Busy Busy…..new work, experiments & meet the boss!!

“I think that you’ve got to make something that pleases you and hope that other people feel the same way.”    Thomas Keller

Oh my word…what a busy couple of weeks!!…. and so it continues.
I have had a bit of a creative spurt….you know how it is…you start working on one thing
and that gets you to thinking ‘what if I just….’ and there you go….happily skipping off in a
direction you weren’t neccessarily intending…this seems to happen to me a lot!!!
(not just in the studio either!!! hahaha!!). This surge of creativity has come at an opportune time as I have a ‘run’ of events coming up and like to have lots of pieces to keep my display looking ‘tip-top’.
I’m sure I’ve already mentioned that I attend craft events and artists’ markets in and around my county (Lincolnshire, UK is quite large as English counties go) and with Easter just around the corner there are quite a few such events coming up in addition to the ones I regularily attend.
This past week has been spent ‘tweaking’ (not twerking!!) my displays and replacing
some of the signage to make it clearer for my customers…the ‘what is what’, ‘what is where’ and how much ‘what’ is …kind of signage.
I have also been ‘finishing’ pieces of jewellery ready for said events.
My style of jewellery design is not overly clever or complicated as it is my intention
to make the bead the focus of the piece, so, many ‘designs’ consist of a focal bead with
a simple method of hanging/dangling/stringing….whatever.

Much of what I have been making recently seems to fall into the ‘Rustic’ category….I have been using up some of the (many) veneers I have been stacking up in the ‘ooo that’s too nice to cut up’ pile (thanks Debbie Crothers for the nudge I needed).

As I had previously promised not to get too ‘wordy’ for the rest of this post I will let the pictures do the talking!!!
I will be back after Easter….wish me luck!

(….there were quite a few photos but I’ve condensed them into collages!!

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This collage shows 3 of my pendants, all are reversible with complemetary or contrasting faces.

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A large reversible pendant….oh and some conical earrings just to show I’ve not just been making pendants!!!

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My latest ‘Talisman’ pendants. This is my favourite design style and a ‘staple’ for my displays….I am constantly evolving this design….love it!

The next couple of collages show some of my latest experiments with faux techniques. I have definitely been in an Ancient Artifact/Tribal zone of late and and in the first photo-collage I am trying to get a faux ‘Marble’ effect using a crackle technique rather than a clay mix.

In the second my intention was to produce something that resembled a carved ‘Obsidian’ arrowhead. These were both first attempts (not at carving- I’ve been doing that for a little while now)  and I think warrant some further exploration….I definitely believe they show promise!

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and….my little signs…..I made these from scrap clay and will be putting them to use on my display frames….they are quite robust and will withstand outdoor displays plus they are in keeping with the rest of my display.

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Finally…I couldn’t resist….this is Mr Ginger Jimmy Yu-Yu, as you can see he likes to think he’s my boss, always looking over my shoulder…..no slacking with Ginger Jim around!!!

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Heaven is a space…

“Inspiration comes and goes, creativity is the result of practice.” ~Phil Cousineau

Wow!!!

What a difference a space makes!

So, I’m pleased to report that everything is brilliant with the new studio. I have found
that having more physical ‘space’ has given me more space in my head…room to move,
room to breathe, room to grow…explore, experiment, develop new ideas and ways
of working.
Definitely a big thumbs up from me!!

What next then?….
Now that I can concentrate on my work rather than my work-
place I am hoping to continue with a kind of documentation of what I’m up to. I’ve
never really done that, outside of photographing things to sell, but when I think back
to my beginnings with Polymer clay (or look at the one or two bits and pieces that
I’ve hung on to over the years) I can see that I have come a long way, both creatively
and technically….so I think that I really should start making some kind of record.
Hopefully it will be of interest to a few Polyclay enthusiasts and or beginners, I’m not
sure what form the blog will take I guess I will come up with things as and
when they pop into my head…I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep!
I will most certainly be recording images of what I’m creating so you can expect a
good deal of photos!

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Brooches made using my canework.

 

I tend to work in one of two ways, either in very controlled colour/pattern-polished-precise (within my own limitations) kind of way with cane- based geometric style jewellery component/ beads…..or I work with techniques that have a lot less predictable outcome….in a nature based, rock/fossil inspired ‘organic’/rustic kind of way.

This past week or so I have been concentrating mainly on the ‘rustic’ side of my interests.

A lot of the photos in this weeks blog reflect this…..so here are a few of the things which are currently on my workbench awaiting the next stage in their transformation into finished pieces.

I will try to remember to post some photos of the rustic components once they are completed!

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crackle beads and mixed media experiments

20170330_123126apaint More crackle beads in all shapes and sizes…..(thanks Debbie Crothers for showing me the light with veneers!! So much more control!!)

