Sunday, August 12, 2012

Let's face it

Let's face it, I have been blogging since June, 2006. Long before blogging had become popular. It is easy to blog than having a website because, for me, it is free. I get to show off my works, on line. Actually, I started blogging because I want to be featured on Polymerclaydaily.  Cynthia Tinapple and Susan Lomuto help launching my career as a Polymer clay artist. They stood by me though good times and bad times. After Ada's accident, they help spread the news and let everyone know that was going on. I have to say this wonderful people and the Polymer clay community had come together and gave me hope and courage to carry on. I am forever grateful to be part of this community.

Blogging used to be window to the outside world for me, but now, thing had changed. Facebook had open that window wider for me. Not only I can reach out to the polymer clay community 24/7, I also can reach friends from the other side of the world. It is easy, convenience and someone is always there to connect with me. It is an instant gratification, but who had time to blog and wait and hope someone would came by and read it and left some nice comments. Posting on facebook is fast and easy and in a few second, someone, somewhere, would see it and "Like" it.
So, if you haven't been "Friend" with me on Facebook, please do so because I had decided to move from "Blogging" to "Posting" about my work on there.

I also have a Fanpage separates from my regular page, this way I can post my latest, just finish, still warm out of the oven when I get it done, hopefully, everyday before 5 o'clock.  Here is my Fanpage on Facebook.

Thank you for all your support through out the tough time. Ada and I are doing just fine and I am slowly getting back to be myself again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lesson learn

Every year, in Spring, when the weather gets warmer, I like to take Ada to the Indianapolis Museum of Arts ground. We just go for a walk and be outside, in the garden. I usually take pictures of the flower while Ada waits impatiently. My dear friend, Scott, also send me pictures of flower in his garden. This year, via Facebook, a friend who lives in D.C., Orn, always posts pictures from her garden too. I am obcessed with flowers, may be, they are all the inspiration in my new works, my new design this year; Cluster Pendants.
Now that I have my workroom set up where most of my stuffs are all in one place, I am able to put together such pendants shown with different materials. Those little Lucite flowers help soften the look of wire, don't they?
Working with wire is like learning to play guitar, in a way, my finger tips are sored and bruised. I try to use pliers as much as I can, which is a good practice anyway, but still, I am working with Steel wire here.
As I laced the smaller gauge wire through the frame, with the classical music playing on the radio, I realized that I am in the Zone, where time stood still, I had no worried, my mind was calm. The pieces all came together like magic. What if I can do this with Ada, I mean, what if I can be this calm while working and taking care of Ada. Here, I am so patiently transform the Steel wire into something intricate, something different, may be I can bend her mind with the power that I have in myself, my hand, my heart and my love.
Today, I sing to Ada, give her a big smile, give her kisses, make her laugh, stroke her hair while I tuck her in bed and tell her how much I love her. Patiently :)

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Dandelions and all those weeds.

We are fortunate to live in the neighborhood where, most of our neighbor, has dandelions in their yards. Except the 2 house on the other side of the street. It took a lot of chemical and effort to get rid of those pretty, yellow flowers. Dandelions make me smile every time I look at them. They remind me of the time when my kids were small. They would gathered as many stems of white puffy balls in their little hands, blew the big huff and puff and let the wind carry the white things as far as they can go.

I asked Matt Kernan to make Dandelion cane for me. He said, 'Wait a minute, you want me to make weeds?". Oh yes, Matt, I've been wanting the dandelion cane and I am sure he is the one who can make it for me.

Good thing Dandelions are everywhere. Matt said, "That's all I've been doing while walking the pup is looking at these darn Dandelions". He sent over the most beautiful Dandelion cane.

I made the round frame from steel wire, filled it with Ultralight clay, then slide the canes into thin pieces. I stacked up the cane slides, gave it some details. I sat in front of the oven waiting for it to cure. I open the oven door and smile.

Here is my first, my own Dandelion flowers. One that will never fade away. Pretty isn't it?

