Thursday, September 17, 2009

Polymer Clay Exhibition in Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Clayworks is hosting a jewelry exhibition entitled Adornment Adored from October 3rd to November 6th.

Baltimore Clayworks is a ceramic arts organization, which strives to showcase the best to educate and intrigue the public. This new exhibition will showcase the work done with polymer clay, PMC and ceramic components.

The exhibition is intended as a cash-and-carry show, so the customers will be able to purchase the works they like.

I am thrilled to be chosen as one of the participating artists. You may find more information about the exhibition, as well as the complete list of the participants, on Baltimore Clayworks web site.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

What Is on My Desk
My Son's Science Project

With my love for polymer clay, I think it is quite expectable that my kids very often use this material in their projects. Here is the latest example: my son's science project. Last spring, shortly before they had to start planning their project, I showed him the works of Bird Artist, which he really liked. So, I was not surprised when he asked if he could use some polymer clay to make humming bird feeders for his study.

We have lots of humming birds in our backyard, and usually feed them using a regular store-bought feeder with four red plastic flowers. My son decided to find which color is the most attractive for these birds. He made five feeders: yellow, white, red, blue, and black. I thought it would have been better to vary the intensity of one color, and make white, red, and a three or four pink feeders with different proportions of white and red clay. This way, he could use graphs to present his results. However, he and his teacher decided to go with various colors, so that's what we have now.

First, we made just one test feeder. We replaced our regular one with it to see if the birds would use the new feeder. It looked as if they did not even notice any change.

This weekend, my son made the rest of the feeders, and we placed them around our gazebo. The gazebo has eight sides, and on five of them we placed the feeders. Every day, my son is going to put an exact and equal amount of syrup into each feeder, and then record the amount left in each of them at the end of the day.

Since there is a chance that some feeder locations are more convenient for the humming birds than the others, he is going to vary the position of each feeder every day. Thus, a yellow feeder, for example, will be placed in the first opening of the gazebo on day 1, in the second on day 2, and so forth, until it's been moved through all positions at least a few times. My son wants to run this experiment for a month, but we are afraid that the birds may migrate before the time is over.

It will be interesting to see what he finds out, but I am pretty sure that humming birds do not care what color is behind the hole with their syrup. Once, when we were cleaning and refilling our regular feeder, a humming bird flew to the empty feeder spot (right in front of our kitchen window). She looked quite puzzled by the absence of her food, and tried to get her syrup by sticking her beak first through the feeder hook, and then through these little vent holes we have under the roof. It was very funny! Clearly, neither the hook, nor the vent holes were the color of the feeder, and they definitely did not look like any flowers...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Price We Pay

A new anvil - $20.
A hammer - $6.
Some scrap wire – $0.10.
Time spent with my teenager – priceless.

I am writing a new polymer clay tutorial with a wire-working part, so I bought a new and shiny anvil to make some nice-looking pictures. As soon as I take the anvil out of its box, my son comes to the studio. The anvil grabs his attention right away. “O! May I try it?”- he asks, excited. “Sure, honey!”. He grabs the anvil along with a hammer and some scrap wire, and settles on the floor. I almost say something like: “Work gently!” or “Be careful!”, but then remember his continuous fight for independence ever since the school started on Monday, and bite my tongue.

It took him less then two minutes to cover the WHOLE surface of the anvil with nicks and scratches...

Well, hopefully he learned something when I did not yell at him. Or maybe not...

Yet another day of parenthood...

On a positive side: It does not look nearly as bad in the picture as it is in person. I think I can still use it in my tutorial (with a little creative photo-editing, perhaps).

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Buttons

I just added these two sets of my new hand-made polymer clay buttons to my Etsy shop.

They are square, with an interesting abstract design in earth tones. I did not use any paints or sealants on them and added some nice texture on their front sides.

I think these buttons would look great on some knitted or crocheted things.
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