Teeny Tiny Sculpts

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s been a very busy few weeks around here but as the weather continues to have it’s ups and downs, I hope everyone will be able to spend more time outside. If not, maybe we can help bring some of that lovely nature inside! If you drop in for Sunday posts on a regular basis, you know that I have a little obsession with all things cute…and it’s time for more! I stumbled across this wonderful artist on Etsy that makes beautiful micro-mini sculptures that I will absolutely have to make mine. Iko, working under the studio name ChikoCraft creates wondrous little tiny worlds in bottles, detailed miniature jewelry, and adorable trinket dishes out of clay, ceramics, and resin:

I very delightedly scrolled through the pictures of her sculptures, simply amazed by the details she achieves at this size:

I mean, look at the fine details on the lily pads and froggies!

I also enjoyed some of the little surprises she includes in some of her jewelry, like these stamp necklaces. So simple from the side, yet they have a working seal for putting your mark of choice on anything at the bottom:

 

Of all the lovely little things she had to offer, though, my favorite things (which I must utilize in the near future) is Iko’s custom pet sculpts. That’s right, she will take pictures of YOUR little fur (or maybe not so furry) babies and create tiny replicas of them for you to wear:

How perfect are these?!

I have a feeling I will be owning two new kitty pendants in the near future and I promise to post pics when I get them. So if you would like to own a teeny slice of adorable from Iko, she can be found on Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. If you have an hour or so to spare, I encourage you to get lost in her work.

Next week, I have a few ideas for Mother’s Day gifts as it’s coming up quickly here in the U.S.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Cookie Ring Tutorial

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Hi there and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I wanted to share this quick and simple project with you. It’s a cookie ring, using polymer clay for the cookies.

What you’ll need for this project is:

  • Premo clay in ecru and burnt sienna
  • an adjustable ring base of your choice.
  • A straight blade. You can use a knife, a tissue blade, or whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Somethjng for texture, either a texture mold or even some wrinkled up foil.
  • A miniature plate. You can check the miniature section of your hobby store, or even a toy store. It need to be oven safe to 275 degrees F.
  • Adhesive.

Steps:

  • Condition your clay by kneading it. Separate out three pea sized balls of ecru clay.
  • Flatten the balls, leaving them a little rounded like real cookies would be after baking.
  • Using your texture stamp or crumpled foil, add some texture to the cookies. 
  • Make some very tiny balls of your sienna clay. These are your chocolate chips. Randomly place them on your cookies, flattening the balls as you place them. 
  • Optional- add some bronze pearlX powder to simulate baking color. You can also do an acrylic wash with brown after baking instead.
  • Using adhesive, attach the cookies to the plate and bake in your oven. Premo bakes in an oven at 275 degrees F, and I would bake your plate for 30 minutes. After cooling, it can be attached using the same adhesive to your ring base.

If you don’t like rings, it can be done as a pendant, or even earrings.


Birds of a Felted Feather

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Perhaps it’s my bias towards sewing skills, but felt and embroidery projects always catch my eye. It’s like my brain is playing a Where’s Waldo type game but with fabric and thread without telling me. 😛 It’s no wonder I easily came across these awesome felt sculptures as a result.

Jill Ffrench, is the owner and artisan of Fantails and Feet, a custom felt sculpture artist that makes beautifully expressive birds out of felt, thread, wire and wax. While you can see she has a passion for peacocks, her entire collection of birds is simply lovely.

I especially love the extra detailing the feathers get to selectively make them pop, but they’re all wonderful. If you’re a bird lover, or know someone who is, I definitely recommend giving this shop of fine feathered friends a look over.


Fruit Tart Tutorial, Part 2

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Good Morning and Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, of Fantastical Menagerie. Today I’m bringing you the second half of my Fruit Tart Tutorial. The first part can be found here.

