Going Half Round

Бижутерия своими руками мастер-клаThis week, I have pieces to share with you that have unexpected additions or changes. I think it is fantastic to mix things up, not only in our own world and work, but to step outside the expectations of what we think certain types of pieces should be. For instance, does a bead really have to be round? No, of course not. But should it at least be three-dimensionally symmetrical? Not really.

Katerina Sidorova has taken the round bead and literally reshaped it for this bracelet. The beads here were created by making perfectly round balls, cutting them in half, and adding thick cane slices on top that were carefully smoothed in to blend with the cut halves. The result is an off-balance half-round shape, or you might say it’s a ball half smashed, or you might call it acorn shaped even. What it is, though, is an unusual shape for a bead, which makes the gathering of the beautiful blue details quite intriguing. And really, the idea is pretty simple, but just that change makes us look twice because it does go beyond the expected round form.

Katerina has generously shared how she created these in this tutorial. She is the shop owner at Russia’s online polymer and jewelry supply shop KalinkaPolinka, which is also a great website full of articles, free tutorials, and links to other tutorials to explore.

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Consider a form you regularly create and consider how you can change it to make it more interesting or intriguing. Sketch, cut, or sculpt your ideas.

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Original, Dimensional Mokume Texture

Anna Anpilogova diy textureSo, I came across this great little idea that I had seen some time ago but never got around to trying. Although the impression method of creating mokume patterns is pretty accessible with manufactured stamps and texture sheets, it would be a grand thing if we had some options so those standard patterns and stamps aren’t the only ones we see out there. This is one easy way to create a unique pattern—three-dimensional paint!

Anna Anpilogova shows us an example of a pattern she created using glass liner paint. Her simple explanation for this easy but dramatic DIY texture sheet can be found on her Flickr page:

You need some transparent film and liner for glass/ceramics. Just put the film over the desired pattern and trace it with the liner. Let dry, and then repeat tracing one or two times to increase the depth of the texture. Works well for mokume gane technique, just don’t forget to sprinkle it with water before applying to clay, as it tends to stick.

Some paints you can try would include Pebeo’s Outliner, Jacquard’s Luminere 3D, DecoArts 3D Enamels or even some heavy-body acrylic paints and borrowing a narrow tip applicator from something else or putting it in a squeeze bottle.

Anna is a big texture artist. If you are looking for a texture inspiration, take a look at her collection of work on her Flickr photostream and LiveJournal pages.

 

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A Magnetic Connection

C4aOne of the tougher decisions I had to make when putting together the Summer 2015 issue was to cut part of what Helen Breil sent for her wonderful “Magnetic Design” technique tutorial. The article primarily focuses on the creation of pieces with interchangeable magnetic focal points using rare earth magnets, but she also generously added a few additional instructions, including how to create magnetic brooch clasps that work double-duty as a pendant bail, as well as being the basis for multi-pin pieces that can be set on clothing in different configurations. She had also included an easy option for creating a magnetic front closure, but she had sent so much great information that we simply couldn’t fit it all in. So here is a concise collage of the magnetic front clasp she created for us, and the photos that let you see how it is put together.

The quick run down is that you use cylindrical rare earth magnets, drill holes on each half of the clasp, ensuring the magnet positions will line up your two halves exactly where you want them to come together. Create holes just large enough to snugly fit the magnets and deep enough for them to sit flush with the edge of the clasp. (You can insert the magnet into the hole to see if fits and use another magnet to pull it out of the hole when it does go in flush as needed.) Apply cyanoacrylate gel glue to the magnets and place them back into the hole. Ensure the magnets are set in the ‘right’ direction–since magnets are directional, you don’t want them glued in leaving only ends that oppose each other, so snap the magnets together as they should be and apply the cyanoacrylate gel glue to one end, pressing it into its hole, and then grasp that side of the pendant, add glue to the still exposed magnet end and push it into the open hole. Release the magnets by sliding them apart and let the glue set. That’s it!

Helen is a wealth of information and fabulous ideas, not to mention a creator of many wonderful clay-centric products. Be sure to check out her website for her tutorials, books, silkscreens, and texture sheets, as well as take a peek or two at her Flickr photostream for more great ideas. And get your copy of the summer issue of The Polymer Arts for Helen’s entire brilliant article.

 

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Creating Constellations

caprilliciousI am neck deep in some last minute tweaks for the next issue, so I’m giving you an assignment while my brain is otherwise occupied. Well, not an assignment, but it looks like a fun little tutorial to try out in a spare moment.

If you tried out the pastels tutorial in the Spring issue, then you already have what you need to try pastels in a different way. This tutorial is about dusting the pastels onto pieces. It was created by Neena of Caprilicious JewelleryI like the scattered texture and her bold colors. Although the tutorial starts out with just flat disks, I thought this simple bite into those disks that created a moon shape along with the bright green dangles was a nice touch; it has contrast and movement and is just fun. Nothing wrong with fun. I’m looking forward to having some time to do a little something fun later this week after the issue is safely and squarely in those printing machines.

See the tutorial on Neena’s website here and don’t forget to push the idea after you try it out. Try completely different forms like round or tube beads, work it into part of another piece, mix it with other surface treatments … just have fun exploring. You never know what will pop up.

