Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ink Colors for the Latest Experiments

First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented and emailed me with reference to my most recent post about the new Controlled Marbling experiments with Chalk Inks and Copper Leaf. I was a little overwhelmed with the response.  

Several of you asked if a tutorial on the process was forthcoming.  I had not planned on it. In fact, I was hoping with the instructions in the post, those of you who have already purchased the Controlled Marbling Tutorial would be able to create some similar pieces yourselves.   

I still do not plan to create another tutorial, but I thought I would give you the names and sources for the clay and ink colors and brands so you could experiment on your own.  I would like to see your experiments, too. If you try this, please email me your photos or add them to my Customer Gallery group at Flickr.  If you are not a member, I would be happy to send you an invitation to join.  

Since I am out of Pardo Translucent for the foreseeable future, I used Kato Translucent and Fimo Translucent in the new pieces, along with Premo Gray Granite.  Do not substitute White Granite.  It won't work like the Gray Granite.  

The Color Box inks I used were:   Fluid Chalk Ink REFILLS (I don't usually buy the stamp pads, just the refill bottles of ink) in Alabaster, Yellow Ochre, Tangerine and Burnt Sienna, for the red group; and Aquamarine and Blue Iris for the blue group.  Yellow Ochre is my new favorite.  I LOVE it, and it blends with other colors to make amazing tertiary colors.  

The Ranger/Adirondack inks I used were:  Butterscotch, Chili Pepper for the red group and Bottle Green and Baja Blue for the blue group.

I also used Ranger/Adirondack Copper Embossing Powder (which I sprinkled randomly over the inked sheets before marbling.)

The Tsukinek INK PADS I used were:  From the Versa Magic Line:  Red Brick, Night Sky and Mango Madness; and from the Brilliance Perlescent line:  Thyme, Poppy, Crimson and Rocket Red.

The copper foil leaf is from LA D'ore.  I have had this for so long, I don't remember where I purchased it, but I believe I got it at Hobby Lobby.  

I purchased all the clay and inks from Polymer Clay Express, and no, I do not get a discount or free stuff from Wilma or PCE for promoting them.  I have no idea where else you can buy the inks, and haven't checked.  

I blended the edges of some of the colors which were similar, creating overlaps on the leafed sheets.  Try blending the brick red with the Mango madness, or the Thyme Green into the Aquamarine and Blue Iris.   Mango Madness is one of my favorite colors. 

If you try this experiment, allow the Chalk Inks to dry overnight before you stretch the clay or put it through a pasta machine to break up the copper foil; and when you put it through the pasta machine, if it is not completely dry, which I doubt it will be, put the clay sheet between pieces of parchment paper or deli paper so the ink doesn't get on your machine.  

The Chalk Inks are thicker, so use a thin layer.  You will also find the Chalk inks bead up on the copper leaf.  That's okay.  This creates interesting patterns during the marbling process.  If it bothers you too much, though, just spread it around again with your finger.  

When you have marbled the clay sheets and have baked your experiments, sanding and buffing will really bring out the layers of color. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Controlled Marbling Experiments with Chalk and Alcohol Inks and Copper Leaf

I mentioned in my last post that I have been experimenting with Colorbox Chalk Inks and Copper Leaf.  I tried them with my Controlled Marbling Technique, and for the most part, was very pleased.  

This was a very messy project.  Chalk Inks don't dry quickly on polymer clay.  I am not the world's most patient person, so I messed up a few times, but finally logic prevailed and I left them to dry overnight, although they didn't dry completely, even then.  I imagine it was an interaction between the chemicals in the clay and the chalk inks.  Hmm, I do tend to blame chemical interaction for my unhappy accidents, don't I? There was a lot of trial and error, and I hate to admit how much clay went in the trash.  

All of these were created using the inks and leaf with Kato and Fimo Translucent clays and Premo Sculpey Gray Granite.  I conditioned some Gray Granite and some Translucent, divided each in half.  I combined one of the half sheets of Gray Granite with one of the half sheets of Translucent and burnished it with copper leaf.         

