Friday, May 23, 2014

Art Deco Dreams

My favorite two design styles are the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. (If you're here in search of my Bead Soup reveal, please scroll down to the next post or find it here)  My latest polymer project proved difficult, simply because I love both of these styles and I had many ideas and inspiration.My guild's challenge theme for June 2014 is Art Deco/Art Nouveau, hence my dilemma.  I'm actually more drawn to the Art Nouveau style, and I had originally had something else entirely in mind when I stumbled upon this fantastic bottle at my local Goodwill:


This bottle screamed Art Deco to me.  Actually, as it sat on the shelf at the Goodwill it called out to me, "you must use me for the Art Deco challenge"... really it did! ;)  I tried to ignore it, because well, I already had something else in mind for this project, but it sat there staring at me saying, "You can't ignore me, you know you must use me".  And so I brought it home.  This baby is big, with the globe stopper on top, it measures 16" tall, with the stopper pulled off, the bottle alone is 12.5" tall and about 6" in width at the widest point.  The cd in the photo above is for scale, to give you an idea of just how large this piece is. 

So I began by sketching out an idea.  I decided to stick with a traditional Art Deco palette in peachy/coppery tones. I started out with the first layer, covering the tear drop shapes with a blend of translucent premo mixed with a tiny bit of pearl white and a lot of copper metal leaf. For the other areas of the bottle's first layer, I chose premo copper straight from the package.  I cut some circular shapes and a line connecting them down the centers out of the teardrop areas and put it in for the first cure:


After a nice sanding to get rid of any bumpies, during which the cut circles popped off of the piece, I worked on building the next layer.  Using the half circle shape on my extruder, the extruded lengths were used to frame the teardrop shapes in a blend of premo copper, sienna and red.  A cut pattern of radiating rays and circles (in premo bronze mixed with translucent) was put in place to decorate the copper areas.  And a large circle was placed around the top... in it went for a 2nd cure: 


 The next step was to add more circles around the top, cover the bottle's lip and to cover the bottom.  I also had to cover and decorate the globe shaped stopper.  The top 1/3 of the stopper had a beautiful pattern of graduating rings, which I wanted to keep uncovered.  I used the translucent/metal leaf blend, the copper premo and the bronze/translucent blend for the base layer of the stopper.  The cut decorations on the stopper were also done in the bronze/translucent blend.  


 After the 3rd cure, I coated the entire piece with liquid polymer and hit it with the heat gun.  A fourth and final bake to ensure that it was fully cured, and it's finished!  I didn't want a high gloss sheen on this one, so I didn't sand or buff any further, I quite like the semi-gloss finish that resulted from the liquid polymer glazing.  I was going to glue the circle shapes back into place in the teardrop areas, but I like it better as open glass, besides it mimics the open glass as on the top of the stopper. 






Once again, I'm fairly happy with this project.  But it's not one that I feel I need to keep, so it will likely be going into my etsy shop, unless the hubby protests! ;)   What do you think?  Let me know in the comments, and tell me what's your favorite time period for style and decoration?  Voting for this challenge will open on June 1st and will run through June 7th midnight EST.  I'll try to remember to post a reminder here with the link!

18 comments:

  1. Wow! You totally nailed it. It's a perfect Art Deco vase. The open areas on the vase are like frosting on the cake. The colors and shapes are spot on. I'm a big fan of the Arts and Crafts movement, but I can mix a little Art Deco into my decor.

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    1. Thanks Tammy! You got me thinking.. actually my bedroom is arts and crafts and in the orange color scheme... so, yep, this piece would go well in there, if it doesn't sell. ;) Thanks for the idea!

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  2. It's beautiful Beth! Your process is so methodical and precise. It is no wonder your work is always so well done. I can't say that I have a favorite period although I have to admit that the little girl in me loves things more victorian and the adult likes more streamlined designs. I'm a bit of a contradiction! But your decanter would be beautfiul in any setting.

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    1. Thanks so much Line! :) I too love Victoriana... and Edwardian... LOL, I guess I'm a bit of a contradiction too! ;)

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    2. "Contradictions" are what keep both of your art interesting!

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    3. Thanks Marie! ...you are probably right about that! ;)

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    4. Hi Beth, you nailed this Art Deco piece. Fantastic work and wonderful that the cut out circles popped off during baking leaving the open space. That really gives an amazing look to the piece. I also like all the detail on the stopper. Awesome!

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    5. Hi Linda! Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving me such a wonderful comment!! :)

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  3. This just takes my breath away. Art Deco is definitely my favorite design style and you nailed it. It is perfectly designed and executed. I can't imagine working with that much clay!! And how fortuitous the circles popped off, that is a perfect touch. I love it.

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    1. Thanks so much Betsy! Yep, it was a lot of clay, I went through about 7 or 8 packs... quite a lot for one project!

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  4. And yes! I am with the comment referring to arts and crafts, we have traditional mission stickley furniture in most of the house, the geometric lines of Art Deco go perfectly with it. Try it on in your bedroom for sure.

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    1. I will try it... but may be difficult to find a spot cause it's so large! We shall see... ;)

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  5. It's gorgeous! Did you have trouble getting the label off? I have several bottles I've been planning to art-deco but I just can't get the sticky residue off no matter how hard I try!

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    1. Hi! Thank you so much for the comment. Nope, no trouble getting the label off the bottle, it wasn't gooey, it just scraped off with a razor blade. If you have sticky residue, use baby oil... cover the sticky area with baby oil and let it sit for a little bit, then come back and wipe off. Then wash with dawn dish-washing liquid to remove the greasiness. Sometimes with stubborn goo, it takes a couple applications but it will eventually come clean. Hope that helps!

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  6. This is magnificent! I didn't know you could do this with polymer clay. I'm just beginning to play with making beads and shapes.

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    1. Hi Louise! Thanks for the kind comment and for checking in! :) If you're just beginning with polymer, watch out, it's addictive! ;) Seriously, have fun exploring the medium there is so much it can do! I love working with many media forms but polymer is the one that always calls me back on a consistent basis... Enjoy!

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