1. Roll out five small balls of Premo brand polymer clay in Pomagranate. Approx 4 mm in diameter.

2. Shape each one into a teardrop shape.

3. Flatten it slightly on your finger.

4. Using your needle ended tool, make small dots on the teardrop shape. They should be in alternating rows, all the way to the back end.

5. Place into the shell, with flat ends in the center.

6. Take the fifth berry, and add the green leaves to the top. Place it on top of the other four.

7. Optional- use green Pearl X on the leaves, and a dusting of the macro pearl on the berries for shine.

8. Put the finished piece into the oven. I would recommend 240 F, for approx 30 minutes. Once it cools, you can add findings to turn it into a pendant, earrings or a pin.

Continue reading »


Fruit Tart Tutorial Part One

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim, with Fantastical Menagerie. Last week we talked about keeping clay soft in winter, today I’m going to start you on how to make fruit tarts in clay.

For this project, you need the following:

  • pastry shell mold, preferably silicone. You can find them on Etsy here
  • a small dollhouse plate
  • Sculpey Bake n Bond. This can be found in the polymer clay aisle.
  • Premo clay in ecru, pomegranate, and either green pearl or jungle green. You can get it from any craft or hobby store.
  • tweezers, needle tool, and flat blade or razor.
  • Optional: pearl x powders in Macropearl, green and antique bronze.

1. Condition your clay. Leave the red until last because the color transfers.

2. Take a small piece of the ecru clay, roll it into a ball, and press it into your mold.

3. Carefully remove your clay from the mold. If there is any excess, use your razor to trim it to shape.

4. Add a small amount of Sculpey Bake & Bond to the plate. Put your tart shell in the center over the adhesive.

5. Optional- use a brush and add a little Pearl X Antique bronze on the tart shell to simulate color from baking. Add a bit of Bake & Bond to the center of the tart.

6. Make your leaves for the strawberries. Roll two small balls of green clay into a teardrop shape. Flatten them, and use your needle to run a line down the center of each. Then use the needle to draw veins into the leaves.

7. Roll out five small balls of Premo Pomegranate clay. Approx 4 mm in diameter. These will become your strawberries.

This tutorial will pick up next Wednesday, where I will show you how to form the strawberries, and then put everything together to form the piece.


Clay in winter

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. As a clay artist, winter is always harder in more ways than one. Colder temperatures mean that clay doesn’t always stay conditioned.

Copyright © 2015 by Ginger Davis Allman The Blue Bottle Tree, all rights reserved.

Copyright © 2015 by Ginger Davis Allman The Blue Bottle Tree, all rights reserved.

That same block I was working with the day before can be hard and crumbly all over again. Blech! Some shortcuts that I have found work for me are:

  • If you are using a marble, granite or glass work surface, remove the clay and wrap it in waxed paper when you finish for the evening. Stone surfaces conduct cold very well.
  • Store the clay in a box in the warmest room of your house. For many people, this would be the kitchen area.
  • When you start working, hold the cooler ball of clay in your hands or if you are in a hurry, near your skin for about five minutes. This warms it without cooking it.

I hope some of these suggestions help! Some brands of polymer clay are naturally softer, such as Sculpey III or Sculpey Soufflé. Next week I have a tutorial on creating fruit tarts I will be posting in two parts. I know it’s out of season for berries, but maybe the tarts will help you think warmer thoughts.


Uniquely Cute

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Hello Sunday readers!

Last week we were at MAGfest and you know what that means! New vendors that we’ve fallen in love with gushy posts are imminent! This first one has so much to offer, I almost don’t know where to start. ALMOST. In our wanderings through the crafty rows, the lifemate and I stumbled across a booth that had chubby little ornaments hanging from a dowel and I HAD to pop in for a better look. They were animal ornaments! Hooray! To my very great pleasure, upon closer perusal, I found that there were some very odd animals on display:

