Thursday, September 29, 2011

Holidays are on the way! Let's Play in Snow!

Wow, summer has flown by and it is finally cool again here in Oklahoma. By cool, I mean under 95 degrees F. Cooler fall weather is a harbinger of the coming holidays and a wintery project might just be what the doctor ordered.

This fun mold (parts shown left)
PJ017 Let it Snow!
has a sweet snowman complete with 'knitted' scarf, mittens, coal eyes and buttons, carrot nose and a top hat. This iconic winter figure could grace your home in many ways. Also in the mold with the snowman are a puppy wearing a stocking hat, a pair of 'knitted' mittens, three holly leaves, two snowflakes, two hearts and a favorite winter time bird, the Cardinal. (Mold shown below)

Each mold comes with the measurements of the amount of clay needed to fill each mold opening and a measuring chart. No need to guess, just measure and press.

Also included is a free tutorial to make the project shown on the right.

The flexible mold is made of tough, urethane rubber and is approx. 4 inches by 3.25 inches by 5/8 inch thick. All the parts are from my own original sculptures.

Our Angel Policy: With the purchase of our molds you have permission to make one-of-a-kind pieces in any quantity to sell at fairs, bazaars and craft shows; However, you may not hire employees to make items from the molds or sell through commercial accounts without permission.

Mold is available at Best Flexible Molds website.

With our molds, you can
"Push in Clay ~ Pull out Art!

Nothing says winter fun like snowflake earrings with 'knitted' mittens!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

State Fair Results

The Oklahoma State Fair is about the biggest thing that happens each year! The events, food, fairway, grandstand, music and of course the contests are always well attended.

On Sunday the 18th a group of our polymer clay guild members demonstrated polymer clay playing from 2 to 6 pm. We've done this since the first year that our guild began sponsoring the Polymer Clay Division.

There are four categories.
  • Sculptural
  • Jewelry
  • Beads or Buttons
  • Functional

This year we were in a slightly different spot where it was a bit cooler with more tables. Also, the traffic in the area was heavier, so there were lots more watchers and question askers. There is a large, colorful banner with information about our hobby, our non-profit guild - Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild and the International Polymer Clay Association that we hang up at public events.In addition to our banner and since our guild will be putting on a retreat next April and Christi Friesen will be teaching, Myra created a poster for the retreat and also half page handouts for the public.

Jane took care of all the printing including our quarter page handout with info about meetings on the front and some basic items you might like to have if you are interested in polymer clay. Many of the people who stopped by and visited with us picked up the handouts and some signed up for more information.

The opening picture above is a section of the window with a lot of the polymer clay items and winners mixed in with non clay items. There were entries from guild members as well as other folks from around Oklahoma. Guild members enter as many of the categories as possible to have a good showing of many ideas, techniques, and styles and this year was no different. So many beautiful things were on display.

To my surprise my bell doll angel took best of show and a blue ribbon in the sculpture category.

I'd been betting that Jane's drunken giraffe on the margarita glass would be the winner. He makes me smile every time I see him there.

Other prizes were a blue ribbon for the Green Woman pendant and earring set in the jewelry category.

The scarab beetle beads got a pink ribbon.

A blue in the Functional category, a tiny heart shaped jewelry box with roses and polymer clay 'lace'. The photo is not so good because it was shot through the glass of the case.

After the demonstrations, some of us stood around, visiting and packing up to go home. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and as we slowly walked back to the parking lot we could still smell the cotton candy and hot dogs.

Yep, the fair is a wonderful time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

State Fair time again!

Each year our guild, Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild, sponsors a division at the annual Oklahoma State Fair. There are four divisions.

  • Sculpture
  • Jewelry & Accessories
  • Beads and Buttons
  • Household and Functional

Most of our guild members participate and often we will see each other when we take our artworks to the fairgrounds a week ahead of time to be judged.

Since we began sponsoring the division a few years ago, many in our group will participate in demonstrating polymer clay use for three or four hours the afternoon of the first Sunday of the fair. We each bring a few of the things we have made with clay, our clay, tools etc and work on the tables while answering questions from passersby, demonstrating a technique etc. Tomorrow is show time! We will be introducing folks to polymer clay play.

It is great fun for me and the people who stop to watch seem to be surprised at what can be made from polymer. This bell doll angel is one of my entries this year in the category of sculpting.

For beads I molded eight scarab beetles (from my own original mold) and put them back to back to make a scarab beetle bead and put them on wire bead pins. I used mica powders to create the rich, brilliant colors of ancient Egypt. I strung them on an elastic bead cord with gold beads between each beetle bead. No pics of these yet.

The jewelry entry is a Green Woman earring and pendant set and household and functional was a small, red, heart shaped jewelry box with faux lace, tufted top and gathered lace edge.

Tomorrow we'll all get to see how our various items scored but more than that, we will have another chance to share our hobby with folks and play in clay together.

Penni Jo

Pretties at Twisted and Stitched

When Tina H was visiting recently, she shared a link to her sister's Etsy site, "Twisted and Stitched". It is a delightful collection of re-purposed jewelry, sea shells and wirework.

This seashell filled with 'faux' jewels has a wonderfully romantic feeling. It is good to see bits and pieces from old or broken jewelry live again in a beautiful new design.

