Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now, and perhaps without even knowing it, you will live along some distant day into the answers. - Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 3, Day 3: Creative Tuesday: Playing Clay

Today was a wonderful day.  I got to spend the day playing with my sister Kathy -- we haven't done that in a long time!  I decided that I wanted to make my own polymer clay pattern.  I knew just the colors I wanted - blues and greens and tans, like the ocean.

The Final Product:

An almost finished necklace pendant with my
polymer clay design inlay!

The Creative Process:

Of course, I started with the blocks of Primo.  My goal was to come up with 5 or 6 colors to stack and extrude to get the "Retro" pattern.  Kathy says it's the best brand for what she does.  Evidently each brand has a different consistency, the colors mix differently, and they bake differently.

These are the colors that I stared with...
plus I snagged
a couple that Kathy had already mixed.

Mixing the colors was different than any other medium I have worked in.  You have to work the clay, then work the colors together.  Sometimes you see them mix, and sometimes it's very subtle.  And, a little color goes a long way!

I started with the sand color:

My next color was a light sea foam green.  The color was too light  so I added some darker colors and sent it thru the pasta machine:

My first 2 colors:

Now I wanted to mix a darker blue/green:

Honestly, I wasn't sure that this color would come out green/blue:

But it turned out to be a pretty color, and fit right into my color palette.

Now for a lighter, sea foam green.  I love watching the colors blend as I pass the clay through the pasta machine.  I had to put it through about 30 times to get it one consistent color.

It was a little bright for my color palette.  Remember, a little goes a long way.  Obviously I used a lot!

So I added more colors.....and then some more:

And even some more....

Finally, a color that matches my color scheme!

My last color is going to be a brighter aqua color.  I loved the marble look after a couple of passes through the pasta machine:

It wasn't the exact color I wanted, but it went nicely with the color palette, so I kept it.  I am happy with my final colors.

The next step is to make little circles out of the clay with a punch.  

Then I got to stack all the circles, and roll them into a long snake so they would fit in the extruder.

Now for the fun part, twisting the extruder, cutting and stacking the snake.  It's like the grown-up version of Play-Dough.

Once I got them snakes stacked, I got to trim it and make my shape for my pendant!  

What a lot of work, I have a new admiration for all the beautiful pieces that Kathy makes.  She has endless patience with mixing colors, and developing new techniques....patience is definitely not one of my virtues!  Give me my pencil and paper, paints, or computer any day!  Just click here if you want to visit her website and see some really beautiful pieces:  She also takes custom orders if you like a style, but want different colors!

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