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.
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.