Friday, October 28, 2011

Colorful Chair

Can you guess what this colorful chair is made from? If you guessed balloons you would be right. Doesn't that make you smile? What fun. The chair, seen in the Financial Times weekend magazine, How to Spend It, was created by artist Pini Leibovich and sells for 3,500 English pounds. That is over $5,600 US dollars! I'd love to know if it would bounce up and down when you sit in it.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sandy Campers

There were some interesting characters at Sandy Camp this year. Here is a sample of some of my favorite photos of them.

The lovely witch Marni, is modeling the wonderful hat she made herself.

I hate spiders, but the wiry little guys you see crawling on Patti's shirt were much nicer then the real thing. Quite a creative outfit Ms. Patti.

This zombie's intense look just spoke to me. Most of the time, Shelly N. was cracking me up and did a fabulous job making all the zombies on the organizing committee look the part. Thanks for being you Shelly.

Here is Princess Maria getting comfortable front and center, for viewing the movie Young Frankenstein. Everyone said Maria's laughter and joy made the film even more fun for them too.

By far, my favorite photo from Sandy Camp is this one of my fellow zombies, Shelly D, Ellie, and Pat. It makes me laugh every time I look at it. It is now on my bulletin board to keep me smiling. Thanks zombies - you are the best.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sandy Camp Fun

After four days at Sandy Camp, the San Diego Polymer Clay Guild's annual retreat, I came away with new ideas,  new friends and lots of memories of laughter and camaraderie. That is what it is all about: seventy-five artists and invited guests all working on diverse, and amazing projects.

Two creative and fun loving polymer artists and I got to know a bit better were Kasi Althaus and Yvette Macy. Not only does this dynamic duo make amazing polymer work, they also get my vote for most creative costumes and getting into the Halloween spirit. I wish I had a photo of the extruder twins, but you just have to take my word for it. (Halloween, by the way, was our theme this year)

Check out these cute bugs Yvette made for her friends at work.

Here is a photo of Yvette too. Don't you just love the whiskers and nose?

Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, Kasi was busy making these cute little turkey pins. They are so sweet, I had to get one for my mom.

Here is a photo of Kasi. She is not a gypsy although she looks like she could tell your fortune. Hey, maybe you could supplement your clay habit with a few readings next year!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bracelet a la Carte

I made this bracelet about a year and a half ago in Connie Fox's class. It was fun trying out the possible combinations of metal "bits" and charms to find the right choice for this project.

You can see how to make this bracelet in the Oct/Nov issue of Art Jewelry Magazine. Yep, this is my first published article. I would never, ever, ever attempt creative writing. A "how to" article was much less threatening since it was just an extension of how I broke subject content into steps in the art and photography classes for so many years.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Repurposed Art

Finding people who are repurposing objects in interesting ways is such fun. David Mach is making some amazing sculptures using repurposed materials. Can you guess what material was used to make this Giant Gorilla?

Believe it or not, the entire Gorilla has been created from coat hangers.

Link Via [The Design Blog]

     Check out more amazing sculptures on his website He has also created a series of heads out of match stick heads. - very cool.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Translucent Polymer Beads

There are so many effects that can be achieved with translucent polymer clay. I have a lot of fun working with it. Here are a couple examples of necklaces I recently made from beads that combined  translucent clay, inks and stamps. I generally don't make beaded necklaces because they take so long to make and string. The stringing part is particularly tedious. I started to make some beads and actually liked them, so kept going until the clay ran out. Needless to say, there won't be more of these any time soon, but it was a good exercise in patience and the results are satisfying.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lemons to lemonaide

I've been taking metal jewelry classes off and on for two years now. The first pair of earrings I made were nice but boy, were they heavy.(This was back when silver was less then half the price of what it costs now)  They are made of sterling silver with copper and brass bits soldered on top. After years of working in polymer clay my design  didn't account for the weight of all that metal. If you wore these earrings continuously, your ear lobes would be down to your shoulders. So, I stuck them in a box, (like so many unfinished or unsuccessful projects), and didn't think about them much until recently.
I decided to solder the tops together and make a pendant out of them. With the texture and reticulation, it might not solder well, but the planets must have been aligned correctly because the soldering took hold on the first try.

