Monday, May 28, 2012

Carving in reverse

"Reverse Carving" -- shavings on raw polymer, then cured

After playing with the new carving tools for a while, I noticed that the shavings from layered sheets were very cool-looking; sort of the reverse image of the original carved sheet. On a whim I saved them in a little box, thinking I might use them. So today--studio play day!--I took them out for a spin. Here's my first sheet, a micro-mosaic made from the shavings of the carved blue-on-orange Skinner blend sheet from a couple weeks ago. I put the shavings on the raw polymer, burnished them down securely, and cured the sheet. It seems quite solid, so the next step will be to saw out some shapes and file them, just as I did with the original carved sheet.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New carved Skinner blend

Carved Skinner blend sheet in blue and orange

I carved this blue Skinner blend sheet last night using three different sizes of my new Dockyard micro-carving tools (I'm forever indebted to Celie Fago for recommending them on her blog -- they have become far and away my favorite tools). 

This pattern is getting closer to the effect I'm going after in the cut-out "cells" pieces. I have this deep urge to create a pattern that resembles reptile scales, or maybe repeated markings on some animal furs. Although I'm fond of the cut-out cells in their own techno way, the look of the carved polymer scratches some long-time itch I've had to meld psychedelic colors with organic, animalian patterns.

Purple Honey Cells - an example of the cut-out cells

The carved sheet looks wavy, but that's the effect of the shifting colors in the Skinner blend; it's actually completely flat. The plan so far is to cut out shapes (either with shears or the saw, depending on their complexity), file the edges of the shapes just as if they were metal, and then perhaps create a riveted, washered hole for an earwire or a pendant bail.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Now THAT's How You Blow the Dust Off

On Wednesday morning I woke up to one of the biggest surprises of my artistic life: There were my new earrings, front and center on Cynthia Tinapple's Polymer Clay Daily site! If you don't follow the world of polymer clay, let me tell you about Cynthia. She's been involved with the medium for over two decades, and her love of its fantastic, chameleon-like properties has led her to blog about it every weekday since 2005. Cynthia has probably done more than any other single individual to bring together polymer artists from all over the world, so we can continue to grow in our creative efforts and technical expertise. Her blog has featured polymer rock stars like Lindly Haunani, Sarah Shriver, and the Ford and Forlano team, as well as amazingly talented newcomers like Donna Greenberg and Ponsawan Sila.

In her own words, "I take a highly curated approach to showcasing the best polymer art online."

So you can imagine the thrill I felt -- and still feel! -- to find my work spotlighted on her blog. I had a goal of somehow getting her attention within the next few years, and here she came and found me. And, just by the way, lit a fire under me to get much more serious about my website and my Etsy shop. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The day ends; the blog begins

Laid out on the marble slab above are slices from the "Cosmoline" mokume gane slab. I'm still in love with this color combination, even after looking at it for two weeks straight. It's much more psychedelic than I thought it would be; I actually expected something, er, subtle. Well, I at least anticipated a bit more blending, a little shading, some violet and orange between the primaries.

But with the mokume gane technique, you can't always anticipate how it's going to turn out. That's why metalsmiths (who originated the technique -- the name means "burl metal" in Japanese) sometimes try their ideas out in polymer clay first, before they commit precious gold and silver to a project.

What shall I do with the rest of this acid trip? I'm thinking a few bangles, and maybe another pair of earrings. Something, you know, subtle.