Sunday 25 October 2015

Textures and upcycling your accretions. . . ;-)

Just a quick post to keep the momentum going here. I've been fairly busy messing about making new things and trying out a few ideas. Nothing enough to post about in any depth quite yet really.
But one of the things I was playing about with was textures. I found a somewhat gross but useful texture source that you would quite likely have in your home. You know those wire wool type things you put in the bottom of the kettle to crystalise out the limescale stuff that makes hard water 'hard'? Well, apart from scaring you by making you aware of what the hell your kidneys have to cope with on a daily basis, the crusty accretions kind of bursting out of the wire mesh that you get when the wire wool thing badly needs changing, (I know, I know. . .) makes a really cool texture.
Once you get the loose stuff off, you can use it as is, or make a mould with it using whatever substance you normally use. I have some 'Mold Maker' I think it's called, left over from a while ago, so I used that. It worked OK. You could use scrap clay, it wouldn't be flexible though.

I used it, via a sort of texture 'mask' to make this textured connector bead thing. The texture mask was a plastic sheet with regular holes in it, left over from something I can't quite remember. I laid it over the polymer clay and pressed the texture sheet onto that. The texture only appeared where the holes were, if that makes sense.

I also made a bunch more photopolymer texture sheets using my digital images. They came out Ok too. I need to do a post about that process I think. I made a some flat textured beads to test them out. Here's a couple of them.

Anyway, have fun with your hitherto unwanted limescale catcher. . . ;-) or not of course, your call.
Jon x


  1. Unfortunately, I'm not an artist, still I like to play with crafts enjoying the process which is similar to theatre I know a bit better. And these beads are like a dramatic theatre that transfers into movement, dance, a fantastic transcendent art. And suddenly I thought - how would look beads in which 'dramatic art' transfers into singing, you know, this expressiveness, passion that relates to opera. Perhaps it would reflect in colours? I don't know, as I said, I'm not an artist. But your beads are fascinating, all the same :) The more - process of their creation, and it's cool that you describe and share it.

  2. Thanks Astra, I think play is a good word to describe an important aspect of the creative process. If you are 'playing' you are free to make mistakes, chase ideas and experiment etc ( follow the fascination. . . ).
    If you are consciously making 'art' then perhaps that freedom is restricted by yours and everyone else's preconceptions of what art is or should be. A slippery and annoying word 'Art'. Same with 'Artist'. Don't feel you need to be one, or not be one, just enjoy your process, which it sounds like you do. Interesting idea you have about beads reflecting the passion found in Opera and suchlike.

  3. Hey Jon,
    As always, I enjoy your work. You certainly come up with some great ideas. I've never seen one of those wire things you used. I don't even have a kettle, but do have hard water. The beads you made are very interesting and I would be interested in reading more about your procedure.
    Always look forward to your posts.

    1. Thanks Simon, It's nice to know that I'm not just talking to myself here. Blogging does feel a bit like that sometimes ;-) I guess kettles are the preserve of tea drinking folk. . . Or instant coffee drinkers. Guilty as charged.

  4. I have to say they look more appealing when coloured. Raw - uh - not so much.

    It's amazing that you can make your own texture plates with just about anything in this world. I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts to see how you create yours.

    1. Yup, once you start to see the textures all around us in the natural and man made world, you keep seeing them ;-) Bits of cement, twigs, seed pods etc etc. Some people apparently carry bits of mold making putty/clay around in their pockets at all times just in case they run into the perfect texture . . .