You can see they are now one piece. I should have photographed them as earrings, but you can kind get the idea.

You can see the patina brings out the texture and provides a bit more contrast. This is much better, and I will actually wear it now.

Here is a view from the back where you can see the small holes where they were once individual earrings. Notice the holes are not centered. Their placement balances the weight so they hang evenly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Charity Events

Saturday was a busy day. My mannequin, Rene, needed to be dropped off at the Fashion Show/Lunch for St. Madeleine Sophie's Center at the Sheraton Harbor Drive. They had 800 people for lunch and hopefully raised a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
You can see from these photos Rene was in good company.

This beautifully tailored jacket was made from window screen.

Stopped by the SDPCG Clay Day between chauffeuring Rene, and made a few Bottles of Hope. If you refer back to the 10-20-10 post you can read a bit more about how Bottles of Hope came into being. This photo shows some of the creative bottles that were baked and ready to go to Moores Cancer Center.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Repurposed Computer Art and Fashion

Steven Rodrig at creates some great work out of old circuit boards including some great strappy sandles, and even pumps. "Supporting Her Data", made me chuckle. (Gotta love an artist with a sense of humor). Rene, my mannequin, would look great in that, wouldn't she?
Speaking of Rene, she will be making another fashion statement at:

Haute With Heart
Enjoy lunch, a fashion show, and support St Madeleine Sophie's Center. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011
10 am - 2 pm
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
1380 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

Honorary Chairs - Sally B. Thornton, Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg Produced by Leonard Simpson's Fashion ForwardHonoring Sr. Mardel and the Kraemer Endowment Foundation
John Agostini with ModelsFor 34 years St. Madeleine Sophie's Center has benefited from the Haute with Heart Fashion Show. T.V. personality Leonard G. Simpson will be producing the fundraising fashion show, who introduced the theme,
"Big Dreams, Blue Skies" for this year's show. This show will include a "meet-and-greet" with well-known St. Madeleine Sophie's Center artist, John Agostini, whose artwork, Art Meets Fashion, is featured on all of this year's print materials.

In addition to the fashions that will be displayed at the event, the original founder of St. Madeleine Sophie's Center, Sr. Mary Mardel, will be honored by giving the invocation that day. Sr. Mardel is a Religious of the Sacred Heart and founded the center for children with disabilities in 1966.
The Kraemer Endowment Foundation will also be honored for its fundraising and financial support of SMSC. The Foundation was established in 1992 to ensure the financial future of SMSC.
In addition to the fashion show, vendors, and auctions, the Haute with Heart event will feature opportunity drawing prizes and both music and dance performances from St. Madeleine Sophie's Center's students.
All net proceeds from the event will make a difference in the lives of nearly 400 development developmentally disabled adults within the San Diego region.
For further information call: 619-442-5129 ext. 115

Thursday, August 4, 2011

awesome kinetic sculptures

This video about artist Reuben Margolin's work is well worth watching. You will be amazed by the creative unfolding of ideas. Let me know if you have trouble viewing it. Its my first video post and I'm a bit insecure about it working OK.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Red Dot

The Spanish Village Art Center, where our studio (34-B) is located, is having an open house this weekend. Art in Bloom is the theme and artists will be painting flowers plein air all over the patio.The Village has suggested we showcase our work that has a flower theme. I love flowers, even grow some at home, but my jewelry is just not about that. So, I made this today instead. It has a red dot on the piece. Think micro rose. OK.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guild Inchies

The San Diego Polymer Clay Guild decided on inchies for the current swap. Here are the wonderful results. I was impressed and delighted to see we had 100% of our participants either bring or send in their inchies by the due date. That meant everyone went home with a full count. Well done!

