Category Archives: Polymer Clay

My Top 10 Ways to get myself into the studio and working

  1. Leave some non-creative task unfinished from the day before- gluing on pin backs, hanging earrings on display cards
  2. Do a simple line drawing of something in my studio (a bowl, a flower) during the first ten minutes I am there
  3. Take an object (vase, small figurine) and photograph it in my studio in a new environment when I first arrive
  4. Lay out a selection of fabrics, polymer clay, collage papers on my studio desk the night before
  5. Choose and lay out a page from one of my idea journals on my studio desk the night before to contemplate as soon as I arrive
  6. Lay out a selection of paint chips for inspiration for a new color palette for that day’s work
  7. Collect pictures from a magazine and arrange by color or texture for inspiration for new ideas
  8. Set aside first half hour to look at a magazine or book for pleasure- ideas will follow!
  9. Set a deadline -self-imposed- to get working
  10. Have a chocolate chip cookie waiting on my work desk

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As you may have been aware,  I have been working on these pesky brooches since November.  I started with a burst of energy, then completely deflated when I hit a place where I just hated what they looked like.  After a brief break in December I started up again.  It’s been a frustrating, challenging, inspiring journey in persevering on these.  I have posted several times in the past couple months about the highs (few) and lows (many) of making the brooches- (you’ll have to go back a few posts).

it has been such an interesting process.  Some friends and colleagues suggested I just “move on”.  I thought about that believe me, as I was at such a standstill or at most, inching along.

But I hated the idea of leaving the brooches in their sad and unresolved state.  So I continued little by little.  I think I’ll save my thoughts on the actual process that started finally working and what I learned for next time.  In the meantime I will start to show you some of the work.  Here’s one.

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John Campbell Folk School

Really, I mean it, I am really going to post some pics of Versailles brooches soon.  Every week, these past few weeks, I have given a reason why it is not happening yet, but believe me, i am working on them.  I am trying to get seven done before I drag out the photo booth, so that is why I keep putting it off.  I am working on number six so I REALLY think I will be able to chat about them next week.

In the meantime I thought i would just mention a wonderful place to take classes that is very special.  The John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.  You will not believe the wealth, breadth and depth of classes offered.  I can’t even list the amazing classes and teachers-literally it is pages and pages. And the place itself is pure magic. So definitely check out the link here and think about taking a class there.  I’m excited to be prepping for my two weeks of teaching there coming up soon.  I will be teaching an Adventurous Dolls class-wire, fabric, polymer clay and found objects (there is a flea market we go to during class) and a Polymer Clay for Book Arts Class.

Here is a pic of me there last year getting ready to do one of my favorite things to do there- eat!

It’s great food served family style and table mates are always interesting to chat with about the classes they are taking.

Thank You!

A big shout out Thank you to my students.  I just finished up a class at That Creative Place (Thanks Lisa) and it was a delight. And also just returned from teaching at the San Francisco Center for the Book.

It never ceases to amaze me how inspiring the students are and how much I learn from them.

This is what I LOVE about teaching- the “sparking” of inspiration and ideas and the sharing of the creative process. The flow, back and forth, between all of us is like a rich stew of ideas:

  • mixing of ingredients
  • percolating
  • bubbling over
  • simmering
  • getting richer and richer

And the final projects – a shared feast of ideas!

Homework-Anthropomorphic Pots

My life this week revolved around my homework for this class I am taking on Experimental Water Media.  If you remember from a previous post- I am very much liking the class- inspirational, talented artists in the class, interesting assignments.  The main problem is, I don’t paint! So it has been a challenge.

Our homework this week was to explore different treatments of paper and how they react to different water media.  Within our theme- remember, mine is Vessels.

I did a large triptych- each panel is 8×10″ and treated the vessels paintings three different ways.

One vessel was crumpled brown bag with water soluble oil pastels pushed into all the cracks and crevices and then ironed flat (looks like leather).

One was watered down acrylic paints applied and pushed into Tyvek (looks like marble)

And the final was patina product applied to watercolor paper.  Looks great!

I also made a polymer clay mask for each pot.  Here is Patina Pot.