I’ve switched from the active production of masks, faces, and beads to taking pictures and editing, racing towards my deadline to put together “A Collection Of Polymer Clay Masks” and have it in print by Halloween. It can be done!!–but only if I put in some serious Photoshop hours. So that’s what I’m doing; going through miniature polymer clay masks I’ve made and collected since 1997.
In the process of participating in and hosting “swaps” for these among polymer clay artists around the world, I’ve amassed an amazing grouping of these little beauties–each measured to fit inside a 3 inch square.
After I photograph them, my husband will mount them all in framed pieces for display. We have one such piece with over 50 masks–now we’ll have several, and we’ll be doing a gallery showing along with the book when its all said and done. The book will also include photographs of full sized masks contributed by artists for this publication.
As I was going through my carefully wrapped boxes and bags of masks, and going through my file folders on the computer, I found images I took during a tutorial by Donna Kato and Shane Smith. They had been making mini-masks using scraps of canes, and didn’t have enough leftover bits at this point at our retreat, so they made a cane up special for it, and then Shane made some masks to show us how they were done. We each got a few inches of the cane to play with, and I got their permission to do a tutorial with the photos. I’ve got a “Making Faces and Figures” book planned out and in the works, but its not the one I’m working on now–it’ll be a companion to this one that will show how-to, and I that is NEXT years’ project. For now, here’s a look at the cane that started these masks, and the finished pieces by Shane. Thanks so much to Donna and Shane!
Judith and I are the two and the show is the 37th annual International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center, October 14-18. We’ve done this show for several years now and love it. The fabrics, tools, embellishments and beautiful work are astounding in amount and variety!
We’ll be there in booths #1848 and #1850, with Fun Polymer Clay Jewelry By Judith Skinner and Sarajane’s Polyclay Gallery. We’re bringing jewelry, beads, faces, spirit doll kits, face bags, dyed textiles, millefiore slices and cabochons, paper dolls, and of course BOOKS! We’ll even autograph ’em.
We made a vow at this show last year that we’d have all our files converted and be globally distributed through Ingram Book Company, and we got it done. Now they are available through sources like Amazon.com and PolkaDotCreations.com and of from us directly.
Learning how to best use the right software like Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator as well as Microsoft Word has taken up most of my creative time this year but now we are ready to go forward with new books, like Judith’s “The Art Of The Blend” and my two books on polymer clay masks.
I did manage to get in a few weeks of dyeing and fabric painting while on break between semesters, and it all does seem to add up, particularly when I try to pack it all into the luggage and haul it around! There are thousands of booths with an incredible variety of vintage and new items, and the explosion of color and creativity there is incredibly energizing and exciting. I’ll be sure to talk about it here in upcoming posts.
Please do come and see us at the show if you are there and say hello!
On our PolyMarket Press side of things, work is progressing on new books. In 2010 we will see the debut of two new books from me–
Making Faces, Molds & Forms and The Art of Polymer Clay Masks. Learning a lot more about using programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign has been keeping me very busy this year, and now I’m focusing on using them to produce new books. I’ve assembled a fabulous array of hundreds of images from polymer clay artists who create masks, and I am looking forward to sharing them all in print.
Judith Skinner is also beginning work on her new book about the Skinner Blend, the variations of it and the many uses it has for polymer clay. There is a tentative publication date set for Fall 2010. If you are a polymer clay artist who uses this technique and you’d like to submit images for consideration, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Judith is seeking the best that’s out there with high resolution images (300ppi) in a size format to fit within a 9″x7″ pages. Submission deadline is March 2010, which gives you all some time to get pics of your best pieces that make use of the Skinner Blend technique. Contact the email above and I’ll respond with the full information letter.
Images will be edited as needed to fit. Each artist will be credited by name so include that along with information as to the size and listing of all media used. Since it was first developed and shared with the polymer clay community, artists around the world have been using this color gradation technique in amazing ways. Just wait till you see the variety gathered into one great book!
In the most recent polymer clay miniature mask swap (an annual event prized by all who participate) I not only traded my own masks for a collection of 100 wonderful miniatures made by others, I also received some great goodies as gifts!
Patty Barnes did an entire collection of vibrant butterfly masks and all ten were different.
She’s using a transfer technique and embellishing with sequins and swarovski crystals. It was very hard to choose, by my efforts were rewarded with not just one, but an additional butterfly mask as a gift. It made it easier to let the others fly on to their new homes!
Rebecca Wells- Stout sent an additional mask as well, and I love the extruded red hair on this one! She’s beautifully fierce. Rebecca has used slices of canes and crystals to dress her up.
Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff sent along this colorful character that she calls “Charlie Chaplin on acid” and I can see exactly why she’d say that! I’m told the man had a great deal of energy and was a colorful character himself but not as much as this version, which I like very much!
These are only a few of the hundreds of masks that I’ve collected from my years of making and swapping miniature polymer clay masks. Next up for Fall semester at college I’ve arranged an independent study course to combine my Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator classes and skills into creating new books, and the mask book is one of the projects involved. So after having a delay of more than a year, I’ve got the tools and the skills and (hopefully) the time all coming together to allow me to work on this long awaited project!! Stay tuned for more developments as they happen.