I’m heading to the annual PLAY Retreat tomorrow. Tracy and Teesha Moore are always gracious hosts and since I know that Teesha likes little boxes, I decided to make her a gift before heading out. The small turquoise box pictured below was made from polymer clay. The lid is walnut burl and the interior of the box is lined with basswood that was faced with walnut veneer.
Since I had all my polymer clay tools out to make the covers for my Small Jade Scrap Book, I decided to continue working with the clay and make a few other covers for my scrap books. Next up was a book block that measured 3″ X 4 “. These scraps were 140 Lb. Fabriano Artistico so I limited the signatures to 3 pages, when you’re working at a small scale like this adding too many pages will make your book impossible to close.
I ended up with 10 signatures and decided to continue down the simulated stone road and whipped up a batch of polymer clay turquoise for the covers. In this particular technique you chop the clay up in a food processor and then re-integrate it into sheets. I had some concerns about the integrity of the covers over the long haul, so the interior of the covers are just a sheet of solid black polymer clay.
The binding itself is straight forward. The signatures are and sewn to the leather spine with 4-ply Irish Linen. I liked the color variations in the turquoise, so to emphasize that, I used three different colors of blue thread for the sewing.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, without going into details some changes in my Clark Kent life took over. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and while I was trying to decide what I wanted to make, I found some pages I had torn some time ago. I made a couple of books to fit the pages, the first is made from polymer clay. It’s approximately 4″ X 6″ and the book block is 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico sewn onto a leather spine. The front cover features five faces and below the faces, three cutouts reveal some brass screen sandwiched between the polymer clay layers.
Here’s a shot of the cover:
And the spine:
I’ve made polymer clay boxes in the past but normally they meant to be a container for a book. Normally, I make my boxes in one of two ways. I either bake all the parts and then assemble them with a second baking or bake the box on a mold that I’ve fabricated from wood or book board. The size of the box depends on the book I’ve made how how I want it to be presented, I also tend to keep these pieces small because of the sense of intimacy they create.
While I was at PLAY last week one of the options available was making rock boxes. For the most part a rock box involves little more that wrapping a rock in polymer clay and baking it. The technique isn’t significantly different then the one I use for making my boxes except for a couple of tricks for getting the box off the rock once it’s baked. I started the box pictured below while I was at PLAY, I’d been tinkering with making a journal cover using Mokume Gane and still had a large piece of it left over. To create the effect on the surface of the box I covered a base sheet of clay with slices of the Mokume Gane and then ran it all through the pasta machine several until the distortions resembled banded agate.
The dimensions of this box are about 4 1/2″ X 3 1/4″ and it’s about 3 3/4 high. The interior of the box is simply finished with a good quality black gesso. The exterior is was wet sanded with 600, 800 and 1200 grit sand paper and then buffed on my bench grinder.
I like the work of Portland based artist Theo Ellsworth. Theo lives in a world of creatures, monsters and people who can morph into their worst fears and intentions. I wish his work was more accessible in my area but more often then not, I have to be content with just reading his blog at Art Capacity. I’ve watched him draw and the intensity and focus he puts into his work amazes me.
Last month he wrote about some wood cutouts he made as a Christmas presents for friends and family. I was drawn to one in particular which I believe he drew for his sister. Here’s a shot of it from his blog:
Much like Adam Savage, I’ll freely admit that I’m not a sculptor but I wanted to try and bring his creature into the 3D world anyway. I knew I was going to see Theo at PLAY and wanted to bring him something as a gift. The picture I had to work from wasn’t the greatest and I’m fairly sure the colors I used are more vibrant then Theo’s drawing, but I think did an adequate job.