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

Friday 16 October 2015

Clayhem 3

Just thought I'd document the state of my workspace as it has got a bit ridiculous. It may even be bad enough for me to actually tidy it up, but the jury is still out on that one. I still have about 12" by 6" blank space, and anyway, I tend to work on my lap for some reason. I bet this level of disarray is familiar to some of you out there ;-) If not. . . I am in awe of your environmental control. . .
Explore the chaos. There are beads, little image trans squares, raw clay, baked reject things, cutters, real shards, a chunk of concrete, earring beads hanging up on my improvised rack, some flint and other wondrous goodies. . . enjoy.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Psuedoshards. . .

Anyone who might have come across my work will probably have noticed that I like to make things look a great deal older than they really are. I have always liked the patina that age and use, or neglect come to that, gives to things, both natural and man made. So I age things up a lot.
This especially applies to me image transfer work. All those 'little squares' I wittered on about in a previous post. I love the way that an object with a brand new, digitally derived pattern or image, that could only have been made in the last ten to fifteen years, as the technology didn't exist before then, can be made to look as though it has just been dug up from an archaeological site somewhere, where it had lain for 200 years. I say 'somewhere' as the pieces in question resemble ancient artifacts, but you can't quite put your finger on what era or geographical location they seem to come from. They exhibit 'ancientness', and tap into whatever idea of ancientness we carry in our minds. They are the manifestation of an idea, rather than the reality that idea was formed by. I hope that makes some sort of sense. I could go on. . . and make even less sense, but I won't. 

So, as you can see by the pictures, I have been taking this idea a bit further. I have always liked broken shards of pottery, and the fact that (in the UK at least) they turn up in the ground almost everywhere. In cultivated land I should add. Little bits of blue and white pottery turn up in ploughed fields, allotments and urban gardens, not to mention washed up on beaches. I used to joke that there was a Victorian society whose object was to scatter broken crockery in every field in the UK. You could imagine the special outings they had. . . ;-)

So I made some 'Psuedoshards'. Fake shards made from polymer clay, with my digital images on, distressed to high heaven in my usual manner. I really like them. And judging by the reaction of the nice people on Facebook, so do others. They seem to fit the zeitgeist of a certain section of the jewelry making fraternity sorority. . . I am really looking forward to exploring this avenue further. So keep an eye out for these shards turning up in my shop over the next few weeks and beyond.
Jon x