Monday, March 31, 2008

Serendipity During Spring Cleaning

I'm waiting for ten pounds of black premo and until the shipment arrives I won't be getting too much claying done. I spent the weekend cleaning out boxes in the basement. It was a challenging process as I seem to have a deep sentimental attachment to my children's artwork and assorted greeting cards. I have managed to pare it all down to three large rubbermaid bins. I'm appalled at the amount of broken toys and little trinkets that are unrecyleable.

There were many bittersweet moments as I read old cards and letters. I heard so many voices of friends taken too soon by cancer. There were bright spots through the process though - I found this wonderful Carolee Pollock card sent to me by my very best friend in 1989. It reflects the concept I'm planning to use for the fishing boat frieze.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Percolating An Idea....

The Fishing Boat Frieze is very much on my mind- it's "percolating". It will feature a west coast style fishing boat which reminded me of a photo I took several years ago on a rare snowy day in Steveston- a gorgeous historical fishing village where I lived before moving to Victoria.
The weather has been pretty cold here on Vancouver Island and some communities have had snow! Snow or not, I think I'll take my camera to the Fisherman's Wharf here this weekend... (I'm suddenly craving fish and chips too!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fishing and a Challenge with Large Polymer Clay Wall Pieces

I spent the whole day making fish and finished this frieze- it's 12x9". I plan to do a fish-themed vase today and begin the Fishing Boat Project.

The friezes thus far have been 4x4" up to 12x12" in size. Yesterday I finished a piece that was 14" wide and 6" high. I put eye screws in the back- one screw on each side and strung wire for hanging it but after it had been on the wall for a few hours the polymer clay "relaxed" with the warmth of the room and the piece bowed in the middle! I put the frieze back in the oven to get the warp out and I'll rethink the location of the screws. There may be a restriction to size and shape for pure polymer clay pieces that are in a hanging format. As I hope to gradually increase the size of the friezes I may need to construct some projects on a board for strength.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Inspired to move From Flowers to Fish for A While

This Lee Valley catalogue arrived yesterday. The gorgeous wooden fish decoys were carved by Don Preston of Sharon Ontario. With this visual feast as the final inpirational "nudge" I made my last floral frieze for a while and today I'm beginning to work on polymer clay fish again!

In case you've never heard of Lee Valley Tools- it's a much beloved Canadian source for just about everything from household items to tools to gardening supplies! I don't know what I'd do without their wonderful Super T Glue. Here's the website- much beloved by Canadian Polymer Clay Artists.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Making Art on the West Coast- So Much Inspiration- So Many Approaches

I've had a concept in my head for a frieze that's been humming for many months now... it will involve a stylised west coast landscape, a fishing boat and a school of fish. Whether the concept was inspired by "Whale Watching" by Canada's wonderful Ted Harrison or by Roy Henry Vicker's "Spyhopping" I have no idea. I hope to reflect their sensitivity to the west coast theme. My recent visit to wonderful Pender Island certainly reinforced my motivation!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Polymer Clay, Geraniums and a Red Tree.

Here's the latest- "Geraniums in a Blue Vase". It's 10x10 and I had a wonderful time making it but it was hard to photograph- I'll redo with my lightbox on a nice day.
Hard to believe but I'm still not tired of flowers- today I'll be playing with crocuses.
I haven't made a Muse for a while. I'll be going over to Pender Island next week. The Red Tree Gallery there has WONDERFUL hand spun and dyed wools that always inspire Muses. Last Year "She of the Shore" and "Lavender" were inspired by gorgous skeins of yarn from "Red Tree".
If you are lucky enough to be on Pender Island- "The Red Tree Gallery" is not to be missed. One of the best co-op galleries I've ever visited. (Not counting my local Gallery of Artisans!) Here's the link for Red Tree.

Hmmmm... I'm thinking of a landscape with a Red Tree (arbutus).. like this?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another Floral Frieze... Daffodills!

Yesterday I used a well worn concept from teaching primary grades... remember yellow construction paper daffodills? I translated it to polymer clay and came up with this daffodil frieze. I used the extruder for the stamen effect.
Here's the inspiration for the next project!

BTW- I've put together an Online Gallery Blog - it will document my work through the year and will keep track of where each piece is displayed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Polymer Clay Freizes

The freizing continues! Here's a ladybug themed one. 8x10". It's a companion piece for a vase I made earlier in the year. It's heading to Sidestreet Studio here in Oak Bay.

Today I'll be seeing what I can do with crocuses and 3D daffodills.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Polymer Clay Friezes- Purple tulips

Over the last few days I've been focused on filling some orders and am finding that I love the process of making friezes. Perhaps it's because spring is exploding here in Victoria but I'm fixated on flowers. This piece is "Purple Tulips". The checkerboard was really fun to include. The checkerboard clay has an inclusion of sparkly embossing powders that add a bit of flash to the effect. The piece is 12x6".

A stroll along Oak Bay Avenue has me sketching some ideas for pansies and pussy willows!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Island Artisans Association Wholesale Show

The Island Artisan's Association Wholesale Show was held on Sunday. Even though I was still feeling dreadful and was frequently inchoherent with the flu I the outing was very sucessful business-wise! The booth design was quite different without the need for displaying bracelets and smaller items - it was closer to that pared down look I've been wanting for so long so I think this is a sign that I am on "The right Track". The new friezes were very well received so I am energised to get to work!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Timing & Influenza Influence

This has been a very weird week. Vast quantities of cold meds and being frequently simmered in a eucalyptus infused bathtub can have that effect on a person.

I had a very sore neck at Sojourn which earned me a lovely neck massage from Nancy Quinn but was actually the first symptom of a vindictive flu bug (possibly the one in the photo) that has spread like wildfire through many of the Sojourn participants. Like at least five other Sojourners, rather than unpacking my clay stuff and getting back to work I've been flattened by this thing all this week. I hear that this bug is all over Vancouver Island right now. (My daughter's hair stylist told me that so it must be true!)In retrospect we are lucky that we were able to enjoy ourselves before the flu hit us. We did miss Kristine Ovens who ended up with pneumonia and was only able to join us on the last day of Sojourn.

So-this week I've been feeling sick and trying to blog Sojourn and to prep for a wholesale show tomorrow and for good measure why not take Vista out of the computer and convert to Linux with Ubuntu? Why ever not?

Timing is everything. Sometimes I wonder about my sense of it....I'd ponder more but I have to load the car.

Photo by CalTech