Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Day In The Studio

I thought it would be fun to walk you step by step through one of my more unusual custom orders. A customer was browsing through my work and was inspired to request a guest book with a decorative polymer clay tile ornament on the cover.

1. I start my tile with a lump of polymer clay, conditioned and ready to run through the pasta machine to get it to a uniform thickness.

2. Here I've gotten the clay rolled out to the thickness I desired and impressed a design into it with a rubber stamp. I have my mica powders out and I have been filling color into the patterns on the tile.
**Very important to note when working with mica powder--less is more! I've learned that lesson the hard way, overloading my brush with powder and making the most garish mess.

3. Cooking in my dedicated polymer clay toaster over. This is an older Black & Decker that has a short in it and randomly cuts itself on when no one's looking. Scary, eh? That's why it's been relegated to polymer clay and isn't used routinely in the kitchen without supervision!

4. Cooling the tile under weight to keep it flat. My Pyrex baking dishes were the nearest thing I could find in a pinch. I put them slightly off center because they're stamped with some wording on the bottom and I was concerned the words might impress upon the tile.

5. The finished tile attached to the front cover of the book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Variations on a Tangerine Theme

Have you ever had one of those days when you weren't satisfied with anything you accomplished? Well, this was one of those days!

The first variation

I was finishing up this book and selecting a ribbon to coordinate with the cover. The problem was the ribbon kept changing color depending upon the lighting! In daylight it was more green and at night it was more blue. This presented a huge issue when I was trying to photograph the book to list it on Etsy. I adjusted the color until my background started getting too red, finally gave up and decided to just change the ribbon.

Second attempt

I really changed it up here, using a band instead of a bow. However, I still had issues with the green-blue ribbon changing colors on me. As you can see from the above photograph, I tried to tweak the color to get the ribbon to appear more natural and ended up with a greenish cast to the entire photo.

Additionally, I was attempting to multi-task, talking on the phone, when I discovered I attached the band to the BACK cover instead of the front. Aaaarrrgh!

As if that wasn't enough, the white ribbon didn't want to stay attached to the blue ribbon. I tried every type of adhesive I could find. Nothing seems to glue one grosgrain ribbon to another grosgrain ribbon. Anyone know of any tricks? I really like this look, maybe not on this book, but I might want to try it on another book.

The final product

I completely ditched the blue-green ribbon and went with a simple creamy white grosgrain ribbon, tied in a square knot. Sometimes less is more--I think this combination shows off the book to the best advantage. Do you agree?
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