Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Une tranche de paradis polymere

I'm off to spend 4 days in polymer clay heaven at the Corbieres Creatives workshops in Luc-sur-Orbieu in, France. You can see the programme here http://corbierescreatives.com/   

It's a fantstic line up, Laurie Mika doing 3d artist trading cards, Lisa Pavelka, Faux Batik, Denise Peck, custom wire findings, Loretta Lam, wearable vessals and Rona Weltman, ancient and modern beads.

My only dilemma is this; because on principle I refuse to pay the silly amounts Ryan Air extort from you for checking in bags,  I'm cramming everything in a small bag weighing no more than 10kg! so it's tools and clay etc vs clothes and make up.

Guess which one wins?

See you on my return next Monday

A fab new book and not a piece of polymer or metal clay in sight!

Lark http://www.larkbooks.com/ have done it again, a fabulous new book 'Jewelry Design Challenge' by Linda Kopp. As the front cover states,
'10 materials, 30 artists, 30 spectacular projects.'

It's a great premise, each of the artists were sent the same collection of simple materials; sterling and copper sheet, tubing, wire, washers, pearls, mesh etc and asked to put a step by step project together with all or some of the stuff plus one thing of their own they could add.

The work is amazing, described in detail and require some serious bench skills to follow. Artists include Bob Ebendorf,
Thomas Mann http://www.thomasmann.com/
Robert Dancik http://www.robertdancik.com/
Tim McCreight http://www.brynmorgen.com/
Sydney Lynch http://www.sydneylynch.com/  
and Deb Karash http://www.debkarash.wordpress.com/

As I said, not a drop of polymer or metal clay used but for once that really doesn't matter!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

More eye candy, inspiration and connection than you can shake a stick at!

We all know that social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc,  are with us to stay, that we can have quite personal info about people we hardly know in places we've never been. That communication via email or heaven help us letters are virtually a thing of the past!

Guess what, I have mixed feelings about it all but having said all that,  check out http://crafthaus.ning.com . In their own words, it's where, 'professional craft artists display their work and connect with each other across all fields of interest.'

There really is a formidable collection of beautiful work here, across all crafts including forums for polymer clay and metal clay, online curated events and of course chats with people all over the world if desired. There's a small annual fee but worth it for the eye candy alone and I believe they have an Etsy shop you can join.

Yet more 'friends' to connect with? well yes, but good fun too. Welcome to the 21st century Debbie!!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Honeys I'm home!

Just come back from the Art Clay Silver Conference at York University. Now, I don't know about you but my college never looked like this, nor did I have a fab en suite room, amazing food and a campus where a map and bicycle were necessary to get around.

However, lots of drinking and laughs with mates in the Student Union bar was more familiar and lots of learning too!

Highlights for me included carving into cuttle fish for texturing metal clay, fantastic possibilities there which I shall definitely explore further. Not so taken with the copper plating, didn't see the point frankly but good to know the technique. 'Fraid the Glas Clay is also one that I can tick off the list, for now at least.

The domed resin day was amazing.

Riota and Dice from Aida took us through the process of creating the bezel using syringe clay, not something I'm usually comfortable with. The pieces were then fired and polished. We used a moulding compound called Oyumaru which is heated, twisted and pressed into the bezels to create a dome. The colour was created with UV paints mixed with resin which was cured under a UV lamp.

There should be more info on this new technique on http://www.artclayguild.co.uk/ along with other info from the conference. The committee did a brilliant job organising the event, congrats to them all.

I want to go back to college. Is there such a thing as a BA in metal clay?, I'd have a BA.MC (hons)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Off on an adventure- To York

I'm off to the Art Clay Conference in York, and as I havent yet cracked the art of blogging on the hoof, I'll see you all next week with lots of tips, tricks and hopefully- gossip!

I shall be teaching how to make this pendant.

Missing you already

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Shiny, sparkly things- my precious

A little while ago I was asked to do a presentation about metal clay to a bunch of silversmiths ( you know, people used to sawing, hammering and bashing hard bits of metal about.) There was , to say the least, a bit of resistance in the room to this soft squidgy stuff I was showing them. One asked,  'I just want to know what you can do with metal clay that can't be done any other way' An annoying question to deal with at the time but actually very good one.

