Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mixed Media Polymer Clay collage needs a break from the weatherman

My collage canvas is finished except for the final phase- the resin which needs UV  light for curing. The piece is obviously too large for the usual little curing oven which is approx. 8x3 inches! I'm desperate for sunshine and the long range forecast indicates at least another ten days of rain and clouds.
I've tipped my little UV oven and  OTT lights onto the piece and muffled them in foil to reflect any rays and it's working to cure the resin but it's a slow process. I'm heading to an aquarium shop today to see if I can get some supplies to rig up a permanent solution for this issue. Lack of natural UV rays is situation normal here on this section of the west coast.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A World Disaster

As I'm working here with CNN with constant oil spill coverage  I am struck by the irony that my work is celebrating the beauty of the shoreline while the shores and marshes in the Gulf of Mexico have been devastated.  There are no borders when it comes to this appalling assault on our global environment- it affects us all. The people on  the Gulf Coast  must deal first hand with the impact of this horror. My heart goes out to them but most especially to the creatures who are dying at this very moment.

A dead sea turtle is seen along the Louisiana shoreline on Saturday in Breton National Wildlife Refuge. 
(Eric Gay/Associated Press)


Mixed Media Supplies from Vesuvius Bay

Vesuvius Bay on Saltspring Island isn't very big but I had a huge mixed media  haul from there this weekend!

It's not what you look for- it's what you find... When I wasn't actively looking for a root ball I found a fabulous one. The Beach sprites had more in store for me- I found some sort of piece of machinery that is corroded, rusty and perfect, a banged up and water worn section of an old telephone mouthpiece, over a meter of rusted barbed wire and three rusted boom nails.

It's amazing that I can clean the beach while accumulating supplies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A time out and now back to work.

I'm home again after a few days on Saltspring Island. Of course I was down on the beach photographing interesting rock formations and tidal pools. This one has me very inspired for a lantern... or canvas...

First things first though, here's the canvas during the final firing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Underway again!

I'm relieved to report the piece is okay and work is underway again. I realised that the canvas was actually a cast . I removed it from the frame and cut out the damaged section then placed the "cast" on a new frame! I'm collaging and sculpting a new section which I like even more than before. The technique may work for other pieces too- particularly as an approach for work that's too big for the oven.  Serendipity!

Here's my work in progress- I'm working on the floor as a table or easel  is quite awkward .

Thanks for so many encouraging comments. The oil slick suggestions were certainly timely - I wish the mess in the Gulf could be rectified as easily as my "oil slick" was. It's more than heartbreaking.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When disaster strikes...

If I was a painter I'd be able to paint over a section of the work that went awry- it's not so easy with a piece like this one. 

On Saturday I had to stop because I ran out of resin and silk and on Sunday I began to notice what polymer clayers would call "plaquing " in the resin- I realized that the resin had run below the fabric and pooled in a dark cavity of the clay underneath so it was only partially cured in the lower layers. After considering the issue last night I decided to warm the piece in the oven and cut away a section of clay to expose the uncured resin to the sunlight so it would cure. It was a good plan until the resin conducted heat onto the thin fabric/canvas layer and scorched the fabric to a deep toasty brown. One quarter of the piece is ruined. 

Lesson Learned- Resin is fine in the oven but not if it can conduct heat to sensitive associated components. 

I have a plan- and if it works out I think the piece will be better than before...wish me luck!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Polymer Clay Mixed Media collage on Canvas- on hold....:-(

...just whenI I'm tantalisingly close to completion I've run out of some critical supplies that have to come in the mail- hopefully the project will be completed before the end of the month.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Polymer Clay and mixed media collage canvas- detail

I had only one firing today and focused on a lot of detail work. Here's a close up of the dimensional effects I can get with clay matching the colour of the photgraphy on silk... I'm experimenting as I go!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Polymer Clay Mixed Media Canvas... continued

Here's the progress for today. I was up at 5:00 and ready to work.I'm getting some really cool effects that I'll show up close after firing. It's not a dog's dinner anymore.... more tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Polymer Clay Mixed Media Collage on Canvas

Luckily I've done this before and know that this is the dog's dinner stage in the process. I didn't panic on the first firing as the wood frame on the canvas hit 275F for the first time and began spewing clouds of slightly smokey steam from the oven. I've learned that initial "guidline" layers often suffer from scorching because the canvas is repeatedly fired- it's been in eight times today. It's a collage, there are many layers yet to might not look like it but this is going really well! (and the smoke detector didn't even go off !)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Polymer Clay Mixed Media Canvas- mixing the colours

I spent a few hours mixing colours to match the clay with the photographic images that are on the canvas. There's four pounds of clay here, it's going to be a heavy canvas!

Tomorrow I'll start building layers on the canvas.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Polymer Clay on Canvas- day 2

It's vertical! - I realised it when I put the first sheet of silk down on the canvas so it was the Muse. This is the  primary guideline layer. I think the piece will end up with 4 different layers. There's a bit of a "Natasha" effect going on but that won't last long. The next step involves a lot of colour mixing. The thing I loved when I took the original photos at Point no Point was the range of colours captured in this tiny section of shore so I'm going to really enjoy the colour mixing phase and I'll have a lot of great colours to use for my BeachStone bracelets and necklaces too!

(Happy Mothers' Day!- I'm heading to the garden Centre!)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Polymer Clay on Canvas- new project

Here it is so far! A 16" x 20" blank canvas. I'll be doing a 3D tidepool themed piece- the biggest ever! My plan is to document my daily progress here....I promise it will be more interesting looking tomorrow. Decision #1- is the canvas vertical or horizontal?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Polymer Clay Lantern- finished at last!

First of all I'd like to thank Cynthia Tinapple for the lovely Polymer Clay Daily article she did about me! The article featured a picture of my "not ready for prime time" lantern which served to show that I'm doing a lot of R&D here! The shelved lanterns have led me to attempt #3 which I consider to be successfully completed!   I came up with a few strategies along the way- "splinting kelp", using an embossing gun for out of oven firing for large pieces that won't go in the oven but do need final touches  and inventing a large drying oven involving a sheet, a floor heater and several large rocks... necessity is always the Mother of invention!

 "Lantern #3"
approx. 4" wide 27" tall

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Mural by Victoria Opportunities for Community Youth Leadership and Youth Combating Intolerance!

This weekend my daughter worked with her friends from the Victoria Opportunities for Community Youth Leadership (VOCYL) and Youth Combating Intolerance (YCI) to create a wonderful mural on the side of NDP MLA Rob Fleming's office building at 1060 Hillside. The building is owned by Lori and Mike at Gazolla Tiles and I think they are awesome for giving these young artists a chance to express their philosophy of inclusion, friendship and fun! The mural was designed by Stephanie McColl  who assimilated the ideas expressed by members of the two groups. It was a wonderful project - here's the work in progress! The Final result is at the bottom of the post!

Here's Gen giving a big hug to Tracy Lemke the coordinator of VOCYL!
The proud guy in the background is Gen's dad! 

The Final result!