Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pod Mate Bill

 Another person in our pod is Bill. (That is the name that the non-Chinese speakers call him anyway.)  Bill carves stamps is a special kind of heat treated soap stone. I watch families choose the stone topped with the animal of their birth year and then watch bill carve their names in English and Chinese characters. Some people just put in their order and come back later but I think they are missing the chance to see craftsman work a little magic into stone.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pod Mate Shima

In the market at Granville Island we artisans are arranged in groups - or pods as I like to call them. This weekend and Canada day one of my pod mates is Shima who is a master at needle felting. She makes little creatures that make you smile. She is work at needle felting while she greats customers and fascinated viewers with a wide smile.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Set for the Island

Sets for the island
Tomorrow I start a two week stretch at Granville Island. Luckily I have a neighbour who is going to help.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Limitation is a Gift

When I started with polymer clay I only used navy, white and gold clay. Later I expanded my pallet in an effort to satisfy the demands of my customers and because colour is wonderful, but I still love to come back to basics. There is something comforting about working with narrow limitations. It lets my creativity sore to unexpected places. Maybe it will not be anything that others can see, but something that putts me one step closer to do a goal that is undefined but none the less there. I can't remember exactly who first said it to me but a limitation is truly a gift. You just have to look at it the right way.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Background Textures

Here is how to make a stamp with a back ground texture. I am sure that there are lots of people doing this but I haven't seen a tutorial for it so here goes;

1.) Choose a texture sheet that has a low relief, regular texture.(There are lots of texture sheet or found textures that will work for this.)

2.)Run the texture sheet through your pasta machine with a thin sheet of well conditioned clay that is liberally dusted with cornstarch.. ( It may take several attempts to get the right setting for this because it depends on the thickness of your texture sheet and the settings on your pasta machine.)

3.) Lay the sheet of texture raw clay on a tile or other flat bakeable surface.

4.) Use and sharp pointed Exacto knife to cut a free hand pattern, or you a can make pinprick through a pattern to give you points of reference for a pattern that you have drawn on paper.  Remove the excess clay as you go. Do not try to move the pattern that you are creating. It will stay in place until it is completely cooked. ( I would cook this at 280 Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes.)

5. ) When it is thoroughly cooled you can remove the new texture sheet from the tile. (A pallet knife is good for this.)

6.) Rub the surface of the new texture sheet with Armoral or anything that you would use to make it resistant to clay adhering.

7.) Now you can use the new texture sheet to press into clay, either directly or using a pasta machine. The result looks a lot like pressed metal or leather. ( I like to use cornstarch to keep texture sheet from sticking to the raw clay.) 

I have used this effect for my shawl pins but it will work in many different projects.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Predictable Marble

(At this time I am actually up in the air on my way back to Vancouver but I have been saving this post for just such an occasion.)

This is a marvel effect that I achieved by accident while I was working on another project. I was cutting through dark coloured sheets of raw clay veneers and decided to us a layer of translucent and white scrape clay underneath to make clean up easier or some reason that I can't recall at the moment.

As a result I embedded thin lines of colour in the translucent/white  clay underneath. When I ran the this clay through the past machine a couple of times it really looked like marble. I cooked up a sample and the result still had a real marvel effect.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Twinky Effect

At a class I was teaching recently I was explaining why it is very important for all the colours of clay that you use in a milliefiori cane have the same firmness.

One of the most difficult things to get right is to have all the colours of clay that I use in a cane the same consistency. To get it right requires a lot of patients so there is usually one clay that is makes a break for it and gush ahead of the others. I have dubbed this the “twinky effect” in honour that squish snack food and its soft filling..

Sometimes this effect can be used to advantage to give a puffy effect. I used this effect to create the puffy sunflower earring that I have in this shown post. Later reduced slices from this cane didn't have as dramatic effect. This probably why more patient people the me let canes rest before they cut the but sometimes it is more fun to just have at it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grad Day

Today my daughter is graduating from University. I am so proud of here that I just had to post something.

The craft angle on this event is beautiful pendant designed and made by one of my craft friend, Ellen Kocher, who is also an excellent silver smith. This was a special project for Sophie's grad. Ellen took the jelly opal on the bale from one of her collections of stones and the ammonite came from Bead Freaks where Kayla always has something special in the way of beads and stones.

The card was made by N. David, one of the talented artists at Granville Island. Sadly, I do not have links for either Ellen or N.David. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

About a Week to the East

The erotic east near Hamilton airport
Today my husband and I travelled east to attend the graduation of my daughter from the University of Guelph in Ontario. ( I am actually writing this on the on the plane to up load later.) I have closed my Etsy shop for the week and I am not taking any work related tools with me! Just me and my sketch book, and my net book. I have a couple of drafts that I have been working on so I will have something to post...But other than that I am on holidays. I will be back on the west coast in about a week.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

To Market - Ladner's First for 2013

This year's set up: tent, tables, grids and all
I have been spoiled at Granville Island. No tent or tables to haul ... The same is not true tomorrow.

Bright and early, I am off to Ladner to set up for the day. Thought the market does not start until 10:00 AM, I am on the road by 7:10 so that I will be able to set up at a leisurely safe pace. I will get back home at about 6:00 PM. In between 10AM and 4:00PM I will be caught up in Ladner Village Market, vendors, music and lots of people. I am looking forward to a happy though tiring day, drop by if you are in the neighbourhood.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Butterfly Spiral Cane

Butterfly Shawl pin or Hair pin
 I came across some old rectangular "quilt " canes the other day and decided that they needed a make over. (I did take photos but sadly I deleted them by accident. So the drawings will have to do.) Make sure that the old cane is not so dry that it cracks. Warm the old cane up an bash it a little to soften it up.

A. Cut diagonally across a rectangular cane. (Think this these will work on square canes too, but I haven't had a chance to try it.)

B. Turn the pieces to make a triangle. I finished the cut edge with a thin layer of clay - That is the little swirl on the right hand side of the drawing. This step is optional but I think it makes the new cane look tidier.

C. Pull the apex of the triangle to make a long end that you can roll to make a spiral.

D. Roll down the apex of the triangle to give the new butterfly cane a swirl. The triangle base in solid enough that you can cut down and keep the odd shape of the cane. Warning this cane should be make the size you want it. It does not reduce gracefully.

Etsy notice - If you have been thinking about buying anything from my Etsy Shop do it quick or wait until after June 18th. I will be putting my shop on holiday mode for a week while I go and visit my daughter in Ontario. Last year I took everything with me but this year - well it is a holiday.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Coming in from the Cold

west - centre - east - on the way to work
It is actually warm now but I have had a terrific cold which is only now retreating. No excused for not blogging. Oh, wait a minute I just gave an excuse. Better tomorrow?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Live from the Market

Here I am at the market until tomorrow.

On the polymer clay front, a dinosaur family, complete with two nests, one with an emerging hatchling. This is the work of eight year old "J", one of the children of the family that owns the milk shop here at the market. Obvious there are new polymer clay artists in the future. That is if they don't all become rocket scientists.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Logged in from the Market

from the archives
The good news is that I can now log on from the market at Granville Island. The bad news is that I can't (Yes, I know I am living in the dark ages, no net book, no i-phone, but I can only move as fast as I can. Little steps, little steps).
find the cable that will allow me to load photos from my phone to my computer.
I hope that I can find that cable at home. Anyway, I will be back tomorrow.