Sunday, March 2, 2008

Continuing Education Or, A Cure for the Creative Doldrums

Today I took a class that has totally taken my creative energy in a whole new direction.

We took this teeny packet of pure silver mixed with clay and some stamps and texture plates and had a ball. Just look!

In a three-hour session, I learned how to make pendants with art clay silver, an extremely cool medium that lets you sculpt silver into any shape you want.

You can:
  • Stamp it
  • Poke it
  • Cut it
  • Roll it over a cool, texturized pattern
  • Or just manipulate it however your little heart desires.
Dry it out in a food dehydrator, then pop it into a 1400-degree kiln for just 5 minutes and you've got a sturdy piece of silver, imprinted with whatever design you've made.

Just sand off the matte finish, burnish it up and dunk it in some oxydizing fluid and the results are pretty astonishing.

The piece on the left is a little larger than a dime, and it's something I smushed together out of leftover clay. The oxydation made the color a kind of copper-patina'd green/blue.

The piece on the right is my piece de resistance. I know that sounds melodramatic. But if you really know me, you'd know I'm extremely bad at singing my own praises.

(But I can market the hell out of someone else's product, or skills or services.)

I'm just really happy it turned out the way it did, considering it was my first piece.

Really, the photo doesn't do it justice; the coloration in the lowlights changes, depending on the angle at which you're looking at it.

Sometimes there's a blue cast, other times a deep purple, then there's a rust-colored sheen throughout the spirals.

The mind reels at the combinations of other beads I can pair with this thing to really make it sing. I'm thinking of pairing it with a few special strands I've been hoarding to make a really interesting necklace.

So here's my tip for the day.
When you feel stuck creatively, get out of the house. Sign up for a class. Meet some new people. Pick their brains and enjoy how others think. Bat around a few ideas.

Support what everyone else is doing, because it's all good.

Then see how it magically opens up your own mind to create something you never realized you could do.

In a little over three hours, I made one decent-sized piece and three small ones that will always be a reminder of how trying something new and leapfrogging out of my comfort zone can result in really wonderful surprises.


Anonymous said...

That Girl!
These are FAB - U - LOUS!!!!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hey, thanks so much!

Like many things, when you really have a lot of fun, it shows!

Kitty said...

how cool is that?
Wonderful, Spandrel!
How inspiring. Good for you!

Spandrel Studios said...

Thanks, Kitty! It's kind of amazing what you can do with this stuff.

Stephanie said...

They turned out really nice.

Spandrel Studios said...

Thanks, Stephanie! Next time, I'd rather sculpt or carve something out of my head, rather than using patterns and stamps.