Saturday, December 31, 2016

Whirligig wind spinner

I take a lot of walks through the little town in which I live. From spring through fall, gazing balls, wind chimes, plant stakes and all other manner of garden-variety art abound in this little borough. I love seeing the personal touches on the homes of people who put extra care into their dwellings. My favorite pieces of outdoor art are the ones that are meant to catch the wind and spin around displaying mesmerizing patterns. When the theme for this month's showcase for the PCAGOE (Polymer Clay Artist's Guild of Etsy) was decided to be outdoor art, I was fairly set upon coming up with a wind chime or a wind spinner design.

I came up with this three sided mobius design after observing some whirligig wind spinners in a shop. I figured that it could easily be done in polymer, and wanted to give it a try. It took a trial and error session for me to figure out how to construct the piece... still not sure what I'm going to do with the first iteration, which was more error than trial, Ha, Ha! After working out most of the kinks of that first iteration, this little sea green one was born.

The polymer mobius part is only about 6" in diameter, so it's not a very large piece, but still large enough to catch the eye. I decided to add a large polymer clay swirled lentil bead at the bottom and coordinated some glass beads for more decoration. 

I love how the swirly lentil bead echoes the swirls of the mobius, and I believe that I will incorporate that feature into future iterations of this design. I do plan to make more of these, because I really love the idea and the look of this piece. I am also considering creating a project tutorial of these for selling in my etsy shop. Lots of ideas are spinning around in my head, must be the whirligig influence! ;)

With those hopes of creating more of these whirligigs (and also a tutorial for them), I'm reminded of my hopes for the new year. Once again, my #1 New Year's resolution is that I want to spend more time in my studio creating. While I really plan to focus much of my energy on larger-scale art pieces that I've been dreaming up (just for the sake of making myself happy and decorating my studio space), along with those wishes comes the hope that I'll also find time to create some smaller items to put in my etsy shops.... sigh, if only reality will work with the schemes in my head! For anyone who's curious, here is the top-down view of the whirligig:

So, what do you think of my latest project? Is this something you'd be interested learning the details of how to make and construct? Do you have any New Year's resolutions that you're hoping to carry out in 2017?... leave me your comments below, I always love hearing your thoughts!

Happy Holidays to all during this season of giving. I hope for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2017!


Friday, December 9, 2016

A Belated Show and Tell

About 2 months ago, I had asked polymer artist and dear friend, Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs, if I could purchase one of her Limoges style boxes. She generously offered to send me one as a gift. Because I know she puts a lot of work into these lovely trinket boxes, I said that if she would like, I'd make something to send to her in return. She agreed, and she sent me this beautiful little box:

Limoges style box by Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs

Inside of Limoges style box by Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs
Betsy's little box is displayed in one of my polymer art shrines in my studio. This little shadowbox display contains a few of the little gifts I've received from other polymer artist friends over the years... (I have a couple of other polymer art shrines, so this is only some of my treasures from friends)
In this photo: Top Orange Mokume Gane box by Susan O'Neill of 11BOLDstreet, 2nd shelf Blue Marbled egg by Angela Hickey of Polymer Clay Creations, 3rd shelf Limoges style box by Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs, 4th shelf Polymer appliquéd glass heart ornament by Linda Riopel of NKDesigns, 5th shelf Millifiore egg by Cindy Matthews of Arrowdale Art Studio, 6th shelf rock and succulent plant pendant by Maiah Tanner of Walk Home Happy, bottom 2 shelves are some little pieces I made (place holders until I get other small polymer gifts to fill those spots!)

As an added surprise, Betsy also gifted me these lovely gift cards that were created with her own hand carved stamps! Beautiful!!

Hand carved stamped designs on note cards by Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs

Backside (logo) of hand carved stamped cards by Betsy Strebe of Strebe Designs
It took me a while before I finished the piece I made for Betsy and sent if off to her. When I received her piece, I had been in the middle of a major studio reorganize, where I moved all the furniture around (more to come on that later...). Then I had to spend time creating my Cocky Trump sculpture, then I got busy with Thanksgiving, creating ornaments and finally having to deal with pet injuries and family health issues. So I decided today I was going to sit down and finally get these lovely gifts posted for show and tell! Aren't they gorgeous?! I'm so glad to have an example of my dear friend's work in my collection of polymer art from artist friends! Do you have special collections of art in your home? Tell me about it in the comments, and be sure to go check out Betsy Strebe's work at Strebe Designs!

Thanks so much again, Betsy!! I absolutely LOVE my beautiful little Limoges box, and the gift cards too!

Oh, I almost forgot... here's the little container I made and sent to Betsy: