Mixed Media Hindu Goddess Lakshmi

If you follow my social media, you may have seen some updates on a Hindu goddess I was making. A lovely friend of mine sent me a commission request for Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity (both physical and material). I just loved this idea and was thrilled – and a little bit apprehensive!

I looked through a few images I found on Pinterest and decided to approach my project as a clay relief on wood, adding different media to create the opulent and embellished style I love in Indian religious art.

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My craft desk! Always messy with something

Materials 

  • A4 wood
  • balsa wood
  • Pencil
  • Polymer Clay (I used Fimo)
  • Clay tools
  • Gold leaf
  • Assorted beads, metal charms
  • Strong glue
  • Paper flowers
  • Clay varnish
  • Pasta Machine
  • Liquid sculpey

Using a print out as a general guide, I started by sketching an image onto the wood, adding a board round the sides. Gathering my base colours of blue, pink and gold, I started mixing different blues together to get an idea of shade and, using my pasta machine, rolled out the clay into small sheets.

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Mini Resin Creations & Altered Tins

A short post on some things I’ve made in the last few weeks. I wanted to try and make more projects with resin, and how I can incorporate it into future mixed media projects. I experimented with different mould, making a jellyfish tank using polymer clay and drilling a hole to add wire once it was set.

I made some different sized beads using resin and added metal charms, beads, gems and glitter. I’m still thinking about a project to use them in.

I’ve also been playing around with different tins and thinking of new things I can make with them. I’ve like spray painting them and using different materials to alter them. No matter how much I try to work in a linear and organised way, my brain just doesn’t want to! So I end up doing several things at once, putting things to one side to set or dry while I make something else.

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Polymer Clay Reef Sharks

I like to give myself creative challenges, and sometimes I think why am I doing this to myself!? But having seen some beautiful polymer clay sea scenes that include different sea creatures, I thought it was time to stretch myself and make a bigger version of my sea Altoids tins.

The first thing I needed to do was find a suitable container for my mini reef. I didn’t want it to be too heavy or deep so it was easy to see all the details inside. After looking round a few charity shops, I found a large bowl in the supermarket for £2 – bargain!

For references and inspiration I looked through Citizens of the Sea, a beautiful book recommended to me by a friend with has the same obsession with sea creatures! I also love Pinterest for ideas and YouTube for videos on techniques with polymer clay.

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Now I had all my materials, I gathered all the different coloured Fimo together I wanted to use in the coral reef. I also used white sand for the sea bed, some really shells and resin. I bought some rubbing alcohol and found it is one of the best (and cheapest) things to clean your clay of lint and dust while you’re working, and can be used to smooth the clay.

I started the coral reef in the bowl by adding clay around the edges, which was a mixture of brown, yellow and mother of pearl. Looking at a few pictures on my phone for reference as I made the different coral shapes, I worked intuitively as I went along and found this to be my favourite approach to this project. I didn’t draw out any plan of how I wanted it to look and I think this helped with making something organic and natural.

As the different shapes and pieces were so small, this became quite a time consuming project. I had to take frequent breaks over the weeks that I made it to save my hands from getting to rough. At first I was going to have one shark and maybe an octopus in the reef, and to get the scale at least semi accurate, I put the bowl to one side after doing a little bit to make the shark. I was very happy with the way he turned out for my first attempt.DSCN2486

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Life, Creative Ruts and Days Out

I’ve had some creative blocks recently, and with other things going on in my life, it’s been over a month since my last blog post. And who knows how it is June already?! It’s only just started to get warm here in Manchester, May seemed to be a lot of rain.

I recently added a page about creativity and creative blocks, a topic I have been thinking about for a while. I also decided to take my own advice and went for a walk a few weeks ago to the Southern cemetery near where I live. Getting away from my desk was a good way to stop worrying about any creative blocks. It was quiet and peaceful with so many bluebells. I sat down on a bench and woke up some sleepy ducks – they gave me a heart attack being surrounded by old gravestones in the quiet!

It was serene and a lovely place to think, walk around and having a break from technology. I also went to Blackpool last week, somewhere I have never been. The weather was beautiful and the breeze from the sea was a nice relief from the sun – I still managed to get sunburnt, whoops! It was full of arcade places, fish and chip shops, tacky gift shops and I thought it was so much fun. My friend and I went to the Sealife centre there so I could continue my sea creature obsession. I loved the rays, seahorses and I got to see a nautilus. They are cool and weird!

