More about buttons with a mini tutorial for polymer clay buttons following this BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENT...
Looking for the One World, One Heart Giveaway Post? Just click on the link under Popular Posts to go there or scroll down past this post.
Also... I have a lovely surprise coming towards the end of February for my followers (and anyone who becomes a follower between now and then) so keep a watch out for it.
And now... to this week's post...
Next weekend (the 18th, 19th & 20th) I will be in Vancouver (with my Vancouver Island Guild clay buddies) for a weekend of fun playing with clay. I have been looking forward to this bi-annual shindig put on by the Vancouver Polymer Clay Artists Guild for months now... I even re-scheduled my foot surgery coming up on February 22...(more about that later) to make sure that I could walk without a cast and have a good time. Now that is dedication to my art... LOL
With loads of demos planned (color mixing, conditioning, transferring images to clay, making hinges for boxes), a full weekend workshop of creating a pinched leaf necklace (see photo below) with Helen Briel and Eugenia Chan, catching up with Lower Mainland friends, dining out and sipping wine, it promises to be a weekend without much sleep but with a lot of FUN and a LAUGHTER!
Here is a photo of the gorgeous necklace we are going to learn how to make... I just hope I can create something that even comes remotely close to it... LOL
|Helen Briel/Eugenia Chan Design|
Photo courtesy of Vancouver Polymer
Clay Guild, Helen Briel and Eugenia Chan
One fun activity that is done on the Friday evening is to exchange polymer clay buttons we have made. I have been in a steampunk and faux raku mood lately so here's a photo of the buttons I have made for the exchange:
It was fun making all 30 of them with what I call my "Serendipity Steampunk" method.
You just take a piece of rolled out on your largest setting black clay, double it, gently roll it smooth to release any air bubbles.
Now just grab a bunch of "stuff" like toothpicks, screws, little charms, watch faces, fancy buttons, watch parts, little keys, keyholes and so forth and press them randomly into the clay to create a pattern all over your clay. It helps if you swish them around in a baking soda bath (baking soda poured in a recycled lid) so that they don't stick to the clay when making the impressions.
Next come your cutters... whatever shape you like... and, with "gay abandon" just cut your buttons out from the clay. Let yourself be surprised by what your "buttons" will look like. You just never know what you are going to get and it's a fun way to just stay loose and simply create!!
A small cocktail toothpick will create the holes quite neatly. Punch them from front to back, then back to front.
I dust them with Pearl-Ex, "cook" them (20 minutes at 275 degrees) and when cool put a Varathane finish on them (cause I like shiny!). This also allows them to be washed. However you can also cover the "cooked" buttons with Precious Memories III (one coating is enough), Future Floor Wax (several dippings) or just leave them as they are... just lightly sand and buff HARD on your jeans.
These buttons are great for adding to a knit sweater (most knit sweaters have such boring buttons) or even to a top or blouse. And at the cost of buttons these days, they are CHEAP! But don't stop there... leave the button holes out and use them as embellishments for altered books, scrapbooking pages, cards, altered art... the list could go on and on...
So there you have it! Next on my list to make will be some "critter" buttons for my granddaughter. When she saw these (via Skype) she thought they were pretty cool!
If you are a clayer, when was the last time you made some buttons? If you aren't a clayer. why not give it a try? Polymer clay is so easy to work with. It doesn't take long and you'll have a blast coming up with all sorts of designs that you'll just have to go and buy a new sweater... or blouse... or ....... start a new altered book... or ... make a fun card for a special someone... or add them to your latest painting.... need I say more? Didn't think so!
On another note...
I am going in for surgery on my foot on the 22nd. As some of you know, I have arthritis and it has taken its toll, destroying cartilage and creating all sorts of grief for me in various parts of my body. If I want to be able to continue to walk, this operation has become mandatory. I will be in a non weight bearing cast for about 8 weeks while everything heals... and quite honestly for someone like me with high freedom needs... I am hoping I don't go stir crazy batty!! It is my right foot so unfortunately driving is OUT!
But I am going to ask for a plaster cast for the first one (there are two casts) so that I can have some fun drawing zentangles on it while I recuperate for the first couple of weeks! I'm going to Michaels this weekend to buy some of those Sharpie paint pens they have on sale to get ready... and hope the orthopaedic surgeon goes along with my request.
During that time I am going to do my best to keep the blog updated. Time permitting, I will get some writing done beforehand that I can then schedule for publication.