Sunday, 31 May 2009

Playing with polymer clay - day 2- part 1

My second day at The EuroClay Carnival and two new classes today.

The first one I was looking forward but had no hope I would actually be able to do it as I don't think I can work intricately. Ok, I know I do intricate work with beads but I think that's different- the holes tell me where to go and there's no hope of me squashing it all as there is with clay!

Our teacher for the morning was Iris Mishly (and here) and our project was flower canes.

As you can see I got on ok with these in the end!

We began by choosing 6 colours- hmm- looks like only 5 in the photo!

For some reason the violet just wanted to appear exactly the same as the blue. So I messed around with a few setting on my camera and managed to get a photo which looked a bit nearer the reality.

A bit more fiddling on my computer and the colours I really chose were these. I have no idea why this happened and have put this top of my list to look into on my colour investigations!

Anyway, I didn't like the garishness of the orange so decided to alter it by adding blue and brown- the colour I started with is on the right and the resulting mix is on the left. I ended up adding roughly double the quantities of the blobs of blue and brown you see in the photo.

The two main things I have discovered about the advantages of working with clay over beads are:
1- Colour mixing- what a joy to be able to come up with your own colours and as long as you have the basic colours of clay, the colour world is your oyster!
2- Speed- I can't believe how quick it is to make thing using clay- such a change over my beadwork.

I next needed to come up with a Skinner Blend using a colour and white and decided to choose my violet clay. Note the speckles in my white clay- it was impossible to keep clean!

Skinner blends are wonderful things and enable you to come up with so many shades within minutes- imagine trying to track down all those shades of bead to get a blend like that- impossible!

If you want to work out a colour scheme that blends from one colour to another than this useful online tool will help

Lastly I made a striped stack to use for the centre of my flower canes.

This was rolled with white to make a cane and here's a close up of my sheet so you can see the tiny stripes.

The next part of the class was assembling all we had made into flower canes and this was great fun and I was better at it than I thought I'd be- but my no means any good at it compared to anyone else- one of my flowers just looks like slices of an orange!

The last part of the class was spent layering our canes onto a sheet of backing clay. I struggled with just my flowers at first as the pink/ violet ones didn't go well with the orange ones but by putting slices of the flower centre canes they all came together- just a shame i didn't like it- it was all too bright for me- and I can't get over thinking it now looks like slices of oranges and strawberries- still better luck next time.

I used my sheet to make pillow beads- another first - and bracelet sections- and am hoping that if I string them with dark purple beads inbetween they'll stop looking so "citrussy"

God- how much did I make?!?!? doing all of that in seed beads would have taken me weeks or months- this polymer clay stuff is growing on me by the second!

Resources updated

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