Mixed Media Polymer Clay Fantasy Pond

How I made a mixed media fantasy pond.

I wanted to do a different kind of nature themed project incorporating more mixed media in with my sculpture. While my love affair with the sea and all its creatures continues, I wanted to try something else for my new big piece. After finding a kidney shaped glass dish in Oxfam, I was inspired to make a pond.

I had all my materials and ideas but as usual I was procrastinating about starting my new project. I have a tendency to strive for perfection which stops me doing anything at all. I had been looking at Christi Friessen’s book Flourish which I bought a few weeks ago and I just love her approach to creating. Perfection be damned!

I decided to start of small and made some fish using a combination of orange colours and translucent. I was pleased with the way they came out, especially as they were my first try. I made my pond over about a week, starting on a weekend. I mixed browns, sand, translucent and grey together to get a marbled affect and started placing it in the dish, building up rocks around the side. I made more marbled colours with some lighter and some darker to add contrast between the rocks. I then began making reeds from green polymer clay, using a similar mixing technique to get a deep colour of green.

As I went along, I realised I was making more of a fantasy pond. The elements where exaggerated and stylised which is my favourite way of working and allows a kind of freedom to take something and change it. I added different beads to round-headed pins, twisted the ends with pliers and added them into the clay.

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Polymer Clay Fantasy Sea Painting

It’s no secret that I love sea imagery. It’s beautiful, alluring and mysterious, full of myths and legends, history and a literary cave of treasures. It has overtones of Art Nouveau, Expressionism and the surreal. It is something that I keep returning to as a theme in my work and which I doubt I will get bored of. The creatures, plants and landscape are alien and fascinate me. It opens up a world for fantasy and one of my favourite things is to blend together different elements, ideas, materials, in a whimsical way.

I’ve been playing around with making mini octopus in their own little sea pond (made from Altoids Mints tins) as well as a bunch of cute smaller octo-dudes. I recently made this one holding onto a jar of beads which is just so cute. I am thinking of making that into a necklace. I used some effects polymer clay, two were quartz although the yellow was really difficult to condition.

The other octopus creature was an experiment with armature and super sculpey, which turned out much bigger than intended! I quite like him though, he is sort of weird. I painted him with black gesso then tried out my new Cosmic Shimmer paints which are luscious.

My main sea-themed piece was a shadow frame I got Ikea months ago and kept putting off making something with it. Partly because I am bit of a perfectionist and didn’t want to mess anything up, but this weekend I decided that was silly and started working on it.

I measured the size of the frame onto some baking paper, then got out all of my Fimo clays, deciding on colour combinations. I started with different blues, silver and translucent, conditioned them and ran them through my past machine before squishing them together onto the paper. I had lightly sketched and outline for some rocks but this project was a great opportunity to use up scrap bits of clay.

After setting down a background the rest was pretty much free hand, with the exception of the fish which I used a tiny mold. I loved having the freedom to create things within my own interpretation; highly expressionist which mixing colours, cutting out the shapes and forming some more three dimensional while keeping others flat. I even got an octopus in there!

As I love adding things to my pieces, I pushed some beads into the clay and used some Perfect Pearls powder to give more depth and shimmer to the water and plants. After the piece was baked I added Pearl Markers, Crystal Accents and Liquid Pears – I might be obsessed with things that shimmer!

This is how the finished piece turned out and I love it. Now I need to rest my hands for a few days, I ended up with a blister!

Polymer Clay Sea Themed Frame Piece

Polymer Clay Creatures & Charms

Wow, it is September already?! OMG!

Autumn is probably my favourite season. It reminds me of starting a new term at uni, getting new books, stationary, the trees changing colour and snuggling up in a scarf and hat when out. It is also the time for hot chocolates, getting cosy in bed with films while it is cold and raining outside and Halloween!

This post is on the polymer clay things I have been making recently (partly while I was off work poorly) and I love trying new techniques and adapting my ideas. I made two smaller Fizzling creatures and have been wanting to try bright colours on a black body. I love it! Black Fimo does have the tendency to stain though so I had to make sure my working area and hands were cleaned frequently with baby wipes. This meant I could add colour clay without mixing it together and getting it muddy. I also use clingfilm on my Fimo clay when I’m not working on a project to protect it from lint. I find this works well.

I wanted to make a pair of Fizzlings and had quite a lot of scales left so made a second one with a purple body. They look so cute together! I can see some flaws in them but I like the shape and design.

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Puzzles ~ Art Journaling Tutorial

A quick tutorial on art journaling.

I recently did a poll on the blog asking what tutorials people would like to see and the majority by a long way was art journals. I’ve wanted to do some journaling for ages but with work, life and my other projects going on I never seemed to get the time. So thinking of a tutorial was a good way to get back into it.

I had the idea for a while of doing a page with puzzle pieces and got a 1000 piece puzzle from a charity shop. One thing I love about art journaling is how free form and personal it is and that it is about expression and enjoying using different materials. Here are a list of materials I used but it is entirely up to you:

  • Dylusions A4 Art Journal
  • Dylusions Sprays
  • Modge Podge
  • Puzzle Pieces
  • Posca Paint Pens
  • random card pieces, stamps, paper
  • Tim Holtz Distress Stickles
  • Claudine Hellmuth Studio Black Gesso

I even forgot I had a brand new Dylusions Journal to play with! First things first:

1Materials

Once you have all your materials, lay your page out and place paper underneath each page. I used old newspaper. Then I sprayed my page with water from a spray bottle to get the paper damp before randomly spraying my inks. Do whatever comes naturally.

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Fizzling Monster Sculpture & Other Clay Critters

Hello!

I wanted to share some of my most recent polymer clay creatures I’ve been working on. I feel like I have really developed with my skills and attention to detail with each one I make, the red forest inspired Fizzling sculpture being the most recent. And as I’m creating the monster’s backstories I also started making Froops – little pets for the Fizzlings from the scrap clay I have left over! The bronze and brown is my favourite so far!

I love adding the little details and as I am building my collection of tools up, I can get much finer detail in there too.

I also made two little Fimo monster plants as I had a little plant pot from my cactus left after I repotted him. Then I was walking past a little craft shop near me and saw an even smaller pot! So I just needed to make a tiny monster plant. My massive one would eat them alive!

I am putting some of these creatures in my Etsy shop if anyone was interested in purchasing a new friend! I’ve recently came down with a mean Summer virus so have not been feeling well at all. But I am noting down some new project ideas, including some future tutorials. If you have a preference on any tutorials you would like me to share, just go to my last blog post and vote in the poll!

A New Project Awaits…

Hello!

Well, recently I have been getting very interested in improving my blog, adding content and developing the overall approach I have. With this in mind, I have been learning about web technologies, web design and teaching myself how a website works. I have even got to grips with code like HTML and this has made me really pleased!

While I will continue with my blog, I have started a new website too which I am still working on in terms of ideas and structure. It will be linked to this blog but maybe more focused around my art and art therapy. It is still very basic but the link is here if anyone wants to check it out: https://cherryblossomtears.squarespace.com

Stamps and Sprays Doodle Page

Art Journal Page
Nature Journal Page

I’ve dedicated so much time to my mixed media projects recently that my art journaling got kind of neglected. If only there were more hours in the day! And these didn’t get filled up with chores, work, travelling, sleeping…. Anyway, I’ve started working in my new smaller art journal, which is really cute and also gives a different perspective to creating something on a page.

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ColourfulTextured Journal Page

Finished Doodle
Colourful

I love how colourful this page is, I think it is a good expression of myself as a person. It came about in an organic way as I just used different paints and mixed them into each other. I did find it a little tricky to draw over as my journal is really fat now, but I like how it turned out.

December Art Journal Challenge – Glitter

I had an idea of two birds flying in this page, and then incorporating a lot of different glitter, but it didn’t go the way I intended! Glitter is hard to work with, although I am sure there are techniques I don’t actually know about. I had red and gold glitter tubes – some were the little stars (which got everywhere!).

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