I've had a busy time lately. I've been trying new things, stretching both my color choices and my techniques. The first adventure was participating in an Alphabet Project. Members of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) volunteer to create a 2 inch block with a letter and something that starts with that letter on it. The blocks are then assembled by one of our members into a mosiac and donated to a children's hospital. My letter was J and anybody who knows me knows I love jellybeans so this was a great letter for me. The first thing I did was condition, texture and bake the white block. The letter J is done with a marbeled clay in a combinaton of hot to light pink then handcut, The "jellybeans" are marbeled combinations of several bright colors, then the clay is swirled into jellybean shapes.
My next adventure was a challenge by The Art Bead Scene. Every month the powers-who-be select a painting to base a beading challenge on. The challenge is to use art beads in interpreting the painting. This month's challenge was Wassily Kandinsky's painting , Farbstudie Quadrate (Color Study of Squares). My first look at the challenge piece reminded me of the extruder retro canes we made at a CMSPCG guild meeting earlier this year. This challenge was an excellent way to use this technique. I cut circles of the bright colors, stacked then into a log and rolled it small enough to load into the extruder tube (I use the green Makins extruder). I used a large square die and extruded the bright colors into a long square log, then cut and stacked the logs to make a cane. The individual logs put trogether was remarketly like the challenge piece!
The cane was then sliced and wrapped around scrap clay and smoothed into long oval. I used more slices to make beads and swirled them in a bead roller. More beads and spacers were made from the solid colors. Now I'm ready to bake, tumble, buff, apply finish and assemble. Here is a picture of the various bead components I made to go with either the oval or the swirled pendant.
Now I will admit that as much as I enjoy making the beads, I am not that great at putting it all together. Fortunately my sister came by to kidnap me so we could go checkout the new Michaels store that recently opened in our area. I asked her advice, she made suggestions, I added the patterned clay to the back of silvertone earring findings, checked my supplies and off to Michaels we went to pick up the few more things we needed. When we got back, she put the bracelet and earrings together. This was definitely a collaborative effort. Many thanks to my sister, Rita Smith, an artist in many mediums in her own right, for her help in making my beads shine. I think between the two of us we managed to nicely interpret Kandinsky's painting! We named it the Color Explosion Bracelet and Earrings.
I enjoy participating in these challenges because they do make me stretch my boundaries. Wonder what The Art Bead Scene will be using for their inspiration for July????