’t really lend itself to millefiori style pieces. Maybe some wee fridge magnets? Still glad I made it though, just looking at it cheers me up! Maybe I can cover a jar with clay and add some slices of this to make a candy jar… Ok clearly I have SOME ideas on how to use it! 🙂

Candy cane Candy cane

Sweet canes

The rest of this week will be catching up on some sanding and finishing, and trying out a more complex cane. Tune in next week for more details!