You know me, I love to play with paint, color, patina and metal. It's kind of hey, this is what I do.
I've been doing it for a good 25 years. I remember throwing tiny watch parts and glitter in resin applied to the top of texture paints on heavy watercolor paper twenty years ago. I remember sore fingers and hands as I tried to make sense of Fimo. And don't even get me STARTED with Friendly Plastic. My biggest sadness is that I sold all my pieces and have nothing to show you.
I guess I may have to find some new-fangled way to reprise something, one day.
My biggest and best new love is polymer clay....well, old love that keeps getting ressurrected.
Wonky clay beads and worm-like spirals. HEY, now. DON'T YOU LAUGH at those worm-like spirals....they have formed many a focal on successful work.
I rarely make a piece that is entirely all one type of media, or all one type of clay work. In the piece above we have distressed rusty black patina metal from B'sue Boutiques we have bits and pieces buried in resin, we have bits of chain and repurposed old Czech beads....and yeah. We have those spiral beads made of poly clay.
When I invited my pal, Christi Friesen, Polymer Clay Princess Extraordinaire, to come to Ohio and preach the Christi Gospel of Clay to my pals from the B'sue Boutiques Creative Group, I did it for my heart....my love of this medium. I also did it for my pals, because I knew some of them loved it, too.
But CHEEZE LOUISE....it was a leap of faith, because nobody but a big box wants to be selling polymer clay, and I don't. WHY? Well the stuff has a shelf life. The big boxes are always selling it to ditch the old stuff and as a loss leader. It's weighty to ship and we have low flat fee shipping at B'sue Boutiques
You really can't retail the stuff in this environment and you have to because you don't make anything much on it, everything taken into account, anyway! AND....shipping it in hot weather can make it go hard, like, pre-baked. Sometimes.
SO...why in the HEY am I doing POLY CLAY?
I told you. I love the stuff. And let's get real. As far as organic style polymer clay is concerned, it does not get better than Christi Friesen. She is an amazing instructor, and look at her, she's a nut.
SO AM I. Nuts are drawn to each other, nuts are kindly and fun, especially creative nuts. I wish all instructors were this sort of creative nut, if they were there would be no ego, only learning, only nurturing, only mass explosions of more creativity.
As Christi demonstrated her techniques at the workshop, it was as if I intuitively KNEW what she would do next. Not saying I could do it so well as she did....but I GOT it. My brain goes the same way.
Sorry, Christi! It does! LOL
WELL ANYWAY.....you may have read this post:
But if not, the upshot is simple. After Christi left, nobody wanted the party to be over. EVER. So we turned the event group secret board, where we planned the first event....into a very special PROJECT board. It is a collaboration between Christi Friesen and myself, and it's called BOHEMIAN VIBE. Christi's involvement will last at least a year and she will be producing four special projects to lead and instruct the group. She also plans to come back and visit us in May 2016.
In May 2015 we are instructing ourselves, the party goes on! and my hope is that we have this party EVERY YEAR til we are all toothless and senile and can't do it anymore. AND MAY THAT BE A VERY LONG TIME FROM NOW.
ANYWAY! Our first challenge was to make a face, which brings me to the whole purpose of this blog post, which is already turning out to be waaay longer than my usual blog post but....I digress....
Okay, so *I* was actually the rare genius who came up with the idea, yay troops, let's make a face out of clay! Christi was still on the road and I had to come up with something (she is the midst of a year long world tour) so in my innate polymer clay wisdom I came up with a face.
I mean hey, I'd read TUTORIALS. How hard could it be?
Speaking of which, here is one of hers: http://store.cforiginals.net/shrunkenheads2.html
And they are darling little faces/heads....but I wanted something elegant and Art Nouveau-ish. At Bohemian Vibe we are combining old world, vintage looks, metal bits, found items, fiber and all that----with clay! So yeah, I wanted something 'pretty'.
WELL! All I can say is hey, I have a ton of respect now for a sculptor who makes something pretty out of clay. I'm not even going to show you the hideous mess I worked on for hours.
Reminds me of the words from Elton John's YOUR SONG: "If I were a sculptor.....but then again, no.." Let's make than no a NO.
Doing a wonderful face takes determination and practice...and patience. I wasn't gifted with a whole lot of patience, sorry. So...here I am, guys, I GOT NOTHING.
SO! I got out the Amazing Mold Putty:
Find some here: http://www.bsueboutiques.com/item/Mold-Putty-Molding-Clay-13320
And since now I had been the brilliant ditz to suggest such as thing as MAKE A FACE...EGAD!!! I had to perform....so! I whipped out a vintage French stamping I had put aside, and I made a ding-dang MOLD from it.
Then the PROCESS began.
Out of the mold, I cut the clay piece back with my handy dandy exacto knife til it it became cameo-like.
Some of the details weren't quite exact, like the hair. So I make little rolled snakes and made her hair. AMAZEMENT! She DIDN'T come out looking like Medusa!
Lemme show ya...
I made the lady in white clay, and I used my fave vintage heart cooky cutter for the background. I stamped the heart with some fave stamps, baked them separately, then when they were cool I put Liquid Sculpey as a glue between them and rebaked.
Then I got out my inks, paints and Gilder's paste and went after it, distressing, adding color, distressing some more. I even put glitter in her hair. Next time I might not do that.
Then I glazed her with Sculpey Satin. Later in the day, I set her little curls with tiny sparkling crystals.
And the next day.....she came to life as a necklace:
Okay.....so NOW I HAVE SOMETHING.
It's not bad for a first shot, in fact, it's pretty sweet. I like this necklace! I feel encouraged.....the first thing I did, didn't work out so well, but HEY! I CAN work with a mold and tweak it, and make it go sorta-kinda the way I want.
Next time I would do the color on the pieces before attaching them. Not sure I can bake them that way, but it would have been better to do them separately. Not to worry, there are glues that will work. I'd probably use E, I have before and no prob.
And I would be more careful with the distressing as I got some scratches here and there, which I would rather not have. Sure, it's distressed and supposed to have that old vintage look, so it's okay in this case. Still, I'd rather avoid that next time.
One last thing, I'd make sure the pupil of her eye was facing a bit more forward. It's okay this time since it's small, but the fish eye look just doesn't cut it for a pretty lady.
Hmmmm......wonder what my next brilliant idea will be for a BOHEMIAN VIBE group challenge? Christi doesn't take the reigns til October.
Oh well, not the first time I've pulled a rabbit out of my hat. The FACE rabbit was a big one!