Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Troll Take 2

[caption id="attachment_1304" align="aligncenter" width="258"]Polymer clay Troll Troll[/caption]

After a couple of tries with my new FaeMaker book, I finally got something do. It's actually the first soft-bodied doll I've made, so actually it was a lot easier but I'll stick to simple creatures that don't need fancy clothes- wrapping cheese cloth on him is the extent of my sewing desire.

I enjoy making these not so pretty creatures. They seem to have so much more character and require more love to make  He is listed in my FantasyClay store here. He's about 7 and half inches tall and stands on his own. You can pose him as well.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Taking the leap


It been a while since I've written. Well only two weeks but it feels like a life time. I started a new job and before the first week was up, I was rattled with stress. I finally realized I couldn't take working in the business world. For years I have felt like I have been living to work, and work at jobs I hated. I have always preferred making things and being creative. I finally got to the point where I had to take the leap to follow my dream.

My dream to drop out of the business world, to be creative and enjoy my live. Heck I'm 46 - it's time to start doing the work I want. I know the stress from the corporate world is getting me nuts, well at least a little neurotic. At first, it was going to be a few months off, and it was, but then this job seemed to be the tipping point. Sooner or later, you have to do what's best for yourself. For me, that is working with my hands and creating.

I actually have a plan of action. I've been selling awhile now and while work harder at it and also do shows. Find a job you love and you'll never work a day of your life. I took that leap of faith to do the job I was meant to do.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mixing Different Types of Clays


different polymer clays

There are a lot of different brands of polymer clay, these are just of  the more common ones - Premo, Fimo, Kato PolyClay and Cernit. There are also several others too, including Sculpy and Pardo and some specialty clays, like for dolls.

These days they are all available on online so if you clay, can wind up with several different brands.  Like always I just worked using trial and error and mixed without too much trouble since many cure at about the same temperature. Temperature seems to be a big sticking point for many clayers. Some are quite fanatical but so far I haven't any trouble except the one time I goofed and put the temperature at about 320 F.

I said many of the clays cure at the same temperature but this isn't quite right. According to the instructions Fimo cures at 230, Prosculpt (for dolls) and Cernit at 260 and  Sculpy and Premo at 275 while Kato cures at 300. Some were designed for a higher or lower temperature but most don't seem to. Sometimes I've bought a different brand just for a unique color or accent, so I didn't plan to use it alone.

Basically you can mix any two types and use them safely, the suggestion is usually to use the lower temperature. To be honest I don't use either Fimo or Kato much so I've never mixed them together, those two might make me nervous. Often I've mixed a firmer clay, like Kato or Cernit, to something softer. The harder clays can be a pain to condition but when mixed with a softer clay, they can let you add more details. The same idea applies to colors- Kato has a magenta that can't be beat for mixing colors.

The real stickler always seems to be the temperature. I've used 2 different types of clay, unmixed, in the same piece without any issues. I've heard that baking a clay at a lower temperature that listed means it won't fully cure but as long as I go above 260 and give it time, I've have no problem. Hell I had a solid 1 pound block cure to a brick because I left in my car in the summer.

I guess I am more right brained or is left brained the creative side - whichever it is, I tend to just do what I've figured out works for me. I've discovered some of the strict rules for polymer clay can easily be bent and even broken and still result in beautiful and strong piece.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Tree Grows out of Clay





This week's use of scrap clay went in the other direction -  a large sculpture (at least for me) I have a lot of browns or near browns, a tree seemed the perfect use for this. I showed a similar tree I made a few weeks ago but that one looked so lifeless. It get a use - a friend used in her aquarium with good results.This time though I wanted to make it magical and full of life.

This view shows the birds, mushrooms, moss and flowers. All the leaves were made separately - it just was thinking of how you see a tree - all different shades of green and the easiest way to have all the greens was to just make leaves. Green is my second most abundant color.

This side is a little less filled with flowers but there is a fairy door for the little creatures to hide. I had a lot of fun making it - add a little touch here, lots of simple shapes that are all different colors and details, even a little red door saddle. This magical tree is available in my Fantasy Clay shop