Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PCAGOE challenge for July - Mixed Media

The PCAGOE challenge for July is posted. Another fun group of work, vote and you will have the opportunity to win a gift certificate from one of the many sponsoring shops.

Click here to go to the challenge.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE): July Challenge "Mixed Media"

Carnival Mask

I love masks and tribal/totem designs so I decided to try my hand at a small mask in that style for this challenge. Materials include a cardboard mask base, acrylic paint, polymer clay, glitter glue and 20 gauge craft wire.  

Sketch of my idea, originally I thought I would extend the nose more and add three layers of "feathers" at the top.  Well that didn't happen.  It turned out to be very difficult to keep the shape of the polymer clay while curing, when it wasn't supported by the mask base.

Starting with a basic cardboard mask from the craft store, I painted it on both sides with Brass Pearl acrylic paint. I liked it already!

Starting the design.  I used wasabi, green pearl, black and purple to start.  The larger wasabi frame was made using a half-round template in the extruder. the others a smaller full-round.  I used liquid transclucent polymer clay to hold the pieces in place. You can see the template for the "feathers", of which only two layers were used.

First curing on fiberfill.  I decided, on the fly, to add the circles to the "feathers".  They were just too plain as large areas of solid color.  

Next I finished the nose design and added the ties. I covered the knots of the ties with circles of wasabi polymer clay. In the oven for the final cure.  

I found yellow and purple glitter glue in one of those sales bins at Michael's and thought it might be handy for something.  Well, this was it.  I used the yellow on the wasabi areas, and the purple on the purple.  Added some nice bling!

Lastly I made the antennae from 20 gauge craft wire.  The spiral came out too wonky so it went in the trash. I decided to use a polymer clay tear drop instead to cover the ends of the wires. 

The results.  This was a lot of fun, and I am encouraged to do more.  

The back, I always like to see the back.

Would love to hear your comments.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing my story.

Yippee! I won!

I am thrilled and extremely honored to have taken first place in both the public and member votes.  Everyone did such an incredible job, the bar keeps getting higher and higher.

Thanks to my PCAGOE team for helping me grow and challenge myself, and thanks to all of the voters.


 Next month is mixed media with at least 50% polymer clay.  Working on a piece now.  Fun!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

PCAGOE June challenge piece - Art Deco faux stained glass trinket box

Being an Art Deco junkie I was really excited about the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) challenge this month with the theme of Art Deco/Art Nouveau.  Since I started making my nightlights, I had a vision for a faux stained glass box for this challenge.

After doing a little research on art deco colors, I decided on the colors for the translucent "glass" sections by using the ink colors celery, eggplant, butterscotch and pebble.  For the circles I went with my own color scheme since I wanted splashes of bright colors: juniper, watermelon, sail boat blue, and more butterscotch ( a luscious color).

To make the circles, I first made the frames by putting extruded clay around cookie cutters and curing.  When cool enough, I filled the frames with liquid translucent pc and mixed with alcohol ink (I used a toothpick to mix). Then I gave it a bit of time to level out even (which it will do on its own) and then cure.

There is that luscious butterscotch!  Sometimes the liquid clay would ooze under the frame. If that happened, I simply trimmed the ooze with a razor blade after curing.  If you look closely at the blue one, you can see where it has been trimmed.  

Next I blended the translucent clay with the inks, so that I had plenty of each color. I also filled two extruders with black Premo! clay so I had plenty of material ready for framing.  Using some of my sketches as guidelines I cut out shapes and started with the four sides.  

Yes, I know, neat I am not.  

Unfortunately, I don't have any more photos of the construction process.  Frustration won out. The four sides took a loooong time, and I changed patterns over and over, sometimes even cutting out and replacing cured sections. 

When the four sides were completed I constructed and cured the bottom.  Again agonizing over pattern layout. Now I had four sides and a bottom, but nothing connected.  I had no idea what to do next, and could not find anything to use as a form to construct and support the box.  Very bad planning, extremely bad.  

I can't remember how many things I tried, but there were many that failed miserably as I couldn't keep the sides straight.  Finally my solution was to extrude large diameter, and large flat sections of black clay and use it as the binding material.  

The corners are held in place by round strips on the outside and flat strips on the inside.  The sides are held to the bottom by large round strips on both sides of the side.  All this had to be put in place using liquid clay to hold the uncured clay securely to the cured clay.  I was able to use a Fat Daddios square cutter inside the box to hold the sides upright while curing, wasn't a great fit but good enough. 

The results:

It is about 4" square and 2" high. 

A lot of hard knocks along the way, a lot of swearing, a little wine, but most importantly a lot of learning.  The nightlights seem like a walk in the park now! 

Apple Rose Cottage

How exciting, my nightlights are for sale in this charming little place in Gold Hill, Oregon. Barbara, the wonderful owner of Apple Rose Cottage has an "etsy gallery" room where members of the Rogue Valley etsy group can offer their wares. Check out her facebook page at Apple Rose Cottage.  Stop by if you are in the area, but allow lots of time, she has so much fun stuff!

This is my collection there so far: