Micaceous Rock and "Yellow Gold Glitter" Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Rock and

Micaceous Rock and “Yellow Gold Glitter” Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Appears more glittery and sparkly in person.

Micaceous rock from family land in South Dakota was crushed and added to “Yelllow Gold Glitter” Premo polymer clay — the stronger polymer clay by Sculpey that’s suitable for making thinner beads like this. (Always wear a mask if working with micaceous rock in this manner to avoid permanent lung disease.)

About 2″ long and 1/4 inch thick. Mica powder patterns, a sun or spirals, were stamped into the raw clay before curing. The sun and spiral symbolism can have significance. E.g. http://www.whats-your-sign.com/spiral-meaning.html. Small bead holes are added after curing (now shown), usually after jewelry design is complete. Design may determine hole placement and number.

The finished beads look very much like some of the micaceous earth in South Dakota. The particular rocks used in making this came from family land right by Medicine Mountain, which is sacred land. So these beads have personal significant meaning for me in at least four ways. They are my creative expression, the rock comes from family land, the rock comes from the vicinity of sacred land upon which I attended a ritual, the rock represents time spent with family, and the symbolism is well chosen, of course.

Medicine Mountain Background:www.flickr.com/photos/sari0009/19354330223/in/dateposted-... There are two Medicine Mountains and only one is in South Dakota. The history and backstory for this particular Medicine Mountain is hard to find, hence my link is offered here.

Interesting Factoid: In some areas of South Dakota, the ground glitters like gold due to the earth and rocks’ micaceous (mica-filled) nature and looks magical.

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

My First Ceramic Bisque Fired Goddess Pendants

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Bisque Fired Handmade Earthenware Ceramic Clay Goddess Pendants by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Yes, another picture and video of my beads but these are my very first ceramic fired anything! It took several weeks for them to get fired (not my schedule, not my kiln), but here they are before an iron oxide wash that will give them an earthy iron color. Weeeeee! I have to grok at them some more because I DID THESE! Me! He he.

Taps all fingertips together at once … what else can I do with cermamic clay without a wheel?

Sculpted Goddess Pendant strung with wooden and ceramic beads, By Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Sculpted Goddess Pendant strung with wooden and ceramic beads, By Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

 

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

Earthenware Clay Ceramic Goddess Pendants Ready for Bisque Firing

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants, need to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

So I’ve done that.  By the time they’re completely done, to the last glaze firing, each Goddess pendant will have taken well over two or three hours hands-on time, specifically, to make. At minimum.

This does not count the time taken for prototype and bead mold development. I used polymer clays for those steps.

It also does not count the time to transport the pendants to the kiln to get fired several times (they will be glazed) or any effort involved in selling them (websites, teaching, writing, making videos…whatever it takes to beat obscurity and poverty).

I first envisioned popping these beauties out in just seconds, with them ready to be fired.  I found that bead molds for such curvaceous figurative beads are more like guidelines. That might not be such the case with shallower, less curvaceous pendants. We shall see.

I found the trick in creating these ceramic beads is to use perhaps damper clay than usual so I can get the clay smoothly and deeply into the mold without creases or partial filling of deeper areas. However, this means I work on these beauties quite a bit after I pop them out of the mold due to distortion and marring.

When I tried to fix these distortion errors, I create other distortions while doing that, the clay is so soft. So I have to fix those and back-and-forth it goes for a while until I am satisfied.

When I add the bellybutton (which takes 3 tools) and details of the pelvic area and lines of the derrière,  there’s this same back-and-forth process of perfecting and correcting.

Aaaaand the same process happens for the bead holes. In the process of creating them, I create distortions that I have to fix and while  I’m fixing those, that might create distortions…and back-and-forth it goes until I’m  satisfied.

I work on these earthenware pendants both wet and dry — I also sand them and finally buff them carefully on my big, super thick as terry cloth bathrobe.

Karen A. Scofield Learning with Creager Studios Workshop DVD. Progress shot. KarenAScofield

WIP: Sculpting with Creager Studio Workshops Sculpting the Head Volume 1

2015_01_11and12_SculptingArtDollsAgain 001

Note: This page will show more as my work progresses.

The above shows my progress during the first two days. I have to add the lips, eyes, flesh it out more, shape it more, add details and then bake it.

Where to buy the Creager Workshop DVDs: http://www.creagers.com/. I have all three and they’re really helping me. I love them.

Rusty and a Beginner — I was a beginner when I started sculpting art dolls in 2005 but managed to get juried into an art gallery with assemblage type dolls. I’m diving in again after a years-long hiatus and this time, I want to do far more pure sculpting. I tried one head to toe body pure sculpt and then stopped. It’s been years since. I have hours and hours of practice ahead of me — I both look forward to it and dread the awkward stage. This time I hope to stick with it.