WailesTapir WailesPangolin WailesCoelacanth

Do not adjust your screens, folks, those are indeed a baby tapir, a pangolin, and a COELACANTH. A COELACANTH, PEOPLE!!!!! Ok, I know I’ve obsessed over cute animals before but I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that my actual degree is in Geological Sciences so this sort of thing just runs right up my alley, squeezes my tush, and tugs my heart strings before dashing off again. Much to my dismay, we had such a busy time that I did not have a chance to go back to purchase some amazing creations from artist Kelsey Wailes, also known as eattoast. I assure you that this shall be remedied in short order. I was so distracted by the “cnute aminals” that it took husband directing my attention to her other wares for me to find her re-purposed ponies. I’ve seen other versions of ponies over the years but not always with the same level of detail:

I mean, just look a My Little Immortan Joe! With his wittle face mask and wittle killer eyes!

I mean, just look a My Little Immortan Joe, with his wittle face mask and wittle killer eyes!

Once I tore myself away from the cutie cute animals and the ponies, I noticed the things I truly regret not purchasing as gifts for certain Trek fans in my life:

Redshirt Deadshirts. Yes, a little pile of very unfortunate redshirts that still makes me giggle uncontrollably.

Redshirt Deadshirts. Yes, a little pile of very unfortunate redshirts that still makes me giggle uncontrollably.

Besides her very obvious talent with clay, Kelsey is a very gifted pen and paper artist as well. If you, too, would like to own some of her creations or just squee over her works (like I just did for the last hour), she can be found on DeviantArt, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and most importantly, Etsy. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go put in an order for a Peacock Spider ornament that will really tie my room together.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Naturally Found

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Found art has always been an intriguing medium to me. The ability to take normal or broken everyday things and turn them into something else entirely definitely requires an eye that I do not have. British artist Dean Patman, however, obviously has it in spades.

Living in Bristol, he maintains a small studio space in his garden (aka backyard for us Americans) where he stores his found objects and does all his sculpture work. His passion began with his fascination of the natural world as a child, but didn’t start until much later in his life.

My passion for the natural world was equaled by my love of art.  It was a natural progression for me to study scientific illustration however feeling the need for a more creatively challenging course, I moved to Central St Martin’s. It was during my time there that I started working with found materials forming the sculptural method that characterizes my work today.  In found items I see the forms of the natural world; silverware, shoe-trees and teapots are married together to describe an animal’s appearance and character, making creatures both life-like and humorous .

His sculptures are decently sized as well, most of them starting right around 1-2′ in height or length. If you are fascinated by this medium as well I highly recommend giving his gallery a look through. Perhaps it could even inspire you. 🙂


Realistic Food Whittled From Wood

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Japanese artist Seiji Kawasaki creates food sculptures from wood that are so realistic, you’ll think you can actually eat them.

I chose that image specifically because if I picked a finished one, I know it wouldn’t be believed. I mean look at those potato chips!! It’s insane how good these look. Using just a small block of wood, Kawasaki is able to create any edible item in just a few hours. Some of which he then uses as chopstick holders.

He’s exhibited his work in several galleries around Japan, but that can be a costly ticket just to see them up close, so if you’d like to see more of the incredible sculptures he’s done you can take a gander at this Facebook gallery instead. I swear, with like 99% of them, I’d never have known they weren’t food if I just saw them on their own. It’s definitely worth your time.

 


Glass Acorns

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October/November has always seemed more like fall then September ever will in my part of the world, so today I wanna feature an artist that takes a bit of what we associate with fall and turning it into wearable art.

Ukraine artist Nikita Drachuk makes his art from real acorn caps and hand blown glass, and his work is just stunning. The medium he works in is called “Lampwork” and is the art of making figurines melted in the flame of a glass burner; which can reach up to 1800 degrees.

I would never get my hands so close to such a very very hot flame. :O

 

If acorns aren’t your cup of tea, they have an incredibly diverse range of subjects and sizes for their figures that you can admire, at their etsy shop Glass Symphony, instead. Their attention to detail and level of craftsmanship is really quite astounding.