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.