Here’s a trick that’s new to me. Desiree McCory explains her neat bead-in-bead process. I’ve always avoided this process because it sounded too complicated. Wrapping the first bead in wax sounds doable as her tutorial explains it…and her tutorials are all well-written. Let me know if you’ve had success.
I suppose you can guess why I’m looking at miniature food today. My meal portions need to be resized more in line with these miniature versions by Angie Scarr. It’s post-holidays and I’m trying to shrink my appetite and scale down.
Miniatures are where I started in polymer…furnishing a dollhouse with my daughter. It seemed that Fimo should have other applications and when I saw CityZenClay’s pins in the Museum of Modern Art’s shop, I caught a glimmer of the possibilities.
That was nearly 15 years ago and I still have a soft spot for miniatures. Angie has some clever tutorials on her site. The sweet corn is particularly good…and not too filling.
Tennessee’s Jai Johnson has developed an interesting twist on cloisonne which she plans to pursue in 2006. She talks about her plans and has the best pictures on her blog.
Jai first created the setting with genuine gold leaf on the edges. Then she built a network of "cloisons" (cells or compartments) by forming 14K gold filled bezel wire into a pattern for the center of the pendant. Each "cell" was then painted using tinted polymer, filled gradually until she obtained the shading and coloring she wanted, with multiple firings between layers.
It would be great if there were more polymer clay artists’ web sites on the net. I can list a number of fine artists who are techno-adverse and shy away from the complexity and expense of maintaining a web presence.
In real life I’m a webmaster so I hesitate to take work away from your local web designer. But if you want a painless and inexpensive way to get in the game, this might be just the ticket.
Polymer Clay artists are all about color and color tricks. Here’s a site that’s all about optical illusions and visual phenomena.
For this illusion, follow the movement of the rotating pink dot. You will only see one color, pink. If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green. Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating.
There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. We don’t always see what we think we see.
In our recent color workshop we learned the word "ombre" which the dictionary describes as "having colors or tones that shade into each other — used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark." Maggie wanted us to keep running our blends through the pasta machine to reach ombre.
It’s related to the word "umbra" from the Latin for shadow…think umbrella. We thought that it had to do with "hombre"….not.
So if you want to sound erudite, talk about your blend’s hombre. It’s a noun and an adjective. I’m still trying to use it properly.
It’s fun and instructive to "do your colors" in lots of quizzes and queries. The paint companies are great places to start. Take this color quiz at Pratt and Lambert.
What is a "Skinny Skinner" you ask? Lots of polymer artists attribute this variation on the Skinner blend to Dorothy Greynolds (shown here at a 2004 Columbus, Ohio workshop). Instead of the typical triangle blends, narrow rectangular bands of color totalling the width of the pasta rollers are laid side-by-side (look on the table in the picture).
Folding and rolling them through the pasta machine gives you a marvelous blend. In Santa Fe, Lindly and Maggie showed us how to refine and control this blend further. One trick is to keep the very light and very dark bands quite narrow, allowing stronger colors to prevail.
Light, dark and middle tone Skinny Skinners from Lindly’s palette.
We began with collages of our favorite colors and vaulted into color mixing, limiting ourselves to just three colors plus black and white. We then careened through value and contrast and hue and composition. We "skinny skinnered", created color relationships and considered simultaneity. All of this we did in a lovely Santa Fe setting.
It may take me a while to process and pass it on to you in bits and pieces. Check back tomorrow.
Happy Halloween everyone.
A tip for polymer clay horns from Desiree.