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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quilting in Clay - Part 2




   I have been up to my elbows in alligators here  in my personal life. I'm not sure even 36 hours in a day would be quite enough. I've had to 'steal' studio time the last few weeks, treasuring my quiet creative moments. Isn't it just the sweetest comfort, to step away from the chaos & hustle-bustle of life & just get lost in our 'playtime'? To be honest, returning to the blog has been a worrisome burden, a 2 edged sword of sorts. My pc is cluttered with over 700 gigs of goodies to post, so there is certainly a lot to share with you & an urgency to get it off my hard drive.  But... (don't we just hate the ''but'?) I feel anxious - like I should be 'teaching you' as I am posting.  I realized this is actually pretty silly. First & foremost, ANY 7 year old can 'quilt in clay' with the same precision as any adult. I promise you, it's so easy it defies reason!  In a nutshell...

1: Select your object you will be 'covering'. This technique ISN't recommended for small
    1" pendants, although I'm certain some of you may try. I pick up assorted items, from
    small tins & medium sized glass & ceramic canisters to medium sized cool wood
    boxes. And my all-time Favorites, large to mammoth sized clay pots & uniquely
    shaped yard jars.  Cover your item in a BASE of medium thickness Sculpey Original.
    It is a fraction of the price of the other clays out there & you will need the softness of
    Sculpey to keep adding to your piece Without conditioning.
    NOTE: IF your piece is porous, seal with a base coat of PVA white glue.

2: Decide on the design (pattern) you will be using. I will, most often - either Combine 2
    different patterns to create an entirely New pattern that looks incredibly complex, but
    of course; isn't - OR will mix my pattern with solids for the easiest designs yet. Isn't it
    odd, many times the easiest is the most stunning!
 
3: Create your sheets. This can be done by either covering your sheet with canes you've
    built OR utilizing attractive surface techniques. The magic IS in your sheet-work,
    making certain your sheets are the same thickness. A uniform thickness in your piece
    will be important, & there's nothing to it with your pasta machine. 

4: Decide on the SCALE you will be working on. I work in anything from 1/8" to 1/2",
    but most often find that 1/4" is perfect.

5: Using 1/4" as a sample... cut your sheet into 1/4" HIGH strips horizontally. IF you are
    using squares - next cut VERTICAL lines every 1/4". For 1/2 square triangles... simply
    cut some DIAGONAL lines & now you have perfect triangles. We'll look at diamonds,
    60* & even 10* in another post.

    NOTE: I keep 'cheat sheet' grids for virtually ALL the different patterns I work in that
    I will be posting to share with you. Don't fret thinking you are going to have to 'reLearn'
    that basically useless geometry & algebra to enjoy your clay playtime! Simply mark
    your 'grids' onto a piece of poster-board, cover with glass & after you are done with it,
    drop it back in the stack of handy grids that store easily.

    NOTE 2 - ANY time we are doing a 'landscape' OR a pattern that requires a template
    to keep it simple & easy (& Fun), I will post that also. You can print it 'to scale' on your
    regular printer & I purchased 1 package of 'Quilters Template Plastic', a literal lifetime
    supply from Amazon for $10- bucks. You only need 1 (yes One) for any given unique
    shape & size & reuse it... forever.

6: You can EITHER apply your individual cut pieces to the item you are covering OR (as
    I often do) lay out an EXTRA piece of paper thin Sculpey to build your block (or several
    blocks) on & apply the 1 piece of designed clay to your focal piece.

  Bottom line is, ALL I have to show you is 1 single block & you will get it. EVERY pattern that I post  initially will have Complete diagrams for both cutting & assembling. I do have designs that instantly stole my heart that I will be posting also, but not until you've been walked through some complete 'how-to' designs 1st. You will find, once you get the gist of quilting, you'll be able to look at even the most seemingly complex designs & will instantly 'get' how to recreate it.

   My emphasis will be on what I see as an experienced 'quilter in clay' the most critical areas of this art form. Not only the design (pattern we will be using)... but even more so... the color schemes we will be using to design with. Color WILL make or break our artwork. I will walk you through some Really Awesome (those 2 words should be in caps, I believe) new products - & some old products that aren't really being used by clayers - as well as some COOL new techniques. With these, you can create even what appears to be the most expensive  Batiks on the market today. And believe me... you are in for a grand 'creative' time.

   And, the reason I'm NOT going to feel like I 'need' to teach you... we are joined on this little playground by some of THE top recognized teachers in the PC community. I have every confidence others will be jumping at the fun of quilting in clay... & look forward to seeing what everyone will be adding to make this a wonderful growing area of play... just like caning. And, before I forget... for those that will jump in right away...

~~   DON'T mix those left-over sheets into mud piles... I have a technique to teach you (I'll call Scrappies) that will be to clay quilters what Stroppel Canes are to caners...  just as beautiful & easy cheesy!

So, there is NO 'don't use my concepts'. I invite you to play till you drop, bring in your own artistic vision & SHARE your socks off. Whether you are sharing your own tuts that you sell, creating pieces to sell that use my ideas OR you are the 1st to publish a book to introduce this technique to a hungry growing market... good for you! I hope you make a bucket of money. I'm about the art, about creating & about FUN! The more people that can walk away from life's burdens, if only for a few minutes here or there to really relax & enjoy Creating... the more happy people there will be in the world.






Happy Claying,
ClayPlay Liz

Disclaimer: I KNOW I don't have to say this... but IF you want to allow your 7 yr old (or 'youth' in general) to play in clay... be certain they aren't allowed to use ANY tools or instruments that are beyond their ability to use Safely. ... as if that needed to be said. Hahaa... now my legal counsel is a happy camper  :D