Sometimes, ideas need to percolate. Gothic Kiss is one of those projects, that I lovely refer to as a “zombie project.” These are projects that feel like I’ve left them for dead, but eventually they come back to life. In a good way, of course!
I found this vintage photo on a now defunct blog that I used to frequent, Art Freebies. The author, June, shared an images every week from her collection that followers could download while the link was available that week only. Some of her images are now archived, but not all of them. This one, unfortunately, is one I can’t find anymore.
I printed the photo out right away with the idea that I would incorporate it into a mixed media work. I coated it with several layers of liquid clay to turn it into a canvas and then I filed it into a manilla folder while I worked through my artist’s block. Now, about 3 years later, the project is done, and I’m enjoying seeing it displayed in my living room.
So what was the kick in the pants that got the project moving?
Really, two things provided the motivation. The first was the theme for the upcoming The Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy Challenge: “Wall Art.” The second was the desire to try out some surface techniques in a new book that I just picked up: The Polymer Clay Artist’s Guide by Marie Segal.
Do you have a project that finally came back from the dead? What got the ball rolling for you?
Healing Stones Project Idea: Little things, like stones and a couple of Sharpie markers, can make a big difference.
Many years ago when I was working working as an assistant creative director at Penn State, we were suffering through a really depressing winter. Too much work, not enough sun–sound familiar?
We were also struggling to come to terms with a coworker’s serious illness. People were sad, rude, and NOT optimistic.
One of our designers, Stacy, decided that we needed something to raise our spirits. She brought in a bowl with beautiful smooth rocks and asked people to write what they needed on them. She didn’t worry that people would laugh at her. She didn’t whine that there was no money in the budget for rocks. She didn’t worry that she wasn’t in charge. She just wanted to make things better.
Her small effort shifted everyone’s mood. People bonded over the rocks. They wrote things like “no more rushes,” “melting snow,” “respect,” and “hugs.” Even people who weren’t “touchy feely” participated.
Some people put their rocks back in the community bowl; others took them away for personal inspiration. I have one on my desk right now. What little thing made a big difference in your day?
This tile is a little something that I created a few years back as a creativity booster to remind me of how I want to live each day. I keep it on a shelf in my office, but truth be told, I haven’t really looked at it in quite some time.
Why? Because I am STRESSED and I have the tunnel vision that accompanies stress. Sometime though, God, the Universe, or whatever force you believe in gives you a nudge back in the right direction.
I subscribe to a delightful blog called, “Blacksburg Belle” and today the post that showed up in my inbox was 101 Creative Habits to Explore: add more creativity to your daily life.
This is one of those “print it out and hand it on the fridge” type posts. Thank you, April!
Fun stuff to put in polymer
I put together this free polymer clay tutorial using eye-pencil shavings as inclusions. Consider this a thank you to everyone who voted in the December Polymer Clay Artist’s Guild of Etsy monthly challenge focusing on recycled projects.
Free Tutorial: Eye Pencil Shavings Inclusions
Step 1: Grab some sharpener shavings from your coolest colored eye pencils (the key is to have a pencil with a really soft lead to get the color to blend into the clay).
Step 2: Decide if you want the shape of the shavings to remain intact (image on left) or become more abstract (image on left).
Step 3: For the first example you place some whole shavings on top of a well-conditioned sheet of translucent clay then gently roll another thin layer of clay on top to seal in the shavings.
For the second example, grab a bunch of shavings and mix them into well-conditioned translucent clay by running it through your pasta machine to break up the shavings and mix the color throughout the translucent clay.
Step 4: Cut out the shape you want for your pendant. In this case I used a small heart cutter. Add a hole unless you plan to glue on a bail afterward.
Step 5: Bake according to the package instructions.
Step 6: Cut out another heart shape for the pendant back and attach to the front with liquid clay. You may also add some trim to the sides at this point. Remember that if you added a hole to your pendant, you will need to poke the hole though the back layer before you rebake to set everything.
More polymer inclusion techniques posts
Many artists pick out a focal word to begin a new year. Last year my art resolution word was “create.” That meant giving myself permission to experiment without always worrying about the sales side. This year, the word I am infusing into my creative process is “story.” I will continue to explore the freedom of creation, but with the goal of creating art that tells stories.
A side journey in my storytelling adventure will focus on “eyes.” Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, they are a critical tool in any artist’s story kit. I won’t promise 365 days of trail and error with eyes, but you will see my exploration of eye treatments play a prominent role in my art practice.
So what where is your artistic journey taking you in 2014?