Monday, March 26, 2012

A Good Groove

This past weekend was one of those productive weekends that left me exhausted, but in a good way.  I think I finally got back in my creative groove; and part of the reason is the new additions to my Southwestern Landscapes Series.  The latest pieces look like sunbaked pottery, and I had a lot of fun with them. 
To begin with, this is more opaque color than I have used in a very long time.  I'm not crazy about the standard primary colors, red, blue and yellow.  If I use any of them, it is usually the red, but I also usually "dull down" the brightness by adding a scant bit of black or brown. 

I love the secondary and tertiary colors on the old color wheel, which happen to be found in the color palette of our American Southwest landscapes:  Turquoise, mustard, maize, pumpkin, caremel, tomato red, brick red, burnt orange, cactus green, bleached bone, etc.  Those colors really get my heart racing, and I think I tried to use them all in this weekend's work. 

These pieces feature my version of a Skinner Blend.  I am afraid I don't make nice little triangles of clay and square them off to blend them like you're supposed to.  I just smush two or three colors together in a row, fold them over and run them through the pasta machine on the thickest setting a few times. 

When I get the shading I want, I roll the clay through a few more settings without folding it over, so I get can thin veneers to use.  I don't waste any of the pattern that way. 

I distressed all the pieces with a dry, 1/2" paintbrush that I forgot to clean one night. It has some paint gunked up in it, which makes the bristles stiff and perfect for adding distress marks.  I whitewashed the pieces before baking with eggshell acrylic paint diluted just a bit with water, then baked, sanded through 8 or 9 grits of wet-dry sandpaper and buffed them with the Dremel. 

I also made some beads, which I haven't done in awhile.   I think they look just like glazed terra cotta pottery.  What do you think? 

I added one more thing to my "can't live without" list, the "new" Gray Granite clay from Premo.  This stuff is amazing.  I added it to every color I blended.  I think the granite must be translucent with inclusions and no opacity.  I have a drawer full of old Sculpey III and Studio, and decided to blend it with the granite to see what happened.  It worked perfectly, and now I am a big fan.  


Diane said...

Lydna, I love these pieces! I have a couple of packages of Gray Granite that I will have to play with. I love seeing all of your new Flickr photos. So glad your muse is bacK!

Lupe Meter said...

Love your southwestern creations, Lynda...beautiful! I haven't used the Gray Granite clay as of yet, but you have given me the push to start using it! I knew your creative mojo wouldn't take long to start flowing again and with a bang!!

Polyanya said...

Gorgeous stuff, keep it up!

Bonnie Kreger at B-LEE KREATIONS said...

Those are incredible. Thanks for the tip about the granite. I do my Skinner blends the same way.
Hope you are doing well.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thank you for the lovely comments, my friends. Lupe and Bonnie, I would love to see photos of how you incorporate the granite clay. Send me some, please! It's fabulous stuff! :)

Suzanne said...

As always amazing pictures and love the color combinations!!! Glad to hear your muse is back.

Will try the granite was wondering about it, thanks for the tip.

Cindy said...

What beautiful pieces, Lynda! Thanks for sharing about the process - it is so interesting, especially since this is all new to me!

jenna said...

I'm loving getting a little peek into your process. I always wondered what you used to do your distressing!

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thanks, ladies. I am going to do more posts about the creative process. Several people have emailed me asking me for tips, so I will try to make it a regular feature from now on.

Cindy, you would love working with polymer clay!!! :)