I’m back after a long hiatus where I spent way too long with my nose buried in textbooks.
With the Florida RennFest around the corner I wanted to attempt to make some Steampunk themed cosplay items for the Time Travelers weekend. After a quick search on YouTube I found a great tutorial by Lost Wax. I also visited his site and proceeded to purchase every steampunk pattern he had because they were amazing!
Having never worked with craft foam to this degree, it took me a few attempts to get the hang of it. I think however the final products are “cosplay” quality and should be good enough for a day at the fair. I used acrylic paints to get a faux leather effect and the polymer clay components are the octopus and goggle lenses. Not a bad come back project I think.
So I have actually been working with clay quite a lot over the last few weeks but I have been too busy to blog or post on any social media.
This will be my catch up post, starting with the big project for my son’s 13th birthday. He loves the cartoon Gravity Falls which is on Disney XD. The show takes place in Oregon where two kids spend summer vacation helping their great uncle run a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. I decided to make the building to go along with the plastic characters I purchased online for his birthday cake.
I was happy with how it turned out, but it was definitely a challenge.
The next birthday project was for my sweet little 9 year old cousin who loves penguins. I made her a penguin sculpture. The penguin holds a gift box that contains little penguin earrings. She loved them. I was very happy!
The last thing I’ll share is a little gray bat I made for a monthly challenge on My Clay Fantasy. The August challenge was “wings” and since Halloween was coming up I decided to make a little bat. I was thrilled when I was selected as the winner.
I recently moved and it seemed like forever before I was unpacked and organized enough to get back to my clay. I received my list for the PCA Retreat monthly swap just at the right time to motivate me to get those last boxes sorted.
This month we were tasked with making inchies that incorporated color and geometry. I’ll admit that the concept of an inchie is was new to me. After a quick Google search I determined it was exactly as it sounded.
Colorful is a bit of a challenge for me, as I prefer earthiness and my clay work lately has been steampunk. The phrase colorful geometry kept bringing Piet Mondrian’s abstract work to mind, so I decided to use it for my inspiration.
These tiles were done with Kato clay and covered with Modge Podge Dimensional Glue
One of the great things about being a part of different art groups and participating in challenges is the amazing wealth of resources that are shared. This week I combined two great tutorials, Rugged Beauty Art Beads class with Marlene Brady from Polymer Clay Adventure Retreat and Polymer Clay Faux Patina Vintage Keys and Feathers Necklace by Ilsya and Kira at Polymer Clay TV to create a vintage style necklace.
While I’m not completely satisfied with the way it turned out, the process itself was a great learning experience and my head is filled with wonderful ideas for future projects using techniques from each tutorial, and isn’t that the whole point?
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Continuing to work with alcohol inks and one thing I have definitely learned is that I will need gloves and a clear work space. I am much too clumsy and had my hands dyed a lovely shade of blue this weekend. Thankfully I had plenty of Clorox wipes on hand and while they aren’t the most gentle thing to use on your hands, they are effective for removing those stains.
I used the blue and green from the Ranger Adirondack Brights on a white Premo tile I had baked. Originally I created a Zentangle with micron pens, but in the process of trying to add color I smudged it. So I sanded it down and decided to cover what I couldn’t sand off with the alcohol inks. Once the tile was “inked” I decided that it had a deep sea vibe to it and thought that an octopus bail would be cool. I went with it, and this was the result.
I am seven months late, but I have accepted Kater’s Acres 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge. For the remainder of the year I will commit to creating a weekly project in which I learn a new technique and try new products.
This week I used my 50% off coupon at Michael’s to buy some alcohol inks and spend all weekend experimenting. It was a messy endeavor and I certainly need more practice.
I also found a great tutorial for Faux Rusted Metal by ArtisTerra Studio. My luck was better with this and I created a neat little pendant.
Of course I had to add some gears to make it a bit steampunk.
Combining two of my favorite things by creating tangles with polymer clay. I turned one of the tiles into a pendant. I’m not sure yet what I will do with the other two.
The July challenge for my Art Abandonment group was to create something for a person who was shrinking. I could have cheated and used the little flip flops from the my previous swap, but that wouldn’t be challenging myself! So instead I thought a tiny coffee cup would be great to abandon at a coffee shop. If I were shrinking I would certainly still need my coffee!
I’ve created a tutorial and published it to my YouTube Channel:
Materials and Tools Used*
Sculpey Premo Premium Polymer Clay burnt umber 2 oz.
Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay 2 Ounces-White Translucent
Polyform ALSB02 Sculpey Transparent Liquid, 2-Ounce
Sculpey 5-In-1 Tool
Polyform Sculpey Super Slicer
Polyform AMM1-1020 6-Piece Premo Graduated Cutter Set, Circle
Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Machine
*These are affiliate links. You can find most of the items at your local craft stores.
One of the things I love about the PCA Virtual Retreat is the monthly swaps. June’s swap was itty bitty flip flops! I’ve never made them before and it was a little bit of a challenge for me to get my flops consistently the same shape. However I had what Bob Ross calls a “happy accident” and bent one of my oval cutters. Since it was already bent I decided to shape it into a shoe shape. I see many more flip flops in my future.
The other happy accident was the discovery that one of my clay tools has a textured grip which had a great pattern and texture for the soles of the flip flops.
Overall I had a lot of fun and learned a lot from this month’s swap. I find that participating in swaps and being in groups like Art Abandonment, challenges and motivates me to create. Every project I do is a learning experience. This is something that I try to express to my son when he is frustrated with his progress at art or music. Each time you create you are improving, every mistake you make is a learning opportunity and no matter how experienced you become, there is always something more you can do to perfect your work.
I follow so many polymer clay artists through social media and I am amazed by the talent. Sometimes it is honestly overwhelming and makes me feel like such an amateur. When this happens, I follow the same advice that I give my son. I look at my past work and I compare it to my present work. I see how far I have come and it makes me confident on how far I can go.