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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Starting a new weekly feature today, What's On My Worktable Wednesdays. So what is on my worktable (had to look that up to see if it is actually a legitimate word - it is!) today? Well, as usual, a mess.

I have an entire room upstairs devoted to just my crafts. You'd think that would be pure heaven for me. For a short time, it was. But then I realized that I like to be downstairs in the middle of everything, close to my daughter, the phone, the computer, the kitchen, etc. So my craft room is for the most part neglected. There are times I do enjoy being able to go up there and close the door, put on my music, and work completely undisturbed. But more often, I end up carrying stuff downstairs and working on the dining room table. I just feel too isolated up there sometimes. That's where I'm at this week.

My dining room table also doubles as my photo area. I have a small lightbox that I use for taking my photos. It's great because when I don't need to use it, it folds up like a portfolio and can be stored in the closet. It came with the small lights pictured, but the bulbs they contain really are not bright enough. It also came with a little tripod and four different colored backdrops. The whole thing with shipping cost me around $50.00. Here's a similar one on ebay if you're looking for one: Light Box.

So on my table today is the light box because I've been taking pics of polymer clay books that I plan to put up on ebay. I'm cleaning out my closets and getting rid of things I no longer need or want. Check my ebay auctions later this week if you're looking for any clay books. I'm very fussy with my books and keep them in like new condition. :o)

Included with the books I'll be listing this week are several Japanese clay books. I got them when I was invited to Plaid Enterprises' headquarters just outside Atlanta, Georgia along with 11 other craft designers to work with some products Plaid was exploring at the time. What a blast that was! We were treated extremely well by Plaid who flew us there, put us up in a lovely hotel, provided wonderful meals for us, and also paid us for the privilege of working with some wonderful products for several days. There were two very talented Japanese ladies there to work with us. I must say that the Japanese make some of the most gorgeous clay flowers I've ever seen. These books contain a vast array of lovely clay pieces in addition to the flowers. Plaid Enterprises is one of the biggest craft manufacturers in the U.S. for those who don't know.

Also on the table is the rough start to a poor little Old English Sheepdog figurine that has been laying there patiently waiting for weeks for me to get back around to it. Ever start something full of inspiration and about halfway through it lose interest? Story of my life, :oP.

Yes that pitiful blob WILL actually become a sheepdog, someday anyway. Things go through some pretty awful looking stages as we're working on them don't they? But you have to start somewhere. Now I'm going to have to actually FINISH it to prove it actually CAN be something cute! LOL

When I'm not going to work on a piece for a while I just drape a piece of tin foil over it to keep the dust off.

As you can see, I work on ceramic tiles of various sizes that I place on top of a phone book to raise it up some so that I don't have to bend over to work, thereby straining my neck and shoulder muscles something awful. Sometimes I use two phone books stacked on top of each other to raise the tile. Just depends on what I'm working on, but it really helps to cut down on the strain on the body. I also sometimes prop my tile up on an easel if I'm working on something flat. Since the clay sort of sticks to the tile, it stays put when the tile is propped on the easel.

Since I haven't actually been working on that poor OES figurine, my pasta machine, and most of my other tools are not currently on the table. That mess in the corner contains a drawer from one of my storage bins upstairs that I hastily threw a bunch of tools in and carried downstairs. It also shows a slew of finished pieces from my recent show sitting on top of the tub I keep my family's Christmas ornaments in.

So that's my first Worktable Wednesday. Not too scintillating so far no doubt, but as I go along I hope to show you more of what I'm working on. I think it's interesting to see the stages pieces go through. Anyone starting out with sculpting shouldn't feel discouraged when they see their piece go through some of those stages! Those beginning stages can be pretty rough. It's perfectly natural. :o)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've last updated my blog. I've been going in a variety of directions, trying to enjoy summer vacation with my daughter, amongst other things.

I am working on the sculpting tutorial, but finding it slow going for sure. There are hundreds of recognized dog breeds, so of course I can't even begin to scratch the surface in attempting to explain how to sculpt them all. So I am focusing my first tutorial on the basics of sculpting some of the longhaired breeds like Yorkies, Maltese, Shih Tzus, etc.

I've developed my own techniques over time to aid me in sculpting many different breeds, but what works for me may or may not make sense to or work for someone else. Also I don't always use the same techniques for the same breed. So it's making writing the tutorial an interesting challenge. I'm really just going to try to break it down to basics so someone reading the tutorial can get started but also develop what works best for them.

The tutorial will focus on sculpting flat pieces, just the heads and necks of the dogs, for use as pins, pendants, ornaments, etc.

Other than that, I've been on kind of a break from sculpting for ebay or anything. But now I'm gearing up to do some holiday pieces for Halloween and Christmas. My favorite!

And my daughter and I are looking forward to the Coldplay concert this weekend! WOO HOO!

I'll try to update again soon!

Recently sold Maltese pendant