So at the start of 2015 I joined in a Polymer Clay Challenge over at Kater's Acres. It's been good to do it. It's my goal to keep it up. I really love my polymer clay. Well we are 14 weeks in and she suggested to the participants to do a recap. I think that's a fabulous idea. One thing I've learned is that I'm ALL OVER the place with this challenge. But for me- it was all about experimenting and finding my strengths and dislikes, etc and most of all, being creative. At the very least I'm re-acquainted with the various clay brands that are out there. So here is my recap. Making the photo collage was a challenge in itself since my previous laptop bit the big one and although I had them all organized- my blog files were the one thing I didn't back up. (I learned that lesson)
Ack.. I think I got all my pics out of order at the end. I can't forget this guy...
This week is just a continuation of last week. I ended up with a nice batch of khaki mud with some Premo and decided to make some beads. I was going to use one of my favorite tutorials from Blue Bottle Tree (rustic beads) but noticed I still had that package of silver leaf on my desk. I wanted to alcohol ink them. So I decided to use that instead. Needless to say- I wish I had stuck to my original plan. It got really messy when I alcohol inked them. Yes- that is expected, but I didn't expect the leafing to start flaking off so soon. I'm unsure if there is a quality difference in leafs... I'm sure there is. I just picked up the Artminds brand from Micheal's. I think I might see if I can procure some of the Renaissance brand leafing and try again. Or perhaps use black clay and apply leafing, then stamp... lots of variables there. I had hoped it would last until I sealed them. Anyhow- I think I learned what NOT to do. It's not a complete failure.
Moving on from that... they just got dumped in a drawer. meh...
I also completed my fairy swap and finished on my little book charms for that...
These are about 1" tall by 3/4" wide.
Lastly, I have to say a little something about the new Sculpey Souffle clay. It's not for everything. The color shifting is horrible. Not as bad as the original Sculpey III, but definitely not that great. I'm rather disenchanted with all of Polyform at the moment. The large block of Premo white I bought for sculpting and painting is absolutely mushy. Yes, I could leach it and make it a bit more firm. But that should be a workaround as a rarity, not the norm. While I can appreciate the fresh clay. Several Premo blocks I have were absolute mush that rivals only the original Sculpey III. I will say one thing about the Souffle, it does firm back up, but then it lacks the true color mixing qualities that Fimo or Kato has. So anyhow- I am left with a bunch of Souffle, that I will begrudgingly use so it doesn't go to waste.
I think each clay has it's purpose, be it complex caning, figure sculpting, jewelry and all that in between, and then further varies from your experience and where you are on the learning curve. But Polyform, in my opinion seems to continually miss the mark on theirs. I have also been experimenting with Fimo Soft(which conditions beautifully but does become quite soft) and am leaning towards going back to Kato and/or Fimo. Both of which are too firm for me to condition, unless the newer formulas are better, the benefits far outweigh the cons. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I would rather have a clay with few colors (but true colors at that) in it's palette than one that what you get is a mystery because it defies the logic of mixing color.
The only color mix I actually really liked on the Souffle palette was using the Igloo white and the Latte to get a really nice ivory. That of which I used at the "pages" of my little books. No point in showing a picture, as I put a wash of paint over it anyhow. but I think my ratio was 2:1 Igloo:Latte. My other gripe with Souffle is that the color not only shifts, but dulls quite a bit. The colors seem vibrant and then just.. pbbbbtttttt... Maybe that is part of the shifting- one in the same? I dunno. I prefer a matte finish, but there's just something missing about Souffle. I don't think dull is the same as matte. I am happy with how I bake them. I use a secondary oven thermometer for accuracy. I enclose everything in 2 foil pans and clip them shut. So I am inclined to think it's the clay... Meh...
I guess 4 months in to this experiment- I'm finally learning a little more- even if it's just what clay qualities doesn't suit my intentions. It's all fascinating.
Week 14 involves another tutorial on the books from Kater's Acres. I have several things in the works but the Griffin is the finished item for this week.
I used Sculpey Souffle clay in Royal purple and Pistachio green. I used a Skinner blend and let me tell you- the Royal and Pistachio blended together absolutely beautifully. I really like how he turned out. I love the mythical creature, the Griffon. Plus, it was my college mascot at MWSU (or MWSC when I was there) ha! I want to make a gold and black one in MWSU colors eventually.
Spring has sprung. The forest is full of fiddleheads popping up. Soon the brown wilted emptiness will be overrun with foliage and all things become green and Spring. Yay!!! So ready for Spring and warmer weather. Here's a pic line up of my last week- a walk in the woods to view the mountain, the ferns as well as a shot of Seattle buildings from Pioneer Square from my Saturday outing with the husband. (which is quite scary anytime after 6pm). (Pioneer Square, not the husband) *wink*
Did I mention I'm so glad it's Spring?
Here are my pieces for this week.
The little book is a for a Fairy Garden swap on my favorite group. I still have to alter the matchbox it's supposed to go in, but I am finally pleased with the prototype of my book. Once I complete the swap, I hope to have a small picture tutorial of how I created them.
The bottom picture is proof I've been reading some of Christi Friesen's books.I still can't embrace the way she marbles/blends the clay and looks so... well... Christi Friesen. But I'm definitely enjoying her style. Well... flower-like pod thingies WERE on my list of things to achieve. I used a daisy cutter to create these. I flattened them in the palm of my hand using my ball tool. Stuck a blob of clay in the middle to fold the leaves up onto and added the center part. I used some chalks on them as well. The pod thingies are the only clay. The other stuff is lucite or plastic flowers,glass beads and metal.