Monday, November 22, 2010

Biker Chic - Faux Leather

I don't really want to be a biker - I just like the outfits.  Studs on leather is the big thing this year, so I decided to make my own version.  Everything here is polymer clay, the "leather" and the "studs."  I know, I'm a little compulsive.  Making and attaching all those little studs was time consuming.  The post earrings look big here but they are only one and a half inches in diameter, so you can imagine how small those little studs must be - just over 1/16th of an inch!!  The bracelet, which is formed over an aluminum blank,  is one and one-eighth inches across.  It even has faux stitching.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Image Transfer in Electroformed Bezel

I wanted to try a couple of things here.  First I made a bezel using the CaBezel mold, baked it and then electroformed it with a light coating of copper.  That came out looking terrific.  I put a Jax Brown patina on it to give it a slightly antique look.  Next I wanted to see if I could make a cabochon with an image transfer.   I put the image transfer on raw clay, then placed the CaBezel mold for the cabochon over it.  Placement was easy because you can see through the mold.  The image came out great - no distortion and it didn't stick to the mold (unlike the first one when I forgot to use water as a release.  LOL.  Guess I was in a hurry to see if it would work).  The cab is quite small, only 7/8 by 1 and 1/4 inches, but I got a lot of nice detail in the image.  Next I put the cab into the bezel and gently smoothed the top edges down to cover the cut sides of the clay and make it completely fill the bezel.  That little bit of extra space and the process of smoothing down the top is what gives it a real cabochon look.  I purposely didn't make the cab super thick because I knew I would be stretching the image in order to smooth the edges.  After that I baked it, sprayed it with PYMII to protect the transfer and keep the copper from darkening further and VOILA!  (That's for my Francophone Clayamie friends.)

For anyone interested in the CaBezels, they are available exclusively at Shades of Clay.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Patina on Electroformed Copper

I've been experimenting with patinas.  I tried Liver of Sulfur on copper but wasn't wild about the colors I got, so I purchased some Jax patinas.  I definitely like them better.  The Brown patina gives a color similar to the brown on purchased "Antique Copper" findings.  Here are the before and after pics of my Madonna pendant experiment.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Confetti Style Bottles of Hope

At one of the meetings of my clay guild, Barbara Bowman taught us a fun technique called "Confetti Spaghetti".  I used it to make these Bottles of Hope for local cancer patients.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Progress with electroforming

Finally, I got something I like, although it is still just an experiment.  This pendant is an image transfer on a thin piece of white Premo clay.  I sealed the transfer and after it dried,  I painted on the conductive paint.   Next I glued on the quickly-done, home-made bail and put more conductive paint around the base.   I thought that the bail would also get covered in new copper so it would blend seamlessly into the "frame" but for some reason it didn't.  In addition, I was  hoping the copper would build up enough around the bail to give it a secure hold.  The bail seems to be tightly attached to the frame, but because the clay is so thin, when I pushed the bail back and forth to test the strength of the bond, it started to pull the frame away from the clay.  When I do this for real, I will make the clay thicker, the frame wider, and I'll figure out a better bail.  (I added a bail because it is difficult to suspend an object in the bath when there is no hole in it.)

Anyway, I really like that I could use an image transfer without getting any discoloration caused by the blue plating solution.  Although I got very little discoloration on the white back of the piece, sealing the image is a must.   Now to go experiment with Liver of Sulfur, something I have never used before.

A word of caution when electroforming.  The blue solution is a kind of acid.  Even though I was being careful,  one of the wires caught on something as I was removing it from the piece and it flipped a tiny little splash of the solution uncomfortably close to my eye.  Since it seems to be a mild acid, it didn't burn my skin, but I imagine it could do nasty things to an eye.  So, WEAR A SPLASH PROOF EYECOVERING.  Mine was sitting right there on the table.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Potter at an Art Fair - Funny Video

I'm sure most artists who sell their work at shows and fairs will sympathize.

Crushed Velvet Earrings

I had to take a little break from clay and electroforming to do some sewing. DH and I planned to go to a Halloween party dressed as a Maharajah and Maharani. We both have the whole outfits, mine being a beautiful red sari with gold metallic thread which I bought in India quite a few years ago. When I tried it on I discovered I had, ahem, "outgrown" the blouse, and not in a good way. So, when all the local Indian clothing stores (there are a lot in the greater Toronto area) declined to sell me a blouse without buying a sari too, I had to make one in a hurry. I finished just in time to get dressed for the party and, unfortunately, didn't manage to take a photo.

At one of our Southern Ontario Polymer Clay Guild meetings, we learned a technique called Crushed Velvet.  I really like the mica shift effect and I've made some post earrings using it.