Friday, February 05, 2010

Something new up my sleeve

So, I've been feverishly working on several new ideas, both in preparation for Stitches West (which is consuming my life right now) and just for me.

I've never been much of a three dimensional artist.  Growing up and well into adulthood, my art was about drawing, painting, calligraphy.  But working with clay?  No, no, so not my gift (though I do love seeing some of my "early work" in ceramics - lumps of glazed clay that vaguely remember the Mrs. Easter Bunny and Snow Man or Woman that they were meant to be ... back in 1st grade ...)!

I didn't buy into the whole Fimo thing when polymer clay was first the rage back in the early 90's.  Seemed messy and then there was that 3D thing.  I did play around with some, thinking I could pinch together a little cat or something.  My attempts were pretty paltry though, so another abandoned art form went to the wayside.

I often toss around a germ of a creative idea in the back of my noggin for weeks to months to even years, before my lightbulb goes off and I'm obsessed with making that bit of idea a reality.  About a year ago, I started playing with the idea of making my own buttons.

Well, what I really wanted to do was to make ceramic buttons, but the idea of a kiln terrifies me (what if I burn down the neighborhood?) and I have zero training or skills in ceramics.  Besides which, it increasingly sounded like an incredibly effective way to distract myself from my real business.

But the idea wouldn't go away.  I plotted and planned, decided I could try polymer clay buttons, but only if I could make them look as ceramic-like as possible.  Of course, I have no skills or training in using any kind of clay, let alone polymer (oh, I used to have great fun with play-do though!).

So for the last few weeks, I've immersed myself in working with polymer clay.  And I finally have the beginnings of buttons that don't completely stink (see above).  Which may or may not debut at Stitches West (but I hope will).  I've thoroughly enjoyed playing with acrylic paints again, along with experimenting with glazes and how to achieve the effect I was going after.  I'll post more later with more photos, but thought it would be fun to talk a little about how I get from that germ of an idea to a product, even if a prototype!


monkeys always look said...

I really thought these were made with "real" clay! These are just so cool.

Sharon said...

Very cool buttons! Fimo rocks!

Some years ago I played with making Fimo buttons. You can see some I finally used in this post:

Good luck at Stitches West--I am always amazed by how much you accomplish!

Summer said...

I love the idea of incorporating buttons made by you in your work - perfect! It looks like you're off to a great start!