Thursday, December 25, 2014

Global Warming - Polar Bear sitting on a Hudson Bay blanket

I knew I wanted to do a globe shaped nightlight for the January PCAGOE challenge theme illumination. I have just finished taking Leslie Blackford's ( class at Creative Journey Studios in Buford, GA ( on nightlights - an awesome experience.

Global warming is of great concern to me and I worry about our future generations both two and four legged when it comes to the changes it is causing in our environment.  I decided to do a polar bear on a shrinking sheet of ice to signify what is happening.  The Hudson Bay blanket takes me back to my childhood when there were no such worries.

The first steps were to gather supplies: lots of conditioned Pardo translucent (a haul from Buford!), alcohol inks, a round globe vase and an electric cord with socket for a night light bulb.

The worse part for me in working with alcohol inks is waiting for them to dry.  Another Buford find was this rubber "brush" to apply a thin layer of ink to the clay, faster drying ... a real score for very impatient me!

I ended up not using the butterscotch - it is put away for votives to come.  The other three colors I used to make a skinner blend - yes me a skinner blend which I wrapped around the globe vase.  Forgetting just as I did in Leslie's class that the open part (top) of the vase is the bottom of the nightlight.  Fortunately with the translucent the skinner blend got lost in the curing - so saved there. While wrapping the clay around the globe I pinched and smudged the sheet to different thicknesses to obtain the effect of ice, even leaving the glass show through in places.  I then used various sizes of round cutters to cut pieces out of the "skin" and fill in with lighter blue and clear translucent circles. A close up of the ice:

I added another layer of clear translucent over the darker top area to lighten the look of the ice.   Just under the "drips" of this layer I highlighted with blue alcohol ink to emphasize the clear layer. The base and iceberg (under the blanket) are made from the same clay  mixture as is used on the globe touched with a little white acrylic paint to represent snow.

Now for the polar bear, unfortunately I have no photos of the process of building her (from white !Premo), but just know that I went trough a bit of a struggle here.  Building creatures is way outside my comfort zone. Everything I came up at first was way too cutesy for such a heavy topic.  I kept going until I felt I had more of an arty looking polar bear.

The finished product!  Approximately 7" tall by 5" wide at the globe's widest point.

To access the light bulb, remove the globe and the the socket is exposed.  The clip on the socket seats into the hole in the bottom, and the feet allow for space for the electrical cord.  Turn on and off with the line switch.

More views!

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