I graduated from Front Range Community College with my Media Graphic Design degree, and I’m going to continue taking ceramics, jewelry, and other art class as I can afford them. We have some GREAT classes and instructors there, and I will stay on as a student or community member of the FRCC Art Club. We are seeking new officers there, as Josh and I are no longer full time students on this campus.
One of the things I’m doing in this new year is new art and instruction in a new studio space. Located at 364 Main Street in Longmont, the Kay Carol & Priscila | Gallery and Working Art Studios is home to 4 artists in residence, instructors, art groups and community organizations who meet there, and a gallery plus meeting/classroom/workshop space. I’m very fortunate to be there, and I have started a website there with a calendar and a page that lists upcoming classes and events.
I’ve already had fun with several Spirit Doll sessions, and here you see the new faces and molds I made during the polymer clay face sculpting class. I’m looking forward to using them with polymer, ceramic, bronze and silver in the upcoming months. They’ll be useful in the upcoming Miniature Mask Swap, and in the month long exhibit of masks and art from my PolyMarket Press books in June. That may sound like a long way off, but as I have so many things to make and write about for upcoming books as well as hundreds of masks to mount into large frames, fabric to paint, jewelry to finish and more, it seems like only a few weeks away. However–now I have a workspace in which to do it!
Please do come see me there during open gallery hours 10:40am-4pm Fridays and Saturdays. Or, book a class with a friend or a group. Individual instruction is available as well–we are dedicated to spreading the creativity around.
In addition to teaching classes in polymer clay use through Front Range Community College’s Continuing Education Department, I’m also still taking classes there. I love learning, no matter which side of the flow I may be on at any given moment! This semester I’m taking advanced classes in Adobe Illustrator, Ceramics and Metal/Jewelry. I’m starting to cross the lines from studio to studio now– like using polymer clay originals to make plaster molds for use with ceramics that I then cover with glazes, acrylic paints, polymer clay, or even metal! Or like using PMC (Precious Metal Clay) made into a liquid slip to coat ceramic flowers or faces that I have made by hand forming or by using silicone molds that I made from polymer clay originals…you can see how the lines are beginning to blur!
The items shown here are made with ceramics and PMC silver, and then I use Liver Of Sulfur to give them a patina. You can see the difference between the silver finish that has not been given a patina and those pieces that have been treated here. I much prefer the antiqued effect and the colors that you can get when treating the silver with LOS. Both are pretty darn cool though, and by putting the PMC over ceramics I save a LOT of weight and still get the finish of real silver.
Book Cover–Making Faces Molds & Forms, originally uploaded by sarajane helm.
This is the front cover of my newest book–“Making Faces Molds & Forms”
It is a how-to guide to sculpting faces from polymer clay and using 2part RTV silicones to make molds; and thats just a start! Then I show how to use the molds to make many different faces, and use them in doll making, altered art, collage, jewelry, and more.
This book will debut in late October 2008, in time for the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas.
(Its ALMOST finished!!)
There I was, standing in the aisle at Hobby Lobby looking for the mold making product I needed to locate for my students in the Making Faces And Molds class that I’m presenting today at our local bead store. And when I found it, I saw a familiar face–several of them in fact!
I recently did a photo tutorial/project and some promotional samples for the company that makes Amazing Mold Putty. I have the full tutorial on my website for those that want to see how its done.
I had not yet seen the store promotional piece in its final print form until I saw it in the aisle, and I have to say, they did a wonderful job! I’m very pleased with how good it looks. And, its always great to see your work in print out in public! Take a look for yourself at Hobby Lobby in the aisle with the polymer clays and tools. Take a little look here; I’ve reduced the scans to fit this blog.
I’ll be showing all sorts of pictures and faces in the books on miniature masks and faces that will be coming out NEXT year on PolyMarket Press. What was planned as one book grew into two.
One is a photo-book of hundreds of miniature polymer clay masks and also larger scale masks.
The second is be a how-to book. Look for “The Art Of Polymer Clay Masks” and “Making Faces” in 2008.
PolyMarket Press is my small but growing publishing empire. Judith Skinner and I created our debut book last year, “Adapting Quilt Patterns To Polymer Clay”. We each have plans for more books to come, so you can tell that we enjoyed the experience enough to do it again!
Time to turn to another set of projects–we have made a timing adjustment to the dye schedule, and are waiting another week. When the white cotton crochet hats with wired brims arrived last week from Dharma Trading Co. and were tried on and instantly admired by both of us, my friend and I realised we had a math problem. That’s when 2 Hats+46 Dye Colors = Another Order (placed that very day). So our dyeing days have been postponed but we’ll be better prepared in another week, as the pale piles accumulate.
A creative mind is able to adapt to a change in scheduling. Just turn to a different project; there are ALWAYS at least ten different Things To Do visible in the corner of my mind’s eye, and thats because they block the view of all the rest of the list. A little bit done here, a few hours of concentrated effort there, and a wide variety of things do– eventually–get done.
I’m going to do a bit of polymer clay work today, and put away the messes I’ve made from taking things out for classes at my local bead store, and have some fun! That includes the glitter and metal leaf, the clay and the Jones Tones foils. One of the uses of little bits and scraps of clay is to take small amounts of colored clay and add metal leaf. This is a VERY thin sheet of metal, and can be found in silver, gold, copper, and anodized color bursts, swirls and patterns. It sticks to raw clay without any adhesive.
Place it all on a solid color background, roll it out, and you have a multi-colored sparkly confetti-style design. Portions of this were placed on chunks of polymer clay and pressed into a mold of my own making.
Today I’m going to take some actual clay time where I can listen to music and make faces. These will go in the spirit doll kits. The faces shown here are from the 2006 Miniature Mask Swap. Its just one of 90 designs that were traded between polymer clay artists. AFTER the dyeing happens, I’ll be taking pictures of them all. That’s too big a project for the next few days, but it is the next on the list. But for today, I’m going to putter around the studio a bit!