Also the colors are ones that I love.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ancient Egypt In A Best Flexible Mold

Another new mold!! The wall art and jewelry of ancient comes to life in this new mold containing exotic Egyptian symbols.
  • Scarabs, 2 in flight, 4 at rest
  • Water lilies, blooms & leaf
  • A Pyramid with the eye&
  • 1 Sacred cat
  • Lily Blossom Ring
These designs will bring the feeling of ancient Egypt to your polymer clay or metal clay jewelry, charms and embellishments.

The included ring band has a lily design in the center but most of the smaller pieces can be applied to the center of the ring, over the lily before firing/baking.
The ring band goes up to size 17 ½ and a ring sizing chart is included in the mold. Great for metal clay!

The large scarab in flight is 1 7/8” x 1 3/4” (46x44mm),

The lily spray is 2 5/16” x 1 1/2” (40x58mm);To make the sample pieces above I chose black clay, a 50/50 mix of Pardo and Kato clays to mold the parts.

Pearlex powders were used on the black clay to simulate the brilliant coloring and gleam of the original jewelry pieces that I found on line.

Free instructions are included to make the exotic Key chain charm that could also be a pendant if desired.

The deepest part of this 5/8” thick mold is the large scarab about 5/16” deep. Made of strong urethane rubber the mold can be flexed for easy release.

As one of the extras that you get with a Best Flexible Mold is that we have measured the clay for you and provide measuring circles on the cover sheet. No need to guess, just measure and press!

Here is a design idea for a pendant using the large Scarab in flight mold.

The Large Scarab in Flight was molded of black clay. Three eye pins were insert in the lower half ball as shown.

Balls of red clay, one large, one smaller and two even smaller were rolled and dusted with red mica powder. The smaller ones were put onto bead pins and all were baked. When cool, the larger ball was glued into the 'gold' ring above the scarab.

Dangles: The smaller red balls were threaded onto head pins with metallic blue long beads (can be made from black clay) and small gold tone metal beads and linked to the eye pins in the lower part of the design.

Many of the original ancient Egypt jewelry designs had rows of dangles feature reds, greens, blues and gold colors.

Some of the ancient designs are of silver and gold. Metal clays can be used in our molds with very good results!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Visiting Clayer Tina

Above, Tina and I at the computer in my studio. Joe took the pic while we were talking to him on Skype in his office in the far corner of the house.

At the San Antonio guild meeting in February of this year I met a really cool lady named Tina. She also attended my class the next day and we had the pleasure of sitting next to each other at a small restaurant near the meeting place after class. The food was great but the company of the gals of San Antonio guild was even better.

When we found out that she was traveling through Moore on her way to San Antonio from Missouri we invited her to stop by and sit a spell. She did and we had a great time.

Shortly after her arrival Joe gave her a tour of the mold room and showed her how we make our molds, from the measuring of the raw materials, mixing pouring and vacuuming a three up of the newest Egyptian Symbols mold. Later in the evening she got to watch the cured rubber molds being pulled from the mold. Joe announced that she was now an 'official' mold maker.

After supper we spent time in the studio where we finished a leaf cane and talked about how it can be reduced with no packing, modifying the cane etc. There was some oohing and ahhing as she looked at some of the many items in the studio.

Later in the evening we popped popcorn in an old fashioned popcorn popper and watched the 'The Closer'.

Next morning after breakfast there was more ooing and ahhhing as Tina showed me her jewelry, cell phone charms and other pretties. Her wirework is lovely. Some of the items were stashed in a lovely tin covered in lavender and purple cane slices. Tina said that the tin had cost her a quarter at a garage sale two days ago. She is a claying gal for sure. I have a tin that has been sitting here for at least a year, still no clay on it. (blushing a bit here)

It was such a good time. I hope she will be staying here again on the way home later this week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Catching Up with Awareness Ribbons

We've been busy here lately.

After the Key mold I decided to do make an awareness ribbon mold as we've had requests. Because cancer cuts deeply through most American families including mine, it was time to make the mold. After a few false starts the ideas for the designs in the mold began to come together.

Since it was finished I’ve been making ribbon charms in memory of those that have already gone home on angel’s wings and as a reminder to pray for those that are here, fighting daily. The ribbon encircles their birthstones because their lives matter to those that they love and those that love them. The charm to the right is a red ribbon for lymphoma, a blood born cancer. The bead in the ribbon is a Peridot, an August birthstone. (Since writing this, I saw somewhere that the lymphoma ribbon is greenish, does anyone know which?)

Four of the designs would be cameo style, an oval cabochon with a ribbon on the front. Five would be just ribbons. Enter the new mold: PJ043 Awareness Ribbons.

With this mold, you can make awareness ribbons to remember ,or be reminded to pray for, a loved one struggling with cancer, for one deployed and for other life struggles. There are 9 openings in a variety of sizes.

Four Ribbon Cabochons that will fit standard sized bezels,

  • 1 1/8 x 1 ½ inches (30x40mm),
  • 7/8” x 1 3/16” (22x30mm);
  • 13/16” x 15/16” (18x25mm);
  • 1/2” x 7/16” x 7/16” (13x18mm).

Five Awareness Ribbons in a variety of sizes – largest to smallest;
1 1/4” - 1” - 7/8” - 5/8” & 1/2”

Free instructions are included to make a Ribbon Cameo and a Ribbon Charm.

The deepest part of this 5/8” thick mold is the large and next to largest ribbon cameos, about 7/16” deep. The rest of the cameos and ribbons are thinner. Made of strong urethane rubber that can be flexed for easy release.

The mold is available now at our website Best Flexible Molds.

Thanks for stopping by.

Penni Jo