Look at these great flamingo bracelets made by my friends Sydney Carter, Emma Simpson, Charline Ahlgreen, Tyra Ahlgreen, Sara Pietruk and Linda Eastman. We had so much fun they all wanted to do it again the next day only this time it was Peacocks. I just love how each one turned out.
A giant thank you to Polyform and Iris Weiss for donating the clay for this workshop. Everyone was delighted and they used every bit making canes and Skinner blends for these funky, fun bracelets
Charline decided to made something different with her peacock. So cool…
Thanks everyone and I’ll see you again soon.
I created this new piece while I was in the Rocky Mountains on retreat. At least the main rectangle was created there. Today I framed it and added some polymer clay covered buttons.
I’m happy with this unconventional framing even though it would not have been my first choice. When I started looking for a frame for it, I didn’t have one that would fit. I had just spent a small fortune on frames and didn’t want to run out to buy another one.
I started to center it on the mat but then I began to play around with it and decided to put it at an angle. It needed something else, having the raw edges showing and because they were so straight I covered some buttons with clay and added them.
If you double click on the picture you’ll be able to see it closer.
I was influenced by my fellow retreater in many ways. I hope to explore and expand my wall pieces and continue to add texture and interest.
Well this was productive. I have two tall cylindrical glass vases that I wrapped the thin strips of polymer clay around and around. I layered paper between each revolution.
These strips are 29″ long, that’s as long as I could make the strips because I was using sheets of Skinner blends. I’m going to see if I can make even longer ones with solid colors.
Of course I had to add some Stroppel Cane to one of the strips. hehehe
More to come…..
Here’s another idea I’ve had in the back of my mind. I just ordered the new Lark 500 Paper Objects and was inspired by Lydia Hirte‘s incredible work. She creates some fabulous Jewelry sculptures with paper.
I wanted see if I could do something similar in polymer clay. I really want to do a large scale piece for the wall using these thin pieces, but first I was experimenting to see how thin I could get the clay and what I could make it do. I used Premo and it really is amazing to work with. It bends and doesn’t crack at all.
This piece is incredibly light and it’s been so much fun to play with. It’s very bright I know and I’m not really a pink girl, but this certainly says, “Here I Am!” It would stand out on black for sure.
I’ve just spent a ton of money on quite a few frames and have way too many ideas. I’m already working on a giant 27 x 39 piece that I’m very excited about and will tell you more later. Let’s see which project wins out.
So here I am with the finished portrait. I’ve learned a couple of important thing about this process and I’ll share them with you. I had a great time doing this and I’ve managed to make an anniversary present for my husband. He actually liked it very much, reminds him of all the years we’ve been together, 44 years is a bunch.
I somehow lost track of my shades of gray and didn’t follow through with the right shade on the top right. By the time I got to the bottom and the arm I realized my mistake and didn’t have enough of the lighter shade mixed so… I just continued with the darker shade. It’s okay, I’m still happy with the over all outcome but lesson #1…mix enough clay. It was just hard for me because I had trouble mixing that much gray from perfectly good black and white new clay. I actually have enough scrap gray thank you very much! If it would have been any color, I could always used the left overs for something else.
I believe I might do it again just to see how different it will look if I actually follow the picture. Whaaat? follow the pattern, pheeew.. but this time it’s going to be a color.
Part of Lesson #2 I already knew, there will be places that you have to fill in. The lesson came in when I realized I was in a big hurry to finish it last night and didn’t take enough time to cover well at all. I had to spend that time this morning filling in anyway. So Lesson #2 is take your time. HA!
Part of the problem was it was hard to see, the paper picture on the back of the glass didn’t let light through and it was night time. ( cant’ think of any more excuses for this one)
I have this little light box that came in handy for finding the holes to fill in. I just placed the piece on top and filled away.
Here it is a little more than half way finished. First I lay out my clay following the picture and then stipple it with a knitting needle, my fingers are not very happy with me.
I think you might really enjoy giving this a try. It was pretty easy to do and not as time consuming as other techniques. You could do it with a drawing as well, or a photo of a landscape, it doesn’t have to be a portrait. And it doesn’t have to be a large wall piece.
My friend Christine Kaczmarek spent a couple of days in my studio playing with clay. She brought along a project she was working on for her father with a favorite family saying and a pretty fabulous tree. There even is a bit of a Stroppel Cane across the bottom…go figure.
She also tried out the recipe for Premo Sea Green and we both think it’s pretty close. It’s one of the discontinued colors that I really miss. I have two block of it left, so I hope the recipe will work.
Christine has been experimenting with stamps and oil paints with some pretty cool results. I love this one and the saying just makes me laugh. She a true dog and cat lover and sell great doggie and kitty pendants in her Etsy shop.
We had a great time clayin’ and laughing. Thanks for coming to see me Christine, see you again soon.
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.