 The Orange County Guild had a couple inchie swaps too. Check out the link to one of my favorite blogs: Sometimes Daily, Always Random. Scroll down to her post for June 29th. Keep scrolling down to see some patriotic inchies made by their guild too.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inchie Swap

Our guild, SDPCG, is having another swap. Members that participate make one inch polymer clay squares that they share with the other people that sign up. Below are my inchies. I can't wait to see what everyone else has done.  I will share the results here next week.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hummingbird charm

This pendant was made with one of my big translucent beads, assorted glass beads and a hummingbird charm made from a little mold I got at Sandy Camp. The big beads are such fun to make, using gold or silver leaf and inks. The pendant was created for a friend who has so many hummingbirds in her yard, it is fun to watch them all fly around. I miss feeding the little ninjas here in San Diego. They fly around Spanish Village, feeding on all the lush flowers we are blessed to have there.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Copper and Polymer Bracelet

Other then cuffs, I haven't made a bracelet for a long time. Here is my latest effort. I used a polymer clay spiral cane and rolled it to the size of the bezel. That was easy. Getting the clay slices to fit snug inside each bezel took a bit more time. It looks OK, but it doesn't wow me. Sometimes that is how it goes.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fabric-Free Fashions

Check out some of the awesome fashions using non traditional materials at the Visions Gallery in Liberty Station. If you click on their web site you will see a preview slide show of some of the creative designs. It is a lot of fun to see. I can only imagine what it is like to wear.
Rene, AKA L751 is right around the corner (in the same building) at Sophie's Gallery. Stop by and see her and her friends at the Mannequin Project.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gaskin Anomaly Detector

In March, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative launched Balboa Park’s first-ever steampunk design contest. The contest offered steampunk enthusiasts the opportunity to show their creativity by creating a version of the Anomaly Detector used by the characters Pandora and Drake in Giskin Anomaly, Balboa Park’s park-wide cell phone adventure. I didn't win anything, but had fun designing a detector for the contest. To see the winning design, go to and type in Gaskin Anomoly Detector.
In my entry below, there is a sliding door that opens to a secret compartment that holds the actual device.

Here you can see the sliding door where the device fits inside.

Close-up of the hidden detector. It is made of polymer clay, jewelry parts, and computer parts.

Close up of the top of the case composed mostly of computer parts and watch parts.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mannequin Project

You are invited to the opening of The Mannequin Project, Friday night at Sophie's Gallery. My mannequin, titled " L751" will be on view until the end of May. Unfortunately, I will be teaching a class during the opening, but if you go, you will have fun. There are lots of things going on regarding Art Meets Fashion so check out the big fashion kick off and other "fringe events" at San Diego Visual Arts Network. (Rene's outfit is part of their web site banner right now too)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mixed metals

Wearing earrings is part of getting dressed for many of us. Even if we don't wear much jewelry, we tend to wear earrings. After making so many in polymer clay a shift in thinking is needed when working with metals.
Not only do they need to be lighter in proportion to size but other elements need to make up for the lack of color. My solution, use as many metals as possible. Here, you see silver, copper and brass. And..............if at first it doesn't look right, just keep adding more stuff. That isn't usually a the best strategy, but in this case it somehow worked out, or maybe not.
What do you think?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mannequin Project continues

I finished the mannequin project and wanted you to see the progression of ideas and the final form.
In this first photo you can see Rene wearing tights to highlight the metal disks in the skirt. (I was OK with her wearing nothing underneath, but the contrast wasn't enough to make the skirt stand out). Notice on the right side of the photo the tights are lower then on the other side. Actually, her entire left "cheek" is exposed in the back, and I think I now know where the phrase "having a stick up one's butt" comes from. Rene has one embedded in her left cheek that attaches to the glass base on the floor. No way those tights were going up over her butt unless they were cut and somehow reattached. That wasn't gonna work, so they had to come off. 

Here you can see the skirt now lined in black felt. Much better.

This gives you an idea of the overall look. The ruffled top is made of floppy disks and the jewelry is mostly computer parts and polymer clay.

The hat is made with recycled tubing, the pantie hose that didn't work out that you saw in the first photo, styrofoam, computer parts, wire and pins. She still need a few accessories. The clip on earrings I made didn't stay on, so I need to figure out something because she needs earrings. A few more arm bands with computer parts, will be added later, but you get the idea. You can see Rene in person during the Art Meets Fashion Event in Liberty Station. Details will follow soon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dainty digits

Here you can see the  progression of work on my mannequin, Rene's hands.
Notice the color difference. I thought only the navy, purple and red polymer clay darkened with baking. This really darkened quite a lot. Possibly because I baked it longer due to the thickness of the fingers. Anyway, they fit pretty well and are in the poses she previously held.

The painted view, including a new nail color, alizarin crimson is seen below. If alizarin crimson was a nail polish color, it would never fly. It would need JUICY, SEXY or SENSUAL in the title to sell. Right?

If there was more time, I would have sanded the joints and made them seamless.
But, under the circumstances, covering them up with jewelry was more fun and served the purpose.

Making this jewelry pushed me creatively and made me want to do more.These pieces are made from our old portable hard drive I took apart and a couple other things destined for the trash. The flashy part of the rings are anchored with polymer clay or wire. The only thing not from the computer is the marble I found and embedded into the clay on the left third finger. It is probably good there wasn't a lot of extra time and parts because making these made me want to make more. You should try it. At least try taking an old keyboard or CD player apart. It is fascinating to see the mechanisms and circuit boards inside.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rene's skirt

Here is a preview of my mannequin, Rene's skirt. I can't tell you how many little disks I've individually wired together. Anyway, it is finally finished and photos will follow with her wearing it.

No, this isn't Cousin It. Remember him from the Adam's Family? These are Rene's hands. I was told she got bumped around and knocked over in the costume shop where she lived previously. She obviously needs way more then a manicure, so I've been creating new clay fingers for her today. After spending quite a while carefully matching the clay color, the fingers darkened during baking. Doh! I should have taken that into consideration. I may just paint over them since you can see her hands are slightly different colors too.
I'll post the finished digits next time. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Mannequin Project

I'm participating in the Mannequin Project coming up in May. Yep, I got a life size female mannequin. Actually, my husband had to go pick it up while I was away for several weeks. We can only guess what our neighbors thought as he brought her into the house.( He says I owe him big time for that.) Our friend Matt, thinks her name is Rene. She has many positive qualities but is missing a few fingers, which I hope to fabricate and attach. She is also sooooooooo very thin, like Barbie. Did I mention she is naked most of the time? The girl has no shame. Check back here for progress on Rene's crazy couture as it evolves, and check out the links below.

Art Meets Fashion - The Mannequin Project

In collaboration with Art Meets Fashion, San Diego County artists were invited to create works of art from mannequin forms. Visit the Galleries of the amazing artists involved in The Mannequin Project. Also, stay tuned for the details of the group show that will be posted here when details are finalized.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pinkie Ring

This is the second metal ring I've ever made.  It is sterling silver with liver of sulfur to give it contrast.
It was created during Aaron Whilloby's metal jewelry class. Thanks Aaron for all your help and advice during class. Thanks too for taking this shot. I learned a lot about photographing jewelry from watching you photograph these tiny little things.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Polymer clay hearts

These hearts are some of the results achieved while working with transparent layers of polymer clay. I will be teaching this technique in my surface design class being offered summer semester through continuing education at the West City Campus. In the meantime, I can keep practicing and come up with some more examples.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stone and driftwood

I love searching for interesting treasure when we are at the beach. Finding unusual pieces of driftwood to use in jewelry is a real bonus. This necklace is made with polymer clay faux stones and a fun piece of driftwood I drilled.
A big thank you to my friend Deni, who bought the piece for a friend and also took this photo.
Also, I'll be teaching a faux stone workshop in April through San Diego Continuing Education at the West City Campus. You can make some of these lightweight faux stones too. I'll post more about date and time soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Metal and polymer clay

Sorry for not posting in a while. I was freezing on the east coast for the last month helping my elderly parents who are experiencing all the joys of aging, especially loss of memory and loss of physical ability. I did very little clay work and left the messy workspace just the way you saw it in the last post. That mess triggered a discussion about rearranging the work spaces for my husband and me. When the dust settles, (where did that choice of words come from) or should I say, when I am caught up on a few things, we will move my entire work area to the bedroom. So, an "after" photo will be posted eventually.
Meanwhile, my metal jewelry class ended the day before flying east and I wanted to share a couple of the earrings I made during class. Playing around with a lot of little bits and trying different combinations was fun. Here are a few examples.

Copper and polymer clay

Copper and brass

Copper and brass