Saturday, June 27, 2009

A New Polymer Clay Website to Visit- Deb Groom

I met Deb Groom at the Horizon's Retreat in Vancouver and was delighted by her Steampunky sculptures. When she showed me her work she related wonderfully detailed stories for each character. I think she should consider combining the narrative with the images in a book!

She's just launched a new website showcasing all of her work which includes polymer clay, rugmaking and pine needle baskets. I'm a long-time admirer of her gorgeous Polymer Clay and pine needle creations!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Houses

I found some 4x4" canvases at Island Blue and began playing with the Little Houses motifs I did on tiles last year. I really pared down the houses- they lack the roof details I had in earlier work. I'd appreciate any feedback on these. I like this presentation more than the tiles because the elements of the composition can "go around the corner" on the canvas because the frames are 1 inch thick. I'm considering combining this motif with polymer clay, paint and collage, something that I was inspired to do when so many of us were exploring each others' blogs with One World, One Heart.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Woman of the Stone Shore- polymer clay sculpture

I posted a detail photo of this lady several weeks ago- here's the full length version. She's made with polymer clay and wool. She's approx 48"/60cm tall.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Polymer Clay on Stretched Canvas- Among Friends

I finished this piece yesterday. I've named it Among Friends. it's 16"x20" 44cmx51cm which is the maximum size that can go in my oven. There were several side projects involved including putting together a list of books that I have loved or were of particular significance to me. I had a font fest as I printed out all the titles and authors on lazertran injet decal paper then devised a way to make the decals transparent. I photoshopped Meriel then printed the image on lazertran then applied it to canvas board to make the "painting"- the cracks in the lazertran were a fantastic effect that came about when the piece was fired. It looks like an old oil painting. I painted over the image with tea to antique the white canvas exposed by the cracks.

So there she sits, absorbed in her book, snuggled in her wrap, a cup of tea on the table. Her bookshelves are full- she's among friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sticking with Polymer Clay

My primary sticking compounds for polymer clay projects are Fimo Gel and Weldbond but I frequently use Cyanoacrylate glue. Super T is my favourite. I often end up with the glue on my fingers and it's a nasty sensation. I won't even discuss the time I accidentally glued my lips together. The usual recourse for these mishaps was nail polish remover but I'm glad to let fellow dribblers know that there's a wonderful solvent available for those sticky situations- SUPER SOLVENT by Golden West. Works right away and isn't terribly gross smelling either. I ordered mine from Lee Valley Tools.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

shipping out...

Spring Stroll
The Apple Orchard
Pear & Leaf

June Posies
May Storm SOLD

Sunny Day

2 Pears

Today I'll be mailing a collection of seven 5x7 canvases to the Crafthouse on Granville Island in Vancouver. My walls will be bare again and I'll be getting back to work right after I finish the large library themed piece, it's still untitled and delayed by unforeseen circumstances- June is like that when you have kids in school...

Wanda Shum- In The News!'s some eye candy to celebrate Sunday! My friend Wanda was featured in an article in todays Times Colonist in an article by Robert Amos. There's a big picture of her teapot- in black and white- here's the colour version! You can see more of her fabulous pieces on her blog.
Congratulations Wanda- well deserved!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Problem Solved- inkjet decal paper on polymer clay

The newest piece I'm doing has a library theme and I decided to put a title and author on all 106 books on the shelves. It was a wonderful project going through all of my books, I included childhood favourites, university texts, novels and yes, there are a few polymer clay books too.

I have used Lazertran Waterslide Inkjet Decal Paper before and love the vivid colours when I slide the decal on white polymer clay. I printed out the sheet with all 106 authors and titles and then began sticking the decals onto the "volumes". I assumed the black text would show up and the white background would disappear. This was different, and I know some of you are snickering- you're right, within a few minutes the water evaporated and the decals turned a solid white on the colourful collection of books. Disaster? I googled for a solution which was-- oil based polyurathane varnish. This tweaked a warning signal in my polybrain- I googled "oil-based polyurethane varnish polymer clay" and my fears were confirmed, the combination is problematic as the clay will soften and the surface will remain tacky. I emailed Lazertran and was impressed with the speedy response but disheartened when they told me I should be using Lazertran Silk. The idea of buying a new package of Lazertran silk and running around getting images linked up with a place with a laser printer seemed much more of a pita than inventing a solution (less fun too!). I began a series of experiments and to make a sticky story short- I found a simple solution which sprang from the effect of leached clay on paper I was on the right track when I tried rubbing Sculpey Clay Softener on the decals- it's oily and worked for a few minutes but there's a chemical that dissoves the decal- not the best effect. the next trial was the keeper and here's the process that has worked:

Smudge a very thin layer of Weldbond glue onto the clay(Lepages should work too) Place the wet decal on the glue and smooth it. Let the decal dry, it turns white. Then, the no-brainer solution- apply a very thin coating of mineral oil. The white decal backing disappears.
Keep in mind, I'm using this technique for a piece of wall art with extremely limited wear and tear.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Here's the 5x7 poppy canvas I started yesterday- it's likely first in a series- I'd like to tinker with the colour a bit and perhaps go on to a larger 12x12 canvas.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Inspiration in the garden

I'm working on the new piece- it's another time consuming one- it has a library theme - "She Could Only Choose One" had flowers- this one has books. More on that soon. My ultimate goal is to have the piece done this week. (wish me luck on that!)

During firing times I am doing the little 5x7 canvases- and this morning had one of those awful- uh oh- what should I do? moments. I should have spent some time with my sketchbook yesterday but I was distracted by a good novel.

I grabbed the camera and went into the garden and was greeted by a dozen of these poppies that unfurled last night- problem solved- I'm thinking that orange will look very cool with a red and pink sunset background......

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Remembering Tiananmen Square- June 4, 1989.

Polymer Clay Posies

Here's my interpretation of my garden in bloom! It's polymer clay on 5x7 canvas and I'm calling it June Posies. My garden isn't quite in full bloom yet bit will be very soon if the weather continues blazing at 30C/80-something Fahrenheit!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Polymer Clay on Stretched Canvas- May Storm

I'm working steadily on these little 5x7 canvases and I'm getting a satisfying little collection on the studio wall. I'll feel a bit sad next week because I'll be sending most of them away to galleries. This one is May Storm it's 5x7.