Monday, July 07, 2008

Handmade Texture Tools

As I wrote yesterday, playing around with texture wheels got me in the mood to finally turn some odds and ends I'd collected into real texture tools with polymer clay handles.

Here are the results:

Though you can't really tell in this photo, most of them are double-ended. I have to admit that I have yet to try them out in their finished form. I was just too eager to post about them. (g) (See? I really am getting back into this blogging thing.)

I know people have been turning bits and pieces into texture tools for years. There's nothing cutting edge about it. Still, I have a feeling that there are many others like me who've heard or read about it, thought about it, maybe even gathered promising random bits of metal-- but never actually done it. For anyone interested in what I learned along the way, I've put up a brief tutorial on Polymer Clay Web: Handmade Texture Tools.

Some people enjoy making their tools pretty, and when I made polymer clay handles for my linoleum cutters, I did put a little effort into making them attractive. However, this time I enjoyed not having to worry about that for an afternoon. It's a little vacation from thinking about fingerprints, color combos, and aesthetics in general. Functionality was the only thing on my mind when I made these. Ah, so freeing to use the ugliest "mud" imaginable and not care that it was hideous! ;o)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Latest "Stuff"

Um, I did say-- a couple of weeks ago, was it?-- that I was going to post more regularly, didn't I?
Ha ha ha! Silly you for believing me! ;o)

No, seriously, I am going to get back into the swing of things. Starting right now!

Though I've been quiet here on this blog, I have put in some time at the clay table. For instance, I've been trying out some new ideas with buttons, such as these "jumbo-sized" buttons:

There's nothing for scale in the photo, but trust me-- they're bigger than my usual buttons. (g) If I remember correctly (not guaranteed, especially when it comes to measurements and numbers in general), the hearts are about 1.25 inches "tall".

I've also been working on some cupcakes:

It's always satisfying to get a group of things done at once. A handful of beads, cupcakes, whatever looks so much more impressive than one-- and they're fun to photograph this way, too. ;o)

Then I got the latest issue of Polymer Cafe and read Irene Semanchuk Dean's interesting article about homemade texture wheels. I decided to give it a try, and she's right-- you will want to make more than one. I'm going to have to make another batch, sometime soon. . .

This little adventure got me in the mood to finally turn various bits and pieces I've been collecting into full-fledged polymer clay tools. I baked several of them this morning and am looking forward to trying them out.

I hope you've all enjoyed a pleasant weekend (a long holiday one, for those of us in the U.S.)! :o)