Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yet More Texture

More textured earrings by Roberta Warshaw
More textured earrings, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I was surprised at how much I like this texture. I thought it would be too large for the size of the earrings but it turns out not to be true. I guess I forgot how good a design can look when it is huge.

Once in a figure drawing class, I really annoyed my teacher. His class was all about drawing the whole body. That way we could get the size of the head correct in proportion to the rest of the body. I had so much trouble with it that I made the whole page just one single part of the body. Like one thigh or one boob.

I liked it even if he didn't!

Anyway, in case you may not have noticed, I have been fiddling around with some things on my blog. I would like to try to have a direct shop on here. I just get so lost on Etsy. I have been on there for years and have only sold a couple of things. There is so much jewelry on there it is hard to get noticed. Some days I don't even get one view!

What do you all do? Do you make any sales on Etsy? Do you have other web sites? I recently found out that I could add a Paypal button to blogger. Should I/ shouldn't I? I would really like to start selling. I am planning on doing some shows this winter but I would really like to make my online shop at least somewhat profitable. Sigh.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Texture Sample

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this texture but I am really quite pleased with the results. It is yet another texture I created using the "Radiating Textures" tutorial I purchased from Helen Breil.

Also, you will notice the border around the two pieces. I have always wanted to make a bezel for my polymer creations but could not figure out how to make one that would be even all the way around. This one doesn't have a bottom as a real bezel for a gem stone would but I think it gives a lovely finished look to the piece.

This is also from a tutorial by Helen Breil on surface design and tile making. Which you can find here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Helen Breil Tutorial

One of the problems where I live is the lack of any classes in polymer clay. I am not speaking of basic classes but of master classes with some of the experts in the field.
I am not sure why no one wants to teach here in Boston but it is what it is. We have a fantastic jewelry school here called Metalwerx but they do not offer any classes in polymer clay. I am not sure why. I am also not able to travel much to take classes. I have obligations here at home and can't really go too far.

So I have come to rely heavily on tutorials. One of the most exciting ones I have purchased recently is one by the wonderful Canadian polymer artist, Helen Breil. It is called Radiating Textures and I cannot recommend it enough. It is one of those tutorials where you really learn a skill and can take it to the next level on your own once you understand the basics. There is much to be learned from this tutorial and it was certainly well worth the money.

For example, I had never thought of using extrusions for texture making. But they work really well. In the circular texture in the photo at the top right you can see how it was done. It doesn't look like much here but it makes the most beautiful texture. Simple and elegant.

I haven't tried the others yet. I am not sure about the one on the bottom right. I made the lines too thick. I think I will make another using thinner strips and texturing the strips rather than the base. Also, some of them need to be made into inverses in order to get a nice texture. I haven't done that yet either.

I am hoping to use these soon in some new pieces. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fun With Color!

I seem to be having too much fun with this design right now! I finally made color samples of my Pearl Ex mica powders. Boy was I in for a shock! This color is called interference violet. I am not sure what interference colors are but in the jar the powder was white so I paid it little attention.
I was far more interested in all the gold, sparkly colors. But once I made samples and found this color I was amazed. I just love it!
I glued the small sample swatches to the tops of the jars so that I don't have to try and read those teeny, tiny labels anymore! Anyone who has used mica powders knows what I am talking about. Could they make the type a little smaller? I swear it is 5 or 6 pt type! And it is in multiple languages so trying to find the English one is tricky!
I also bought a new texture making tutorial this week by Helen Breill. It is simply wonderful. I will take pictures of my new textures and blog about it later in the week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened After Vacation....

New Polymer Earrings by Roberta Warshaw
New Polymer Earrings, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I spent the past two days trying to get back to what I was doing before I left for vacation. I had every intention of continuing my recent experiments with polymer clay. But I was struggling. Nothing was working.

But today, these earrings happened instead. I am not sure what happened. But I do like them. I just don't know exactly where they came from. There were no sketches or anything. I didn't plan them at all. I have learned however, never to argue with the inner voice of creativity.

Sometimes I will try and steer the ship but it demands to be left to its own devices.

And there you have it.

Now if I can get some better photos of them I will add them to my shop.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Back from Vacation!

It was another memorable Berkshire vacation. The weather was picture perfect so we had lots of pool time. Along with pool time of course goes bead weaving. Although I have to say I didn't complete too many things this time around. I did a lot of ripping out. For some reason I kept missing the elusive "step up" in the peyote stitch. Only finding it at the very end when it was time to zip up. This bracelet is the only thing that was completed and I don't consider it finished since the toggle needs some adjustments.

Plus I think I was missing my polymer clay projects this year and couldn't concentrate fully on the bead weaving.

Oh well.

The rest of the vacation was fantastic. We saw James Taylor at Tanglewood. I never tire of hearing his sweet voice. He had a couple of special guests with him this year. Amy Grant and her husband Vince Gill. I have always liked her music and to hear her again was lovely. She and her husband have a wonderful harmony together.

We also saw Joshua Bell again. Twice. Once at the Saturday morning open rehearsal and then again at the Sunday concert. Both, of course, at Tanglewood. If you have never listened to Joshua Bell, you simply must. He is an amazing violinist. And oh so young and adorable! If you are familiar with the movie "The Red Violin", that is him playing the music for the soundtrack.
We also saw a wonderful exhibit on the grounds at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Robots. You can see the photos I took here.


So back to the business of camp lunches and polymer clay! Not necessarily in that order!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Experiments with Design and Color

This will be my last post for 2 weeks as we leave for vacation tomorrow. I thought I would leave you with a few ideas I have been working on this week. I wanted to try my applique designs out using different background colors as well as different surface treatments.

On the far left I used Jecru as a background and a product called Rub n Buff gilding paste for the gold. The next one over from that is also Jecru as a background but with brown shoe polish (per Ronna Sarvas Weltman's book) as a coloring on the applique.

Next over, and my favorite, is the use of pure translucent as a background with Pearl Ex gold as well as Rub n Buff applied to the surface.

I got the idea of using the translucent right out of the package from Donna Greenberg. She uses it to a marvelous effect so I thought I might try it. I had mixed results with adding colors to the translucent so I gave this a try. I really like it and plan to try more of it this way.

Of course, next is my usual black with gold Pearl Ex. A tried and true favorite of mine.

The furthest one to the right is Jecru with copper colored acrylic. A no-go as far as I can tell. It isn't doing anything for me.

Anyway, that's it for a couple of weeks. Enjoy your 4th of July and I'll see you when I get back!