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Fizzling Evolution Plus Competition!

Super Sculpey Monsters
Fizzlings
Win one of these dudes!

I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a post just about my fun monster sculptures, which I called Fizzlings, and how they evolved and I also wanted to do a little give away competition as I have made so many and they need proper homes! So keep reading to find out how to win one of the three you see here!

Making my little creatures began last when when I had been playing with Polymer Clay Fimo for a while, just bored after making loads of mini charms. I, as always, wanted more of a creative challenge and to make something bigger, so I started with these oddly shaped characters. I added little metal bits lying around, giving them personality.

Stumps
In the Beginning…

Each creature I made was an improvement on the last, but I wanted to make something more substantial. I watched sculpting videos on YouTube (a great resource) bought a variety of books on Polymer Clay and sculpting, and began using an armature of wire and foil inside my sculptures. This is when my creatures started to get bigger and take on a proper form. I had been sketching rough ideas now and planning my work more, thinking of themes, embellishments and colour.

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Polymer Clay Jewellery Box

Polymer Clay box

My main project has been an altered wooden box. I removed the lid and covered it with polymer clay (Fimo), creating a hummingbird on a branch as the central image. Using my pasta machine to roll the clay into sheets, I cut out the shapes and built the image up with leaves and flowers around the edges of the box. I used some tools to texture the bird, branches and leaves and added my favourite Perfect Pearls for shimmer and depth. I added some Tim Holtz hinges to the back and a clasp at the front I had.

 

For the bottom part of the box I primed it with Gesso then painted a few coats of Cosmic Shimmer paint in green and blue. When baking the lid I made some separate leave pieces with added gold leaf and once they were hard I glued them to the box for interest. I then varnished it and am quite pleased with how it turned out, especially the background.

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Polymer Clay Tropical Bird Box

Close Up - Clay Wooden Box

 

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When I decided to start doing something with this old key-box I found in a charity shop, I had no idea how well it would turn out.

The original design was pretty horrible but I knew this little box had potential and waited to think what I could do with it.I wanted to do something clay related, but it isn’t very deep so wasn’t sure what function it could have.

 

As I love this bird card my sister got me last year I decided that would be my inspiration for the front panel. I took the nasty old hinges and clasp off the box and set to work on the front, mixing gradients of green for a lush background. I stamped the background  once it covered the front, although a lot of this got covered up.  I loved blended colours in polymer clay at the moment so this was a great project of the bird with vibrant feathers in a mixture of blues, greens, yellows and pinks.

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Getting a basic shape

Cutting the shapes was a little tricky, as was layering them over each other. I think I  could have done it a bit better in hindsight. Once I had the bird shape and tail in a place I liked, I started thinking about different plants and flowers around it. I wanted the bird to look as if it were in a tropical paradise. I mixed together different greens, added snakes of clay for dimension and used canes to add variety to the foliage.

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Polymer Clay Fantasy Sea Painting

Clay and Perfect Pearls

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

Autumn Magic

Polymer Clay Creatures

It’s officially cold, dark and rainy here in Manchester and not my favourite time of year at all! I love the colours of Autumn but they are disappearing too quickly for my liking. As usual I’ve had many different art projects in my mind but not enough time to do any. As the sculpting is my favourite thing to do at the moment I’ve been spending more time on that and improving my skills. Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing with colours and gradient and this lead to my new Fizzling creatures with seasonal themes. I love how the detail came out on my Autumn themed one, even though he is kind of wonky! And sculpting feet has been making me crazy. This is why I sort of gave up on my second winter inspired Fizzling in favour of the decor across his sides. This one is so shimmery I just love the colours.

This has to be my first Winter themed art piece and I really enjoyed finding new things to incorporate into the creature.

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An Assortment of Polymer Clay Creations

It may be getting darker and colder now, but I love October and I love Halloween! I am a sucker for all Halloween things in the shops at the moment – toffee apples, plastic spiders to scare people, green and ghoulish sweets!

