Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Hanging Around…Coming Soon - A simple tutorial

 When you think "southwestern" what images come to mind? I see painted deserts, cactus, adobe brick walls and stucco buildings baking in the hot summer sun. And of course, geckos!

As those of you who read my blog regularly know, I am a member of the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy). One of the fun things that the members can participate in is a monthly challenge. I usually try to participate simply because it forces me to think outside of the box and create something based on the theme for that month. Well, as you may have already guessed, this month's theme is Southwestern. Each individual artist develops his/her entry based on whatever says southwestern to them. Some interpret it by color, others by a faux stone such as turquoise, others with scenes depicting southwestern culture.

My interpretation is a pencil cup which I've named "Just Hanging Around". I've created a faux stucco wall that has crumbled here and there, allowing the adobe brick understructure of the wall to show through. To this faux wall I've added faux tiles made from slices of a kaleidoscope cane in southwestern colors. And finally I added a fat gecko hanging out on the wall enjoying the sunshine!

I've had several people ask me how I make the pencil cups so I thought this would be a good one to use for a tutorial.  It will be in three parts to keep each post from running too long.  You should have all the clay supplies you need for this project - white, ecru, copper clay and about a block's worth of scrap clay in orange and red tones -- on hand already. You will also need a kalidescope cane in southwestern colors.

The only unusual things you will need is a piece of 3 inch across pvc plumbing pipe cut to about 3 1/2 inches tall and some burnt umber, red and white acrylic paint to add shadows and highlights.  If the top and bottom of your pvc pipe is not flat and even, sand it on some course sand paper until it is even on the top and the bottom.  And hold onto that course sandpaper.  We'll need it later for texture.

So gather your supplies and check back.  We'll start by laying some adobe bricks!


Rebekah said...

Great pencil cup Arlene! Love it! Best of luck with your challenge!!

Alice Stroppel said...
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Alice Stroppel said...

Very cool Arlene. Looks like your heading to the "retirement" day in a big way. Good deal