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Paper, Wood, and Avoiding the Oven

You know, I’m still a little awkward at the whole purposeful blogging thing.  It might take me a few more posts to become interesting.  For now, I’m just going to experiment inside my comfort zone.  Bear with me.

The Summer does not allow me to work in polymer as often as I like.  Luckily it doesn’t last very long in Seattle.  Every year I think “maybe I should go ahead and install an a/c unit,” and every year I’m reminded that less than ten days of temperatures over 80 doesn’t justify one.  Still, by the time it’s cool enough outside to open windows on those days I am more inclined to go to bed than wait 20-25 minutes for a piece to cure.

The beginnings of Melody's Scrabble tile work

On a craft store run a couple of months ago my friend Melody said she wanted to try making Scrabble tile pendants like the ones on display in the jewelry supply section.  I thought it might be a fun alternative and decided to join her.  It probably didn’t hurt that the process didn’t require an oven.  We went about collecting tiles, findings, resin, and images to work with.  The tiles are simple enough to make, and the materials easy to acquire depending on how attached you are to the whole “Scrabble” brand.  A Google search for “scrabble tile pendant” yields a lot of great resources for making and purchasing these pendants.

Personally I find a majority of tiles available out there to be a bit juvenile in design.  Maybe that’s the target market, maybe that’s the vision of the people who like to make them.  At any rate, I found myself not content to pluck tiny segments out of found images and decided to embellish what I had with gems and watch pieces.  I really liked how that looked, but the canvas was a bit small for the images I wanted to use.  I decided to use larger tiles in different shapes.

My embellished "Steampunk" tiles with resin

On the larger tiles I was able to expand my compositions and use collage in a more traditional sense.  At one point I experimented with a fabric background, which was interesting.  I ended up settling into a design based on silhouettes from in a .jpg I found online.  They looked amazing and I was very excited about them until I realized they were probably copyrighted.  I’m still waiting to hear back from the original artist on whether or not I can sell them.  I can still post an image of my design that uses them, though.  Let me know what you think.  Personally I think my little necklace experiments aren’t worth arguing over no matter how much I love them.  Better safe than sorry, though.

My Silhouette tile designs, featuring shapes influenced by the 1700s, 1870s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1920s, respectively.

The fairy cutouts and the glittered polymer I used to create their custom tile, pre-bake.

Even though the temperature has been pretty high this week, the nights drop into the 50’s after dark.  I took the opportunity a couple of nights ago to take the mounted image idea a little further.  Instead of using the wood tiles and working within a set shape I figured I’d use the image itself to define the shape of the tile it was mounted on.  The polymer works pretty well for that.  I used a few fairy cutouts from a Graphic 45 scrapbook paper I liked and created custom shapes for them.  I’m not sure how they can be worn (pendant? pin? earrings?) but I’m happy with the effect.  I don’t think the picture shows it, but the polymer I used has a glitter inclusion worked into it.  It seemed appropriate.  As for the little dollop in the center of the pic, that’s kind of an experiment that may or may not go anywhere.  It was cute, but not much else.

Bake complete, fairies attached to polymer bases. Not sure what the blob in the middle was for, but oh well.

So much for purposeful blogging.  Maybe next time I’ll actually post more photos of what actually goes on during the process instead of just random images and opinion.  Still, it’s a post, and I didn’t have to fire up the oven for it.  I’m doing something productive, right?

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About waywardclay

I am a musician and designer living in the Pacific Northwest. I have a day job, but you won't hear about that here. I make things out of thoughts, situations, polymer clay, and other media. Sometimes they're actually pretty good. Visit my Etsy store or download my available songs from iTunes.

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