Category Archives: clay

My word for 2020

My word for 2020 is faith. It takes a lot of faith to blaze new trails in the wilderness of creativity. I feel inspired to move on, create things I’ve never done before.
First, I have a little inspiration for you, the process of my latest art journal spread:

Art journal pages tutorial with floral napkin and writing.
My word for 2020

I started by applying a paper napkin to the bottom half of the pages, using Mod Podge. I separated the two layers of the napkin first, and the top layer was very thin, making awesome crinkles in the paper when I attached it to the page. I then painted the top part an unbleached white and used an old gift card to scrape some green over the dried paper napkin.

Adding a paper napkin to my art journal
adding paper napkin

You can see the ridges in the napkin well, and where there is a paler area in the white paint where the Mod Podge acted as a resist, adding more interest to the page. I like how the flowers on the napkin shone through, making me think of spring.

I added stems from my stash of paper. Friendship sayings were printed on the paper, and I thought they would add more interest to the art. I cut out flowers from other stashed junk and glued them all down.

paper flowers added to my art journal spread
cut out paper flowers

I enhanced the stems and flowers with black lines from a ballpoint pen and wrote down my word for the year. Simple but fun!

my word for 2020 is faith
my word for 2020

I have dipped my toes into other media as in sewing. I’m obsessed with textile birds at the moment. Using two Ann Wood patterns that you can find at Annwoodhandmade.com, I made a songbird and an owl. Lots of fun, but also some frustration when things didn’t go so well.

Pink songbird made from scrap textiles.
Pink songbird

This debonair gentleman is called Sir Percival. He has lots of wisdom and goes his own way, but is always willing to offer a word of encouragement. He has lived a long life, and he likes to read books.

He’s fashioned from soft materials, but he’s not a toy. He’s an art doll enjoying lording it over other dolls, but he’s kind.

These two birds are for sale in my Etsy shop. You can find the owl HERE. The songbird is available HERE.

Apoxie Sculpt is of the most difficult materials I’ve worked with. I like the incredible hardness when dry, but it tends to be too soft, and if you wait, it gets too hard to work with. You only have a couple of hours of work time with the clay. I haven’t found the sweet spot yet.

I finished the bird I made a couple of weeks ago, painted two layers of paint and fixed the wobbly leg. It came out ok, but the turtle I made with the amethyst crystal did not end up as planned, but I’m learning. The clay is so different from polymer clay or paper clay. Since the end product is so much stronger, it’s worth learning how to handle it correctly.

The main thing is to have fun!

I hope you’re having fun this week. Make sure to add some creative practice to your day. Every day is a gift. Make it juicy!

If you missed my last post, here it is: Person or bird? I made some molded faces with Apoxie Sculpt and sewed them to fabric bodies. What do you think?

Happy creating,

Maria

Person or bird?

Person or bird? You have to make up your own mind. 🙂 I have been interested in Apoxie Sculpt for a long time, and finally took the plunge and bought the materials needed for this kind of clay exploration. So I made a face. It looks just like my other clay faces with the exception of hardness. Wow, what a difference! You can sand and drill Apoxie, it’s that strong.

Person or bird
Person or bird?
Apoxie Sculpt face

If you want to try Apoxie Sculpt, watch some YouTube videos on the process and wear gloves when mixing the two parts. There is a safety video to watch too. The fumes are not dangerous, but you can develop skin irritation from handling the compounds. I found it hard to sculpt with gloves on! Now I have to find the best gloves to use.

Here’s another face I made, and she became a spirit doll.

spirit doll with Apoxie Sculpt face
Spirit doll

I tried my hand at armature, a first for me. Using aluminum foil I fashioned a bird and added some wire legs. Then I rolled out some Apoxie Sculpt and added thin layers all over the bird. It has 1-3 hours working time, which was tricky. It’s very soft at first, and then it hardens as time passes. I found that the little bird I made on top collapsed because it was too soft. It was hard to work with at first. The whole thing hardens to rock in 24 hours.

Apoxie Sculpt bird
Apoxie Sculpt bird

I need to work on the timing of sculpting different details. Practicing often is the key. 🙂 I discovered that it takes paint very well. On polymer clay, you can rub off the paint if you try hard, but with Apoxie, it’s solid. That made me very happy since I love to paint my pieces.

It was fun making the soft sculptures with some primitive stitching and poly fill. My sewing machine is cluttering up my kitchen table, but before I put it away, I might make some more sculptures. It’s always good to stretch creatively.

I’m tempted to make another crow sculpture as in my previous post.

I’m a bit intimidated by the work involved. The most fun part was painting, dressing, and adding the accessories. I’m not a good seamstress so sewing the body was a struggle.

Making a crow spirit doll
Crow spirit doll

Anyway, Christmas is almost here, so it’s time to close out this year’s blogging, but I’ll be back next year with more tutorials and fun stuff. 🙂

I had a lot of sales in my etsy shop for the holidays, but there are so many things to browse, and I add more stuff all the time. Take a gander: Earth and Faery.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I wonder what this new decade will have to offer. I’m sure it’s not going to be boring…

Peace and love, Maria

Busy time in my studio

Busy time in my studio. This time of year it’s always good to stay busy so that I have lots of inventory for the Christmas season.

It’s not all about selling and producing though.

I’m still doing my art journaling almost every day because I can’t stop! Part of me is critical of the process–always, but another part is really addicted to the evolution of my art.

Whereas my crafts give me great satisfaction, they don’t always delve deeply into the process of creation like art journaling does. I try to keep a balance. They all move me forward on my creative journey.

All of it makes for a happy day. 🙂 No matter how challenging art can be, it makes me happy to create. What more can I ask for?

Busy is good too. The juices are flowing; inspiration is like an overflowing river, and ideas pop up constantly. It’s been a long while since I felt this inspired.

I finished the spirit doll that I started a couple of months ago. (Check out my previous post.) Here are some pictures of recent creations.

busy in my studio

busy time in my studio

I painted the wooden box in various colors, attached paper to the interior back of the box, and then added my doll. She inspires Courage, something we need every day.

Here are some other samples of new things. They are all available in my etsy shop.

busy time in my studio

I had fun with this watch casing. The portrait is a miniature painting, and I tell you, it was fiddly and tricky to paint.

busy time in my studio

I started making these four-inch plaques with stamped affirmations at the bottom. So much fun! I like the idea of reminding folks that we are all perfect just the way we are.

busy time in my studio

You are worthy!

busy time in my studio

I also made some more clay faces for doll making or to use as an ornament.  I wasn’t sure if there would be any interest but I sold some. Now I’m working on creating a cat face mold.

Sculpting in clay is not easy…

New ideas keep me fresh and eager to move forward.  I may have to sculpt many cat faces before I’m satisfied, but the main point is to plunge into action.  The rest takes care of itself.

If you’re feeling blocked or full of resistance, plunge in anyway.  It’s the only way forward. 🙂

What are you working on now?

Please check out my  etsy shop, Earth and Faery.  It’s full of new items.

Lots of love,

Maria

Spirit doll faces and more

Spirit doll faces are new to me. I have always wanted to try self-drying clay, but I know it doesn’t work well for my mosaic tiles. I did get inspired by cruising on etsy to try my hand at some free-form sculpted faces.

To finish them, I used the same process I use for painting mosaic tiles. I have a video on YouTube on how to paint tiles. VIDEO

spirit doll face

I had so much fun and they are pretty easy to make.  I used a purchased face mold and then sculpted the edges as I felt inspired.

spirit doll face

I could use all of my favorite colors!

spirit doll face

To get the imprints I used rubber stamps mostly. I also added some clay “hair” and the pieces fused well to the clay as it dried.

spirit doll face

I’m playing with making a doll in a shadow box, but so far, I’m not very happy with the result. Assembly with lots of materials is tough, but it’s always fun to try something new.

spirit doll

I’m using hand-painted fabrics, but nothing is finite in this picture. Just playing!

The faces are now available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery. 

I also made one of my mini shrines so far this week. They are pretty popular but somewhat labor intensive since every part has to be cut out and molded individually. 
spirit shrine

You are blessed indeed! 🙂

I’m having fun with clay and polymer clay.  What are you working on? It’s important to spend part of every day in the studio for art exploration = self exploration.

Let me know in the comments if you like the spirit doll faces. Thanks.

Have a creative rest of the week.

xo

Maria