Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clay Box

After a week of being out of commission, I was able to finish a box I've been working on. This was a major experiment for me! I've seen such great boxes done with polymer clay, but not much info on how to achieve a nice shape. I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but for those that may be hunting for a way to do this, I'll go ahead and write it out very simply.

I used Super Sculpey for the base (just because I have a few boxes of it laying around and it seldom gets used.) I conditioned it and rolled it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. I decided what size I wanted the box to be and cut four sides and bottom. (I did this on a flat piece of glass so I wouldn't have to move any of it, risking distorting the pieces. The glass can go into the oven for curing the clay.) Once cured and cooled, I glued the sides to the bottom and to each other. (I used Gorilla Super Glue.)You're ready to create something beautiful now by covering this base with whatever colors and design you choose!

p.s. Depending on the design of your box, you may want to cut and cure a piece to cover. I didn't go that route with mine. I wanted to try a stained glass look instead. If there's any interest, I can explain that process later.

For the finishing touch I decided I wanted a black satiny fabric interior. I cut a strip of fabric to go around the inside of the sides of the box and used Gorilla Glue to anchor it. I then cut a piece of lightweight cardboard to fit in the bottom and covered it with the fabric. I secured the back with tape because the glue wouldn't hold. Lay it in, pretty side up of course, and that's it. I think next time I'll cut cardboard for the sides as well. The glue was very difficult to work with. I glued my fingers together, to the fabric, got it on the work table and just made a huge mess. lol (The glue soaked through the fabric...) But, all in all, I'm happy with how it came out.

I'm hoping to try making a box with glass sides and mirror bottom soon, using clay at the corner seams. I'm just sure I can make it strong enough. (And I'm just sure I could be entirely wrong! But, I'll never know unless I try!) At my local True Value Store I can buy a 14"x16" sheet of glass for about $4.00 and then they'll cut it to whatever sizes I want for free. What a great deal!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The bears are certainly out and about this year. Poor things. There isn't enough food or water with this wretched drought.

My daughter was able to get a photo of a mama and her two cubs yesterday. They were hanging out by the Lazy Lizard. Mama bear was standing up checking out the smells from a man up on the Lazy Lizards porch bbq'ing. He apparently had no idea she was there. Good thing my daughter drove up and scared her off. He just might have lost his lunch! Mama and cubs headed straight up the road to my daughters house. They've been camping out there for a bit, it seems. Hmmm.

Aren't they beautiful?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Organizing in a Tiny Space

Yesterday I shifted things around in my studio space (which is in the living room) and got everything much more organized! My husband found two stackable drawers at a yard sale that are perfect for the 2oz sized blocks of clay. Just wish I had 10 more of them! My daughter donated a little bookcase to my organizing cause as well as the wonderful enamel topped table. LOVE it! I just have to figure out the best way to store my canes and I'll be all set. Well... mostly set. There's always some wonderful thing that comes along that I 'need'!

Look at how clean my work table is! Time to get to work!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A New Work

This last April my daughter dropped off a bag of polymer clay so I could make a set of 'Angry Birds' for my grandsons 10th birthday. This was the first time I'd worked with clay in years! I used to make what I called 'Snowy Tellers'. They were along the lines of the Southwest Story Tellers that were so popular, but instead of using Indian figures, I used Snowmen. (Does that indicate a strange sense of humor?) Ah well, back to the point... I loved the feel of the clay in my hands again and LOVED working with the pre-colored clay! No painting required! (I had only used Super Sculpey III previously, which had to be hand painted.) After turning out a respectable set of Angry Birds (particularly to a 10 year old boy) I decided to try other things. Within a month I was working with my husband (a fabulous woodturner) inlaying clay into wooden vases/pots. We're still working on getting the process perfected, but it's been so much fun working together, working on the clay designs and coming up with some really great looking pieces!

The beginnings: Angry Birds

Second attempt: A little hobbit fisherman for The Shire (2nd photo of him kicking back by the 'stream'.)

And now, a few bowls my husband and I have done:

I've been having a great time learning about the clay and what you can do with it. I'm SO grateful for all the wonderful 'clayers' that take the time to share their experiences and make tutorials for the rest of us! Time to head off in search of more things to cover in clay!