There isn't really a lot that can't be done any other way, but loads of things that can be done quicker without lots of tools and dare I say it waste. One such is being able to fire stones directly in place. Kevin Whitmore from Rio Grande has completed a labour of love by testing which stones can and cannot be fired successfully into metal clay.

For a really fab range of Cubic Zirconias of every size, colour and shape try  www.diamondcz.co.uk  

I teach one to one and small group classes from my studio in North West London Contact via http://www.debbiecarltonjewellery.co.uk/ if you are interested in learning how to set fireable and non fireable stones into metal clay.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

I love City Lit!

Where do you go to learn, printmaking, Ukele for beginners, Reiki with crystals, comedy sketch writing, catalan, mandarin chinese or method acting and, of course, polymer and metal clay work?

Based in Covent Garden in London's West End, http://www.citylit.ac.uk/ has over 3,700 courses on just about every topic under the sun. I've been a student there on many occasions; creative writing, experimental jewellery, photoshop to name a few and they've always been excellent.

I've been teaching 'intro to metal clay', 'stone setting in metal clay' and polymer clay there for 3 years. It's a full on experience teaching wise with 16 in a class but great fun and I've met some lovely people as well.

My next class there is 7th/14th November for metal clay. Check out their website for on line booking

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The CarrotBox- everything to do with rings- no carrots in sight

http://www.thecarrotbox.com/ Another one of my must see everyday blogs ( where does she get the time? ) Alice Matsumoto is based in Vancouver, Canada. In her own words

' The Carrotbox is a site dedicated to all those wonderful rings made of glass, lucite, resin, plastic, jade, wood, bakelite and even stone — anything, as long as it's not metal!

Actually the blog does feature all materials including metal, from all over the world and really funky and interesting stuff.

It's no good, i'm going to have to give up the day job- opps this IS my day job.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Digging deep...into the archives

I've just spent the day at IJL at Earls Court, London surrounded by the most fab array of gold, silver, diamonds , platinum etc . So by way of a complete and I mean complete, contrast i've dug up the very first things I made in polymer clay. They are little dancing figures which I put on stick pins and sold as brooches, believe or not.

Actually I think they're quite sweet.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Squidoo.com- an under used resource??

In their own words..

'Squidoo is the popular publishing platform and community that makes it easy for you to create "lenses" online. Lenses are pages, kind of like flyers or signposts or overview articles, that gather everything you know about your topic of interest--and snap it all into focus. Like the lens of a camera, your perspective on something'

I must admit I forget to use this amazing resource myself, particulary for metal clay. Margaret Schindel is the Squidoo queen www.squidoo.com/preciousmetalclay  

She has produced lots of lenses on a wide range of topics; really a HUGE amount of detailed info, links, free tutorials etc

I'm not so familar with the polymer clay lenses, I think they tend to be a bit hit and miss but try www.squidoo.com/imagetransfer  for starters. You could of course start your own lens on just about any topic under the sun.

Macrame for instance?? maybe not

Friday, 3 September 2010

A moving idea to promote your website

Imagine how blow away it must have been when the first 'talkies' appeared at your local cimema! Well the move from static to interactive websites is generating the same kind of wonderment and impact.

Having a 'live' presenter come onto your site to inform, instruct, entice or just plain amuse is a must have in this day and age. It will substantially increase the amount of time someone spends on your site and if you're into ecommerce can improve sales too-so they tell me.

Check out http://www.mywebpresenters.com/ . It's a really good site with lots of info and a neat wee guizmo where you can see what a presenter would actually look like on your site for free.

Now- I must declare a less than impartial interest here. My Web Presenters is my husband Neil's brainchild and his business. He's a dyed in the wool entrepreneur and film 'lovey'. We call him Cecil!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I'm feeling European today- Voila!

!Hola, bonjour und Guten Tag.

www.voila.eu.com is a great site, jammed packed with information; lots of new work and eye candy, regular juried competitions, lists of new turorials available on the net, discussions about art, life and the universe, well the polymer clay universe anyway!  I personally think it's right at the centre of where polymer clay is at its most 'happening' right now ie continental Europe.

It was started by Christine Dumont http://www.allovercreation.net/ who is Belgium by birth lives in the UK but has travelled all over the world. In her own words, 'Voila is a web-based community for polymer artists to develop their voice and raise their game'

She's doing a great job, check out the site, join and have fun.

Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen y Hasta luego