Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I 'heart' cork clay # 2 !

Well nine little babies are all covered and ready for a firing..and now the fun really begins, Mr Google gets a hard core work out, all my silver clay books litter every surface in the room and still no real answers. Why is it so dam hard for the so called experts to write in a way 'I' understand...or is it this way because your firing program is your trade secret....regardless, from what I gather the kiln needs to ramp to a moderate heat to allow the cork clay to burn out, hold it there for a while to make sure its all burnt out then ramp it up to your desired firing time. 

So I did my sums, took a punt and whoola, my first firing with cork clay! 

Monday, January 30, 2012

I 'heart' cork clay!

I've had this packet of cork clay floating around my desk for months, whispering to me, calling me to pick it up and play with it....which I have partly indulged, unconsciously picking it up, still in its sealed packet I squash it and poke at it, as I daydream, think and get my creative cogs turning!

Today with a ton of work related things that require my attention, calling for a whole different set of cogs going...I decided today is the perfect day to liberate that cork clay from its plastic confine. So I do, and as I play and roll, I realise I have no idea of exactly what I'm going to make with this this pliable ball. So as if trying to occupy myself in a dead boring meeting, my mind wanders into no mans land and my hands are left to create unconscious doodles of the 3D kind.

......and its hearts ... 9 hearts of all shapes, sizes and personalities! Then excited to play, a flash of sensibility hits me and I decide to read the instructions....aaaarrrrrrrr! I have to let it completely dry before I can cover it in silver clay. Its 30 something degrees out side and I figure it wont take long but just like watching paint dry it takes for ever and I figure its best to let it dry over night to be safe.

I set about dressing the cork clay in a variety of soon be shinny silver costumes and again I'm hit by some sort of sense of reason and its back to Mr Google...Do I need a vent hole to accommodate the cork clay burn out? Oh, yes indeed! So, my fully dressed babes need to get a few items of clothing off, we need to see some skin!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Autumn Round up 2012!

I've been getting myself organised for this years Autumn Roundup in Mullewa, for those of you who don't know about Autumn Roundup...its an amazing craft event held in the little regional town of Mullewa in Western Australia. It attracts around 150 - 200 people annually, which is a big effort for an event that receives no funding and is held in a town with a population of just over 900 people. This year is its 20th year and sadly it will be its last! Over two days crafters from all over the state take part in two, one day workshops of their choice, this year the workshops are:

Deb Crothers – Peek-A-Boo brooches & pendants with Polymer Clay
Elizabeth Morley- Paint, Print & Pattern to create your own fabric.
Fiona Parker – A day of paper craft
Rachel Mc Kenzie – Silver clay for beaders and Silver Clay trinkets and charms.
Anne and Tammy  Ringrose – “Ribbon Cottage” & embroidered woollen bassinette blanket.
Erika Monique – a figurative clay sculpture
Kaye Street – “Many Trips Around the World” in a day
Carol Brady – Links Quilt using strips and point to point Diamond Quilt.
Judith Lubieniecki – Quick Cathedral Windows & Make a Bag Day

I'm using some of the skills the fabulous Kate Mckinnon taught me for the Silver clay for Beaders workshop! These are the results of a play date/test run with my mum and her friend!  I love, love, love mums golden patinaed(is that even a word) bead caps!

Here's all the components all put together into a finished piece!

The trinket and charm workshop is a little bit fiddly but I love the sense of fun 
and play when making these little babies!

For more info on Autumn Roundup please contact Janine Crudeli at cruauto@westnet.com.au 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rings and things that could have been!

Oh my, how I'd loved this shinny ring...and maybe I have just loved it to death! Possibly a little too keen to get it finished that I didn't think things through properly! I fired him carefully in the kiln in a little terracotta pot filled with vermiculite...oh he looked so dam cute sitting proud in on his vermiculite throne!

After firing the ring post had come away from the base of the ring so I packed it with some fresh clay, let it dry and refired it...but here I do have to admit that I was so keen to get his lovely stone set, that I did the refiring with a torch...I figured that this little patch up wouldn't need a kiln firing! All looked good, so I polished him and set the stone...happy, happy, joy, joy! I was in love, what a stunner! A little bit more work hardening and woopsie, whats that I feel? a lose shank?? Me being me, I can't leave it alone and I pull, push and tug to test its strength...and hello, out it comes?

So what went wrong?? Firstly I think that maybe the clay base I inserted it into was not thick enough, and maybe the fact that I had cut the centre of the bezel out as I would normally do for a pendant, didn't work when attaching a slab of clay to its base to insert the ring shank into...........and then finally that I didn't kiln fire my patch up! 
...and as the love affair fades and disappointment sets in I can't even stand to show you the front of the ring....and the question is now how do I get the lovely stone out of that tightly fitted bezel, so I can fix this piece or at the very least reuse the stone?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A little pot of LOVE!

Waking with a headache and a killer neck ache to boot, figured a recipe of
 panadol and a little play with clay would be the cure! 

....and it delivered! 

A little bit of TLC!

Ok so those bent, buckled and broken pieces....I'm going to see what I can do 
to to end these little babies!

A busted backside where the bezel was obviously pushed too far into the clay, 
is patched with some fresh clay packed into the fired piece.

Once dried, re-fired and polished, its backside is looking much better, 
although there is still a small crack.

I'm trying to figure how to do this more successfully, the new section of clay is of course 
going to shrink(causing the crack), while the already fired section has already done all its shrinking...aside from refilling this smaller crack and firing it again, i'm all out of ideas of 
how to over come this! 

I'll do some research and see what I can dig up...and of course I welcome all and
 any suggestions and hints!

Once the stone is set she's not looking too bad!