Monday, February 24, 2014

First Saturdays Vancouver

Just because I needed a visual
I had been thinking of having a studio open house but some how never got around to organizing it. So when I met neighbour, Val Artzn, who reminded me of First Saturday  a group of artist open their studio to public visits on the first Saturday of the month. Not all the studios are open every first Saturday but there is always some thing interesting to see.

So this in an invitation to drop and see me at 884 East Georgia, Vancouver between 12:00 noon and 5:00 PM. You can enter via the back alley. I will leave the gate open. Just come through and knock on the door and you will be in. I will be there and  so will my studio mate, painter Ray Ophoff.

While you are in the neighbourhood you can visit the founder of First Saturday in Vancouver, Val, at her studio at AMP Studio 800 Keefer Street at Hawks. You can visit Val's site to see what she is up to.                                               

Saturday, February 22, 2014

DYI Texture Sheet from a Larger Stamp

Have you ever thought that there was a part of a stamp or texture sheet that your especially liked? Well, here is how you can make a new texture sheet from using that special part of a larger stamp.

1. I have chosen to start with a stamp I designed called Fish and Crab. I making a texture sheet using the left hand corner of the stamp. When I cut along the curves I have included the tip to the crab's foot but you will see that it sort of disappears in the final texture sheet

2. Using Sculpy Bake and Bend, I have taken a number of impressions of the chosen area. I do this by using a middle setting on my pasta machine and then use the thickest setting with the rubber stamp and the sheet of PC clay. On my Atlas machine the sheets are #4 and the stamp and texture sheet are run through at the widest setting, #1. You will have to vary these settings depending other the thickness of your rubber stamp. Don't forget to use cornstarch to prevent the clay from sticking to the stamp.  (If you haven't got Bake and Bend other clay will do but I like the flexibility of B&B.)

3. Trim the impressions to make shapes that will fit together. The clay will bend a little so if you chose a curved design as I have you can bend cut and trim to fit them together. Squares and triangle shapes should be even easier to fit together. The brushed the edges with LPC (Liquid Polymer Clay) to help them bond. This is especially important because on the cornstarch that was used to keep the clay from sticking to the stamp in #2.

4. Here is the resulting texture sheet. The darker sheet underneath is a impression of the new texture sheet which could also be used as a texture sheet. ( The little white bits are just cornstarch. I use a lot of that when I am making impressions in clay.)

5. I have demonstrated the new texture sheet by making a stack on different colours for mokumegane.

6. The new texture sheet in action. Cutting through the clay reveals one to the possiblityies for this new texture sheet.

I hope someone one else will try this and tell me how it goes.

And the usual disclaimer for those who find grammar and spelling errors in my writing, I will change it when it is pointed out to me. If I worried about it I would write nothing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Crackle Applied

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Veneers From Scraps

Veneer on the left and potential pendants on the right.
When while back at the ranch. I am continuing on my merry caning way. I am always pleased with the veneers that result from scraps when you are developing complex caning patterns. So don't throw those scraps away. with the addition of a few unifying cane slices they can make a striking veneer. I often like the veneer better then the original cane work..

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crackling Good Time

Yesterday at our month guild meeting, the  ten of us dug into Tina Holden's crackle tutorial. We all go results that we were pleased with. It is nice to insert an element of spontaneity into a medium that does not leave a lot of room for happy accidents. I have not used surface techniques in the pass so it is good to have master like Tina to light the way. She has other techniques that I am anxious to try out but I am getting away from the subject at hand. If you want to try this technique contact Tina and down load her tutorial.

Two things came to light during the meeting. If you are used to using Fimo clay, as I am, you made find that water will make the clay sticky. Tina recommends Premo clay for this project. If you do use Fimo as I did, you should quick blot it the water up to prevent stickiness. The other thing we all agreed on was the superiority of Pinata dyes for this project. The popular Adirondack dyes did not yield the colour intensity but otherwise delivered acceptable results. If you cannot find Pinata dyes at you local craft store You will be able to order it on line from Shades of Clay. I am sure that there are other online dealers but Shades of Clay is our go to place in Canada.

So go for it! By yourself or get a group of friends together. Get Tina's tutorial and remember to start ahead. That will make sense when you read the tutorial.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting to the Point

For when you need a needle
Here is a little dyi tool that I could not do without. One of the most annoying things to find in a finished piece is an unexpected bump in the middle of a lovely flat surface. This happens when there is a little air caught between the layers on the clay. I find this happen especially when I an making things with the mokumegane technique.

Simply embedding the eye end off a fine needle in polymer clay will make a tool that will allow you to prick an area to release trapped air. Make the end of your needle tool large enough that you can easily find it in your work space and pretty enough that you won't mistake it for scrap clay. It only take a second to make one of these and they are more then work the time. Much easier to find than a needle by itself.