Thursday, August 27, 2009

I feel so productive! (Adventures with clay)

I spent pretty much the whole day working on crafty things- that's so rare for me because usually I'm either feeling too crummy or I can't concentrate or feel creative for too long at a time. But I got a lot of stuff done! Okay, well not done but worked on. :)

This is some of the stuff I was working on today:

The custom plushie, some horns, some beads for a custom pair of earrings I'm making, and some practice pendants. The beads will get blogged about later once I finish the earrings, which are the other things I worked on today but they didn't get in the photo.

Here's a closeup of Henry:

I crocheted his hat to look like his derby hat, but it's hard to tell in the picture that the brim is flipped up. He's also got a face, mustache, jacket, tie, and monocle now. :) The only thing he's missing are the sword and teacup (those are on the left in the first picture of this entry), which I'm going to glue into his hands tomorrow. I'm really liking how he turned out!

And now for some clay! After reading Luthien's clay tutorial on her blog the other day (are you following her yet? If not, you totally should- she makes amazing art!), I was itching to try my hand at it since I have most of the supplies mentioned. And I have to say, it was so much fun! (Thanks, Luthien, for the inspiration!)

Normally when I make things out of clay I'll just mix in maybe a tiny bit of glitter and then paint the finished product (usually runestones) with acrylic paint, but I wanted to try some pendants with her tutorial because I'd love to eventually make some intricate ones for my chainmaille. What I came up with aren't perfect (and they look even shabbier in the photos since I had such poor lighting) but darnit, I'm proud of them!

This is the first:

This disc started out just a boring navy blue, then I took some sandpaper to it to give texture (I'd never done texture before! It's so cool trying to find things that leave marks!), then rubbed some silver and gold Pearl Ex powders and some green pigments on. After I baked it, I added some varnish to seal it.

Here's the second:

This square (although it got unsquared during my novice attempt, lol) started out as just boring white clay, then I pressed a seashell up against to give texture, then rubbed silver Pearl Ex powder and some blue and green glittery pigments on. After I baked it, I added a layer of shiny varnish.

I did find that the Pearl Ex works a lot better than the pigments (I think they're ink pigments?) because the pigments don't spread as well and they soak up the varnish so it beads (THAT's why I'd been having problems with varnishing my runestones! I think the varnish itself is fine; it's just interacting with the pigments I sometimes mix into the clay). So the moral of the story is I'm going to go buy more Pearl Ex ones. I need to buy yarn this weekend, anyway; I may as well add extra art supplies. ;) I'd also love to get some wood stamps, but unless I can find some good ones cheap, that'll be pushed back for a while when I have some extra cash. (Also, thanks to Luthien's blog I know one of the types of varnishes that have been recommended to me- hopefully I can find this one better than the Diamond floor polish stuff that apparently no hardware store in the area carries.)

The last thing I want to share are the horns I made for my best friend. At least, I started out making these for her but they ended up a really cool accident so I'm not sure if they're still the color she wants.

The picture doesn't do these justice at all- I'll have to get a better one once they're on a cord and when it's daylight. The accident is because Care wanted them black with purple sparkles, but the sparkles kind of took over. They did start black, but as I was sprinkling on the glitter I thought "this glitter is really fine/small, I wonder if I can rub it on and cover it?" (like I had been doing with the Pearl Ex powders) and sure enough, I could! That purple is entirely glitter and the picture doesn't show how amazingly shiny these are- even my mom and sister who don't like fantasy things thought they looked neat!

Anyway, after I did the glitter part I added the black twists and baked the clay. After it cooled I had to touch up the black with paint to cover some of the glitter that had gotten on it (it was my first try- hopefully in the future I can avoid that step), then covered it all in shiny varnish so it's even more shiny.

Now I'm going to be on the lookout for super-fine glitter like this purple so I can make more horns. I think I only have maybe two other colors like this; the rest of my glitter is larger, so they wouldn't work so well.

So, Care- let me know if these are still what you want. I can do another pair black if you really want more black, but goodness, these are pretty! (Okay, I do have a thing for shiny things.)

I love when accidents turn out better than what you'd actually been planning! :D


tollykit said...

Lovely work. I like the adventures with clay. They've turned out really well.

luthien said...

holey moley!! firstly ... you're a darn excellent crocheter!! and then ...
WOAH!!! what a lot of pretty stuff you made!! the silver pearl-ex is GORGEOUS!! the pendants look great ok! i was contemplating whether to get a jar of silver pearl-ex but didn't think much of it when i looked at the powder ... but now .... YES!! i'll go get it NOW!! i just came out from the craftshop sitting in a wifi cafe nearby. so i'm going back!

ok.. forget about the varathane thing... just go future! it's so easy to use, so cheap, not tacky and smells REAL nice!!

the purple horns are darn good looking ok :) what glitter did you use? the normal ones? and you baked the glitters??!! pearl-ex is made for baking but i didn't know glitters were too!! great job!

and thanks for the shoutout :)) so happy to see other ppl playing with clay! hihihi!!!

threadsofmagique said...

Wow! What a great day to make so many beautiful things! I love your plushie!!! He has so much personality.
I don't work with clay (way too many crafts now lol) so I can't appreciate the details, but I love the look. I think the pendants are gorgeous. And those horns...absolutely incredible.

Merily said...

Thanks, Tolly!

Luthien- Aww, thanks! I do a bunch of art, but crochet is really the one I'm best at, probably because it's the one I tend to focus on. I love getting to make dolls because I get to crochet, work clay, and do a bunch of embellishing, though! :)

Oh, definitely get the silver Pearl Ex- I love the color it gives, but then again, I really love the color silver. ;) That sounds great- I'll go with the future polish then. :D

Just some regular glitter I got at the craft store- I think it was like 5 for $1 even. It's just super-fine so it's tiny specks instead of larger bits- it's almost as fine as powder. But yup, I baked it (at the Sculpy temperature of 175F for 18 minutes or so), and so far I haven't had any trouble with glitter burning. I guess if the index cards I sit my clay on to bake come out fine, glitter does, too, lol.

Threads of Magique- Thank you! :D I'm really liking how this plushie is coming out- I hope the person who bought him likes him, too!

I loved those horns so much that I'm actually working on a second pair in blue. I'm loving the shine so much that I keep wanting to make more shinies!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I LOVE the horns! And your talent with plushies just amazes me :)

Merily said...

Aww, thanks, Ruthie! :D

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