Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ArtBliss Update: Like Putty in My Hands

In case you were sitting on the fence about signing up for a class at ArtBliss in September, I'm going to be writing a series of blog posts relating to the class I'm teaching there. These aren't tutorials but little snippets about what we'll be doing in my class “Whimsical Blooms” and the journey that my concepts have taken to finally coalesce into a teachable format.

I work a lot with found objects-- I have never called these “junk” as they are in the category of relics for me, the fascinating detritus of our civilization—past and present-- either iconic in their meaning or splendidly weathered and patinated with time and the elements and worthy of inclusion into my artwork. But they don't come in duplicates. So I make molds of them and then I have them forever, at least in shape. The part of me that enters into the mix then is in how I color these copies and antique them and arrange them into wearable art. They are transformed by what I add to their history and their story becomes part of my story.

I don't have to find each and every “found” object. People give them to me sometimes, my husband finds them on our property, a friend actually loaned me an interesting piece that he wants back eventually.

So here's the important tip: you don't have to use the whole image. You can use a mold you've made of an antique button but use a piece of polymer clay that's larger than the impression so you have a “relic”-- an irregular shape that looks like it has disintegrated somewhat in the aging process. You can flatten edges or texture them with a tool or a texture sheet. I like to thin the edges out to create the illusion of disintegration even more. Polymer is very strong so even very thin pieces are quite strong. This allows you to stack a number of layers without creating a lot of weight or depth, just a showcase for color, texture and pattern.

Little layered experiments

Solstice necklace detail

Solstice necklace detail

Solstice necklace detail

Solstice necklace