Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PCAGOE "Little Black Ball" Challenge

This month's challenge was to start with a 1" black ball of polymer. No other instruction, other than it had to be recognizable in it's final form. And, we wanted to tie-in with PCAGOE member Sage Bray's publication, The Polymer Arts, or her daily blog.

Sage is very open to unusual polymer techniques for inclusion. This pen with stand expands upon an idea that I floated past her and which was included in the Spring '12 issue.

Instead of only chopped translucent polymer of the article, this piece utilizes metallics, remains of other techniques and metal leaf to adorn the polished black ball starting point. Tendrils of mica tinted liquid polymer were added for shine and adhesion.

Naturally, I had to incorporate my typical layered base ("Layers" was another article that made it in the Spring '13 issue.) And, one edge of the base got sanded and buffed ;)

Happy Anniversary, TPA!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

11 BOLD street in Belle Armoire Jewelry

Yes, I've not been a good blogger again, but I do have some personal promotion to share:

Pick up the Summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry, and read some secret construction techniques for a couple of 11 BOLD street's cuff bracelets - enjoy!

Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sea Glass and the Mysterious Vortex

Active PCAGOE Forum members have already heard (and given me their thoughts on) this tale, so they can basically skip over this post.

Right off, I'll state the qualifier that I'm not on any meds (prescription or otherwise) that would readily account for this odd occurrence, and that I wait until dinner to enjoy my glass of red wine ... (Actually, that only makes this weirder!)

Earlier this month, I was working on my challenge piece, which involved embedded chunks of sea glass into a layered polymer bowl.

 Sea Glass Bowl No. 144

I knew that one piece was loose - simply embedding in raw polymer didn't suffice for this little guy, and I'd have to either try some liquid polymer or glue. It was loose in the bowl. While sitting at my main work area, I tilted the entire bowl and this chunk of green glass (a rough triangle about 3/4" x 3/8") fell onto my lap, then to the floor. I heard it land!

Scooting back my chair, I began to search. My chair sits partly on a dark, multi-colored carpet and partly on oak hardwood. Do you think that I could find that piece???

I crawled around, my nose almost literally touching the floor, since I'm pretty near-sighted. I patted the floor, inch by inch. I got a flashlight and looked under adjacent shelving units. I looked into containers on the first couple of shelves, thinking that it might have bounced. Then, I pulled the units out, just to make sure.

I shook out my sweat pants (hey - I started running again, so no cracks about the "work-at-home wardrobe"!). I took off my (running!) shoes, looked in the tops of my socks.

Soon, I felt like laughing, then I started to get annoyed 'cause I was basically finished and now I realized that I had to fill the empty hole left by a very distinctive shape! I found a similar shape and after some carving, trenching and filling, I made the new piece fit.

But, the original piece of sea glass is still missing... I have concluded that there is a multi-dimensional vortex in the knee space under my work surface and that it sucked in a bit of green sea glass. My counterpart in this parallel dimension happened to find the perfect bit for her challenge piece lying on the floor.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Arches is Offering AMAZING Instructors!!!

ARCHES: Building Clay Connections IPCA Retreat 2014

Pre-Retreat Classes Featuring: 

(Click on each for details)

Helen Breil - Fanfold and Shapes Neckline Clips

Donna Greenburg - Jello Shot Bangle

Lindly Haunani - Tropical Petal Bracelet

Randee Ketzel - Fauxnomenal Beads/Bracelet

Maggie Maggio - Nature of Mark Making

Lisa Pavelka - Surface Techniques, Metallic Magic, Spinner Ring

Early Bird Registration before March 31 - $$ave!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'm still here...

Don't let the lack of active blog posts fool you - I'm a more prolific artist than I am a blogger :)

While I wait for more inspiring content (that is, with WORDS, not with art), let me just share my entry from our PCAGOE March Challenge. The theme was "egg/egg shapes". So, I created an egg-shaped fantasy stone in pinks, took a slice and "set" it in an all-polymer bezel. Texturing, carving and a bit of antiquing completed this brooch. Finally, a bit of coiled silver wire and mica powder add BLING!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Another "Redo"

I noticed while reorganizing after the chaos that is the "tear-down" following a show, that one of the polymer bicone beads on this faux lapis lazuli choker was cracked. The tension was too tight on the stringing wire and the sterling spacer bead had worked it's way into the beads end.

Not sure what I was going to do, it was obvious that repairs at the least, were inevitable. Luckily, this neckpiece was constructed in two separately strung parts, so I wasn't going to have to deal with back portion and all the smaller seed beads.

First, I looked through polymer components, but nothing suitable was available. Next, I considered sterling and/or coiled wire beads. It wasn't just a matter of closing up the gap left by the bicones - this piece needed both the interest and the length provided by these elements.

Finally, I sorted through my miscellaneous beads. I found two black onyx parts from a pair of interchangeable "door knocker" earrings (remember those?) But, given their size, they didn't look right in the same space as the bicones - too big. I moved the smaller ingots outward, provided a slide for the onyx with a couple of sterling crimp tubes and hung them with large jumprings. They don't lie completely flat, but hang at a bit of an angle.

I like it! This choker looks updated and a bit more interesting, don't you think?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fair Feathered Friends

I have two parrots, Neelix and Kes (yes, my StarTrek geekiness is showing). The first is a normal cockatiel male, the second is a blue-headed Pionus parrot female. They have lived with us for over 15 years. Parrots typically molt (shed old feathers to make room for new) several times a year. I'm blessed with beautiful gray and white (Neelix) and mostly green (Kes).

She also has magnificent tail feathers that are tri-color, blue, red and green. I especially watch for these on the cage bottom, not only because they are so unusual, but because I've wanted to do something polymer-related with them for some time.

This is Kes, visiting the studio. 
You can just see the red portion of her tail feathers.

Last week, she also gifted me with some tiny, delicate mostly red feathers that I knew would be wonderful layered with the tri-color. So, making sure that I had both "right" and "left" pieces (they are actually a bolder color on the "front"), I constructed a layered polymer base of navy blue, red center and green, textured back. With custom sterling earwires and findings, these earrings practically made themselves!

Feathered Earrings No. 156

In the next couple of months, watch as I also pay homage to Neelix's plumage with some classic gray and white (and maybe a bold surprise thrown in ;-)