Thursday, 21 February 2013

Demonstrating at the NEC

As you are probably aware I am a huge fan of Kato polyclay so I was over the moon when I was asked if I could demonstrate with it at the Craft, Hobby and Stitch International trade show at the NEC last weekend. I spent 2 whole days showing people the magic that is polymer clay - I can't think of anything better to do (well apart from spending 2 days being shown how to do new things with polymer clay!). I was amazed at how many people in the craft industry hadn't even heard of polymer clay before!

Here I am in the Decoman booth - in a quiet moment when you could see past crowds of interested people! Decoman are the European distributors for Kato polyclay.

I made a lot of different things - mainly cane work and mokume gane as they are fairly simple to show and impressive to see. Here's some of what I made.

There was plenty of beautiful jewellery on show in the big glass cabinet, some of it mine and some from other artists such as Donna Kato - it caught a lot of people's eyes as they were walking past! It was a real pleasure to be a part of the Decoman team!

Since I've been back I have been busy working on something I can't show you yet - so I have been making things for my thing a day challenge but I can't share them.

Tomorrow I am off to demonstrate at Hobbycraft in Cribbs Causeway Bristol from 10am -1pm. I am also teaching a workshop there next week on Friday 1st March 10am-12.30pm. I still have 2 places left if anyone is interested please get in touch

Friday, 15 February 2013

Blue Thing a Days - Delft inspired cane

It's all been a bit rushed this week but I have managed to make some canes for my Thing a Day Challenge. I chose blue as a theme as the lovely Sarah of Beadscrumptious was challenging herself to create something blue this week too.

Here's the canes I've made over the last few days - inspired by my recent trip to Delft!
Day 1 I made a fairly simple flower cane with a crinkly centre
 Day 2 I made what I call a flourish - the bits you get at the corners or the sides of the main delft pattern - or on the corner of tiles

Day 3 I put them together. It wasn't my original plan to put them together like, I was originally going to make a square cane with flourish corners but... this just happened.  They seemed to fit so well

I carried on and put them together a bit like a flower cane. I like the way it's turned into a flower within a flower, with a flower on each of the large flower petals. Now I just need to decide what to make with it!

I'm going to have plenty of making time over the next few days, I am hosting a kids polymer clay party for one of my daughters friends (much to my daughters delight as she will of course be the expert and my helper!) and then I am going to be demonstrating polymer clay for a couple of days at a trade fair - I'll tell you all about that when I get back!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Polymer Clay turtle for my challenges...

For my Thing a Day challenge and also my personal challenge to actually use my books and tutorials I made a turtle today.

Father Christmas brought me the Christi Friesen 'Under the Sea' book this year so I decided to try a turtle. I like the way Christi does these 'beyond projects' books: there's a whole heap of ideas to help you customise your own creations. I'm tired today so didn't want to get too adventurous so mainly followed the turtle that Christi made in the book. I didn't happen to have any lovely lampwork beads around like Christi uses to make her lovely turtle so I found some scraps of brown clay and marbled them a bit to make an interesting little focal. My plan is to add some resin to that when the turtle is cured so I made the framing swirls a little proud to help keep the resin in place - I'll let you know how that works out!

Anyway here's the little turtle (well I say little he's a lot larger than my normal tortoises which are 2 or 3cm long), he's about 8cm long.

Small green and beige polymer clay turtle made by Cara Jane

There's a lot of things I would do differently if I made him again, that's the thing with doing projects like this - different from your normal things, you learn new things! I should of cut my nails first - there's a few nail marks I didn't really want but those are of course part of what makes it handmade and unique! I didn't like the mouth when I first made it. It just didn't seem right and it had gone too close to the eyes. For some reason I decided to poke the end of a knitting needle into the slit I had made and hollowed round to make a mouth cavity - it changed the whole look of the face which I much preferred. Colours aren't really my colours but they are quite turtle I guess.

I had fun playing with my clay and I enjoyed Christi's humour which she has infused throughout her book. If you are at all interested in sculpting with polymer clay and you like Christ's unique style of polymer clay work you will love her books. They are packed full of inspiration pictures, tips and techniques, subtle variations, things to get you started. You can use it as a step by step book or just as a starting point with some tips to guide you - I like that and I think it works well.

If you want to keep up with all my Thing a Day's for February I suggest you check out my flickr set as that seems to be the only place I have put them all so far.

I'll be demonstrating in Hobbycraft Bristol tomorrow between 12-3pm so I am sure I will have plenty of things made tomorrow! I'll update you with my things in a couple of days.

Have fun !!


Friday, 1 February 2013

Latest workshop dates and Thing a Day starts!

I have several introduction to polymer clay workshops in Bristol throughout Feb- April. You will find details on my diary page and also in my facebook page events. There will also be a few intermediate level workshops - if you are interested in those please get in touch!  I also have couple of instore demonstrations at Hobbycraft Bristol, there you can see me make some polymer clay canes and I will have a small selection of my work available to buy. It's a great chance to come and ask me any questions you have about polymer clay work too! If you want to keep up to date with what I'm doing and you haven't already you can sign up to my mailing list here. I promise I won't burden you with hundreds of emails - just one every couple of months or so and you can easily unsubscribe anytime you want.

Today being the first of February marks the start of the Thing a Day challenge on Polymer Clay Central Forum (an excellent place for polymer clay support!). I really enjoyed this last year - you can see all my makes here in this flickr set or on my pinterest board. I shall share my makes this year with you of course - perhaps not every day as I will be busy making ;) It's likely they will be posted on my facebook page more frequently - hopefully every day. It'll be interesting to compare them with what I made last year.

Here's my thing(s) for today! Love creatures - with valentine's day coming up! They are heading off to the lovely Tenderfoot gift shop in Bristol and are hoping that someone lovely will brighten someone's day by giving them as a gift ;)
polymer clay owls decorated with hearts
Lovely Owls

Polymer Clay Pigs decorated with hearts made by Cara Jane
Lovely Pigs
Lovely polymer clay heart decorated creatures by Cara Jane
Lots of lovely creatures - each one is different of course!

I haven't done much clay work this month as I have been busy learning to take amazing photos of my work with Brit Hammer. It's been hard work but an extremely valuable experience - I have learnt so  much! Hopefully you will notice a difference (perhaps not with these quickly grabbed shots)!