Sights of Summer 2019

DWe’re getting to the end of the Summer.  In the olden days (before I got married)  I would camp with friends at the Philadelphia Folk Festival  I usually volunteered so I could get in for free and always ended up on a work detail that involved patrolling the campgrounds all night.

Beadfest Philadelphia  is a good way to mark the end of Summer these days.  I have never taken a class there, but this year I am taking one with Susan Lenart Kazmer.  I took a class with her some time ago and  it was a wonderful experience.    It will be interesting to see what I can do given that I have been having major hand problems and am scheduled for surgery.  But I didn’t want to cancel the class.  Worse come to worse, I’ll watch.

Here are some late late summer pictures from my recent wanderings in  Seaview at the Jersey Shore.

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Boardwalk food is about all that’s bad for you.  That’s what makes it so good.
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No shore amusement park is complete without a Ferris Wheel

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View from the cable car

 

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Sunset

 

 

And last but not least a great polymer video from Fiona Abel-Smith that not only covers construction of kaleidoscope canes, but does it using six different clays.  Check it out.

My New Polymer Clay Heroes

I’ve always known that I was a late bloomer.  I’d heard of Ana Belchi but never knew about her videos and free downloads until I subscribed to Studio Mojo.

I haven’t watched all Ana’s videos yet, but I’m working  on it.  I was delighted to learn that she also offers  some free templates on her web site for the projects she demonstrates in the videos.

Fiona Abel-Smith also has an incredible video where she demonstrates how to construct a 6-sided polymer box and how to cover it with a geometric cane pattern that she explains in great detail.  She has a number of other fascinating looking videos that are on my must watch list.

On another note, I recently came back from a trip to Spain and  Portugal and my head is swimming with all the beautiful tiles I saw in both countries.  I’ll post more on that later.

You never know when a stuffed animal will make you a new friend. Our traveling companion Le Mutt broke the ice when my husband and I dove into a Nepalese Restaurant near our Lisbon hotel seeking respite from the many fish and potato meals we had in Portugal (where the people are lovely but the food not so much.  This is a contentious subject.)   If you are ever in Lisbon, drop by Himchuli 

USThis is not the first time Le Mutt has  made friends in a foreign land.

Mixing Premo with Bacon Bits?

I know that everything is supposed to go better with bacon and somewhere, somebody has already baked Premo with bacon.  But not I, she said.

This post is about failure.  Not only my failure to hear correctly when someone recommended mixing Premo with Bake and Bend (not bacon bits) so it would be more flexible, but also about the failure of my experiment to make an easy-off-easy-on flexible bangle out of polymer.

I know, I know, there are dozens of ways to do it and I have in fact make a few bangles myself quite successfully.  Still, when a new possibiliy for ruining clay comes my way, I jump at it. <Ahem>  Shall we begin?

 

 

Ex1
I began by extruding 10 inch hollow polymer tubes and baking them for an hour.

 

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Then I rolled out a sheet of clay on the pasta machine on #3 and textured it to hide the inevitable dings.
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I placed the clay textured side down on a tile, arranged the tubes and filled in the middle with a sheet of clay rolled on the thickest setting.
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I folded the ends of the clay over the tubes.
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And coaxed them into place.
Ex7
I used my tissue blade to move the clay as dinglessly as possible.
Ex8
I was able to smooth everything pretty well. I used Genesis Medium to make sure everything was adhered. After baking for another hour, I tossed the strip into some ice water to cool.
Ex9
The ends trimmed off to show the hollow tubes.
Ex10
I threaded memory wire through both tubes. The clay was super flexible and it was not difficult to curl it to accommodate the wire.
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But I had wire ends to contend with and the bracelet was a bit too short to accommodate any kind of closure. So I decided to cover the ends with fresh polymer and rebake the bracelet
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Aside from the wacko colors, I managed to shape some clay around the wire ends. The ends were embedded in the clay and I used the Genesis Medium to attach everything.

 

I put the bracelet into bake and it was then that my troubles began.  The mess you see below is what came out of the oven.

 

Ex13
Oddly enough, the clay on the inside of the bracelet is unaffected and  the clay is so flexible I can bend the bracelet back on itself without the inside clay cracking.  So what went wrong?

Looks like it’s  back to the drawing board!  Suggestions welcome.