Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Beautiful Rose for my Mother

I've been busy this week with several different projects, one of which was creating a gift for my mother's birthday. I don't think she knows about this blog so I'm going to share a couple of quick pictures I snapped of the finished project.
I began the project with two different shades of warm pink, a light and a dark pink and then I created a skinner blend to use for the rose petals. I rolled the skinner blend and then ran it back through the pasta machine so I had swirls of different colors. I cut the petals with a round cutter and flattened and shaped the edges as I created the rose.
The picture above kind of gives you the idea about how the petals are shaded. If I have time before Sunday, I will set up my light box and take a better picture that shows the detail more. I think the necklace and coordinating bracelet turned out really pretty. I hope my mother feels the same.
The picture added here shows more of the detail of the rose.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some of My Jewelry

I know I have been really slacking in updating this blog, but I have been busy making cool clay things. So, I thought I would share some of my jewelry today.

This first necklace is done in shades of rosy pink, green and tan. The blossom measures approximately 1" long and the stylized flowers to each side measure approximately 1" in diameter.  It hangs from a brown leather cord and measures 18". 
This next necklace is done in shades of warm pink. It hangs from a silver colored chain and measures 18". The floral focal bead measures approximately 1-1/4" across the face of the flower.
You can see more of my jewelry on my Cool Claythings Facebook page.

Choosing Clay

As I mentioned before, the first clay I bought was Sculpey III.  I bought because it was the only clay that was in the store and I had zero knowledge about polymer clay. It didn't take me long to figure out that Sculpey III gets softer the longer you work with it and it's next to impossible to avoid making smudges and leaving fingernail marks and finger prints on whatever you are trying to create. Sculpey III is also VERY sticky. So much so, that you have to clean your hands between colors. So, when I went to buy more clay I knew Sculpey III was not going to be what I bought.

I was armed with a little more knowledge when I made my second purchase of clay and that knowledge led me to Kato brand clay. While lots of people recommend Premo brand (I have some Premo and it is nice to work with) the fact that two important primary colors, zinc yellow and cobalt blue are only available online, made me shy away from it.

Kato was created by Donna Kato a fantastic polymer clay artist and I really like working with it. It takes a little more effort to condition than Sculpey III as it's much firmer straight out of the package, but it is so nice and smooth with no sticky feel no matter how long you work it. The limited color range makes it necessary to mix your own colors past the primary and secondary colors. This can be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it.  I like the idea that I can buy one or two bars of each color without investing a lot of money and  I can create any other color I want.

I bought a tutorial offered by Carolyn Good called Carolyn's Clay Color System created using Kato clay that has helped me to mix colors. If  mixing colors is a challenge for you, I highly recommend you check it out. I have also purchased several other of Carolyn's tutorials and they were very good too.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My First Attempts at Creating with Polymer Clay

Back in July of this year I quit smoking. (Yea me!) I've always enjoyed creating and crafting so in an effort to find something to keep my hands occupied I began to look for some sort of craft and I discovered polymer clay.

Thinking clay might be fun, I bought a package of assorted colors of Sculpey III.  Fortunately Sculpey III is soft enough to condition by hand  because  a rolling pin, my hands and the two little tools that came in the package were all I had to use as I began my polymer clay adventure.:)

I decided to learn a little more about working with clay and found Polymer Clay Central which offers lots of information. I tried some of the tutorials and had lots of fun trying my hand at canework. Most of what I tried was not very good, but I found this tutorial  and turned my messy canes into pretty hearts.

I also made some beads and put together a necklace and bracelet that looked nice enough to wear!  By this time I had gathered enough knowledge about working with polymer clay to know it was something I enjoyed and I made a trip to my local Hobby Lobby for some equipment and supplies. I bought an Amaco clay/pasta machine, a clay blade and some different brands of clay to try and have been happily playing with clay ever since.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Welcome to Cool Clay Things!

Welcome to Cool Clay Things! I have recently discovered the world of polymer clay and intend on sharing here as I learn to create cool clay things.