Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Love the Stuff

You gotta love the stuff or you won't love what you make out of it. I love silver - got a package of silver wire yesterday in all sorts of gauges and shapes and could barely restrain myself. Same with pmc and gemstones. Check out these drusies. I got them from Heart of Stone Studios a couple of days ago and can hardly take my eyes off them. I have no idea what to do with them -- setting stones isn't something I've learned to do yet -- but drusies are my new obsession. A drusy is a stone which is covered with a layer of tiny crystals. You know what the center of a geode looks like? That's drusy. Usually the color of the base stone determines the color of the drusy, but some are coated with a very thin layer of metal, which gives them a spectacular multi-color appearance. These are natural color drusies - seriously! The pink ones are cobalto calcite and the orange one is agate. I've also bought a couple of beautiful pale blue chalcedony drusies and a white quartz.

Starting a couple of months ago I tried making some things out of polymer clay, using both the regular colored type (I think I had a mix of Sculpey, Premol, and Fimo) and Sculpey 3. To me, the first batch of polyclay pieces looks like a bunch of cheap crappy plastic. I let a few weeks go by and then, inspired by the work of my friend at DC Designs, I tried making some swirly clay with translucent areas. These looked better as far as the clay itself went. The beads and pendants still look clunky and boring to me though. I found the Sculpey 3 more interesting, partly because it bakes to a ceramic-like hardness. Also, it's not colored so I painted the pieces and painting always makes me happy. Still, I'm left with a feeling of "eh". I know people do amazing things with polymer clay, but I am not likely to become one of those people because the stuff itself doesn't move me. If it doesn't move me as stuff, working with it becomes a mechanical process and the product reflects that.

On the other hand, working with pmc definitely moves me. (The way it dries out so quickly drives me nuts though - seriously, Mitsubishi, can't you work on that?) Trying to figure out what to do with the weird organic piece from the last post, I started messing around with polyclay. Nothing looked good - but after a couple of hours of messing with pieces of clay, a direction started to emerge, but it was clear it needed to be done in pmc, not polyclay. Then I remembered that I had ordered some of the sheet pmc that you can cut like paper and click click click - I knew what to do. Here's what it looks like at the moment, unfinished and unfired. Not as bizarre as I had initially hoped, but we'll see. There's always time to add more weirdness.


Sandra Eileen - Artisan Jewelry For Your Good Life said...
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D.C. said...

Wow Maggie! I'm honored to of inspired you. The more and more I look at your work the more and more I want to make my own bezels and clasps with pmc.