Friday, February 24, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - February Reveal, Part 1

So, who's ready for February's Monthly Challenge reveal?

Polymer clay! case you needed a reminder what this month's challenge was. :)

...Not me, actually. Heh. February is a short month--and it was made even shorter, because I was sick for the majority of it. (Bleh.) Still, I am definitely feeling better now... And, looking over what I made for this challenge, I'm rather surprised by what I accomplished. 

In summary, I tried three main polymer clay approaches (techniques?): making simple components, making pendants, and making a polymer clay cane. I had varying levels of success in each of those areas... I'm certainly not an expert in any of them, but hey--I have to start somewhere! :)

And instead of just dumping everything in one overwhelming blog entry, I have decided to break this reveal into three parts. (Added bonus: that also gives me time to finish up two of my not-quite-finished projects. I wasn't kidding when I said I wasn't quite ready for this reveal!)

So, first up: simple components!

Steampunk inspiration.

I actually made quite a few components... Mostly, they were faceted beads and free-formed charms for dangles. From these components, I made two pairs of earrings and one necklace--although I have enough left over to make plenty more!

This first pair of earrings was made using a blend of the polymer clay see above... and even some of the gears, too:

They are paired with brass, wood, and tiger-eye. If you look closely at the components, you can even see some gentle texturing... I attempted to use a rubber stamp I have to add a gear pattern. 

...Now, I did actually sand and smooth the edges of those polymer pieces, but I think I could have done a bit more. The close-up shots make them look a little rough. Ah well... As I said, I'm learning. :)

The second pair of earrings is very similar, construction-wise, to the ones above:

...except they were paired with silver and garnet. They also feature some faceted polymer beads I made from the same red-and-silver clay blend as the charms. 

Again, I tried to texture the charms with a stamp... but this time, I also coated the pieces in a few layers of varnish, which makes the pattern stand out a bit more. (I left the faceted beads matte, for contrast). Not perfect--but they still make me happy.

Now it's time for the necklace. This is actually one of the first pieces that I made when I started playing with the clay... It features a feather that I free-formed out of some leftover pink-and-copper clay bits, and a faceted swirl-bead to match:

Honestly, there are so many things I would change about this, if I were to do it again. After all, my finger-prints are still visible (thought I had cleaned them off, but apparently I hadn't). The design I carved in isn't very visible. The color combination isn't my favorite.

But, you know what?

I'm still happy with it. They crystals I picked match it really well. It hangs nicely when worn. And, honestly, it's a starting point. After all... If this is what I can do now, how exciting are the things to come! :)

And that brings this first reveal entry to a close.

...Tune in tomorrow for the second part of the reveal: making pendants!

(And now I have to go finish them... Ha! Wish me luck!)

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