Monthly Archives: February 2013

More mokame gane


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I managed to find some silver coloured metal leaf in Coimbra the other week , and have been dying to start using it ever since.
This week I had a nice play with it, by using it with my fimo in making some black and silver crackle fimo, and in making some black turquoise and silver mokame gane bits and bobs.

Mokame gane is traditionally a japanese method of making beautiful patterns in metals that were used in sword making . It involves thin laminates of different coloured metals being layered into a block, which is then cut into and hammered to make different pattens.

It also works well to make beautiful patterns using Polymer clay, and is great fun to do.

I used 3 colours of FIMO soft clay, turquoise,royal blue and black, with silver leaf between the blue and turqouise clay.

I rolled, cut and stacked the clay until i had a small stripy block.
I then stuck different objects, such as biro tops, cocktail stick, screw heads, and a crinkle cutting blade into the clay to make random patterns.
I pushed some objects further into the clay than others, as this makes a difference to the pattern .

Then came the really fun bit !

I cut across the top of the stack with a very thin blade, and basically shaved pieces off the fimo, to reveal lots of lovely patterns .

I used some shavings on top of black clay to make two long beads which I want to make into a lariat ( necklace), and the whole piece I had left I incorporated into a leather cuff, by attaching it to the metal snap fastening.

I had loads of shavings left, so I have wrapped them in baking paper to use at a later date.

It is the first time I have tried putting the polymer clay onto a leather cuff by attaching it to the top snap. I am not sure I like the way it sticks up, So I am going to try playing around with other ideas.

Creative quotes I like .

Some times I feel a certain way,and can’t put it into words, then I see a quote and think , YES ! thats what i am feeling .

Other times I need a bit of a kick up the you know what , and I read a quote that motivates me.

And other times I find quotes that help sort out grey areas of thought, whilst others plant questions in my head .

I thought I would share a few I like regarding creativity and crafting

” You never find time for anything. You make it “ Charles Buxton

” Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties “ Erich Fromm

” Things are not difficult to make. What is difficult is putting ourselves in a state of mind to make them ” Constantin Brancuse

” We do not find freedom along the grinding lines of discipline” Yehudi Menhuin

“The creative spirit demands persistence ” Shane Mc Niff

” Go on working freely and furiously and you will make progress” Paul Gaughin

” Craft is what I do all day, Art is what i end up with at the end of it ” Harlan House

ART V CRAFT “eye candy v hand & eye candy with a purpose” Wayne MacKenzie

“Art can’t deny craft, but refuses to acknowledge it. In the end they are still brothers” Christian Barr

Do you have any favourite quotes ? If so what are they ?

Zentangle or Doodle ?

For the last couple of days I have been a bit preoccupied with my house renovations, and so my plan to make some fimo mokume game jewellery after my wonderful museum trip, had to be put on hold.
Instead, my creative time has been limited to half an hour here and there, with some doodling or zentangle making
I think they might be classed more as doodles than zentangles after reading more about what a zentangle is.
To be a Zentangle, apparently the patterns should be done on a 9cm square paper, and not be representative of anything, with no right way up, but done with deliberate strokes,almost as a form of meditation.

I find that I start off doodling (making patterns whilst my mind is thinking of other things ) but then after a short period of time i become engrossed and focused on my patterns, and it does become very calming. Could it be a zendoodle ?
It is very relaxing, and as there is no right or wrong it is quite liberating, and definately something anyone can do.

I would advise anyone to have a go. All you need is some small pieces of nice paper, and a black micron pen, felt tip or biro. True zentangles are black and white, but I loved seeing how a few watercolour shapes were transformed by putting black patterns over them.

I have made a little book with a few different pieces of coloured paper and card inside which i can take with me if I am travelling by train or plane. I also doodle in it if I’m having one of those nights were I can’t sleep, but am too tired to read. Perfect for short bursts of creativity .

An inspiring visit to The Gulbenkian Museum In Lisbon

I have just got back from a quick trip to Lisbon. I combined picking up bits and pieces for my workshop renovation, with a trip to the Gulbenkian Museum, which has been on my places to visit list, for a long time.

The museum was brilliant. Better than I could have imagined, I had a lovely time, and found it very inspiring.

There were so many beautiful pieces. I was in awe of the amazing craftsmanship as I wandered around, and Mr Gulbenkians’ motto of “Only the best ” was very much in evidence.

Lovely carved Egyptian limestone tablets, finely detailed japanese laquered boxes, delicately woven Ottoman silk coats and velvet rugs, gorgeous Lalique glass work and jewellry, paintings from Dutch masters, French impressionists, and the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood were just a few of the 1000 exhibits.
I would definately recommend a visit if you are in Lisbon. Opening times,location and more information about the museum and Colouste Gulbenkian can be found on the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian website.

Birthday cards finished, sketching begins ….

Over the last few days I have been busy making all my greetings cards for the year. I decided on simple colourful stylized hand painted designs, using acrylic paint on thick water-colour paper.

With all my cards finished, today I have been getting in a bit of drawing practice. I always wish my drawing was better, and yet at the same time I know I don’t practice .

I took some photos of baby rabbits at the week-end, and so they were as good a sketching subject as any.
I kept my sketches to between 1 and 5 minutes, as my aim was to try to see the shapes and spaces, not to create a finished drawing.

Some of them ended up looking like mice, and others like alien creatures, but after a while I started to feel the shapes were becoming more rabbit like, and I started to feel more confident.

I have decided I am going to do this every day. I am going to leave a pencil and a sketch book out on the table and will do 15 minutes of sketching every morning, as a quick creative exercise and see if my drawing ability improves.

I will make a note to let you know how it is going a month from now !