I’ve been working on the polymer clay cane mapped top of my little table off and on for days. Right now I’m not able to work days in a row, but can only get to my studio 3 or 4 days a week. So getting this piece finish it taking awhile.
I thought I might not share with you what happened, you know, admitting to a huge mistake and all, but then I decided that you might benefit from my lesson learned. Besides, (laughing) I was able to save it so I don’t look to stupid.
I’d already baked the top once with only the girls on the glass. See last post. I finished the background and cane slices and places it on the table top to see how it looked. I added some more cane circles and then baked it again.
I added my dot, dot, dot cane around two edges of the baked piece and then a row of black and white check. The reason I only did two ends was because my glass wasn’t big enough to do the other two sides.
I baked it again and I was very happy with the way it was coming along. Then…..DISASTER….I can’t show you pictures, because I had to work quickly to try and save the piece and all my work.
Here’s what happened. I removed the baked top from the glass and put it on a large ceramic tile that I work on. I thought, great, this is just the right size to finish the edges. I added more dot, dot, dot cane and checkered canes to the remaining two edges. I finished off with a larger dot, dot, dot cane.
Fabulous, now to bake it and see how it fits the top. I had planned to figure out the very edges once I could really see how much room I had left.
I considered using an extruded piece that I could bake and then glue in place. I received a new CZeXtruder from Kimberly Idalski and want to try it out on the edge. I’ll be posting more about using the new extruder in another post.
Well………..I put it in the oven, baked it the normal time, the buzzer went off, I opened the oven and the piece was a total mess! YIKES!
Buckling in the center and a couple of other places and so drastically the blonde girl had cracked right in two across the middle of her face and neck. Circled in white in the picture below, this is after the fix and I’m still amazed a how well it turned out.
I won’t repeat what I thought and said in the minutes that followed……. but I was able to save the entire piece and honestly I still can’t believe it. I wish I had pictures of the before.
Here’s what I did to save the piece. At first I just used a towel to press the bulging clay gently back down. It seemed to help but it wasn’t enough and the pressure wasn’t even. The tile was still extremely hot. I used another tile the same size to place on top of the piece to apply even pressure. I first placed a piece of paper on top of the design, I didn’t want the second tile to create a shine.
I remove the tiles from the oven tray and onto a cooler surface, not a cold one, just cooler. When I had completely cooled I removed the top tile and paper and it had pretty much gone back into the original shape. You can imagine how relieved I was. I’ve ruined many things in my day, but this was the biggest, most time invested piece that I “almost” lost.
I glued it down quickly to my table top. The blonde girl was actually in three pieces, but I put her back together like a puzzle and glued all the pieces in place. You can barely see hair line cracks and that my friends is the ONLY way you can tell the was a near disaster.
Now, there are two things that may have cause the buckling. At first I thought it might have been because I moved the rack up one level, I wanted to bake another piece at the same time and that put the whole thing closer to the top of the oven, you know, heat rises. And that may well have contributed, but this morning I really think the main problem is that it was on the large tile. I actually had the tile at an angle in a broiler pan and air could get underneath it. But the tile was very hot and I think the glass must not get as hot or maybe not hold the heat as well.
I bake in a regular home oven, by the way.
Whatever the reason, I will stick to baking my cane mapped pieces on glass and I won’t move away from the center of my oven.
Here’s the finished top, whew is all I can say. I’m still not sure about the very edges and I want to add more slices to the leg etc. More when I can….
This is a silly little table that my husband and I used as a telephone table when we were first married. Most of you can relate to a telephone table, but some of you may not remember a time when you had an actual phone connected to the wall.
We had a cord that could reach all the way into the living room. That was the only way you could talk for more than 5 minutes, I could cook, fold clothes, and watch the kids playing.
When we moved to our new house we didn’t need the table anymore. My Mother, Father, sister and brother-in-law bought a three story victorian house together and they had tons of room. The table went to stay with them and now it’s come back to live with me.
I’ve painted it lots of fun colors and have covered the bottom shelf in polymer clay with one of my faces and some of my colorful canes. I’m starting to work on the top when I have time and I’ll also be adding bits of PC on the legs.
