Monday, June 28, 2010

Creative Inhibitor?

Nothing inhibits creativity like a house makeover . Here are photos of the main room of our house and the timber which will hopefully be the floor in a couple of weeks’ time.
We have decided to pull up the carpet in all the main areas of the house – living room, dining room and office, and “match” the already beautiful timber floor of our open kitchen/family room.. The furniture is all stacked in the garage .
I am in a little bt of a panic as we have already had one delay in the timber delivery and we need to have the house back in order by the time my mother comes to visit for a few weeks on 14 July. However, with a little bit of help from the grandchildren...who knows?

Not to be deterred, I am reminded that ‘to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. ( George Kneller) “, so I am trying not to worry too much about the floor and visualise the new spotted gum timber floor it will be. This week I am preparing a little sample for my friend Bobbi ( LamboArt) who has a new line in “nostalgia” kits for her market stalls. Here is what I unpacked from one of her kits . Hopefully, I will be able to post next week a photo of what I create.
And a another bright spot in the week, a wonderful swap gift from my DUST ( Down Under Street team) Craft Swap partner. An elegant pin, with special charms, a beaded bookmark, and some very useful,and very beautiful gift tags. Thank you very much, Samara from Albany, Western Australia. .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Did I lose a week?

I feel very honoured this week to be featured in the Coffs Coast Polyclayers Newsletter Winter 2010 edition, the brainchild of creative friend, Hector Vera of Vera Designs.  Hector makes fabulous jewellery and teaches interesting and innovative workshops in his Bellingen studio. I met Hector when we completed the Contemporary Clay Instructors Program and we often meet at workshops in Sydney. Hector is far more productive and creative than I am with polymer clay and precious metal clay. I recommend visiting Hector’s blog and I am sure you will agree with me.

I am not sure where the last week disappeared… perhaps days of grandchildren-sitting, Rotary volunteering, organising farewells to our exchange student and ambassadorial scholar who are going back to Canada and Japan respectively in the next few days. At least, we have been doing “out of the ordinary” things like packaging up a didgeridoo to be posted, ensuring it met the under 105cm limit. (At least, that was better than paying the $225 quoted to take it as part of our exchange student’s luggage).

However, I did manage to do a few little creative “jobs” which were on my “to do” list. The head belongs to a doll in a round robin for one of my groups.  I hope the head I made is regal enough?  It is a cloth covered clay head, with a mauve astrakan fleece and gold braid hairpiece. I am a member of a doll makers’ group which is hosting a “body in a bag” with the theme “Queen”. We started off by making a body, and then it travels around from person to person each month, when arms, legs, head and hair, clothing and accessories are added. I now have another  doll in a bag ready for clothing this month.

I also signed up for a handmade gift swap for the DUST team (Down Under Street Team) which is a group of Australian artists, craftspeople and artisans who support Etsy and wish to promote independent handcrafted goods in Australia and worldwide. For my swap friend, I have made this little felted bowl – a dragonfly bowl - in dusky blue/grey/purple tones. I made a small polymer clay dragonfly and embroidered leaves on the body of the vessel in stem and fly stitch to create another bowl in my “nature bowl” series. I hope she likes it.
I also made my grandson, a towelling cover up for him to wear after swimming lessons. The requested ‘monster truck” motif presented quite a challenge, but I managed to find the perfect fabric for an appliqué and a matching swimming gear bag. Always worth the trouble when so gratefully received by a special person – my oldest grandson, Brandon.

PS Hope you like the new blog template for the winter months.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


While battling the ‘flu this last week, I didn’t feel like doing much. However, I sat down one afternoon and moulded lots of little polymer clay heads. Nothing wonderful - all popped out of a commercial mould! It might sound a bit perverse, but I love making heads. I certainly don’t have any great motivation to do anything with them – just love creating them, colouring them and looking at them.

I had also signed up for an online sculpting class presented by Marlaine Verhelst.I have long been a fan, and decided this is the kind of sculpting I would like to do. It isn’t as realistic as my friend Bobbi does, but there is something spiritually appealing about these faces. Please have a look at Marlaine's gallery if you haven’t seen her work before.
 Well, with all the best intentions, I paid for the online classes, downloaded them and got the raw materials… hopefully I will have more to show next week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Felt Soft Sculpture

I recently taught a workshop at the Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists Creative Retreat.
One of my very conscientious and creative students, Gay, sent me some photos of one of her completed works - a felted soft sculpture. The wet felt sculpture depicts a bottle, which has been lying on the ocean bed for sometime.... and has needle felted underwater plants  as well as polymer clay embellishments, giving the suggestion of schools of fish and even a mermaid. I love the way Gay has created movement with silk and the patterns created by the little polymer clay shapes/fish pieces. Well done, Gay. This will be a wonderful piece for the Outdoor Odyssey theme exhibition later in the year. I can hardly wait to see the other bottles Gay plans to create as representations of various environments.