Here is the white puffy ball I made with Pardo trans clay. First I thought I will ask my Glass bead maker to make a white ball for me. That would be pretty too but this one is good enough and it won't be blown away in the wind either.

Here is the whole pendant. I made a leaf with wire and add others weed flowers as well.

I am very happy with it.

Dandelions is colorful, beautiful, abandon, persistent, resolute, determination, persevere, stubbornness, etc. It reminds me of a definition for 'Woman" and a song by Helen Reddy;

I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Cluster pendants

Simple idea; making circle and dangle things from it. These pendant were made with steel wire, polymer clay, glass beads, stones and Chinese coil, AKA things on my table. I had this idea that if I ever do show again, I will have all the components in different size and material, and customer can pick and choose and customize their very own pendants. So far I sold all of them and can't make it fast enough. I probably won't apply for any show this year either.

The Dandelion cane is here and I am very pleased. Will keep you waiting for one more day. Please come back.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Pendants and necklaces

While we are waiting for the special cane to arrive, let me show you pendants and necklaces I made using Matt Kernan's canes.

I used steel wire to make the outside frame first, built the dome and created a pattern sheet using cane slides. They look subtle and have oriental feel which I really like. I even wear them myself.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


I don't make cane, I insist, I mean those intricate flower cane or the Kaleidoscope cane, of which, all the pattern, lines and curves are perfectly aligned, in the middle and on all sides. I was afraid, I think, of making mistake and end up with a big pile of scrap clay. Not only that, I will loose my time, 8 hours a day, when a nurse will come and take care of Ada so I can work.

One day I saw Matt Kernan's canes at Claypen Chat, and was delighted to learn that he was coming to our Guild meeting. "Bring your canes, please, I want to buy some canes from you", I told him. Matt came with a big box of canes that he made. I picked and I chose and I want them all. He was so kind, generous and didn't charge me as much, then offer to make what ever color and pattern I like. Never in my life I would dream of having my very own cane makers. Sound good, isn't it? I took the canes home, reduced them then cut the thin slides and make pillow beads. That way I can make many, many beads out of one cane.

Here are some of the beads I made. i also made some pendants from his canes. It was so much fun to work with his canes. they are so perfect as a kali cane should be. I received a lot of compliments, but all the credit should go to Matt.

I can now cross "making canes" out of my to-do list and focus on design. I have an exciting project that I am working on. Matt's special cane that he made for me is on its way here. I can't wait to get my hand on it. Stay tune, you will like it.

P.S. Here is the link to Matt Kernan's Flickr page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Metal Head

At one of our Guild meeting, one of our friend demo how to use face mold. I happened to have one of Maureem Carlson face mold, so I gave it a try. As I was not very happy of the outcome and started squeeze those beads for fun, miracle happened.

I went home and added a few things on those heads, baked and antiqued them with Burnt Amber oil paint, I am glad I held of throwing those heads into scrap pile.

The Christie Friesen announced her Swellegant - Metal coating and I had to get it.
And here is the result and tutorial.

Material list : Maureen Carlson face mold, light brown color clay, Ultra light clay, CF Metal paints

1. Roll out a thin sheet of Brown color clay, any brand will do. make a 3/4 inch ball using Ultra light clay. Not only it will help lighten the weight of bead, but also it's softness will help to get more details out of the mold.

2. Cover the Ultra light ball with light brown color clay.

3. roll the ball into barrel shape.