 

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Graphical Pattern Play

103316258Well, has this week’s cool patterns got you hankering to try a some new dramatic patterns yourself? Here, I found a great online tutorial that uses the drama of graphical black patterns edged by white to pump up the color and pattern of scrap canes. It’s a beautifully simple technique brought to us by Pinklily of France. I decided to show you just the resultant sheets here and hope you’ll go see what can be made from them on her blog post. Because the options are too fun to miss I thought you might just get curious and click through.

The instructions on here are in French and can’t be copied into Google translate, but I think the images are pretty self-explanatory. Although she uses canes for the background, you could really use any kind of pattern from marbling to leftover mokume to Stroppel canes. You could even keep it simple with a solid or Skinner blend background. The general effect will be the same.

Pinklily is pretty generous with her tutorials on her blog, so if you like this, take some time to wander about and see what other fund stuff she might have for you.

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Repeat a Space

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I thought I’d look for some tutorials for you to play with this weekend that would accommodate some play with repetition. In that search, I found this simple, but charming, polymer bead spacer  tutorial. We really didn’t talk about the repetition of strung beads, but I figured that would be a pretty obvious use of repetition. However, there are many ways to add variation to a string of beads. Different colors, sizes, shapes and textures is one way. Adding interesting spacers is another fantastic way.

Now, here is where I could use some help. I can find this tutorial on many a Pinterest board and numerous sites that gather tutorials, but I cannot pinpoint the author. And yes, there’s text on there but it does not seem to the English alphabet, so I’m at a loss. And with this tutorial so widely spread on English and non-English sites alike, it seems this person should get a little more obvious credit. So, if anyone has a clue, I’d love to hear from you. You can comment or reply to your email version of the blog post, and I’ll get it.

Here is where I originally found this tutorial if anyone wants to try to sleuth it out: http://claybooks.diary.ru/p172024294.htm?oam

In the meantime, how about making creative spacers this weekend?  That could be a particularly fun, little project, especially for you snow bound folks!

Update: Thanks to Anna Anpilogova, we have our mystery solved.

The tutorial is by a Russian clayer Anna Mashkova. “Here is the link to original post in her blog … http://alica19.livejournal.com/17265.html” Thank you to both Annas!

 

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Salted Old Beads

karenia

 

Has this week’s selection of faux ancient and old art got you thinking about ways to create more of that look in your own work? The techniques used to create these looks can be applied to a variety of forms and even be reinvented using brighter colors and not-so-old-looking contrasting textures and finishes. Searching for something fun and easy to get you started on that track, if you haven’t already, I found this delightfully easy and highly textural tutorial for you.

The blog post with this tutorial is originally in Russian, but I’ll send you to the the translated to English version here. It’s really pretty well laid out in the photos, and the steps are simple but with a beautiful and sophisticated result, as can be seen in the necklace Russia’s Katerina Sidorova designed from her technique. The layering of the clay is an ingenious way of adding that additional color for the aged look since it will show on the ends and wherever the salt digs through the very thin top layer to the colors underneath. So no additional painting or other color is needed. Pretty neat.

Katerina is the shop owner at Russia’s online polymer and jewelry supply shop, KalinkaPolinka, and for what I think must be wholesale or at least bulk-buying, Kalinka-Pro. If you are on that side of the globe, it is a shop well worth checking out. But for everyone everywhere, she has a great page on her website of articles, free tutorials and links to other tutorials that would be a great starting point for other new avenues to explore.

 

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For Love of Landscape

Joelle tuto-copie-1

To end my week of favorite things, I’d like to share a nice little tutorial on a landscape surface treatment. I am rather partial to landscapes as they can represent so much. They can be calming, dreamy and make us feel small in the enormity of open land before us. But mostly, for me, landscapes feel like the beginning of a story. Maybe I’ve just watched too many movies that have opened on a wide open landscape, but I do like to think about seeing all the possibilities in that openness.

This French artist, who goes only by the name Joelle, is a crafter of many materials but seems strongly drawn to textures and organic color palettes, both of which you can see in this tutorial of hers. I enjoy the mix of additional mediums to get her textures and create little focal points. Switch up the colors to your own preferred palettes, and create a landscape that could hold your own story.

You’ll find the step-by-step tutorial on Joelle’s blog, along with the many other creative projects she gets herself into.

 

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Clean Mokume

SONY DSCOn Polyform’s website, there are numerous free lessons. If you have admired Melanie Muir’s clean mokume technique, you can get the basics and create your own from this great little tutorial on Polyform’s website. It’s nice to see the tutorial emphasize the importance of color contrast–light and dark, but there is also bright and dull, warm and cool and picking from opposite ends of the color spectrum.  All of these will give your color palette some level of drama. However, there is nothing at all wrong with choosing analogous colors, colors with similar saturation or value or anything else. It will create a different feel, and the less contrast, the less visual pop and drama you will see. But, we’re not always after that, are we?

So, why not choose a color palette that fits your mood, an outfit or reminds you of a great time or place and try Melanie’s approach? There are some great little tips in this lesson, which makes it worth at least a quick read for anyone into polymer surface treatments. And the resulting sheets or pendants could really get you ahead on creating for your gift giving list!

 

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