Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year,

I know that some of you don’t celebrate this holiday when I do, but my intentions for you are all the same, may my new year bring you all of the best you have ever had and more than you can ever imagine!!
To the infinite possibilities in 2009!!!
Blessings all over each and every one of you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Polymer Clay Collaborative and Mixed-Media Retreat

Attention Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Artists!
Polymer Clay Collaborative
… and Mixed-Media Retreat
June 1-6, 2009

On the campus of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, polymer clay artists will be able to collaborate with artists of other mediums. If you work in Polymer clay, precious metal clay, paper arts, collage, book arts, fiber, paint, beading, stamping, or all of the above, this retreat is for you! Get a group of your friends together and join us at Shepherd University in the quaint village of Shepherdstown.

Registration is open NOW until April 1, 2009!

For more information and registration, visit our website:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Project

Pinata Ink Flowers and Leaves, here is another project someplace else. This is a good one if you just want to try one color of clay, you know test drive it, and have Pinata inks already (if not Howard carries them, pinatas and porcelain white Cernit). The flowers and leaves are completely colored with the inks. The color that I am using is the porcelain White or the regular white, the one that is a sort of frosted glass type clay in look. You can also do this with the opaque white Cernit for a completely different look!

The Pinata inks are a wonderful product to add to any artist's tool chest, because they can be used on almost anything. I am though careful when using them on something that alcohol is solvent to. I have great luck with metals, glass, polymer clay, some plastics, and fabrics. They are translucent, so color shows through them, especially on the lighter colors.

With Cernit clay they can be added and layered or added to the surface for coloration of the clay.

As in these Inkling Beads, this is a pay for project that can be found at

Holiday wishes

I hope that no matter how you spend this time, that you spend it with friends and family or friends that are family, that you are warm and you are dry, you have food to eat, and love in your heart. That is my wish for all of you who stop here. May this year coming, 2009, bring you all you could ever want and more that you could ever imagine. I am so grateful for all of you!!!

And... may you never get caught with your pants down!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Project Sheet

I am so sorry about not posting sooner, life got in my way and when I can get clear on what has happened I will post about it, or not. If I don’t have to repeat last week, it is a very good thing. But… it would make a great comedy skit; you just can’t make this stuff up.
The holidays are coming (gee, ya think?) and I am backed way up, with no money (like that is new for anybody). So that means I have to make something, I need to do that. So I am going to take the easy way out here and post some stuff that I have on another site that is new!
I have two new projects up on the Jacquard website; the first one is the silverware with the Granite Cernit that I showed here. There are step by step instructions and pictures for you!!! If you need a last minute but totally heartfelt and individual gift, this just may fit the bill.
Easy Stone-like Silverware

This is a very easy project so you will just have enough time to get this done!!

I'll post the other later.

Blessings all over all you all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Extruder Canes with Bead Patterns as a guide

I put up the color mixing chart yesterday for this project!

Millefiori is the glass technique of bundling or layering colored rods of glass together to form images and then cutting the cross section of the bundled or layered glass to get a little tile of an image. These colored rods of glass are called canes. I have seen this technique duplicated in many mediums, ceramic, candy, food, and polymer clay, and it can sometimes seem almost impossible to achieve, but if you start with basic design, bulls eye canes, open spirals and checkerboards just to name a few, you can combine those to make more intricate pictures or images, called advanced caning. Anytime two or more simple patterns are combined it becomes advanced. I have found a way to make intricate canes that is so easy to do, yet gives the impression of intricacy and complication. Bead patterns and a Makin’s Clay extruder are great for attempting this.

You will need:
Red and orange Cernit, 2 blocks of each
Opaque white Cernit, 1 block
Makin’s clay extruder
Kemper Slicing blade
Bead Pattern- I got mine on from Kris Jernberg who is BeadedandBejeweled on Bead-space. She has her many beautiful patterns in her gallery and generously shares them with all of us at Bead-space. Thank you so much Kris, this project is 10 times what it normally is because of your generosity and talent. This is her home page at bead-space Any bead patterns or your own can be converted to canes this way. Even some cross stitch and needle point patterns work great for this also.
I love bead-space and Kris is just one of the many reasons I am so proud to be a part of this community of generous, kind, and talented men and women.

Mix each Red block of clay with 1/8 block of Opaque white
Mix each Orange block of clay with 1/8 block of Opaque white

(You can do this with the colors that Kris picked too, use 2 blocks of Yellow and 2 blocks of Light Green and mix those with 1/8 block of Opaque white for each block of color.) In my picture block the Green color is orange clay and the yellow color is red clay. I cross out the line of squares on the pattern as I complete them so I don't get lost.
Load up the extruder with the conditioned red mixture first by rolling into a coil slightly smaller than the barrel of the extruder and use the square disk that comes with the extruder. Place the disk in the end fitting and screw that on to the end of the barrel and screw the handle down to extrude the red clay in a square shape. Cut this long tube of squares in to 2 “sections.
Then extrude the other glob of preconditioned red clay.
Now do the Orange clay blobs and cut those extruded squares in to 2” lengths.
Now you are going to use sticky notes and block off a section of the pattern like I have done, shown in the first picture above. Now assemble the squares to duplicate this pattern exactly. Place all the square logs together deliberately and take your time to make sure they are all lined up. Once you get the block together. Start compacting the lined sides (all of them one at a time) of the block down gently to extend the patterned faces out and lengthen the design block and make it smaller in size. Go slow and do a little at a time to keep the rectangle shape and the pattern straight.
Once you get this down to about 1” on one side you can cut in to sections and put them together to form different patterns. These can be put together a multitude of ways and in many configurations, just play around with them, just don't press them together until you get what you like. Then they can be pressed together and reduced again and cut and placed together again to make the design more and more complicated.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making porcelain Cernit colors opaque

I have talked about keeping the Cernit colors porcelain like and looking more like the color you see right out of the package. Now I am going to tackle the method of making the color more Opaque and looking like the raw color out of the package.

We all have to knead our clay no matter what brand or softness to get the best results, this will redistribute the particles evenly throughout the block of clay. I showed you an example of the non-kneaded Cernit here. Clay will settle like a box of cereal will or like the oil in peanut butter will rise to the top when sitting on the shelf. Mixing in additional colors during this process is really no different than kneading your clay up as straight out of the package and not adding color. This color formulation works out to be 1 block (2.2 ounces) of color to 1/8 or 1/16 block of the Opaque white Cernit (029) to make it more opaque and keep it closer to the package color even after the darkening of the baking process. Depending on how much I want it to be opaque, I find that the 1/8 block of Opaque white (029) is the best for millefiori or caning purposes. Even more opaque white than this can be added (maybe 1/6th of a block of Opaque white), it is up to you and it gives another shade of the same color to work with. I keep these formulations pretty basic so that I can easily duplicate the color again if I need it. This is where you would want to make a test chip and write it down in your color journal. To me it is of value to document my progress and process so I can see how far I have come and what I have learned.
With the changes in Polymer Clays by removing the Phthalates, we are going to be dealing with a different animal whether we want to or not, and instead of mourning the loss of what used to be, I am working on dealing with what is, moving on, and how to make it work for me. I am grateful for the chance to be excited again. I am also grateful for the changes that I see in my work and the pieces I love to create.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cloisonne Jewelry

These necklaces are what came from the Cloisonne beads and the extruder beads I made. Notice that I didn't cut the extruder beads in small sections I made these an inch or longer and because the clay is flexible, I can make large hoop earrings like these shown on the top left. The necklace here is strung on 20 gauge Non Tarnish Brass wire and I make a hook on one end and an eye on the other.