Clay

Feather Inspired Boho Necklace with Sculpey Soufflé

In January I traveled to the Creativation Trade show, in Phoenix, Arizona. Held by Association For Creative Industries or AFCI, during the show I was invited to the 6th annual Prime Networking Event. At this event, bloggers, designers, authors and brands in the craft industry came together to network, make new partnerships, and learn about new product information. The event was Educational, informative, had great food and drinks and free product samples provided by this year’s sponsors. After the event attendees were encouraged to try out and create art for the Favecrafts Best Blogger Craft Event.

One of the sponsors was Polyform Products, who supplied a wonderful kit including a Sculpey® Bead Making Kit and three half bricks of Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed.

The Souffle clay colors of the kit reminded me of the feathers of the Great Green Macaw. In particular the neck and chest feathers, in tones of green, black and fluffy white, that many Macaws can be seen preening while relaxing. This color inspiration helped me visualize a Boho necklace, faux leather in style, since Souffle Clay once baked in an oven has a matte finish, somewhat like leather.

Supplies:

Sculpey® Soufflé™ in Igloo, Pistachio and Poppy Seed
Sculpey® Bead Making Kit
Ceramic tiles
1 Coffee Straw
Pasta Machine
Paper Towels
Metal Spacer Beads
Cone Tin Beads
Toothbrush
Darice 100% Natural Hemp Cord, 20 lb. Assorted Brights
Cord Faux Suede Olive-Brown 3MM

Working with the Sculpey Soufflé I quickly learned it is softer than most polymer clay, requiring little to no conditioning. Using the cutting blade, included in the bead making kit, I cut each brick in half, saving half of each clay brick for the second part of the project. I rolled out each half brick of clay with a pasta machine (devoted to craft use only) set on the thickest setting.
Using the Skinner Blend technique, which creates beautiful gradients in clay, I blended two of each color of clay. Now having pieces of clay with blends of green with black, white with black, green with white, I cut out 14 feather shapes using the cutting blade. I didn’t need to use a template because I wanted the organic look of naturally fallen feathers. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each feather. To give detail to the clay feathers I used the needle tool, included in the bead making kit, to draw on the clay, not going too deep but just enough to get create lines as shown in the photo above.

I placed a paper towel on a ceramic tile and carefully put my detailed feather pieces on top. I bent and curved the feather to give them a more natural flow. I baked the clay feathers on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions.

To condition and roll out polymer clay easier I use a Pasta Machine I got at a kitchen supply store. It also happens to have two noodle cutting rollers, that normally I ignore when using for clay. However the Fettuccine noodle roller was about to become very handy for the next part in my project.
*The use of a pasta machine with noodle cutting rollers is not necessary if you rather cut each strip out by hand.

I rolled out the reserved half bricks of clay with the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Then I ran each portion of clay through the Fettuccine cutting roller, making sure to run the white, then green and black clay last to avoid color transfer of clay. Each strip of clay was easily textured with a tooth brush to emulate the appearance of leather. Using a coffee straw I punched out a hole on the top of each strip of clay.

I crumpled two paper towels into rolls and placed a third paper towel on top of a ceramic tile. I carefully placed my strips of clay on the paper towels. I baked the clay strips on the tile as per the manufacturers instructions. Sculpey Soufflé once baked is more flexible than traditional polymer clay allowing for long and/or large art pieces to be created, yet be still resistant to cracking and breaking.

I cut a 24 inch portion of Faux Suede Olive-Brown Cord to be the start of my necklace. I cut a 10 inch portion of green Natural Hemp Cord and attached it to the suede cord using a Lark’s head (Cow Hitch) knot.

I slid a metal bead onto the hemp cord and did a overhand knot at the end of the cord. I repeated this on the second portion of the cord.

I added an additional 10 inch hemp cord length to the suede using a Lark’s Head knot, adding metal beads and securing them with overhand knots. Adding another hemp cord length I slid metal bead further down the cord, towards the Lark’s head knot. I did an overhand knot, slid on a strip of baked polymer Souffle clay and secured it with a overhand knot. I repeated this process for all of the other cured clay pieces.