It’s a piece that has been touched by every member of my family at one time or the other. No hurry on this piece it’s just something that will capture a lovely memory in time and link it to the present.
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
This is the second large wall art piece made of polymer clay. It’s 9″ x 20″. About half the size of the first picture, Wall Flowers. It’s totally random pops of color that has already been speaking differently to each person. I began working on it with this view as the way it should be hung.
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
But when I posted it on Facebook yesterday, people started telling me they thought it should be hung a different way.
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
Nikolina Otrzan , Orson’s World, said she saw it hanging like below, and I quote, “because those “eyes” look to me like Pink panther in distress. Nik, you’re so funny.
Yvette Macy wants to sing, “We all live in a yellow submarine.”
Explorations – Alice Stroppel
Maybe I should take a vote. voice your opinion, leave a comment. I think it will be interesting to see what ya’ll think and what you see. I’ll tell you what I think in a couple of days.
In the end, my son Jason will decide because this one is going to him.
Top – Linda Boyd, Middle – Monica Sauls, Bottom – Barbara Snapp
Every Monday evening, three friends i’ve known since we were kids, Barbara Snapp, Monica Sauls and Linda Boyd, come over to my studio and we play with polymer clay. I was so excited by these cane mapping pieces they finished last Monday, I just had to share them with you. Remember these are relatively new clayers.
It’s the same technique I use to make my large Wall Flowers and I teach in one of my workshops.
How they ended up spending time in my studio in the first place is pretty funny.
Sebring, where I live, my home town, my mother’s home town, is pretty small. Granted, it’s grown quite a bit over the years, but it’s still a small town by most standards. Even so, most people don’t know that I work with polymer clay or even what polymer clay is or can become.
Shortly after I was on the cover of Polymer Cafe, I was walking through Home Depot (looking for stuff to use with polymer I’m sure) and ran into Monica. She asked me if my ears were burning from being talked about. I smiled and worried what I might have done now!!!. She told me how Barbara was in Books-a-Million, (yes we finally have a large book store) and picked up several craft magazines including Polymer Cafe´. It wasn’t until she got home that she really looked at the cover. She said, “That’s Alice!!!”. Too funny.
I’m showing you this cover so you can imagine how funny it was for Barbara to see my face staring back at her.
So Monica said she and Barbara and some others might be interested in learning more about polymer clay. Music to this “polymer clay is for everyone” crusader. Besides as much as I love the internet and all you guys, it can get lonely working in my studio without another polymer clayer to share with. So the thought of new pc players coming to spend time with me in the studio was exciting.
It’s been several months now, with a pretty steady exploration of polymer clay. Gradually, canes are being stockpiled and things are starting to really come together. I really think they’re having as much fun as I am. Linda said, “I didn’t like Mondays very much and now I know I get to play with clay, so I can’t wait.” Makes my heart sing.
Here’s wishing you all have someone to clay with from time to time.
This is my newest adventure, I pushed myself to create something large and more complicated than in the past. I used my Cane Mapping technique with an added twist.
It’s a large piece, 19″ x 27″, framed it’s 20 1/2″ x 28 1/2″. I bake my polymer clay in a regular kitchen oven, but even so I had to construct it in pieces like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
After baking a pieces, I constructed the next piece on a piece of glass and by fitting it to the last piece. I placed a roughly drawn pattern behind the glass, but as you can see by this picture, I didn’t follow it exactly.
I continued this way until all were pieces were baked and then glued them to a back board. Actually this board came with a frame I bought. Here’s a look at each step as it was completed.
After completing and taking a picture of this step, I realized how disjointed some of the yellow flower petals looked. So before I baked it, I made some corrections.
Not completely satisfied, but knowing this was as good as it was going to get, I baked it and moved to the next section. Once again I used my and for size reference.
And once again the finished piece. I certainly learned a lot and look forward to making many more.
I bought two hand molds at a flea market several months ago with the intention of coming right home and covering them with clay. It certainly wasn’t right away but believe it or not, I’m proud I actually got one of them covered before the year was out. Usually projects like this sit around staring at me forever.