….oh look a finished pair of earrings!!! Hahaha….mixed media (poly clay charm is reversible) and quite rare to have something finished to show at the moment!!

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Just before I sign off for today. I have a question….
Since I have been in my own space, rather than sharing with my husband (from now
on refered to as ‘himself’) I have the option to work with background music!….. I should explain that ‘himself’ is not too keen on my musical tastes (eclectic though they might be) and so I have rarely inflicted them upon the poor souls delicated ears whilst we were sharing the tiny space he now calls ‘The Hanger’ and in addition, there really was no spare room for cd players (I don’t do the whole download on the phone thing!!!)  Anyway as a consequence I have got into the habit of working in silence! (well when I say silence that’s a bit inaccurate as there is a constant dialogue going on in my head but  I’m not sure if I should be owning up to that one?!!??).  Now I find that I have the choice I have been rocking along to some of my ‘tunes’ but am finding it a bit distracting and have had to revert back to ‘silence’ when I want to concentrated!!!
My question is…..how do you work? Do you listen to radio, music or do you have your
own soundtrack running in your head??
I’d be interested to hear your take on work habits (soundtrack-wise)….so if anyone is reading this, please leave me a comment.

Many thanks and back soon!

Boxes, boxes everywhere!

I’m not a hoarder I’m a curator of an extensive collection of art supplies!!

Seriously, if I never have to move another box it will be too soon!!
I cannot believe that all the ‘stuff’ which I have lugged and heaved into my new studio was once crammed into a space less than a quater of the size……how did I ever move in my old one? I think it must have been some kind of ‘Art Tardis’….I am totally amazed!!!
Of course now that I have got so much space I can be a lot more methodical about
where things go.

I have ‘zoned’ my areas….one dedicated to polymer production, another
for putting components together into finished pieces, one for packaging and
displays, you get the idea.boxes

I think I have got a workable configuration, although I can’t believe that there won’t be many changes happening over time.

Everything has a place and so now all that is left is to start working in this, fabulously tidy and seemingly organized, new set-up so that I can see if everything works as well in practice as it does in theory!! I’ll be back soon to let you know how I get on!

 

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Hiccups over….. and breathe!

OK, so my path often takes the ‘scenic route’ and there were a few hiccups with my move from one studio to the other!!
We won’t go into details but a serious window issue and storm Doris were part of the mix!! (oh and you will have realised by now that these first couple of posts are written retrospectively, hence the speed of my bloggy narrative!)
Anyhow….the existing floor covering in my new studio was well past its best and so a new floor covering was a must.
I love the look of simple floorboards and had decided to get them in the form of cushion flooring  as not only would this look nice but would also be warm underfoot and better able to cope with spills and jettisoned bits of polymer, beads etc. I’m not saying I’m a messy worker but I have spent too much of my life scraping squashed and hairy bits of polymer from the floor or digging tiny beads out of the cracks between floor boards….and… standing on a bead with no shoes on is akin to standing on a piece of lego!!

Also, in my infinite wisdom, I had this brilliant idea that I could keep my costs down by ‘laying’ said floor covering myself.
Fortunately the lovely Tom, of Askews Carpets….(local firm, lovely people!!) had offered to  cut it more or less to size for me before it was delivered….with this in mind and as the room is totally rectangular with no nooks or crannies I figured it couldn’t be that difficult to fit it myself….. could it?
Wow…I hadn’t realised just how HEAVY cushion flooring could be!!! The fact that two burly fellas delivered it should have been a clue but I was busy and my mind was elsewhere, moving an 8ft long roll of 20ft worth of ‘lino’ was a job I would do ‘next’. When I finally got round to it I found that the roll was pretty much impossible to move! Hey, I’m no wimp I’ve been a fitness instructor and lifted kettlebells for years so I can do the weight thing but this was something else (good practise for caber tossing I reckon)!!

Hahaha…’me- no- movey’…I had to call in the cavalry in the shape of my lovely son, fortunately with the two of us and some tactical shuffling we actually had it down in no time….I could not have done it on my own….lesson learnt!
OK…..flooring down, check…..furniture, underway. Next job finalise the furniture and then….woop-woop….materials can come in!!!……back soon!!

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A movin’ and a shakin!!!

So….the excitement starts!!!
After several years of working in a pokey little studio measuring just 7ft x 4.5ft (which was
half of a room I shared with my husband and his hobby- R.C aeroplanes)….I have finally
managed to ‘bag’ myself a bigger space!!!

This new room measures a palacial 20ft x 8ft and it’s mine all mine!! It has both East and South facing windows, so plenty of natural light, lots of wall space and I can totally have it all to myself….hurrah!
Ummm, did I mention…..it needs a bit of work!!!……..
Watch this space…..literally!!

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