Imprint Mokume with Dimension, Metal Leaf and Inks
February 22, 2018
Delve into imprint mokume – an adaptation of the ancient Japanese metalsmithing technique of Mokume Gane translated into polymer. Unlike traditional Mokume Gane, which results in a random, oil slick look, this is a process of designing a controlled, specific pattern on a carefully constructed stack of clay. This day will focus on:
- Color...where to find inspiration, how to mix soft and muted palettes, and how to use metallic and pearl clay to create shimmering highlights.
- Leaf and Inks...how to add a metal leaf and ink “sandwich” to the stack of clay.
- Tools...explore both everday and unusual tools to create unique designs, including the “Lazy River”, a winding, dimensional path through the design.
- Bead Shaping/Finishing...shaping beads with cutters, cutting freehand, drilling, sanding and polishing.
Provided in Kit: Clay
Instructor Share: Shape cutters, sandpaper, metallic powders, texture sheets, alcohol inks
Pasta machine (check local resale shops), c-clamps, small plastic container for sanding, acrylic roller/brayer, small 6x6 smooth tile (work surface), non-slip material to anchor work surface, water spritzer, tissue blade (Note: will have some blades for sale)
Button Blossom Mixed Media Pendant
February 23, 2018
Build on the technique and bead-making skills learned the first day by expanding into jewelry design. These mixed media pieces will incorporate vintage buttons and findings, textured metal discs, and a hand-forged wire-wrapped bail. Some metalworking tools will be reviewed, such as the dapping block and the circle disc cutter. And while these pieces are structurally constructed to utilize polymer to lock in all components, the use of tinted epoxy resin as a design element will also be explored. Combining polymer with metal or found objects will open the door to fresh new designs. Whether elegant and sophisticated or quirky and charming, a world of possibility awaits!
Provided in Kit: Clay, vintage buttons, metal discs, bail wire
Petal cutters, round cutters, heavy-duty wire cutters, sandpaper, texture sheet
Pasta machine (check your local resale shops), c-clamps, small plastic container for sanding, acrylic roller/brayer, small 6x6 smooth tile (work surface), non-slip material to anchor work surface, water spritzer, chain nose and round nose pliers, tissue blade (Note: will have some blades for sale)
Lunar Beads - Bursts of Color in 3D Shapes
February 24, 2018
Creativity unleashed! Enjoy the process of custom mixing rich and luscious color palettes, imprinting circles of clay with an everyday yet surprising tool, and manipulating and shaping the beads to give them an organic look.
A range of stamps and molds will be shown, ranging from rubber, metal bookbinding, and made-for-clay acrylic. Beads will be stamped or hand-textured before being dusted with metallic powders for glowing highlights.
Once cured, each bead will be taken through the finishing process…drilling, embedding wire loops, sanding, and polishing. Time permitting, ear wire design will be discussed and earrings can be made in addition to focal beads.
Provided in Kit: Clay
Instructor Share: sandpaper, texture sheets, metal stamps, metallic powders
Pasta machine (check your local resale shops), c-clamps, small plastic container for sanding, acrylic roller/brayer, small 6x6 smooth tile (work surface), non-slip material to anchor work surface, water spritzer, tissue blade (Note: will have some blades for sale)
There are moments in time when the sheer rightness of art stops you cold. There is an in drawn breath, an exhale of delight…the urge to savor and extend the perfection of the moment. Whether natural or manufactured, large or small, complex or simple…it speaks directly to your heart with a sense of joyful recognition. Creating mixed media pieces provides me with the opportunity to create such moments for myself. The primitive power and strength of metal and the sophisticated depth and dimension of polymer clay are to me a perfect union. With polymer, there is an endless evolution in the exploration of color, texture and shape…and endless opportunities for “moments of rightness”.
My background is in the computer industry, where for over 20 years I have designed integrated circuits with computer-aided design tools. I truly enjoy the work, as it appeals to my analytical nature - I am a Virgo, after all! Lucky enough to take a three year sabbatical from computer design between 2005~2008, I had the freedom to explore and focus on artistic pursuits more fully.
I've taken classes in glass blowing, glass fusing, lampwork beads, wire working, bookmaking, metal etching, silversmithing and more. I first learned about polymer clay in 2004 and found I was more passionate about this medium than any other. My focus so far has been on using polymer clay for jewelry, and I've found that the combinations of shape, color and texture lend themselves to unique wearable art. My designs reflect my love of color, symmetry and clean lines, yet also allow for a bit of whimsy with incorporation of metal tubing, hardware, semi-precious gemstones and vintage found objects.
I've also found that the design process is two-fold for me. There is the physical step of rendering...the color, pattern, form etc. But there is also the – for lack of a better term – spiritual aspect. The joy and fulfillment of creating flows from my hands into each and every piece I make. I like to think that as they are worn, they become secret talismans...transferring that same sense of joy to the wearer.
~ Julie Picarello