Some Like it Rough

blanka prochazkova vintage souprava 430x285 - Some Like it RoughWhat is the attraction to texture that so many of us have? We have such a penchant for it that we find beauty in the cracked and rusted, in the uneven and worn, and generally in all that is breaking down and rough. I personally think it has something to do with our attachment to the past, to history, and to the stories these things would tell if they had actually gone through all that their condition represents.

I am a huge fan of this kind of time-worn texture and noticed that my boards and notes are filled with this kind of work right now so I’m sharing these little beauties with you. Yes, beautifully rough stuff.

This set is by Blanka Procházková. The old wood look and antiqued patterns make for a lovely vintage look with the colors still quite bright in spots and the patterns crisp but carrying a warm aged patina over it all.  The scratched surface, although probably created as faux wood, has the creator’s hand evident in the rough way it was scratched out which, along with the imperfect shapes, adds to the feel of age, primarily because nothing in the clay could be mistaken for machine-made.

A lot of these rough and organic explorations have been showing up in Blanka’s work recently, her hand quite evident and delightfully so. It’s not that she hasn’t edged this way before but there is a kind of evident freedom in her latest pieces which is lovely to see. See for yourself on her Flickr photostream.

Post note: The wood look technique was one Blanka learned from Veronica Sturdy. See the original inspiration on Veronika’s Flickr photostream.


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Going with the Grain

Rather than another example of great faux wood effects (and there are many more!), I spent time digging up some faux wood tutorials because maybe you want to try your hand at a bit of this. I have three here for you; all have their merits and offer a slightly different approach and outcome.
clause wood tut you tubeIf you like it quick and breezy, check out this YouTube video by Italian clayer Claudia aka Polymer Claus. I like the break up of the clay that occurs in spots due to the paint mixed in with it. However, I would be itching to go at it with a needle tool to put some dimensional lines into the raw clay or with a bit of a wire brush attack after it came out of the oven. That would give it a bit more of a worn wood look, but also a very realistic look as the grain would be tactile and not just visual. But that’s me!

woodgrain eyes


For those of you who would like a more distinct grain pattern or believe you’d prefer taking a caning approach, try this photo tutorial created by a French clayer that goes by CilooMina on Flickr. This fairly traditional approach creates bold wood grain with eyes and just a little distortion for a realistic effect.


Peraud faux wood

And for the perfectionist that we all love and admire out there, Sylive Peraud has a very thorough class on Faux wood on Craft Art Edu. Sylvie is a meticulous artist and a meticulous teacher. Although I have not had the pleasure of trying out this online class, I have had a live class with her and her workmanship and tips are amazing.


So let’s get woodsy this weekend. We did just have the first day of fall so season appropriate organic polymer creations do seem in order!


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