So … I cracked open my Creager DVD on sculpting heads and this time I’m going to keep on trying.

Right away, I came across numerous technical problems.

Clay — Ooops. I chose a clay blend because I was in love with it after some pretty decent results in one of the softest clay — Sculpey UltraLIght. Like straight Sculpey Ultralight, however, my Super Sculpey-Sculpey Ultralight clay mix doesn’t blend or smooth well. After this practice head, I’ll switch to working with more traditional art doll clays. They have varying degrees of softness and firmness but will blend and smooth well.

Unfortunate Combination of Store Practices and Super Sculpey Packaging  — Super Sculpey boxes aren’t sealed in a protective wrap, the boxes don’t close tightly, people often pinch off a piece or mar the clay, and stores invariably place Super Sculpey on bottom shelves where they’ll be exposed to the most dirt, dust, and lint. It’s not one of the more popular clays among hobbyists, so boxes often sit on the shelves longer than other clays, thus compounding the problem. Consequently the clay is often dirty before you even get it home and you can’t simply wash off the lint. I could shave off the sides and put them in a scrap clay container, I suppose.

Brushes That Stain Clay — Jodi Creager said to use artist brushes…any small enough to smooth the clay. Not her fault, Murphy’s Law and all, but Daler Rowney Simply Brown Nylon Brushes leave their bristle color on my clay. Only the brown ones do that so far. I’ll look for other brushes, white and/or natural bristle ones. I guess I should test even brushes on polymer clay first. Test, test, test. Lots of testing with everything.

Lint — I’m wearing light colored cotton with a white lab coat over it. No dark fibrous sweaters or towels are allowed in the studio. Pets are not allowed either. I cleaned my station for two days with wet wipes and even rubbed my claying mat with a wad of clay to pick up the lint and I’m still finding dark fibers of several different colors in the once clean clay after working it yesterday and today. Argh!

Jan. 15, 2015

Learning to Pure Sculpt More with Creager Studio Workshops "Sculpting the  Head" Volme 1 DVD

Learning to Pure Sculpt More with Creager Studio Workshops “Sculpting the Head” Volme 1 DVD, third day…

Jan. 19, 2015

Learning to sculpt polymer clay art doll heads with a Creager Studios Workshop DVD

Learning to sculpt polymer clay art doll heads with a Creager Studios Workshop DVD

I’ve been making progress every day or other day, the latest involving fine-tuned shaping and texturing, but as soon as I added rudimentary ears and and started to correct the jaw, I saw a bunch of things I want to change. I need to add more to the top of the head, add more flesh to outer upper eyelid to reflect age, redo and lower ears, redo chin, add a bit to the upper lip right under the nose thus changing the bottom of the nostrils and nares slightly. For starters. Then I have to do the neck and continue with the rest of the body. I’ll probably have to do more texturing and even further fine-tuned shaping. Here’s a video that shows him from different angles at this stage, just in case WIPs (Works in Progress) interest you. For me, they’re a good record that I can organize into one ongoing post.

Progress Jan. 26, 2015.

Learning with Creager Studios Workshop DVD. Progress shot. KarenAScofield

Learning how to sculpt with more of an additive process with Creager Studio Worshops “Sculpting the Head” Volume 1. Progress Jan. 26, 2015.

I have to revisit the entire list of everything I’m working on because I didn’t make nearly the progress I wanted. Perhaps it’s better to make slow, small changes than to make such mistake that I don’t know how to save the work from that point.

Made Another Batch of Molded, Altered Sun and Moon Faces

Molded, altered, painted, some treated to artist grade gel pens. these are some of my latest kitchen magnets I made of polymer clay. Suns and moons. Dec. 2014. Karen A. Scofield.  My photos and blog entry are copyrighted, all rights reserved.

Molded, altered, painted, some treated to artist grade gel pens. these are some of my latest kitchen magnets I made of polymer clay. Suns and moons. Dec. 2014. Karen A. Scofield. My photos and blog entry are copyrighted, all rights reserved.

My thyroid’s decided to take me on a wild roller coaster lately and they’ve adjusted my thyroid meds multiple times. I think they’ll have to adjust my dose again. I feel like death warmed over so I start making these faces. It cheers me up while I’m doing it and for a little bit after.

Sometimes I pure sculpt, sometimes I use molds, altered the raw molded clay, and so on.

Half of the faces have become kitchen magnets, half will go in a large jar for later projects. Squee! (Sound of joygasm.)