New Obsession

So guess who finally lost her polymer virginity? About time. 
Being me, I started way complicated, layering translucent, white and beige polymer with gold leaf.
Here are the results with dirt wax rubber over it after baking.

That not being enough, I also had to make patterns all over the edges.

I actually think that takes away from the intrigue of the layers. But that's that.
Then I tried some plain, unlayered ones just for cutting facets out of a la Shipwreakdandy tute:

Upper left is a plain white one with lots of grunging just b/c my fingers were covered in paint and crap. Then below that is a transparent one that's been faceted but no dry brush applied yet. The ones on the right were made from beige clay. The upper right has some and the lower right even more dry brushing to bring out the facets.

I'm quite amazed at how all those textures pop out. I should warn you that I was using Sculpey III which while butter soft, seems to be sorta infamous for how brittle it is after baking. But I kinda liked this because it produces even smaller cut-out chunks within each facet. So instead of carving out the facets I sorta tore them out letting it break on its own, making those mocro textures.

While experimenting I was writing a lot to Shipwreck, who was super encouraging. She sent me a bunch of loveliness to practice my faceting on. Here's where I saw how different her polymer was from mine, how rubbery it feels as I cut out the facets.

So after faceting her beads and applying black acrylic dry brush, I ended up with a ton of lovely grunginess. 
BUT, it felt like something that came straight out of her studio. I wanted to make them more ME somehow. 
What to add? Why, my iridescent paints of course!
Which someone convoed asking me about ages ago and I told them they were Golden iridescent paints when actually they're called "interference"paints. Cuz you see the color when the light hits them. So sorry about that, convo person.
And sure enough they worked well against the black.
So I just went to town. Couldn't stop myself. Even brushed the tiny bits left on the brush on some of her finished beads I'd purchased, like this AMAZING twirly thing she calls her turban beads:
And these below which I totally ruined because now all you see is that iridescence and not the crackle. Although fuckit that's part of the experimentation process so oh well. Anywho, Shipwreck has been encouraging me to try all kinds altering techniques you can do after baking the beads, which I think is where it's at.Like she's writing a tute on how to apply her redonk painterly technique to make these flower capped babies. I am freaking over the way the outline blends inwards, as well as the detail in the shape. Cuz dem things is tiny.
Meanwhile, I'd cooked up a bunch of wheels with leaf all over the outsides. And then my secret crackle elixir arrived. (which Shipwreck shared with me so I don't know if she wants the secret out which is why I'm not telling.) So I had to add a dark contrast color to bring out the crackles. But not wanting the results to look like a copy of Shipwreck, I used my Golden phthalo blue which absolutely GLOWS. Some places I tried brown first and so the color looks bluer. Some places are mixed with my iridescent (this time NOT interference) gold color.

But the cracks seem most visible on the parts of these wheels that will maybe not even be seen. Harumph.
 You can see the cracks better in these photos than in real life. Maybe heat gunning the magic elixir will enlarge the resulting cracks?
I should also mention these wheels I'm obsessed with are a rip-off of greybirdstudio's shapes. Here this one has some of my interference colors too. Looks kinda pink.

Here are some cornflakes I'm working on. I realized that polymer is not as sticky as leaf size, duh! so big chunks of the leaf just came right off. So thinking to make those bare areas more interesting, I put my iridescent gold over the blue. But then I liked that and went over everything with a dry brush of that, trying and often failing to keep it out of the cracks so the cracks would remain dark. On the wheels too, the reason they're so shimmery is that gold coat.

On many of these you can see where I tried with poopy brown initially.

So as you can see, I'm completely obsessed. I got so many new beads now! Another thing that rocks about polymer beads is you don't need a whole studio's worth of resources to make them so you can plant yourself in in front of the TV instead. Go to PolymerClayDaily for more inspiration than you can even deal with. 
I also recently discovered that my awesome buddy Clair of stillpointworks is prominently featured in this cool book I got:

and she's been helping and encouraging me along too. She's gonna have a workshop in October in Southern Detroit! The non-scary part of Detroit, that is. I'm so there.

Finally, some helpful images to illustrate the bead making process:


Numinosity said...

Oh, cool. I understand your new found addiction and it is pretty satisfying to see what you can come up with with some experimenting. I love what you did and I can't even imagine what kind of crazy concoctions you'll come up with!

Jiorji said...

OH COME ON!!!!!!!!!! i refuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse to post on this. REFUSE!!

just so you don't think i'm being an angry jealous grinch...i think those beads are fanfuckintastic! and it makes me angry that on a first try you came up with such mystical fairy beads.....oh i guess i am a PMSy grinch hahah

seriously...the translucent clay is sooo cool to work with. You can mix glitter in them too and it'll show through the translucent. and i read somewhere that the translucent will be even more so if you dip it in super cold ice water right after you get them out of the oven. i read that on Pintrest and tried it..it's alright...

dgmidkiff said...

Amazing!!! I love using Golden paints and the interference colors. They seem to make any piece come to life. I was feeling pretty good about my new attempts into the polymer world...until seeing your work:) If this is your first venture...can not wait to see where this medium takes you!! You have such a gift!! Thought I would come out from under my rock long enough to say so:)

Unknown said...

Well well well, you outdid yourself once again! That hedgehog gif is awesome

seriously though - those beads are amazing. My Sculpey order is coming in today or tomorrow, so I'll be experimenting too. We'll see what I can come up with lol. I was so discouraged with polymer clay which in France is mostly sold under the brand "Fimo" and super, super hard - no fun if you have to spend five minutes working the clay between your fingers before you can do anything. I don't have the patience for that.

Gorgeous beads, can't wait to see them in your work!!

StaroftheEast said...

Gorgeous beads! This is so you.

Jennifer Valentine said...

Beautiful dahling!
Love that crackle look so much.
Thank you for sharing...the lastime i played with polymer clay was years ago...you have inspired me to try it again soon.

Quisnam Jewelry said...

I've got a tin full of polymer clay which I kinda gave up on because my results always turned out like the sort of thing I made when I was 4. Yours are just gorgeous and I'm feeling a bit inspired to try again maybe.

CraftyHope said...

Where are the crappy looking experiments? When I experiment, I end up with a ton of DUDS and yet. . . I see NO DUDS!! Are you just that badass? Nevermind, I know you are.

Oh, and I can't stop watching the hedgehog.

Wendy B. said...

how is it possible to hit it out of the ball park so easily? i am gobsmacked by those early efforts. i am so sure that i will NEVER even get to the point where you are beginning from. it is such cool stuff. perhaps you can do a tute on this too for some of use that may be simply stuck at the starting gate? totally you. totally awe inspiring. sigh and sigh again. xow.

Beatnheart said...

yeah well once again you suceed in your first attempt at whatever it is you try...I think i went through about 20 pounds of polymer clay before I got it looking even kinda of good...
Maybe now that you cooked these up in your lab, I think I'll consider buying stock in Sculpey cause the sales in the stuff is gonna skyrocket after folks get a load of your magic....

Unknown said...

Well art friend, like I said "look out [everybody] here comes Marina!!"! Your joy is contagious and a joy to hear. Brava *hands clapping in this corner* N, x

Anvil Artifacts said...

"ooooohhhh ahhhhhhh" I say with the same reaction as when watching fireworks. Seriously, these were your first attempt? They're very very cool.

Claire Maunsell said...

All fab, what can I say? go forth....

Laura Flowers said...

Sweet baby jesus these are incredible! REALLY incredible!