I set out to create a bronze clay pendant - I tried the new powder clay formulation made in Poland, 'Goldie', a couple of weeks ago, and had a terrible disaster, mainly because I hadn't followed the instructions to the letter. Having beaten myself about the head for being such a bozo, I printed out the instructions, read them half a dozen times, determined to do better this time - all my school reports read - 'Can do Better'!
The next day, I was ready to fire it - but, I couldn't find the bl@@~y sheet of paper with the instructions - I hunted high and low, but in the end, with a sense of deja vu, conceded to myself that 'The house ate my instructions'.
I went back to my computer and downloaded a fresh set of instructions and followed them accurately, and guess what?? This time, 'The kiln ate my pendant'!
I think I went a bit hysterical at this point - well, it wasn't worth crying over, and that seemed to be the only other possible course of action. So, I sat there, on my haunches in a red towelling robe, clean and fresh from a prolonged soak in a hot bath while my kiln had been chomping away at my pendant, scrabbling around in carbon particles with blackened, dirty hands and a smudge on the side of my nose, laughing as if my sides would split - Mike thought he'd phone the men in white coats to take me away, but I escaped incarceration in a padded cell in the nick of time!
The tiny bits remaining in the kiln looked like Bronze age artefacts found by one of those crazy guys with a metal detector you see walking around Britain's coastlines looking for treasure - if only I was an alchemist ...............
Oh well, back to the drawing board, yet again - I might not bother with the powdered stuff for a while - one more failure and I will go completely ga-ga!
I fell in love with the dyed jade medallion in this next piece, and teamed it with opaque turquoise crystals. The pendant is strong, and almost masculine, with the dragon motif, but it's colour is very feminine. Not entirely happy with the lack of movement in the piece, I added a turquoise teardrop bead, wire wrapped with shiny blue crystals. It is a very striking piece in Neytiri's colours, and it sits on my 'Oriental Inspirations' page on the website. The dragon motif seems to embody Neytiri's strength of character.
Running With Scissors - as usual!
Canes are cylinders of clay or glass that have a design running through them, and when the cylinder is sliced, each cross section contains the design. Each one is made up in a large cylinder so that it can be managed easily, and once the process is finished, the cane is reduced to the size required, and then a cross section made - lo, and behold (hopefully) a design appears. This is the theory, but.....
I find it very difficult not to cut it open and peek midway through the process - you need a the patience of Job (whoever he was) to make a cane without slicing it open every two minutes, and it has to be accepted that a whole load of clay might end up on the scrap heap. Added to this, once the cane is made, it has to be 'rested' overnight before it is cut open, or it smears and distorts and generally looks like rubbish - even more patience.
Can you see why this might not be a suitable endeavour for yours truly??
I decided to try out some tutorials by Marie Segal of Art From My Heart at http://mariesegal.blogspot.co.uk/_
These tutorials were probably written for someone more experienced than me (that's almost everybody) and involves the use of extruders and other implements - but I was going to die trying, and in actual fact, it wasn't so bad - have a look at my attempts - I think they are quite acceptable for a first time.
I only wish I was less annoyingly ambitious - most people make bullseyes and little flowers to start with - but no sirree, not me, I have to try out the daddy of all the canes available. Anyway, I now have five canes - next, to make something with them - probably next week.
You can see on the bottom right that I didn't wait to rest the cane before cutting it open - it is meant to be heart shaped at the centre.
The Purple Rose of Cairo
- make a poor artisan who is doing her best happy, eh?? and rack up some points in heaven!
I promise it won't rear up out of your computer and bite you - all that will happen will be that the blog will drop into your inboxes each week, with a silent 'plop' , and there will be a smile on my face - it is safe, I promise - please, pretty please..... I've even put the link on the end of this sentence for you - you won't even have to scroll back up to the top right of this page, where it normally lives.