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Thursday, 18 September 2014

This is my plan !

Hi Everyone
Following on from yesterday, I mentioned preparing some follow-on polymer clay jewellery workshops. Read back for some background on my first workshop.
I spent lots of time thinking about how and what to suggest. Ive decided to go for a necklace on buna cord. Buna is a rubber looking product. Ive seen some great examples of using this material for stringing and thought I could use it with a particular mounting technique (often an issue for me ie the right necklace construction). I can also create a fastening from clay and the buna.
My group were brilliant and their skills are up to it !

My workshop group is part of a larger fundraising movement and we are very much an experimental test group for developing suitable projects. The fund raising element of the projects means that we are aiming to raise as much money as we can for our cause and because we are at the beginning of our projects - tools and other resources are limited or non existent. These limitations, in some respects, are great for focusing the mind. I need to develop my projects very carefully and make sure I can adapt or make tools rather than buying everything new !

Anyway, having got all that sorted in my mind. Ive chosen four design ideas which I will try and use as the basis of Workshop 2. My plan (today) is to make my version of each design and then ask the group to choose their project. Hopefully, I will get at least two new workshops and maybe even four from my experiments. Ive researched the ideas from a few sources but mainly Pinterest. I like Pinterest for lots of inspiration - I get the sense that all the photos on there come with a sharing purpose which fits my brief.
Here are my choices - the artists concerned are Victoria Sewart, Celine Charuau and someone I can't find - will keep looking and credit her beautiful work (top left flower).

Ive also added these lovely earrings which are created by Genervieve Williamson, my favourite polymer jewellery artist. I will turn the earring idea into a pendent.

My versions will be inspired only and will probably not look like these versions. Colours will be based on the clay colours we have. I thought I would mix a range of colours to give a colour palette rather than give a wide ranging choice.
That's my plan - I will share what I come up with tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Workshops etc.

Hi Everyone
I had a lovely time yesterday leading a polymer clay jewellery workshop. Everyone was hugely enthusiastic and it was a joy to be part of. This is to be the first on a series of workshops and we have already planned a date for the next. So exciting !
Here is a little peak at some of the stuff produced.

My ideas for the next session will build on the experimenting we did yesterday. I want to challenge the group to making something in particular and 'take charge' of the clay rather than having a go and seeing what happens. I'm preparing some samples to make a group choice. Will share my ideas here too. I'm going to develop some kits and will put these in my shops.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Inspiring Moments

Hi Everyone
Building on images from yesterday's blog and the beautiful beads produced by Rebekah Payne, I was thrilled to see some work from one of my favourite printmaker artist - Angie Lewin. Her work is stunning. Over the weekend, I mentioned going to a few National Trust properties and saw some cards for sale in their shops. The shops have a range of cards produced from Angie Lewin prints. This is the one I chose - it's called By Green Bank.

I find this so inspiring. Ive got lots of ideas to use the shapes to develop beads. I can also see opportunities for brooches in there. Ive got the card positioned next to my work desk - so I can see it at all times.

Yesterday, I spent lots of time on paperwork and almost no time on anything else. I'm feeling I wasted my day !

Today, will be much more fun, I'm running a clay workshop with about 12 folk. We will be making small jewellery items and Im very much looking forward to seeing what everyone produces. I enjoy these workshops and find the whole thing an inspiration for more work. I will get some photos and share some of the things people make.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Cakes, flowers and beads.

Hi Everyone
Lovely weekend - didn't achieve much but the weather was great and our little family spent both Saturday and Sunday visiting National Trust properties and eating afternoon teas. I feel Ive been enjoying beautiful flowers eating all weekend ! it was lovely.

I also had a run yesterday !! - Ive been suffering from injury for a while, so it's great to get back to normal. I did wonder how things would go with my run but 'all is well', hopefully I'm back on the road to getting fit.

My aim this week is to get 'focus' into my work. The metal collection needs to be at the top of my list and I also have a jewellery workshop on Tuesday so much of my week is already taken. I also want to develop some moulds to make some beads - I'm working on another workshop which will have plants and flowers central to the plan. I have an idea is to make something like these.

A tutorial exists here I will have a go with the tutorial and then try to develop my own take on it. Wish me luck. Thank you so much to Rebekah Payne for sharing this tutorial.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Is creativity disciplined ?

Hi Everyone
My day yesterday was a frustrating series of experiments which came to very little. I found myself searching for a new 'big' idea and my plans seemed to go backwards. I failed to adopt my own design process ie idea - sketch - apply. Instead, I 'fiddled' with bits of clay, without a deliberate plan and although some of my idea worked the final item is not what I wanted. Ive made a mental note to myself - to follow my disciplined design process every time. Having slept on things I now have another plan. Perhaps, this is the way creativity works ? Perhaps, I need to have the 'struggle' to make something worthwhile. Anyway, life moves on .... so here is a look at my little experiment.

The aim behind this exercise was to find ideas for a series of workshops. These workshops will be fund raising sessions. I'm helping to fund raise for a local botanical project and am trying to make flowers and botanical links central to the workshops, hence the use of the flower here. I wanted to incorporate the impression of a real flower and then infill - both the impression/infill technique worked well. My problem is with the actual bead ie the shape and the plain back. I did consider another impression on the back and should have tried this. My other issue is how to assemble the pendent into a necklace. I have problems with necklaces every time ! I don't particularly like the obvious ie a jump ring onto a chain. I want something different and will eventually find something else ... but in the meantime, it's taking up much of my thinking. Currently, I'd describe it as a bit of an obsession. Perhaps, today will be more fruitful !!

Thanks for reading.