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Monday, 26 January 2015

Make Art Monday




Hi Everyone
It's Make Art Monday (MAM) time again. As I mentioned last week, Im working on jewellery surface pattern designs and still need several more new designs for planned collections. I'm trying to use each design in as many ways as I can and have based the colours around each collection. Each piece of jewellery will need a specific type of packaging as well as price tags and little cards for extra product information. The wording will change for some samples but I'm happy to go with the styles of the patterns I've developed - for now. As usual canvas or paper versions will go into the MAM Album but here are the digital versions.









Each design has a colour spectrum of either 3 or 6 colours. I've enjoyed making these patterns and the actual printed package material (in card) looks great. I'm working on using each design as a background for a drawing too and will share my progress each Monday. I think the project will take a few weeks but my work is going well.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 23 January 2015

Working Smart ?




Hi Everyone
Another Friday and another week of 'catch up'. My mini project for today is the same project I've been trying to complete for the last two weeks ! I'm finally getting around to making it happen. To recap, it's a bracelet package idea incorporating one of my surface pattern designs on the card package material. See my original post on 9/1/15 for more information.



Here is a couple of the surface patterns Im using :





I'm taking the idea a step further today. This little (further) development has been 'swishing' around in my head and my work table for the last two days but Im planning on using the same idea to position my finished jewellery items inside a final gift box which will be sold with some jewellery items and will be available (separately) in the shops as gift wrap.


That all sounds a bit more complicated than it is ! I will get my prototype photos up to illustrate my plan in action - asap. This is top of my priority list today, I'm determined it will happen. Its all looking like a deliberate plan ie delaying development etc because - I'm working smart !!!! I wonder ?

Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Imitation Game




Hi Everyone
Last Thursday, I introduced a new feature on the blog called Imitation Game (read up on the detail in the 15/1/15 blog). The idea is to use something as an inspiration for the development of a new bead. The bead will then develop into a new piece of jewellery or indeed a range of jewellery.
For my first project, I'm using a few pieces of actual jewellery as my starting point - designed by Jayne Flannigan (look at 15/1/15 for images). I've moved onto my 'liked characteristics' phase ie the things I especially like about the original inspiration item(s) and have produced a word cloud to express my thoughts :



Having (quickly) identified these characteristics (in the word cloud), I am deciding to focus on 2 or 3 words which will inform my new development. The words/characteristics which I particularly favour are STRIPES, SMOOTH and COLOUR. These words identify the elements which 'shout out' from theoriginal inspiration images. I want to try and use only polymer clay for the bead production, rather than add painted lines (as used in Jayne Flannigans work). I particularly like the very thin lines in Jaynes beads. I also want to go with a series of colours which can mix and match.



I think, I would like the final jewellery pieces to be interchangeable in some way and for this reason the range of colours are important. I like the long, thin style beads used in Jaynes designs but maybe something else will develop ?
My next move is to play with clay and the ideas I have in my head. I will get some photos as I go and put them on the pinterest board called Imitation Game in my pinterest page - you can access my page from the button - here on the blog. I think ? I'm after a oblong shaped, striped bead with some way of configuring with other similar beads in a variety of colours. The colours need to come next and Im undecided at this point.
I've given myself a month on each of these Thursday projects but I'm late in starting so for this first one my finish deadline will be the last Thursday in Feb.

Thanks to Jayne Flannigan for her inspiration and also thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Polishing Polymer Beads




Hi Everyone
I'm planning on using Wednesday blogs to explore techniques and tools. Each week I hope to look in detail at such things. Last week, I focused on my new tumbling/polishing machine. I thought I would share the necklace produced from the first bead polish, showing the extent of the 'shine'.






I'm impressed with the final finish and although I probably don't want to polish all my work to produce this finish, it's a great option the have. The photo isn't giving the true shine - trust me.

Staying with the polishing theme. I do use a Dremel Tool for most of the final finishing processes with my polymer clay beads. I make my own felt polishing pads for the Dremel. I'm not sure if it's possible to buy these felt pads but I saw something on the Internet a few years ago describing how to make them. They are simply ordinary felt circles (cut to size) - I tend to stack 3 or 4 felt circles, make a hole in the centre and attach to a Dremel accessory via a little screw (comes with the tool). I've made the pads with 5 and 6 layers and they are too bulky (causes damage to the bead). The size of the felt circles are important - I go for 1.7 mm diameter. When I first started making these pads, I did make them too large and this makes them floppy and ineffective. There is a balance, too small and the Dremel attachment (metal part) touches the beads and makes unsightly marks or makes the bead fly away (from my grasp). Holding beads while polishing is quite a skill ! I often find my beads flying around the room !! Here is a closer look at the felt pads :






This pad is a week old and has been used every day for about 10 mins. I put a small dab of wax onto the pad and then polish at high speed - most satisfying to see a subtle sheen evolve. If a shiney finish is required, I can get a good result eventually but it takes several layers of wax and polish for up to 1/2 hour. This is not sensible unless a very small number of beads are involved. You can understand how the tumbler comes into the job. This is the brand of wax I use.






If you don't have a Dremel, beads can be sealed/polished by hand using this wax. I often do this and use a piece of old denim. The hand/denim technique can produce good results but does take more time.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Making Stuff




Hi Everyone
Today is all about my Tuesday Project.
The 'catchy' title for my Tuesday Project (I mentioned a title was coming last week) will be 'Making Stuff'. Ive been describing my ideas about the project for some time with this reference - so why not ? I like the simple and direct description of the central idea. It suits my purpose very well. I think anyone and everyone can understand the message and it should save me lots of time explaining. My challenge now - is to set up the practicalities of delivering the aims of the project.

I have a number of different target client groups for the Making Stuff Project and they will all have a personal reason for getting involved. I guess the common theme is a desire or need to 'make stuff'. One of my jobs needs to be attracting those who don't realise they need to 'make stuff' yet !!

I'm trying to find different ways of providing opportunities to get involved in this project. The delivery model will be non traditional ie it won't involve attending a workshop every week in a particular place. I'm thinking each person will access the project in their own way depending on their own needs and 'fit' for their personal lifestyle. I hope to offer a mix of support to provide the appropriate personal plan. I'm developing structured workshop projects to facilitate these personal development plans. My speciality will be polymer clay work but other artists will work on other disciplines. Each plan will access support when its needed as well as identify personal goals to stretch skills and hopes/dreams. Ive got such a strong sense of inspiration from Making Stuff and it's keeping me thinking (most of he time) about each tiny aspect of the project. This will be a long term thing - several years.

One aspect of Making Stuff is a workshop, every other Tuesday. This is a real practical, 3 hour session. Last week we started a necklace (look back to 13/1/15). The necklaces are developing well and everyone wanted to extend the time we need to complete the task - to include a second workshop session.

I want to try out some different beads sizes/ threading combinations to show more options - we talked a little about this last week. I will prepare some samples today. This is my initial workshop project







These images show the beads used are the same size (within each piece) and all follow a simple threading style. My new developments will use varied bead sizes and use the bead sizes to change the 'look. I'm going to alter the combinations and will take a view on what works best for me. I just need to decide on a colour scheme - possibly, something to match an outfit ?

Thanks for reading.