Rescheduled Create and Craft Show

All I can say is darn it, (and I am being very restrained here as I don’t want to swear on the blog!) Create and Craft have got their knickers in a knot again and the two Friendly Plastic shows scheduled for tomorrow have been changed. I cannot tell you right now when they are rescheduled for, but it won’t be for another few weeks. As soon as I have news I will let you know. If you feel strongly about this, then please email C&C and let them know. I have just about bust a blood vessel trying to stay polite and restrained over the issue, particularly as I had no warning and I would have just turned up at the studio as planned if it had not been for me noticing a sudden change in the schedule.

 The good news is that I will share with you what I was going to show you on the box.

 Sometimes I want to make a real statement with a piece of Friendly Plastic jewellery and create oversized beads and motifs. This can get quite expensive if done entirely in FP, and it is not always easy to make large pieces without some sort of support any way. Also there are issues about drilling holes as opposed to simply making a hole with a needle tool. One way of solving this is to use a large wooden or plastic bead and cover it with FP, but then you still have the problem of locating the hole or drilling another, and you are a bit limited in size and shape.

 A while ago, one of my students, whose name I cannot remember now to my shame (if it was you , please let me know), told me that she had been experimenting with air drying clay as the centre for bigger beads. This seemed like an idea to follow up on, and I laid my hands on some Cloud Clay in black and began with simple round beads, rapidly progressing to other shapes.  You can lay your hands on it too as I have some in stock right now at Rare Bird Ltd

 

The beauty of Cloud Clay is that it is very light and easy to use and personally I like using black as it fits in with FP more easily. Rolling and shaping it in your hands, or using moulds is a breeze, and it does not have any tendency to sag or flatten when left to dry overnight. The resulting shapes are reasonably flexible and can be stored for later use. 

To cover the Cloud Clay with Friendly Plastic I use two methods depending on the shape. If the piece is flat, then raw FP can be laid over the top and softened with a heat gun. If the shape is not flat then I found it easier to soften the Friendly Plastic in hot water and then lay it on the Cloud Clay shape (this can be a little slippery).

 

In this example I have covered the Cloud Clay with Friendly Plastic and then heated it again with a heat gun and swirled it with my needle tool.  Polka dot ribbon sets the focal bead off.  The heart is 4.5cm wide and 1cm deep but it is as light as a feather.

 

In this example the warm FP has had an unmounted rubber stamp pushed in to the surface; it is easier to get texture where you want it than with a mounted stamp, and this twisted shape was tricky.  I then coloured it with acrylic paint and Rub n Buff to create the antiqued feel in the picture below.

You don’t have to stick to solid shapes, I used a cookie cutter to cut out this heart, and made some cubes for earings and  bangle as well.

This heart pendant is 5.5cm from top to bottom.

This pendant was created using the swirling technique but I added some foiling to the surface too.  It is 5.5cm tall, 2cm wide and 1.5cm deep.

Simply overlapping strips of Friendly Plastic created the metal panelled look (or possibly leather) of the oval shape which is 6cm tall.

A small tip for you – why not embed your head pin in a bead of FP and use it to attach to the pendant with heat.  It is very secure and decorative and a whole lot less fiddly. This is the finished pendant that I showed the beginnings of earlier, it is 8cm tall and the headpin is buried inside the copper FP

Why stick to simple shapes, I tried out some wiggly ones, curvy shapes and simple bends. 

 I think I am only just getting started with this idea and it would make great Christmas decorations too because the finished pieces are so light.  Just remember to coat them in a protective varnish (acrylic – I will have some on my website very shortly) to protect their foil surface.

Thank you again to the lovely lady who set me off on this track by suggesting the air dry clay in the first place.

It is Creat and Craft’s loss that they have not now got the scoop on this technique, however, I am sure that when we manage to reschedule the show, I will still be pleased to be able to show you in real time how to do it.