Saturday, March 12, 2016

My 2015 IPCA Entries

Last fall, for the first time, I decided to enter the IPCA (International Polymer Clay Association) annual awards. The theme was "In the Round".

The two pieces that I created incorporated my liquid polymer/gauze technique. I decided to go with BOLD, dramatic black and silver, featuring round, red accents which embraced the theme.

I created several round cabochons in a multi-step process, with bright, rich red cores. The gauze base of this brooch entry was formed inside of a round cutter:

The second entry was one of my signature cuffs:

I didn't win my category - Emerging Artist - Jewelry, but I still had fun creating these pieces. As my consolation, I was delighted to see that friend and former IPCA Retreat roommate Eva Haskova, from the Czech Republic won the Members Choice category with a wonderful brooch in her distinctive style!

Congratulations to all entrants and winners!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Creating a Simple Ring Base

The PCAGOE Monthly Challenge is "Rings".

I've seen several gorgeous "all polymer" examples lately, but in the interest of time I chose to stick with wire for this project.

Using 14 ga silver plate wire, I wrapped a metal mandrel, trying to stay close to my chosen size. To even up the wraps, I then flipped over the wrapping to stretch the upper, smaller wraps to the same size.

I twisted the wire around itself and then created a few kinks which will be embedded in the polymer. 

Next, I made my polymer base, textured, signed and cured.

Multiple bases could be created up to this point, just waiting for the final inspiration! I chose to cover this base with a rich, smoky purple, plus some shavings from a snake-skin block. A textured finish keeps the inevitable scratches to a minimum, but I just had to sand and buff the edges :D

Monday, November 30, 2015

Additional $10 OFF!!!

From 8am today until 11pm EST, Dec. 5, take $10 off everything in the Neckwear section!! (That's in addition to free shipping for US customers during this same period :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

11 BOLD street Holiday Promo

Take advantage of FREE SHIPPING on EVERYTHING (no minimum) at 11BOLDstreet's Etsy shop, through Dec. 5!!! (1st Class, US orders only)

Etsy Coupon Code FreeShip2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Texture Plate Challenge

This month's PCAGOE Challenge was to make our own texture plates and use them on a project.

I LOVE this idea, since I generally steer away from mass-marketed molds. That's because, well, they're MOLDS, as in, someone else's creation. BUT, before I hear angry cries, let me fully admit that there are some fabulous commercial molds out there, some by talented people in the polymer community. I admit to owning and using a few of these, as well as others from more obscure sources. I just try to "make them my own" in some way during the creation process, getting away from a (sometimes very recognizable) carbon copy of the original.

Here are some molds/plates that I've made over the years:

The lower left was the first, carved on cured polymer at a Tory Hughes workshop. It shows how tentative I was using her suggested carving tool, a #23 craft blade. I'm better with the lino tool on cured polymer! I did learn some important pointers from Tory, like keeping the blade still and moving/rotating the polymer substrate.

The upper right are molds taken with Sculpey Mold Maker from pieces of Debbie Jackson's coral collection.

The upper left are from antique buttons in my Mom's stash.

The middle bottom are reverse molds from a commercial rubber set (also Sculpey MM) - I wanted "innies" so that I could fill them for Sutton Slice techniques.

Making your own texture plate is fun, rewarding, and a bit "zen", if you take your time and think of it as doodling! My Challenge plate started as a 4"x 5"x 1/4" slab of scrap polymer. I "buffed" the raw surface with baking powder to smooth it as much as possible before starting to texture. Then I went crazy, mainly with some of my favorite tools, ball tip styluses. I left some areas blank and cured for 60 min. Then, I went back and carved some curves with my Speedball lino tool. Cured polymer holds sharper edges than raw and I didn't want any depressions along the edges of the curves.

Here is my actual entry piece for the Challenge - a set of compact mirror and key fob. I would have liked to have done something a bit more complex with the stamped sheet, but as many of you know, I've had some time constraints over the last 10 months :) 

I started with a custom coppery-bronzing metallic polymer mix, made my impression and cured. Then, I antiqued with dark brown acrylic, and hit the high spots with bronze Gilder's Paste. I don't normally like to final coat pieces in any way, but since these will be handled a lot, a satin sealer is probably a smart idea to protect the Gilder's Paste over time. 

Can't you just imagine pulling this elegant pair from a handbag, and having friends say, "Oooohh! Let me see that!"

Monday, January 5, 2015

Coming up in 2015...

Here's just a quick glimpse to whet your creative appetite for upcoming gauze/polymer focal designs at 11 BOLD street:

More to come... ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Special Holiday Pricing

Check out the 11 BOLD street Neckwear section - everything is 15% off! For a couple of weeks you can save, plus free shipping still applies to any purchase (pre-sale price) over $75. Have a wonderful season, filled with good friends and family!