Saturday, January 11, 2014

Art is a many splendored thing

It is my opinion, based on personal experience, that an artist is never bored. Rather, there are so many different things to try that there are not enough hours to fit all the interests.

I often ask an artist "what other art do you do?" in addition to their work I am viewing at the moment. They usually have a list of many.

What do you do frequently (now or in the past), what have you flirted with occasionally (or even just once), and what is in your future on your art bucket list?

Here is mine:

FREQUENTLY: polymer clay, sewing, drawing (pencil, colored pencil, markers, and ink), painting (pastel, acrylic on paper and things), jewelry making, photography, graphic design

FLIRTED: mosaic, glass (flameworking, fused, stained, paperweights), enamel, batik, marbleizing, paint (watercolor, oil, spray, faux finishes, airbrush) knit, crochet, cross stitch, PMC, papier mache, printmaking, wool rug hooking, ceramics, and murals, decoupage, handmade books, quilting, macrame, rolled paper beads

FUTURE: woodturning, weaving, sculpting, collage, ribbon flower embroidery, felting

...and I'm sure I'll think of more! Maybe you'll give me some ideas!

In other news, I finally created an Artybecca "business" page on Facebook. If you want to follow my polymer there instead of (or in addition to) the blog, go on over and Like me!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tutorial: Ribbed and Wrapped

Someone asked for a tutorial on the ribbed beads with the twisted ends that are shown in the header of my blog and in the photo above.
Here's the process:

Start with any color you like. This is on the thickest setting of my machine.

Add other colors and put through pasta machine multiple times to blend it. Put it into the pasta rollers in the same direction every time to end up with stripes.

I didn't think I had enough colors so I added more.

Use a long bolt to create the ribs. Make sure it will be long enough to cover your bead form.

Line a pre-baked bead up at the end of the sheet making sure to keep holes pointing out to each end of the sheet..

Wrap ribbed sheet around the bead. Trim and fit where the start and end of the sheet meet.

Holding the bead with your fingers on each end, gently pinch and twist the edges while turning the bead around and around.
Be careful not to squish the ribs. I use Kato clay which is firm and holds its shape well. I don't know what kind of results you would get with other brands.

Twist it a bit more.

Slice off the ends to make them straight and gently pat the edges to round them.

Brush the whole bead with a mixture of  carbon black Pearl Ex and a tiny pinch of Pearl Ex gold for shimmer.
Bake according to the instructions for your clay.

When it's cured, sand the bead with a purple 3M Sandblaster 400 grit sheet, to remove the black from the high surfaces but leave it in all the grooves. You can leave it matte or buff it with a muslin wheel.
I don't recommend using regular sandpaper. It is not flexible and will end up removing too much from the high spots and not enough from the grooves,. Your bead will probably end up splotchy instead of prettily graduated.

And there you have it!


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