Sunday, October 25, 2015

Boho Beach Glass Necklace - a back-up plan

Sometimes things just don't work out the way you think they will. This month's challenge project for the Polymer Clay Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) was one of those occasions. I had whittled away the month focusing on household issues and only began to work on my challenge project on Friday.

After spending the better part of the day, conjuring up my fabulous (if I do say so myself) idea... after the first baking of the surface design layer, my intended project was in ruins. The piece I had been working on is a mixed media piece, (I'm keeping "what it is" a secret for now, because I feel certain my blog readers shall see it eventually). I will say that it is a large item, about 14" by 12". Although my oven is large enough to hold said piece, I didn't have a large enough substrate on which to bake the flat piece. I opted to put it on parchment paper, then on top of the largest flat board I could find in my studio that would fit in my oven, but still the ends were about a 1" overhang. This, plus (probably) a failing oven thermometer led to the demise of my glorious idea. When removed from the oven, areas of cracking appeared because of my 2 previously mentioned issues. Reminder to self, it's time to purchase 2 digital thermometers. The cracking was all over the key surface design, which I had painstakingly mapped out in polymer over the course of a couple hours that day. The ruin of which, rendered the entire surface utterly destroyed. I had to then peel off the "design" layer, which is now contained in 2 ziplock baggies for potential future upcycling, to at least preserve the base of the piece which I had put together over the course of that morning. To start over with the design layer again would take too much time and the other problem is, it was A LOT of polymer, almost a whole 1 lb. of clay! To say I'm very unhappy about that is an understatement. But, lessons learned... I went to the thrift store and now have a piece of glass to bake on that is large enough for this project, and I will be getting a new thermometer to resolve the other issue. I didn't have enough time (or frankly, clay in the right colors) to finish my original project, so I had to come up with something else quick. Luckily this month's challenge theme is wide open for interpretation, the theme is "Personal accessories", and using up previously made jewelry components to create a new piece would fit the bill.


Back when I created my faerie light house, I made extra pieces of faux sea glass, that I had in reserve to use for jewelry. I also had just recently dabbled with a tutorial and created these organic shaped pieces that are meant to mimic bits of coral and a shell. Both the sea glass and the organic shapes were created using the tutorials (Faux Glass effects and Organic beads) from Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree. Ginger's tutorials are some of the best ones out there, all beautifully detailed in written instruction and photo examples. And perfect for all levels of experience. You can find the tutorials in Ginger's online shop, she even has 2 great bundles where you can get 3 tutes for less than you would have to pay for all of them when purchased separately! Here's a close-up of those handmade beads...



When I realized that I would need to resort to a back-up plan, my mind went to these previously  made pieces. I decided to create a boho beach necklace... sea glass, coral, shell, and matching silk fabric... these colors and components reminded me of something a mermaid might wear, or at least a bohemian beach babe. ;)   I have a stash of these lovely robin's egg blue pearl antique buttons that went perfectly with the colors, so I decided to incorporate some of those in this piece.


So, after all the frustrations from the original idea not working out, this challenge entry turned out quiet lovely (if I do say so myself) :)  To make a necklace was NOT as I had originally intended... but that's okay, I will revisit that other idea another day. For this day, I'm thankful to have created such a lovely neckpiece. I'm tempted to keep this one for myself, but do think that I will be posting it in my etsy shop.


What do you think about my boho beach necklace? Have you had projects that you just had to abandon to move onto another more efficient idea? Did you revisit the original idea eventually? I'd love to hear what you have to share... leave me a comment below! Remember, the voting for this challenge will begin on November 1st and will run through till midnight November 7th. I'll post a reminder here at the blog. And I'll leave you with the back side view of this piece:


6 comments:

  1. I love your "save"...it is lovely. Agree with you that Ginger is totally awesome! Looking forward to your larger whatever-it-is!

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  2. Beth, the necklace is gorgoeous. I love the beads and the design of it. I also love reading about the trials and tribulations of an artist's attempts that don't go so well. Makes me feel not so alone. Maybe the ladies at the pcagoe can help in the "practical' aspect of your project. I'm sure your original idea will see the light of day soon.

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    1. Thanks Line! Yes, it's always nice to know we're not alone in our engineering struggles to bring a vision to physical life... I have the mechanics of it worked out, now that I have a piece of glass big enough to bake on, I think it should be smooth going from here... I hope! I tend to like to figure things out by myself..but I will turn to the guild members if I find a problem I can't figure out. ;)

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  3. I love the components, the sea glass is awesome. And how you brought it all together is fabulous! Sorry about your first attempt, but I think that is the best part of these challenges. We push, and sometimes fail. In my case often ... many, many times. While others crank out, I am feeding the scrap box ... and learning. And that is what I so love about your work, it is always new and different!

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    1. Thanks so much Betsy! I have many fails too. I love those moments when everything seems to flow easily, they are getting more frequent, but still the failures are peppered in among the successes. Always learning... ;)

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