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.