This is one hand, I’m just showing you both sides at the same time. I still have some work to do on it before I begin on the second one. I have a bit of ……*choke, cough, choke* ………sanding to do and buffing it up. You see how much I wanted these, I do not like to sand or buff. but it will be worth it.
These are colorful, funky and a perfect sampler of many of my canes. I’ll be happy to have it to remind me of them all.
These hand are molds for rubber gloves. The flea market vendor had about 20 of them and I wanted to buy them all. I know, I know, I’m having trouble finishing two so what would I do with 20? Anyway, I’m glad I bought the two. You can find plenty of these glove molds online should you be so inclined to cover one.
Even if you didn’t cover them, they would make great display pieces just like they are. Hang your necklaces or bracelets from the fingers.
now…..what should I do with the second one. Black and white? more color? hmmmmmm.
Just a quick picture of a new pen and ink pendant. I’m getting ready to go spend some time with the Orlando Area Polymer Clay Guild. A little bit of ink and a little bit of clay……The main shape is a stamp by Barbara McGuire
These are talented people and I look forward to sharing some of their work next week. Have a get weekend and a fun 4th of July.
I was at the Florida Gulf Coast Polymer Clay Guild in Palmetto teaching my profile face cane and everyone did a really great job. I can’t wait to see what they make with these canes. They can use this short video to make hair canes and this video to attach everything to a bracelet blank after it’s baked.
But these funky faces aren’t just for bracelets, I’ve used them on all kinds of things.
A cocktail shaker, or
salt and pepper skakers, or
a canister, just to name a few.
I always have the best time at this guild, they’re fun and really enjoy the clay. And they always have the greatest pot luck! Thanks ladies and a special thank you to Sydney Carter for asking me and making the arrangements.
Everyone was delighted to the Premo clay for this project donated by Polyform. That you Iris Weiss.
Next week I’m teaching at the West Coast Polymer Clay Guild in New Port Richey, FL. It’s a great class to teach and I’m looking forward to seeing friends I made at Orlando Clay Fandango and making new ones. And making more great faces……..
When I was getting ready to travel to Atlanta to attend the Synergy Conference, I wanted to make a few new things to wear. I’ve had a couple of ideas in my head for awhile and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out.
The necklace or “slide” in the picture above was really simple and fun to make. It’s more fun to wear because it has motion. It’s made with spiral canes formed into rectangles and of course round canes. I’ve attached them together with Buna Cord and looped the Buna Cord at the top to allow me to slide whatever chain or cording through and TaDa….it’s ready to wear.
I really like this necklace too. It moves and dangles and is just fun to wear. But I’m concerned with the o-rings shelf life. I’ve talked with several people that say that after many years, they begin to disintegrate and thus your necklace falls apart. So it’s not something that I could ever sell, but maybe it I keep searching, I can find a replacement.
I have so many things to show you and talk about concerning Synergy and the inspiring things that went on, what was shared, the friends I got to see again, the friends I met in person for the first time and just the overall experience.
Unfortunately I came home sick and am just not getting back to normal. I have lots of catching up to do.
DO take a minute to click on the sun on the righthand side of this page and see what is being offered at this years Fandango retreat. I’m teaching along with Suzanne Ivester, Sydnee Holt, Linda Hess and Penny Jo Couch. I hope to see you there.
“We’re all mad here.”
― Lewis Carroll (The Cheshire Cat), Alice in Wonderland
I feel like I followed the White Rabbit into a hole and don’t know when I’ll get out again. I began the long put off task of cleaning out my spare room. I won’t go into details, it’s just too scary. I didn’t need halloween, I had my own frightening adventure in my house.
But I’ve taken a day to play with clay and get something out of my head and into a design. It’s my contour cat bracelet. I think he is related to the other Alice’s Cheshire Cat, don’t you?
Here’s the other side.
And here it is on my wrist. I can tell you from experience that I always get compliments and comments when I wear my boldest contour bracelets, mainly because they’re so crazy.
I have lots more work to do on “the room” but I can’t stay away from clay for long. I agree with the Cheshire Cat, I am a bit crazy when it comes to clay. See you next time.