Monday, April 15, 2013

Back In The Studio At Last!

The fingers have healed and the new shipment of clay arrived last week, so it was time to get back into the studio.  

I am still trying to find my next tutorial topic, so the experiments continue.   I can't decide between adding to my "Fabulous Faux Collection" or doing something along the lines of textures or surface design.  

I am photographing every step of the experiments and hope something definitive will emerge by the time I am through with the new shipment of clay.  I still have no Pardo, which is a major bummer, but May is getting closer and I hope it will arrive before the end of next month.  

I have a list of the gemstones and natural material I want to try to duplicate. The list gets added to every time my friend John sends me an idea he would like to see me duplicate, too. The list is getting pretty long, so I thought I better hop to it and see if I could mark some “DONE!”

Two days ago, I set out to try and duplicate Purple Copper Turquoise, which is actually a dyed and enhanced Magnesite (would that then be a faux faux gemstone?); and a Purple Impression Jasper, another natural stone enhanced with dyes in every color under the sun.  Both the Magnesite and the Impression Jasper are really pretty, so neither was a hardship to try.   But alas, the experiments went awry and my hands didn't create what my eye and brain wanted them to, and I ended up with something close to the patterns in Druzy stones.

My favorite gemstone vendor, Kevin and the guys at Lima Beads, has a gorgeous Purple Druzy with copper matrix among their gemstone offerings so I decided to call this latest batch my version of Violet Druzy Stone.

My goal in creating faux pieces is to create something of a size that you normally wouldn't find in the real gemstone, like a humongous Faux Carico Lake Turquoise pendant or earrings, which would be out of the price range of most of us.  

I love creating a big focal or earring components that look so much like the genuine gemstone that my jewelry designer customers can create statement jewelry using the faux focal and much smaller, genuine stones.   My first faux experiments five years ago actually came out of a customer request for Golden Tiger Eye, something I still am trying to achieve.  

I start by studying a specimen of the genuine gemstone I want to imitate.  I may study it for several days or even weeks before attempting it in polymer clay.   Trying to create an organic look from an inorganic compound like polymer is more difficult than it appears. The hardest part is creating, for lack of a better word, believable depth and texture; and creating texture is easier than creating depth.

This was, for me, a large batch of experimental clay, one that yielded a dozen pieces, when a normal batch only yields 2 or 3 pieces at most.  When my original ideas for a faux purple copper Turquoise or a purple Impression Jasper didn't pan out, I was left with several sheets of extremely thin clay, which yielded a dozen finished pieces, which I've been staring at for two days while trying to decide what to call them. I finally settled on “Faux Violet Druzy” after cruising through Lima Beads this afternoon and finding that gorgeous cabochon.

Am I disappointed the Purple Copper Turquoise and the Purple Impression Jasper didn't pan out? A little, but I love my Violet Druzy, too.  

One of the best things about being an artist is that there is no right way or wrong way to create.  Happy accidents are good, and these are wicked good happy accidents, if I do say so myself!

If you would like to see more of the Faux Druzy collection, please check out my Flickr Photo Stream.   Now I'm going to beat it back to the studio!  

No comments: