I’m glad to be back! Thank you, Enric, for writing to me to make sure that I’m O.k. because I haven’t been around for more than one month.
Furthermore, I had the best surprise this morning when I went to enjoy some beautiful art sketches on Enric’s blog, he was wishing me and all those named after Saint Michael: Happy Birthday! You’ve made my day! (https://sketchuniverse.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/saints-day-michael-also-mikael-michel-miguel-mihail-miquel-michaela-michelle-and-mihaela/#comment-1605)
Well, I’ve been on vacation. I’ve been in Romania with my family (to attend a wedding) and then we went to Bulgaria to the seaside. To cut the story short, I hoped secretly that we would have a very good time and no time to spend on the Internet. And my wish has been fulfilled, only not the way I thought it would: the Internet connection would not work, nor the mobile phone sim card, so we could not communicate with anyone… And when you are used to being “connected” all the time, it’s kind of strange.
Then we came to Thionville and I could not decide to go back to work. It felt that I have forgotten everything I ever learned, I had no inspiration whatsoever. So I wished not to procrastinate so much. Then, a terrible toothache hit me (I forgot what was like) and I still have to live with it for the next 3 days until the dentist’s appointment. The funny part is that when it does not hurt (there are moments like that), I sit directly to my craft table and get down to work. Never thought that I had to go through pains like that to understand that there are things that are scarier than sitting at your craft table and feeling uninspired (while the inspiration might come anyway if you start a project and insist to work on it).
So, my conclusion is that in the future I must be very careful what I wish for…
I also wanted to share with you an idea that made my life happier. When you want to create anything, you start to look around for inspiration, to see other artists’ ideas and their way of expressing their creativity. I do that a lot. A spend hours and hours on Pinterest, it’s my inspirational paradise. Then it hit me. I had so many creative ideas and then I see things that might look like what I had in mind (the same technique, let’s say) and then I felt that everything has already been done before. And I blocked completely. But then I heard Elizabeth Gilbert saying: Yes, it’s true. Everything has already been done. But not by you (meaning, for a jewelry making artist, you can still use the same technique, but by changing the colors, the other elements you are using, the result is always different and sometimes amazing). So, in case other people felt like me and thought like me, an advice: do it your way and it will be different!
Now about this tutorial. I had to come up with an idea for this month’s ArtBeadScene challenge. It’s a must for me. So I decided to start with some of the colors of the painting and try a Mokume Gane and then used it the best way I could.
This month inspiration for the ArtBeadScene Challenge is represented by:
You can see the jewelry pieces made by other artists for this challenge here: http://www.pinterest.com/artbeadscene/jewelry-monthly-challenge-entries/
Material and tools used: light green and dark green polymer clay, brown polymer clay, gray polymer clay, white polymer clay, blue polymer clay, a pasta machine, a blade, green mica powder, varnish, cutters, a lego piece, a sharp pencil, a needle, a round cutter, a toothbrush, liquid Fimo, pliers, a craft knife, a screw, a petal cutter and a toothpick.
I conditioned the clay and rolled it through the pasta machine through the thinnest setting. I previously mixed a lot of white with a small ball of blue polymer clay to get an extremely light shade of blue.
[This is the Mokume Gane technique].
I stacked the sheets on top of each other and passed them through the pasta machine again (through the same setting).
I cut the margins of the resulting sheet and cut this sheet into 4 equal parts.
I stacked the four piles one on top of the other and rolled the resulting pile with the roller.
Then I started to play with the texture. I imprinted some small circles using a Lego block.
I continued to play with the same Lego block (I imprinted the same pattern starting in the middle of the first rectangle).
Then I compacted it a little.
I made little dots with a needle and then I started to play with a round cutter.
And compacted it again.
Then I took the blade and started to gently slice it.
I chose a slice and I put it on a brown sheet of polymer clay and then rolled it with the roller.
I stamped some clay with a floral design stamp.
I cut the Mokume Gane rectangle and pressed ii into a new sheet of brown polymer clay.
I added two stripes of stamped clay on the sides.
I added a stripe of brown polymer clay next to each stamped stripe. I pressed gently to bond them to the base sheet.
I took a round cutter and cut two circles.
I decided to cut the thee parts apart. And started to play with the design…
I added liquid Fimo on the sides and pressed the pieces together.
For the findings, I decided to use a copper finding slightly modified. I took a copper finding. I used pliers to straighten up the loop and to take out the ball and the spring from the body of the finding and replaced that with a rose pearl.
And then made a loop again.
I added green mica powder to the stamped part.
I put holes in the upper part to attach the earring findings. I put them to the oven (according to the manufacturer’s specifications).
After cooling down, I took care of the back.
I put the focal on a brown sheet of polymer clay and pressed it well (I added some liquid Fimo previously).
I cut around with a craft knife.
I marked the hole again.
I imprinted a pattern on the back using a screw and added some green mica powder and varnish to fix the mica powder.
Then I attacked the pendant.
I applied a slice of Mokume Gane on a brown sheet of polymer clay and I textured with a stamp around the Mokume Gane slice (that I rolled into the brown clay). I used a petal cut to have a nice shape.
I attached a stripe of stamped clay (with green mica powder on top) on the center of the focal. I used the same cutter to cut another piece for the back of the pendant.
I textured it with a tooth brush and then put the pieces on top of each other using liquid Fimo.
I started to texture the margin using a toothpick.
I pressed a rose pearl into the clay, added some liquid Fimo in the resulting hole and then put the pearl on top.
I rolled some thin clay snakes with my fingers and started to ornate the pendant (around the beads and around the stamped stripe).
After baking it in the oven, I added a little bit of varnish (yet I consider that you don’t see the Mokume Gane pattern so much, so not a very good idea to add the varnish).
I am happy to be back and to have managed to participate to the ArtBeadScene monthly challenge!
Thank you for reading my tutorials!
My best to you!
P.S. I am sorry for not having been able to reply to the wonderful comments I have received, Thank you for writing to me!