4. Place the ball inti the mold.

5. Press down with your finger.

6. Squeeze the side of the mold, so you will get skinny face.

7. Take the head out of the mold.

8. Put the head between your thumb and index finger. Squeeze lightly.

9. Squeeze.

10. Actually, I don't really like the other head, so I roll the head back into a ball and start over.

11. Now, I like this guy better. So squeeze and squeeze, adjust the nose, pull the chin.

12. I added detail to his head.

13. With sharp needle, make texture to one side of the face. I used felting needle here.

14. Baked.

15. painted with Metal Coating

16. Add patina.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Last year in late October, I went to Kentucky Guild Retreat at Mammoth cave. At night, we played Poker game before we went to bed and we had to make poker chips for the game. I had made mine in advance but Lee Ann suggested that I made my potato chips for the poker game that night because my potato chip ring was so sensational. I don't want to be known as a Potato chip lady. Heck with it. I started my first batch but after I baked them, they were too yellow, so I started another batch. And they turned out great. Somehow, I just spilled green ink on one of the yellow chip. Needless to say, some miracle happened. I made pickles out of those chips.

Last week a clay friend who had one of my chip emailed me and want to know if I can make those chips into earrings for lunch lady at school. That's sound like fun, isn't it? This time I took some pictures while I was making them. As you might have known, I painted over Ada's old room and turn it into my studio, so I am well organized. Well, I am trying to :) More on that later.

Here is how I made those potato chips. My other blog "polymerclaybeads " where I usually post my tutorial is under construction. I didn't realize that had closed down. Now I am putting all the pictures back on each tutorial one-by-one. It won't be easy and it will take time.

I used Pardo-Translucent clay. It is the best. hard to find but worth the search. Then a little bit of yellow and some white. First mix yellow into white then mix it into translucent clay, by hand. Twist, twist and roll. We don't want it to blend all the way. Then roll it out on the pasta machine. Roll the sheet into jelly roll then push the end in till you get a log.
Using ripple blade cut thin pieces off. I have these two different ripple blades and don't ask where did I get them. I don't remember that. Cut some thin and some thick.
Bake all the pieces then I use ink, paint and paste to add color to each one. You can use the real potato chips for reference, (duh!), but don't eat the whole bag like me.

Here we have Potato chips, Kettle chips and Pickles.


Thursday, September 08, 2011


I like working with wire. In college, I made pins that bare people name, in cursive, using a toughest wire to bend. The kind that dentist used to make braces for people with crooked teeth in the old day.

I stumbled upon a artist who used steel wire to make her jewelry. I like the way it look, so I gave it a try. These wires are tough but forgiving at the same time. Much easier to work with, but my fingers are stronger from working with clay. Not as soft as Artistic wire and the price is just right. You can get them from ACE Hardware Store. I used it to make my rings and ring blanks too.

So I decided to coil it up, made the links, loops and jump rings. My finger tips hurt for a few days, but I really like the result. I decided to dangle small, little beads on it.

I went back to get more wire and found a smaller gauge. Perfect. One of the ring I made last year, I lace the thinner wire through the bigger wire. I like the look and always want to explore more with this form.

I played with the wire and came up with this idea of making a frame and fill it up with clay. Not a new idea, but it will be different look.

Here's one I fill up with a piece of Mokume gane.

Pretty, I like it.
What else I can do with it? Stay tune.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


People often asked me where do I get my idea from, especially when they looked through my ring trays, and found out that I had made 365 rings last year, and finished the "Ring a Day" project. The ideas are all around me, some are in my head, some are things I've seen on "Bing". Some ideas came when I look at the magazine, got WOW from other artists' works. My head is full of ideas. I can used one everyday as long as I can think, and if I don't use it, my head will explode.
Last week my son came back from college, so I went to see Harry Potter with him. He didn't let me buy a big bucket of popcorn with extra butter and extra large drink, but that's ok, I still love him. While watching the movie, I had this crazy thought of how each wizard carry their wands. Since the young wizard now wearing tight clothing, not long and oversize robe like the older one. Hum, how can you keep the long, sharp, deadly object in your pocket? Harry even pulled one out while he was sitting on the bed.
Ok, I admit, I am a little bit crazy sometime, but it gave me the idea of how I should make these " Magic Wand" bracelets that wrap around the wrist and ready to be used as needed.

Design is the problem solving, and I think I have solved the problem well this time. Have fun with your crazy idea, don't be shy.