I slid on three Cone Tin Beads on each side of the suede and did a simple slide knot to finish the necklace.
I am now a huge fan of Sculpey Soufflé, with its flexibility and matte finish it allows this cascade of cord, clay and metal beads to be lightweight, durable and fashionable!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

 

Beads

The Gift of Sparking Winter Jewelry, Handmade of Course!

With the past few months speeding past, with projects, orders, shows and daily life, I still make time to create handmade gifts for friends and family. No matter how much planning involved I always seem to end up making a few things last minute, but now that most of these pieces are on their merry little way I can share a few of my favorites.

I love getting random bead assortments from Fire Mountain Gems. In one of my last orders I received some sterling silver filigree bell beads. Hoping to create some form of jewelry set, I was not sure what to put with them. Pulling out of my bead stash I found clear crystals and chain from Fiona Accessories. They were the perfect addition to the bells, creating a delicate but beautiful mix of sparkle and sound in a Princess length necklace.

Taking inspiration from the 1920s jewelry styles I wanted to create a simple Opera length necklace. Once again using chain from  Fiona Accessories and red crystals from Michael’s Bead Landing™ a graceful and lightweight necklace was created. While the red color is fitting for the holidays it also works well as a nice addition to dressy causal attire.

For this Matinee length necklace I used a mixture of miscellaneous findings left over from previous projects. The Aurora Borealis blue crystal beads went perfect with the patterned spacer beads. While the chain adds a more modern feel, the colors and spacers hark back to more ancient times.

When making jewelry gifts I just have to make earrings. Some beads just lend themselves to something delicate or have just the perfect flash of color to be made into earrings. Using beads and findings from Fire Mountain Gems,  Fiona Accessories,  Michael’s and many more jewelry suppliers these earrings were quick to make. A few almost could pass for tree ornaments, others found treasures and old heirlooms, making them perfect gifts for young or old.

What handmade gifts have you made or are making this Holiday Season?

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

Enchanting Halloween Jewelry Charms

My favorite time of year, Fall is finally here! Cooler weather, plant-life changing colors and the promise of my favorite holiday of the year, Halloween just right around the corner. Now that I have a little more free time I am trying to find ways to use up a lot of my older art supplies mixed with new and interesting items.  Scouring stores for Halloween decos, supplies, fabrics and ideas is favorite and seemingly a family tradition in our household.

I found at JoAnn Fabric Stores a wonderful line of Halloween charms by hildie & jo. The charms are sturdy, have a great finish and there is a great variety of carded charms. My only problem was most JoAnn Fabric Stores were selling out of the charms quickly and these were the only sets I could find. Each set had different themes and assortment of styles. I didn’t use all the charms yet but several I immediately knew what I wanted to create using up some of my older jewelry supplies.

The large two skull pendant set while advertised as Halloween charms I felt fit a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme better. Noticing the skulls had a warm golden honey color rhinestone set in them along with a black enamel antiquing, I picked black and honey tone crystals from Fiona Accessories, silver flower and leaf beads to accompany the skull.

The rather adorable silver fang charm was just perfect as is, and I felt if I added any of the other charms to it, the piece would get lost. I matched the red enamel on the fangs to small red Swarovski crystal beads and silver-lined translucent red Miyuki magatama (oval) beads. By spacing the beads on the chain in irregular intervals, it created the look of crystallized blood flowing down the chain and past the fangs.

The tiny witch craft charms were so sweet and well crafted I felt adding them to silver earring hoops with purple Swarovski crystals was the best way to create a delicate but magical cascade.

The more tongue-in-cheek witch charms I turned into a bracelet, using black, green and pink Czech fire polished beads. The playful movement of the charms and drops added to the fun everyday style.

After having such a fun time creating these pieces I can’t help but want to haunt the stores for more!

What might inspire you to make some fashionably ghoulish accessories this season?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Beads

#Cre8time Jewelry Creations Inspired by Art History

Hello! With Spring in full swing I have been cleaning the plethora of crafting supplies I seem to always have. While I destash I can’t help but notice I seem to add to the collection without noticing! So this time I set myself the goal of using my more coveted supplies to create jewelry on a more regular basis.  Today I wanted to show with you some of those jewelry creations inspired by Art History.


