Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two Birds and a Shrine

My Adventures With Polymer Clay
Two of the classes I took at Art Is You involved working with polymer clay.  While I am not exactly a polymer clay virgin, I'm also no expert.  Things I learned:  well conditioned clay is a must, as is an oven that keeps accurate temperatures.
First up, Mini Shadow Box Shrine with Laurie Mika.  Wonderful class, great teacher, and my fellow students were so very talented.  Laurie provided the shrine (a nicely deep shadow box), very clear and in depth instruction, stamps for texturizing, mica powders and paints for color, and we only had to show up with pre-conditioned clay, some basic clay tools, and assorted doo dads (optional) to use as decoration (if we wished....remember the word optional).
Here is what my shrine looked like at the end of class.  I couldn't decide what to place inside the shrine, so I waited until I got home for that step.  Everything except the costume jewelry on the top is clay.

At home I added some decorative paper to the back (the white part you see showing above), then built it up a bit with cork and attached a pin.  I may change that, but I wanted to see how it looked completed.  Fortunately, I can open the back and do whatever I want to the inside.
 The little triangles on top and bottom were supposed to be clay tiles, but I didn't measure them well, and they didn't fit.  At home I filled those spaces with rust colored micro beads.

 An angled view so you can see the depth of the shadow box.  The outside was painted then stamped with permanent black ink.

This is a close up of the top of the shrine so you can see those micro beads.
Here is Laurie discussing what each of us created.  Most of us finished our pieces, or came close to it; others left with a work in progress.  Finished or not, I think they all are awesome.
Check them out!

Two words I seldom use are delightful and whimsical, but both aptly describe my second polymer clay class, Sculpural Birds and Beasts Ornaments with Doreen Kassel.  The second I saw the illustrations that accompanied the description of the class I was hooked.  It was the first class I registered for.
We took plain glass ornaments and covered them with a thin layer of clay.  Then, with Doreen's assistance we added clay to form the features of our animals.  I stuck to the birds, but there was a dog, a cat, a cow, and even the man in the moon.  Here are some of the samples Doreen brought in.  One is more impressive than the next.  She is an inspiring teacher.
Here are my two guys, a bluebird and an owl, followed by a closer look at the owl.  After baking, we colored the creatures with oil paint, which results in the most beautiful kind of glowing effect.

A few more owls, done by my classmates.
My friend Pat working on her man in the moon.  You can see her completed owl on the table.

Next up, more metal!


Bearcrazyman said...

Love those ornament. Great job

Dorothy said...

Such cute birds and the shadow boxes...awesome!!!

Renee said...

Thanks so much for sharing. All of these projects are amazing! It makes me want to take a clay class.

Stephanie Rodgers said...

I'm not a bird person, but those owls are awesome!

Socrates said...

Those animals are brilliant! What a fun class that must have been.
And your shrine is superb. I loved Laurie, she a great teacher as you say. Love your shrine

Lottie said...

Absolutely awesome - I am so envious of you. Thank you so much for sharing - I am looking forward to your metal project

Deb said...

How fortunate to be in an area where you are able to take such fab classes! I love to come to your blog, as there is always so much eye candy and always something new.
thanks for sharing all your fun projects

Elena said...

Really wonderful Eileen!!! I would love to learn to work with Polymer Clay. Have never taken a class with it but still hope to!

Lisa H said...

Those are great! I especially love the ornaments. It's been a long time since I've had my polymer clay out - this is inspiring me. =)

teri said...

I love everything here, and I hope you will teach me how to make those little owls!

Lee Hynes said...

What did you use the toaster for?
All fabulous!

inge said...

Hello eileen,

How lovely to see the projects of the workshops you did! I worked with polymerclay before, but never took a class.
A whileago i bought a bool of laurie mika, but haven't made a project like her shrines yet.

What i like most is that she taught you all the same technique, but she gave you the freedom to develop an own project and although there are similarities, the are also all unique.

Love your shrine and actually love the fact you can open it. You could put a different centerpiece in it and change it now and then!

I have never seen something like the fugures you created!
They all look fun: love her bats!
I love the color of your bird and he looks cute. The owls are fun too:love all the texture they have on the feathers, the wings, ...and the layers of color that blend well together.
I bet you had lots of fun during the workshops!

Greetings from belgium

Anita Houston said...

Polymer clay haven for sure! The coolest pieces ever!!!!

andizee said...

wow! amazing creations!

Laura said...

Great classes- I love everything you made. Those ornaments are whimsical and sweet. The colors really do glow

Lori said...

These are REALLY COOL!!! Like you, I'm not new to Polymer clay, but I'm no expert either. Both look like very interesting processes. Love them both!

craftyM said...

Reminds me of a class Gina and I took about 3 years ago... just before our 1st Keys retreat, I think and we have YET to finish them... Terrible, but we just can't seem to get back to them....All of these are so nicely done. Love yours!