Friday, February 22, 2013

Play Time at Horizons -I-

There is something special about going to a retreat and meeting with others that have the same common interest.  Sharing with each other and learning new techniques is just part of the fun.  We maybe all didn't finish our projects we were working on but just the ideas and inspiration is enough to jump-start you for another season and get your creative juices flowing.

This year the focus was on several projects we could do such as learning how to make an Inro by Joan Tayler.  We then decorated our Inro with some "manic mokume" by Ellen Kocher or some bargello taught by myself.  There were some other fascinating demos and mini-classes such as sculpting a head by Olga and making a dye-formed dish by Jem Redlich.

Many of us didn't get a chance to finish our Inros so we have been working on them afterwards.  I finally finished mine and so I wouldn't forget what I did, I immediately started another one.  There is a lot of work in making one of these little container/purse/pendants but when it actually turns out and it opens and closes like it should, it is very rewarding!

Inro closed

Inro partially open

Joan Tayler showing us how to make her Inros.
Ellen is in the back right who taught her mokume technique.

some mokume veneers using Ellen's technique.
I haven't decided what to make with them yet.

Jem Redlich doing a demonstration on making her bowls.

Everyone concentrating on their clay projects

One of the traditions at Horizons is an optional button swap.  This is a sample of the buttons that were exchanged this year which make awesome mementos of the event.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chameleon in Person -I-

I had such a good weekend at the Horizon's retreat.  It started out with the opening reception at the Chameleon Exhibit.  The organizers of the retreat had arranged for a special tour bus (the "poly trolly") to take us from the downtown Vancouver area to the art gallery where the polymer clay exhibit is held on the north shore area.

The exhibit was really incredible to see first hand with so many examples of polymer clay in different forms.

Here are a few photos of my work in the exhibit and you can see close-up photos for each of the items on our website if you click here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bargello Tutorial Now Available -I-

I am happy to announce that my bargello tutorial is finished and available in our Etsy shop as well as our Artfire Studio.

Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery with the stitches all going in a vertical direction and arranged in mathematical patterns to create motifs.  Traditional designs are quite colorful consisting of many hues of each color which produces beautiful shading effects.

In my 25 page tutorial I show how to achieve unique color blends in the polymer clay and then arrange them to create your own bargello motifs.  Instructions for more than 10 variations are also included for different effects with more than 100 photos for easy instruction. 

This is a very easy method without having to make any skinner blends or reduce any canes.

I also show how to make several styles of beads with the bargello motif veneers to create stunning jewelry pieces.  Or you can use your veneer designs in many other ways.

As a bonus, I include how I use the same color blends to make my stripe blend tube beads and a bangle.   These beads have a unique holographic effect and almost appear 3-D with so much depth.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

To Horizons and Back -I-

We just came back from a fantasticly fun weekend.  Dave and I headed out to Vancouver last Friday to attend the Horizons, polymer clay retreat and check out my display at the Chameleon Exhibit.  I am a little tired from the trip so will share some photos with you a little later.  Here are a few pictures of the scenery from our drive over the mountain pass.  Part of it is called the Coquihalla Hwy.  It can be quite treacherous during the winter time and they even made a Canadian documentary/reality series about it called Highway thru Hell.  We were a little nervous about making the trip but the weather cooperated for us and it could not have been better that weekend for the middle of February.

Went from no snow in one area....

to this snow and fog...

and more fog....  got so thick you couldn't see any cars in front of us....

this is the large snow shed tunnel before we hit the summit....