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….
My friend Kathe Keck came to see me a couple of weeks ago and we made face canes. I told her she was my test model for a full face cane class. We had a great time, she went home with a face and I learned a bunch about what I need to stress when I teach it next. Stay tuned for dates and places. (sometime in 2014)
Kathe’s moving to the West Coast and I’m glad she could come play with clay before she left, I’m going to miss her. But luckily, I’ve been invited to visit, so l’m looking forward to a trip in 2014. Fix up my room Kathe, I’m almost on my way.
I always enjoy spending time with the Orlando Area Polymer Clay Guild. Their group has so much fun together and there are always new members to meet and old friends to greet.
Once again I want to thanks Polyform Products and Iris Weiss for sponsoring this class with a generous amount of Premo clay.
Many thanks to Kem Eid for all the bookwork, manning the ovens and help, Eva for sending out notices….and all the rest of the group for making the day a delight.
And because of Crazy Nancy we have a group picture. I reminded and she remembered. It takes two….:-) I also managed to get a photo or two of some of the work, thanks guys for reminding me before you left.
It sounds like I have a really bad memory, okay I do, but…I’m also busy at the end of class and before I know it, people are gone. Forgive me if I don’t show your work here, we had some great pieces and lots of fun as always. Send me your Pictures and I’ll update this post.
Here’s just some of the work….
I’ve always love fairytales and Alice in Wonderland, ( I wonder why) so I’m playing with some of the characters.
I tried some Sculpey original white clay for the rabbit. It takes the alcohol ink differently than the white Premo. I need to play with it more to see which I like better. There are pros and cons to both it seems.
I’ll let you know.
Okay, I’ve been working on an idea using white polymer clay and alcohol inks in both liquid and marker form. I wanted them to be free standing and collectable. Tallest one, the guy, is about 4 1/2″ tall. The small singing head is about 2 1/4″ high and has a removable, exchangeable saying bubble.,
I think the black wash was a bit too much, so I made this guy and didn’t use as much black, I like it better. Looks more like ceramic or stone.
The dots in the background are from a new technique design block by Sculpey.
Both of the larger figures are made with scrap clay, (yes I do have real scrap clay that looks like mud, some scraps are just not Stroppel Cane material hehe) covered with white Premo. But even I will run out of muddy scraps at some point, so I made a smaller one made entirely from new white clay. Needless to say I’ve ordered more white clay.
I thought how much fun it would be to be able to use these as little greetings. Happy Birthday, Mother’s Day, etc, etc. I even make it so that you can remove the saying and replace it with another. (no it’s not my birthday). How about crazy funny off the wall humor?
This one I decided to try a little bit of color on her face, and it’s okay, but I like the other finish better, for a signature “look”.
I’m still playing and wondering if it would make a good class. I think most of the people that took my Sun class at Fandango made some great faces and I know these faces would be just as successful. I’m having a blast and my head is full of all kinds of new ideas with these stand alone, Stand Up, characters.
I have been taking pictures and videos of several items that I have waiting in line to go in my Etsy shop. I’ve decided that taking 5 pictures of something so that my customers can see the item from all angles is so time consuming. It’s why I put off adding things. My solution, we’ll seee how it works, is to take short little videos to show what they look like in 3d.
By the time our two day workshop was over, we were all totally into body parts. Feet and lips and noses and HANDS. The picture above is an indication of the fun we had, you can see it was a crazy time with a great group of talented friends. I think they all invited their muses to join us while some pretty impressive face and body parts came to life.
I love teaching, the ah ha moments that produce giant smiles and the looks on faces that say, “got it, I can do that”. It’s so satisfying to watch people step out of their comfort zone and realize how much talent they have.
Just look at these face and body parts that this class made. Everyone made their own sample parts so They’ll have them to look at when they’re ready to make their next character.
Seriously, everyone did a fabulous job and I’m so grateful to be able to share what I know. Thank you ladies.
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