Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Play Clay with new friend Jennifer

 At the Wiley Post Festival last month, I demonstrated the fun of playing with polymer clay. Also in my booth were finished projects, blocks of Premo, Polymer Clay magazines and books. One of the ladies who visited with me, and who watched the demo was Jennifer M.

She was delighted with polymer clay and asked questions listening closely. When we were done I sent some clay home with her to try for herself.

A couple of weeks later she gave me a call and came over to show me what she was doing. Having purchased more clay she had started a series of hand cut and hand sculpted ornaments for a church bazaar. She had a couple of questions and a problem that was easily solved. 
A week later she came to show us how far she had gotten and her display of hand made ornaments attached ready for the show. There were wreaths, snowmen with hats, scarves & mittens, a Santa face, Christmas trees in different sizes, and stars!

Each hand made Christmas item is either a pin with a pin back or an ornament with a hanging loop. 

Left is a closer view of the snowmen, wreaths and hand cut Christmas trees

She has proven to be a most excellent designer and a clever sculptor. It is easy to see how quickly she grasped the concept in a very short time. 

Sadly, the photos were shot rather quickly and when they turned out to be a bit blurry but it was too late to re-shoot them.

A Christmas tree pin

She gave Joe and I both our choice of pins. Right is the one I chose. It reminds me of the tree we had with tinsel on it when I was a girl.

Left: Closeup view of her hand cut stars. She used a tiny star cutter for the little stars but cut the larger ones by hand.

It will be great to have another clay lover close by who seems to be as enthusiastic as myself.

Thank you Jennifer for sharing the love of your new hobby with us all. 

Penni Jo Couch
Best Flexible Molds

Maysville, OK

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

An Orchid in a Coffee Mug

Recently I spent a Saturday with my 16 year old grandson Tristan. He had an assignment to create a short memoir of someone in his life who is not a parent or sibling. It also required that he create an artwork that would describe the memoir. The artwork could be a poem, a song, an essay, a drawing, a painting or a sculpture. The only requirement was that the "artwork" be able to tell a story of a memory from that person's life.

 Since I am his grandma and an artist I would be perfect for the assignment. As you can imagine the field of art that Tristan and I chose to do together was sculpture.

One of his questions to me was  "What was your life like as a young adult?". Funny, looking back that many years (50 years) sent to me, via the way-back machine, to my last year of high school and how I met his grandpa.
As I remembered out loud he and I sculpted first a simple coffee mug to highlight my time as a waitress and the orchid was a reminder of my life as a teenager living with my father in my grandmother's home in Florida.

The memoir was supposed to, if possible, start with a less than happy event ending with a good event or conclusion. I won't go into all the details here  as Tristan is writing the memoir to go with his artwork so I'll wait until after he has presented the project at school.

We spent the next few hours together talking, laughing, and playing in clay. As you can imagine, remembering back 50 years was not a smooth cohesive telling, but a gathering of my memories whilst speaking with him. While we were talking we began sculpting the two elements that would reflect on my story. Elements needed to be unique enough that, when he would show them in class, he could easily identify and tell about his grandma, Penni Jo's, young adult memoir.

We started by sculpting first the easier of the two projects, the mug. He followed directions very very well and did a great job with his coffee mug. The next item, the orchid, was taught to him in simple steps and, as you can see by the image, he did a most wonderful job with his first sculpted orchid.  He also had a great time with the Mica powders used to give shine and shimmer to the orchid and orchid leaf.

By the time in our coffee mugs with orchids in them were baking in the oven he had a good time line of the events and could tell me the story of the orchid in the mug

Truly it was a most wonderful afternoon making new memoirs with my grandson.
Penni Jo