“Imhotep’s Gift”, vintage gold plated beads, Lapis Lazuli beads and vintage gold plated findings.
I have a serious love of Lapis Lazuli; the tiny highlights of naturally occurring Iron Pyrite always gives it a wonderful sparkle. Taking my inspiration from ancient Egypt, a matching set of chandler earrings and necklace was born.

“Roman villa”, gold foil and turquoise colored lamp-worked beads, Bead Gallery® gold rondelle beads, vintage gold plated findings and Blue Moon Beads® gold lantern focals from JoAnns.
The gold foil lamp-worked beads immediately reminded me of how ancient Roman glass looks when unearthed at archaeology digs. Using surviving Roman necklaces as a guide I used a link and drop design to create this necklace. I felt using the same beads would look a bit much for earrings so I went with lantern focal drops instead.

“Nepal Spring”, Sterling Silver Fair Trade beads from Nepal, vintage Sterling Silver spacer beads, Fiona Accessories black glass beads, Bead Gallery® turquoise tone Magnesite beads and vintage Sterling Silver findings.
I had bought the Nepal Fair Trade beads some years ago but could never think of what to do with them. I realized putting all the beads on one strand would be too heavy, so using only one bead as my focal I created a simple but stylish layout. The two additional beads from Nepal had their intricate details highlighted as earrings.

“Uranium Ball”, Neon green crystal beads (a discontinued line of crystals from Bead Gallery®?), vintage crystal and gold plated links, vintage gold plated spacer beads and vintage gold plated findings.
Once again the beads were my starting point of the design, the odd, almost glowing hue of the crystal beads made me think of Uranium glass. Uranium glass (also known as Vaseline glass), was glass tinted with Uranium to striking tones of green, was made into tableware and household items in the 1800 and early 1900s. Taking inspiration from the jewelry styles of the 1910-20s I created this set using mostly broken vintage jewelry pieces I have collected over the years.

What type of wearable art could you create with a Spring destash of supplies?

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!

Amazing Casting Products

2017 Creativation Show with Amazing Casting Products

This year’s Craft & Hobby Association 2017 show was a whirlwind of changes, arts and crafts manufacturers, new products, demos, classes,  and networking opportunities. Formerly known as the CHA  Mega Show, it is now called the Creativation Trade show, held in Phoenix, Arizona. CHA also went under a new rebranding, now Association For Creative Industries or AFCI to reflect their more broad ranging inclusion of creative industries.

Here is their lovely new logo that was introduced to attendees and exhibitors on the second day of the show!

I was once again a demonstrator at the Amazing Casting Products/Alumilite Corp booth at CHA, this time for all three days! With the show being shorter but with longer show hours everything was a whirlwind.


In the above photo the President of Alumilite, Mike Faupel is proudly showing off the products of the Amazing Casting Products line and all the artwork samples.

On the front table there was a wonderful array of artwork by Cat KerrTina WalkerKristie Taylor and yours truly.


The talented and lovely Cat Kerr did afternoon demonstrations at the booth on Saturday. A tutorial of one of the projects she was demoing can be found Here.

While sadly Cat couldn’t stay for all of the show, everyone at the Amazing Casting Products booth made sure she had a great time!

One of my new pieces on display was resin frame piece I created and brought just for this show.

Using an old frame, gold leaf, Amazing Clear Cast resin tinted with Alumilite’s Dyes and mixed with Alumidust powders I was able to create a vibrant one of a kind abstract piece.

There was so many samples showcased in almost ever corner of the booth! From home decor, mixed media, jewelry, garden decor, fine art and more!

Trying a new spin on my resin canvas application (such as I did for last year’s show) I painted, applied gold leaf, Amazing Clear Cast resin, real leaves on a 12″x 24″ canvas. The depth and dimension I was able to achieve was lovely.

At the end of three days of demos from 9am-6pm I was looking a little frazzled but I had a wonderful time sharing techniques, new resin applications and showcasing my skills as a designer.

One of my favorite demonstrations was using the tile molds you can see in the photo. If you would like to find out how to create your own a tutorial can be found Here.

While I didn’t get to walk the show floor like I normally would because everything was so busy this show turned out to be a wonderful and new adventure into the creative industries.

Until Next Time, Safe Travels!