Monthly Archives: August 2013

Late August sunset

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Quick post…

…of the quick photos of  necklaces I’m dropping off at The Gallery Next Door today in Bar Harbor:

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Holly visits Maine and we extrude some polymer



Holly Kellogg and I met on the airport shuttle that carried us to the 2006 PMC  Conference at Purdue University. Over the years we have become good friends who like to learn new creative techniques together. Sometimes we attend workshops, and other times we just try to figure out what we want to try next when we visit each other’s studio. Hmm…what would it be this year when she had 5 days to come to the island with her son Evan and daughter Maia?

When in doubt, we get out the polymer clay. I planned ahead for her visit because I was fascinated with the idea of using an extruder to make thin canes of varying color that I think are called rainbow canes. (I’m confused about the terms “pixilated cane” and “retro cane.” I think they apply to larger canes of polymer clay made from combining these small thin extrusions.) All I know was that we wanted to extrude clay using the technique described by Cynthia Tinnapple in her Polymer Clay Daily blog. We wanted to see for ourselves how the stacks of color keep pushing through each other and changing as they are extruded through a smaller opening, but we didn’t want to wear out our wrists cranking the tiny handle of an extruder. I ordered the stainless steel extruder, adapter, and vise suggested by Cynthia, before Holly arrived.

It helps to read the directions when you’re doing something you’ve never done before.



We conditioned lots of polymer clay by running it through our pasta machines, then cut out circles of color the size of the extruder barrel and stacked them up. We thought we needed a different size hole for the end of the extruder,  so I quickly made a copper version using my disc cutter.

IMGP5260  Holly extruded the fist cane….




It works! (Though the cane in the photo below is actually one from our second day of experiments.)



We experimented with waxed linen between slices of polymer clay to see how it would handle curing. That way our test slices might be able to be used as jewelry components if they worked out.

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My cane slices could be made to slide quite easily on the waxed linen. Not what I had hoped would happen. Holly’s pieces did not slide quite as easily. She had used liquid polymer between her slices to see if it made a difference in holding the waxed linen.

On day two I used all translucent Pardo clay, tinted with alcohol ink, with silver leaf between each disc. I extruded through a small square shape.

IMGP5272 IMGP5275  A cured test slice of one cane I had wrapped with more of the blue translucent Pardo:

IMGP5285   Holly tinted Premo translucent clay with alcohol ink and alternated her translucent slices with light and dark solids. She used gold leaf between her slices.

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I love how the gold leaf seems to glow through the peach translucent clay in the upper left teardrop.

The time went all too quickly. Two morning sessions were just enough to whet our appetite for more polymer clay exploration. We were having too much fun to stop and take photos of it all. Here are two more test pieces, with beads added to the waxed linen before squeezing the two sides of polymer together. In my mind they would be earring components.

IMGP5288  The translucent segments show up a little bit in the finished earrings. What looks like a black stripe in the second segment from the top is actually the linen thread showing through the translucent part of the cane.

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Busy much?

The pace of life in the middle of August is at a fever pitch. I assume that everyone I know has their act together while I am just trying to keep my head above water and avoid panic if I can. It turns out that:

  1. I am getting more done than I give myself credit for.
  2. To panic is a useless waste of time and energy.
  3. Almost everyone else I know is in the same boat.

Have you heard of the term cabin fever? Well, mid August around here is the exact opposite of that.

I managed to fire a batch of beads last week. Here’s how they looked just out of the kiln and ready for the tumbler.



After I tumbled them, I oxidized them with liver of sulphur, and then buffed them on a muslin wheel. Of course I forgot to take a second batch of photos. Most of these beads are already in use. All of the earring sections are packed up and gone without photos. I was in kind of a hurry to get jewelry made and out to three galleries by today and tomorrow.

I dropped these necklaces off at Winter’s Work today on the island:

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I was in a huge rush to get out the door, so I didn’t photograph the 10 pairs of earrings  that I already had in cards.  15 pieces all together helped make Sue’s jewelry case look a lot more inviting.

When I got home from dropping jewelry off at the dock, I pulled together what I had finished for The Gallery Next Door in Bar Harbor. (I have to be in Bar Harbor tomorrow, so I wanted to finish at least a few things so I could drop them off while I was in town.)

Again, I only had time to photograph the necklaces and not the earrings.

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Last but not least is the package I’ll mail off tomorrow to Chapter Two Gallery in Corea, Maine. I wanted to have necklaces finished for them too, but I ran out of time. That’s next on my list. Here are the styles of a couple pairs of earrings that are headed their way:

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45 minutes of a foggy morning…

…Islesford to Great Cranberry to Sutton Island to Northeast Harbor. It was hard to carry on a conversation with all of the foggy sky changes. Those of us who are compelled to take pictures kept interrupting to turn around for another photo op…. I’m sorry, what did you say?

IMGP5083 IMGP5085 IMGP5086 IMGP5087 IMGP5088 - Version 2 IMGP5090 IMGP5091 IMGP5095 IMGP5098  IMGP5101 IMGP5103 IMGP5106(These photos are in sequence. The weather continued to change around like this for the rest of the day, whether you were on the island or the mainland.)


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