Thursday, 19 July 2007

Cockerel and Ball

I ordered a big range of colours online and couldn't wait until they arrived and I found great pleasure in building flower canes and tried Skinner Blends. I even made some good ones without a pasta machine. Although it was an odd thought to me to run sheets of clay through a machine that is meant for food I bought this useful tool. I convinced myself that I'm really serious about my new hobby and that it wouldn't be wasted money.

My next project should be a surprise for a dear friend of mine. He didn't like my first attempt at all. Sadly he was the first one I showed it to. Imagine how I felt when my excitement met his dislike. He said he doesn't like flowers. But as I like him more than he does my work and as I wanted to challenge myself although I'm just a beginner I made him a glass showing the badge of his favourite and most beloved football club Tottenham Hotspur. It took hours to build a complex cane as this and I'm always slow already because of my hands, but it was fun. The hole thing got a bit distorted when I tried to reduce its size but I realised I rather leave it as big as it is than mess it up in the end. I have no proper tools to cut a big cane like this into neat slices, so slicing it was also a sensible part. The finished glass looks like this.

It looks rather Greek then English to me but it is flowerfree and fortunately very well liked by my friend and I'm very proud of it.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

The Beginning

Since years I've got a lot of problems with my hands and arms that include inflammations and quite a great deal of pain. I don't want to go further into this boring subject, just tell that I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to working with my hands especially as I always wanted to be an artisan.
I was in hospital at the beginning of the year and had some occupational theraphy that included working with natural clay. I made the vessel you can see in the picture. I think it shows that it was made with aching hands.

It looks quite clumsy, doesn't it, but my therapist recommended me to work more with that sort of clay to strengthen my muscles. But I feel it is much too hard to work with for me. I need too much help and I don't like that at all. I want to be independent of others to feel good and to be creative. Besides I can't bake it at home as it needs much to high temperatures.

So I looked for other materials to work with. I already had something like Fimo in mind because I had worked with it many years ago although I knew from this experience it's too hard for me as well. But then looking around in a shop I found out that there's something new called Fimo soft. Since when is it new anyway? If I had only known earlier of its existence! To try out if this stuff pleases my demands I randomly bought five colours that I liked. At home I saw three of them are labelled 'translucent' so I searched the internet to find out the purpose of that and also to find some inspiration as I had no idea what I actually could form and sculpture. Here in Germany polymer clay is a material children play with. I wasn't aware that there are so many adults in the world doing so many beautiful and artistic things with it until I saw them in the web. It was most inspiring! As I read about the ancient technique called Millefiori invented by glass artists centuries ago and as I saw what stunning things you can do with it my only thought was: "I want to be able to do that as well! I must!" I spent several weeks reading about it and pondering until I made my first cane. I did not want to mess it up. I wanted my first attempt to be successful. I made a very simple flower cane of the translucent colours I bought. I made it on March 25th. I covered a candle holder with the slices and was very, very satisfied with the result.

A huge inspiration for me is the idea of covering vessels using Millefiori canes and especially the work of Orly Rabinowitz I stumbled across when I searched Flickr. Her work is amazing! Take a look!

My first attempt made me so glad! The material is soft enough for me to
use, although not on a daily basis, but as you can see I was instantly hooked!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Starting my blog

Welcome to my blog!
My name is Jana and I live in Germany. I decided to write my own blog to keep something like a diary about my work with polymer clay which has turned into a little obsession. I also want to improve my English or rather use it in the first place so I'll write in this language.
I started working with polymer clay only three months ago, so my first postings will be about this time until I reach the present and then I hope there will be a lot of news to add in the future.