Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hola Señorita. Or........ What Was I Thinking?

I have two titles for this post.  The first, Hola señorita, because I want to pay homage to the country of Spain that I will be visiting soon.  The second for my mistake of using a skinner blend in the background and worse trying to add to it.  This post is about how I fixed my screw up.

In about a month my sister and I will be heading to Madrid, Spain.  I will be attending my first EuroClayCarnival.  If it follows the format of Clay Carnival here in the states there will be an evening of "inchie" swapping.  I will be honest I don't usually put this much effort into my inchies but with the trip to Europe it felt special so I wanted the inchies to be special too.  I came up with this drawing for my flamenco dancing woman.

I went about making my cane.  I didn't have a real purpose in mind other than my inchies so I made the cane very short, about an inch in height.  I didn't want endless amounts of cane when all was said and done.  Then I came up with the brilliant idea to have the background be made using a skinner blend.  This gave the appearance of a spot light on the dancer.


I was really liking the way this cane was turning out.  I started thinking that I would really like to take some of this cane and add a skirt to it.  It was about this point in the building of the cane that I stumbled on the web page of artist Adam Thomas Rees.  For his self portrait he cut up his completed cane into sections and then reduced the sections separately. (Here is a post about him in Polymer Clay Daily) Now I very often take parts of my cane and make it larger and then reduce that section to be worked into the final cane.  I had to do this with her hand in order to get the detail of her fingers.  I should have realized that this wouldn't work too well since I didn't create the whole cane. Then throw in the problems that arise from working with a skinner blend in a cane and I should have known I wouldn't be happy with the results.  But hey thinking is not my strong suit.  I pressed on.  I reduced the completed square cane, put some aside for my inchies and started on her skirt.


After putting the two sections together I reduced the cane down to about 1 by 2.5 inches.  Here is the whole enchilada.  :)

You can see where the join of top and bottom just don't meet up as well as I'd like.  So what to do now.  I decided to take the if you can't beat 'em join 'em tactic and slice and adjust each cut so that bad join lines seem intentional.

This will require cane slice manipulation for each piece but it will make the finished piece so much better.  At least to me it does.  Here is the sanded and buffed completed piece.  Now to figure out what to do with the rest of the cane.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mommy and May Update


In my last post I wrote about using the extruder for my latest portrait. I didn't go into detail of what I did with the extruded pieces.  I have been trying to come up with a way to create depth in my mosaic pieces.  It has been difficult to come up with something because of the mechanics of it and the sheer number of pieces involved.  I don't mind a challenge but it has to be able to be completed in my lifetime.  I decided what I would do would be to mount the pieces on separate sheets of clear plastic.  I then had to decide how to break up the colors. At first I thought I'd put the lightest colors on the foremost sheet of plastic and the darker towards the back.  This would make sense since the lightest would probably be the raised parts.  I decided against this because of the difficulty of construction.  I knew it would be easier to have a greater change in color scale while I was placing the pieces. 
I came up with four sheets with each sheet having four to five colors on them.  Of course it was a @#$% (bleep) getting them lined up but no one ever said it would be easy.  It was another one of my artistic leaps of faith because I had to finish it before I knew whether it would work. 
Here are some of the individual sheets and a little movie I made to help illustrate the depth effect I was going for.

I would like to say that my Mommy and May project is complete but the truth is I still need to mount her permanently.  I also want to add some mats.  Because of the problems of the reflections I had to bring out my huge photo cube that I got when I bought my photo lights.  The cube pops out to be about 4 feet square.  I was then able to put the whole picture inside the cube.  I then draped the opening of the cube with black fabric. This covered over the camera that was set on a tripod.  I then used the remote shutter release to take the picture.  This way I wasn't there to be reflected in the glass or the plastic.  And voila no reflection.

I am ever going to repeat this process I think I would mount the pieces on glass rather than plastic.  This way if I made a mistake it could be scraped off.......Yes, I know it may come as a shock to some but I do make mistakes.