I decided to make some cute Halloween themed charms which I made into earrings. These are now up in my Etsy shop. I also made this cute pumpkin ornament which I love. I found a tutorial online and adapted it a little to make mine. I plan to make a whole pumpkin patch!

I’m still making little creature tins and tried to made a gradient octopus, from a translucent green into copper. He was being a bit awkward though, I think his head is a strange shape! i added the resin last night and woke up to find the tin had stuck to my drawers! Whooops! I spent 10 minutes trying to carefully pries it free with one of my clay tools.

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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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Inspirations & Sweet Things

I’ve been quite unwell recently with a sinus infection. Mostly been sleeping, feeling sorry for myself and watching a lot of nature programmes! I’ve also been doing a lot of art journaling and over the last few months I’ve found a lot of inspiration online through other artists work. I am obsessed with Pinterest!

This made me think of doing a series of blog posts on inspiration once a month. I am definitely a person who goes through phases of struggling with a creative block. It is almost like I have either too many ideas or none at all. So I am going to put up some themes and tips about this in the next few months.

Here are a few things I purchased and have felt inspired by over July and August:Art Books

My interest in Gothic art has been growing and bought Weirdo Noir which is a beautiful and informative book on contemporary pop Gothic art. It features lots of contemporary artists doing work in comics, illustration and is a refreshing change to all the shit candy pop stuff you see in mainstream day to day life. As I am also exploring sculpture, I am fascinated with art dolls and bought The Doll Scene which is full of gorgeous handmade dolls by interesting mixed media artists across the world. I love art books in general but thought I needed something a bit different to inspire me to go in a new direction.

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Merlion Sculptures

This was a great creative challenge! My friend asked me a little while ago to make him two Merlion sculptures, although I wasn’t sure if I could pull them off and put the project to one side for a while. I did a bit of research and my friend gave me full creative range to make them. I am more of an expressive artist than realistic so I decided to approach it that way.

Both lions together
Both lions together

I watched a few YouTube tutorials for sculpting ideas and tips and ordered my favourite Super Sculpey for the project. I did some research into lions, in particular the way they moved and the structure of the skeleton so I could make a decent armature to build the sculpture on. I also looked online at fish scales and fins to get an idea in my head on how to combine the two creatures.

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Dreams & Magic Altered Shadow Box

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While the evil old creative rut crept up on me I decided to get a few items and start a new shadow box, as it had been quite a long time since my last one and I was falling out of love with my embroidery a bit.

Some things I used to make this box include:

  • Tim Holtz heart charms
  • Tim Holtz arrows adornments
  • Tom Hotltz foundation feet & decorative corners
  • Mini bottles
  • fimo clay
  • found items including metal charms, buttons and wooden adornments
  • resin
  • papers and die cut pieces
  • fabric flowers and little mushroom bird

This was my first time using resin as I wanted the bottles  to look like they were full of liquid. I loved making them, I filled one with tiny fimo bugs! My next project will be something with resin.

Here are few pictures as I made the box, it measures 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches which is super cute!

I seem to love butterflies! One thing I love about making things like this is gathering my different items and finding a way to combine them with my theme. Nature is a strong theme in my work now and I wanted the box to be quite light and uplifting. The items inside are also symbolic in a similar way to dreams, such as the key and the different bottles. The box came with a plastic front piece which I used, as dust getting in pieces like these is annoying and impossible to clean!

To see some of my daily art updates just check out my social media links 🙂

Some Fimo Clay Adventures!

Time to get baked! Having felt a lack of motivation recently and a general malaise in my art, I decided to a.) watch Heroes as a break from all my embroidery and b.) try a new approach. I’ve made things with Fimo Polymer Clay before and had a lot of things left over, as I like to keep all my different creative projects and supplies. I started making little charms in 2010 before I moved to Manchester. This post is what I’ve been doing recently, starting with something super easy – snails! These are cute and make nice little gifts for people. I then got a few new colours and started making cute monsters, with the idea to turn them into key rings. It’s much easier to bake with this kind of medium now I live in a better house! Here are a few things I made last week

I found a tutorial on the jellyfish which I thought was cute, so made two of them. I also wanted to try making some bugs. These are quite small but I think they are good for a first try, I can see how to improve them and that is when I know my creative rut is lifting.

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