Are you still with me?  At this point, I had 3 sheets of clay:  One Gray Granite, one Translucent, and one copper leaf burnished sheet.  I did this for each color batch.  I decided to use blues and reds in one batch; and greens and yellows in the other group.  As you can see from the photos, the color batch with the yellows and greens was more successful than the blue batch.  BIG learning curve with the blue batch, which was the first one I tried.  Most of it is now lining the trash can.  

I then divided the sheets again, so I ended up with 6 sheets of clay:  Two quarter sheets of Gray Granite, two quarter sheets of Translucent, and two large quarter sheets of burnished copper leaf clay. 

One quarter sheet of copper leaf clay was treated with Chalk Inks and one with alcohol inks, and I repeated this step on one of the translucent quarter sheets.  I thoroughly blended the other quarter sheet of translucent with one color of alcohol ink (violet blue in one batch, tangerine/red in the other.)  I didn't add any treatment to the surface of the quarter sheets of Gray Granite.  

After I left the Chalk Inks to dry overnight, a lesson learned after wasting almost all of the first batch of the blue group, I did my thing with the Controlled Marbling technique, then cut and shaped and baked. 

One of the things I love best about using translucent clay this way is the that you never know what you are going to get until you have sanded and buffed the baked pieces.  It's kind of like mining for gemstones.    You never know what you've got until they are cut and polished.  

Anyway, even with the steep learning curve with the Chalk Inks and the drying issue, I was pleased with the results, and I've got more ideas in mind.  I'm not sure Chalk Inks were meant to be used with Polymer Clay, but I had fun testing them.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Polymer Arts Blog Feature

The Fractured earrings made it to the big time today, folks!   They are featured on Sage Bray's blog for her magazine, The Polymer Arts.  I hope you'll take a moment to check it out and read the post.  I will be hanging out on Cloud 9 for the rest of the week!    

Thank you again, Sage, for the honor.  I'm tickled pink!    

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March Art Bead Scene Entry - "Fracture" Polymer Clay and Copper Leaf Earrings

I am not a big fan of abstract art.  It may due to the fact I am the daughter of a Realist landscape artist.  But my controlled marbling pieces are abstract to the max, right?  How can it be that I don't like abstract art?  I don't really know, but a part of me just thinks a bowl of fruit should look like a bowl of fruit.  

Even though I am not a fan of abstract art, the painting which is the inspiration of this month's challenge at Art Bead Scene really appealed to me.  The painting is "Deer in the Forest," by abstract expressionist Franz Marc, a German painter and print maker who died in 1916.

This painting doesn't seem all that abstract to me, so maybe that is the appeal.  It has abstract elements, but the deer are recognizable.  Their ears are where they are supposed to be, and they don't have one exaggerated eye or anything, and their noses look like noses.    

The first thing that struck me when I saw the painting was the frenetic energy of the color palette and the precisely rendered fracture lines across the surface, which is what makes it abstract, I suppose.

I tried to capture the energy of the painting in these earrings.  I chose to concentrate on the Violet Blue, Russet and Yellow Ochre colors from the color palette.  The abstract fracture lines were achieved using copper leaf over polymer clay.  I covered the leaf with ColorBox Chalk Inks in Blue Iris, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre and added a layer of Pardo Translucent clay tinted with Alabaster ColorBox Chalk Ink and treated with Ranger Copper Embossing powder.

I bought a bunch of the Colorbox Chalk Inks and Versa Magic Inks recently and have been experimenting with using them to tint translucent clay and I must say, I really like the results so far!

So what do you think?  Did I capture the frenetic energy of the abstract painting?

More about those Chalk Ink experiments later.  Unfortunately, it was a short-lived experiment, since I am out of Pardo Trans AGAIN!

I can't wait for the next shipment, but looks like it won't be here until May.  I have some Kato Trans (love the new softness!) and some new Fimo Trans, so we shall see what I can do with those.